Making Your Grill Nonstick

Frequently, while grill cleaning, I am asked for advice on how to clean a grill and how to keep food from sticking to the grill racks. Here are a few simple tricks to try:

Tip #1: Cleaning with Vegetables

  •  Heat the grill to your desired temperature. 
  •  Slice a potato in half.
  •  Stab the end of one of the potato halves with a fork (leaving the inside of the potato exposed). 
  •  Rub the exposed center of the potato on the grate, making sure to cover the entire cooking surface.

This process releases the starches in the potato and will create a barrier between the grill racks and your food. You could also use half an onion or half a lemon. The last two will have a more obvious effect on the taste of the food.

Tip#2: Use Oil with a High Smoking Point

Most cooks recommend oiling the grill racks before grilling to prevent sticking. That’s true if using an oil with a high smoking point. For a BBQ, find an oil with a smoking point above 450°F. The higher it is, the longer it will last on the grill. My favorite is an inexpensive refined olive oil which has a higher smoke point (over 450°F) than the extra virgin olive oil (about 375°F) variety.  

Unfortunately, once the oil exceeds the smoking point, it turns into carbon. Adding more oil on top will just create more carbon buildup AND more sticky mess. Carbon buildup transfers to food and is highly carcinogenic–impacting both health and taste.

Think of seasoning your grill like you would a Dutch Oven. Start with a good BBQ cleaning. Then, warm the grill, wipe the grates with oil, heat to temperature, repeat. Finally, let the grates completely cool, re-coat them, and wipe off any excess oil. This technique should reduce any sticking.

 When you cook next, consider oiling the meat instead of the grill. Dry the meat with a paper towel and lightly oil it before applying any seasoning or rub. 

Unless you like cooking on a flamethrower, I suggest avoiding cooking spray altogether?

 Tip #3: Always Preheat the Grill 

Always preheat your grill. Turn your grill on high and let it heat up at least five to 10 minutes before you start grilling. You want to hear a sizzle as the meat touches the grill. As the food cooks, heat causes some moisture to exit the meat. That’s the sizzle you hear. Because oil and water don’t mix, this steam will eventually release the meat from the grates. 

Once preheated, lower the temperature somewhere just below the smoke point of the oil (see yesterday’s post). If you heat the grill above the smoke point, the coating of oil on your grates will crack, smoke, and carbonize almost instantly. The carbon and smoke won’t taste good, and the dry, uneven, and carcinogenic carbon layer will make the sticking worse. 

If your food is sticking when you go to turn it, just leave it alone a little longer. Once the moisture has evaporated, the meat will begin to brown, you will get those beautiful crusty grill marks, and the vapor from where the meat meets metal eventually steams the two apart.

I recommend giving the meat enough time out of the refrigerator to bring it up to room temperature before placing it on the grill. Cold meat on a hot grill can cool the grates too quickly causing the meat to stick.

 Tip#4: Clean Your Grill

 Yes, I should have started with this tip, but by ending with it I hoped it would stay the freshest in your mind.

The best thing you can do to keep food from sticking is to start with clean grates. My Grill Cleaners can give you a needed boost to starting clean. Between deep cleanings with our barbeque cleaning service, the following will ensure a more pleasant grilling experience:

At the beginning of each BBQ session, turn your burners on high and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This will cause any left-over, stuck-on food to char and become easier to scrape off with a grill brush. Better yet, just leave the grill on after you grill while the meat “sweats” before cutting/serving.  The grill will likely still be warm enough after eating to easily scrape the char off. 

Cleaning after you grill solves another problem. Leftover food bits on your grill just invites insects, bees, and rodents to make nests in your grill. The post-clean and/or preheat will relocate or kill any pests that have decided to make a home in your BBQ grill.

Finally, between barbeque cleaning sessions with us, try these two strategies for improved grilling:

  1. Before each grilling session, rotate the grill racks so food bits and char don’t build-up in the same portion of the racks.
  2. Every now and then, put your grills racks in the oven during a self-clean session. You’ll be surprised what will come off in there.


Cast Iron Grill Grates: How to Prevent Your Outdoor Barbecue Grill Grates, From Rusting

I clean BBQ grill grills and come across many types of barbecue grill grates, stainless steel, porcelain coated, porcelain-coated cast iron and cast iron. A majority of the grates I see, especially the cast iron, are rusted and probably should be thrown away. I don’t know about you but eating off of a rusted grill grate is not very appetizing and not very healthy.

Now that your BBQ has been professionally cleaned, how do you care for your cast iron grates?

