After Grilling: When do you scrape?

The wife and I have a dif of opinion … I leave the greasy debris on the grill until the next time I use it. She wants it scraped off afterwards.

My thinking is that the grease protects the grates and, when preparing to grill the next time, the burned off grease provides a good start.

Her preference is primarily based on the “ick” factor as best I can tell.

So … when do you scrape?

Before the next time I grill. And I usually just take a wire brush to it real quick. If at all.

It’s kind of odd. We have bears in our area, and we get warned about leaving grills outside. While the bears have tried to break into my shed to get the garbage, they have never gone after my grill. :dubious:

I scrape while it’s still HOT, not warm, because it’s easier to get all the gunk off while it’s still warm and mooshy. Gunk on a grill = sticking. Sticking = more gunk on a grill. I lost two grill grates that way before I started beliving in Alton Brown.

Just wondering, were they grizzlies or black bears?

I don’t currently have a grill (weep for me), but I just watched a rerun of “America’s Test Kitchen” on PBS yesterday that addressed this question.

Their preference is to scrape it after you first heat it up, but before you start cooking, and then once in a while also rub it with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil to aid in seasoning (use tongs to not burn the hands).

So they agree with the OP, and they test everything. I’d go with them. The “ick” factor isn’t really anything, since it all gets good and cooked anyway.

It comes off easier hot , but I’m fed, so I don’t care about it until I cook again.

Same here. I leave the gas on for just a bit after grilling, while the meat ‘rests’ under foil.* Not more than a couple of minutes. Then I turn everything off and scrape it. I do the same thing before I grill. I let the grill warm up a bit, scrape it, and then turn down the flame and plop the meat on. Leaves a nice grillmark on the meat.

  • you all DO let your cooked meat rest, don’t you? ;j

Loads of sexual inuendo in this here post, no?

Before grilling. Start the coals, put on the grill, run the wire brush over it after the coals are ready.

Me too. Turn on the gas (sorry), heat it up, then scrape off last night’s debris with a wire brush before slapping tonight’s dinner on the grill.

What is this gas of which you speak? Johnny L.A.'s method is the same I use.

Wire brush when cold. Wire brush after warmed up. Paper towel with oil. Meat. Wire brush after meat comes off, while still hot.

My grill looks great, pretty much non-stick.

I give it a scrape with a wire brush before and after cooking, both times while still hot.

I keep two spray bottles near the grill. One is full of canola oil, which I use to douse the grate after the pre-cooking scrape (spreading it around a bit with some paper towels). (Gives you some nice flame action, too, since it’s all about the show.) The other is water; in addition to putting out unwanted flare-ups, I use it for the post-cooking scrape.

I have these 4 thick cast iron grates on my grill. It’s basically one large grate divided up to make it easier to handle (and not so heavy). My method is 1)removed the two far right grates, 2)fill charcoal chimney and light, 3) spead ashen coals under grates, 4)reapply all grates and close lid, 5)scrape grates while hottest and reclose lid to allow grates to gather heat 6)apply meat to get those sear lines


If it looks chunky when I’m done grilling, I scrape.

Also. . .after burning myself and destroying paper towels, I came to the realization that it’s OK to wipe the grate with Crisco BEFORE you heat it up. I use a cast-iron grate, too.

spray the Weber with olive oil once it is hot…

scrape it once the food comes off, while it is hot…

it looks brand new after 8 years…

I wish. Our Weber looks like it has gone thru 3 wars and a pack of Cub Scouts. Still works just fine, however.

To the question…scrape when coals are hot, before cooking. Knock off the bigger chunks when warm and the grill is being put away for the night.

On the gas Weber, I do a quick scrape right after the food comes off, and a wire brushing before lighting it the next time. Every coupla months, I do a full burnoff, as Weber recommends.

On the charcoal Smoky Joe, the grill just barely fits in the dishwasher.