One of the first questions I get from my customers after they see how clean their grates are is, “How do I keep them this clean after your gone? This is what I tell everyone after I clean their grill. “Now that I’ve cleaned your grates, I’ve taken away that layer of seasoning that was built up on them. If you were not accustomed to spraying PAM, you might want to use it because your food might want to stick a little bit more now that they are clean. What you need to do is season the grates by applying a thin layer of vegetable oil or olive oil with a paper towel prior to putting your food down, this will help keep your food from sticking until that seasoning layer is built back up.

While stainless steel and porcelain coated grates tend to be easier to keep clean, cast iron grates are much more difficult to maintain especially if they are already rusted.

Why use cast iron grill grates?

The cooking grate of your BBQ grill is one of the most important aspects of the grill that you can immediately see. The grate should be strong, resilient and able to hold up to the daily rigors of grilling. It should provide good heat transfer, be durable and help keep food from sticking. Cast iron grill grates conduct heat quickly and evenly cooking and searing the meat. This type of material does not have a smooth surface though and can quickly rust if not properly treated. Rusting is a problem and will continue to be a problem if you are not diligent with your care- this care must be constant to keep your grates lasting as long as you own your grill.

If you have purchased a new grill with cast iron grates or even purchased replacement cast iron grates for your gas grill because the old ones were rusty and chipping off into the food; do you know how to prevent the cast iron from rusting? To maintain the wonderful searing/grilling performance of your cast iron grates, as well as their longevity, some special care is required. As with any cast iron cooking tool, proper seasoning is most important.

Cleaning the grates

Before you first use, wash the grates thoroughly with dish washing liquid to remove the protective wax coating usually applied by most manufacturers to protect the iron during shipping. Rinse the grates in hot water and dry completely with a paper towel. The next step is to season the grates so they are protected.

To do this, use vegetable oils, (canola, sunflower, etc.) shortening, like Crisco, or lard for seasoning your cast iron and spread a very thin coating of it over the entire surface or the grate, including the corners, edges and bottom with a paper towel.

While you are applying the oil to the grate, preheat your grill to: 450-500 degrees F. Place your grates in the grill for up to 1 to 1-1/2 hours allowing the oil to completely dry. Turn off the heat and let the grill cool down to a normal outdoor temperature. Repeating the process several times will help create a stronger seasoning bond. I would recommend doing this process 2-3 times.

Preventing Grill Fires

BBQ Service Pro’s barbecue-grill cleaning service and repairs can help. Consistent grill cleaning reduces smoke and dangerous flare-ups. Grease buildup is the leading cause of grill fires and the easiest way to ruin the taste of the meat. In addition to de-greasing your unit, our technicians also check the regulator and other key components of your grill. Don’t wait, schedule your barbecue cleaning today!

Each time you barbecue, follow these simple steps to ensure your safety:

  1. Remove grease or fat buildup from the grill racks and from the drip-trays underneath the grill. 
  2. Keep the lid open while lighting. Trapped propane under a lid will act like a bomb when lit. If your grill doesn’t start immediately, wait five minutes for gas fumes to clear before trying again. 
  3. If you use a gas grill, check for dents in the propane tank. They could signal a potential leak.
  4. Ensure the grill is positioned well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. 

At the beginning of each grilling season, check the gas tank hose for leaks. Turn on the gas (but don’t light the grill) and apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. If there is a leak, you will see little bubbles at its source. At that point, turn off the gas and replace the hose or call a repairman. 


How Often Should I Clean My BBQ Grill

How often should I get my grill cleaned?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked. It all depends on how often you use your BBQ grill and how you want it to look. We suggest professional barbecue grill cleaning at least twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring. For avid grillers, a general rule of thumb is to scrub it down quarterly. We always recommend getting it cleaned before that big backyard party or any one of the special BBQ cooking holidays – Memorial Day, 4th of July, Pioneer Day, Labor Day.

There are three telltale signs it may be time to give your barbecue grill a professional scrubbing. 

First: general appearance. Do you notice crust or residue on the bottom? Is the lid coated or splattered in grease or grime? Have you stopped getting those coveted grill marks? 

Second: odor. When you fire up your grill, does a less than pleasant charred smell arise? Too much BBQ smell before you’ve cooked anything means there’s lingering grease, dirt or food inside. 

Third: smoke. A clean grill shouldn’t smolder. A light smoke is normal; a heavy, cloudy smoke caused by excessive grease buildup and leftover food is not.

What can I do to maintain my grill after you leave?

This is another question we get asked a lot. There are a few things we recommend you can do in-between cleanings, but no matter how diligent you are there will come a time when you just can’t keep up with the grease build-up and a professional cleaning will be required again.

  •  Keep your grilled covered when not in use.
  •  Use a clean metal wire brush after you grill to remove the food particles – especially if you cook with sauces. Don’t let the sauces sit on the grates as they contain acids and will rust the grates.
  •  Clean out your drip tray.
  •  Occasionally soak your grates in a tub of hot water and Dawn dish soap. This will help loosen the tough baked-on particles.
  •  Wipe the grates down with a high smoke point oil to help prevent the rust from forming and food from sticking.

A Clean Grill is a Safe Grill

There’s absolutely no doubt about it … A clean grill is a safe and efficient grill. You got that right. Cleaning your grill on the regular is the best way to ensure safety and optimum performance when grilling up all of your signature BBQ dishes.


Did you know greasy buildup is the leading cause of grill fires? It’s true. Stuck on grease can catch flame and hinder the performance of your grill. Charred meats exposed to direct heat are even said to contain carcinogens that cause cancer. Gross! Limit your exposure to this harmful, carcinogenic charring by barbecuing on a clean grill. A deep cleaning is ideal to prep your grill for the upcoming grilling season, and light cleaning will keep it in tiptop shape between detailed washes. We offer full cleanings and surface cleanings to meet the needs of grill masters with varying concerns.


Though we focus a great deal on safe grilling here at BBQ Service Pro’s, we have also found that a dirty grill can affect the flavor of your food. Start fresh with a clean slate each time you grill to make sure no remnants from a previous BBQ are left over. A thorough cleaning is recommended before each backyard BBQ so you can showcase your culinary skills with flavors that are pronounced and prominent. This allows you to change spices, flavorings, marinades, rubs and wood types without worrying about contamination from previous grill usage.

Bug Prevention

Another reason why we suggest frequent cleanings is because they ward off pests looking for a bite to eat. The gunk left on grills after cooking attracts all kinds of bugs, so you better smarten up if you know what’s best for you and your family. You don’t want insects swarming around trying to feed themselves with droppings that fall between grill grates. To keep these pesky bugs away while backyard entertaining, have your grill professionally cleaned when done using it.

Performance & Appearance

A clean grill is proven to perform better and look better than a dirty grill. By cleaning all corners of the inside and outside, we help prolong the life of your grill. Cleanings are shown to prevent corrosion, keeping your grill in pristine condition for years and years to come. Grills are expensive to replace, so you best maintain the one you got. We provide the cleaning. You handle the grilling.

Fire prevention starts with awareness. Now that you are aware of our top reasons why grill cleaning is so important, we hope you practice responsible grilling this summer and beyond. Experienced and equipped with commercial grade cleaning products, our crew is prepared to improve the safety and the performance of your grill. We thoroughly clean all parts and components, leaving no trace of gunk, goo or residue behind. Once clean, your grill will perform and look like new.

We have had the pleasure of cleaning grills for local grilling teams, home chefs and dining establishments that serve some of the area’s most sought after BBQ. We clean much deeper than any other grill cleaners in these parts. Choose the leading grill cleaning service to take advantage of a safer and healthier grilling experience.

The premiere grill cleaning professionals long preferred by Phoenix and Scottsdale residents, we go the distance. Our team is highly knowledgeable in regards to what a deep cleaning entails. We are at your service. Let us show you the difference. We guarantee you won’t regret it. Give us a call to schedule your cleaning today!

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

 Outdoor Kitchens are becoming all the rage these days making family barbecues easier than ever! Cooking on the grill is an excellent way to entertain company or just feed the family without heating up the kitchen or making a mess of that fact. Running back and forth from the kitchen to the patio gets old. These days grilling is easier and more enjoyable by putting together an outdoor kitchen. Even the simplest of setups can make outdoor cooking more efficient.  The fanciest ones mean you will not have to go back inside until all your guests leave because everything is right at your fingertips! Charcoal was great in the beginning, but the gas grill took over because of its convenience. Today’s most advanced BBQ grills have side burners, storage space and work areas built right in. Everything is incorporated to your outside patio and entertaining is no longer a chore to prepare.

Installing an outdoor kitchen may be just the thing for you if you have frequent cookouts and everyone is intrigued with your barbecue skills. Maybe you grill in large amounts and need more of an easier way to do this. An outdoor kitchen also could be just for you if you have an unused patio or deck.  If you want to move past the burgers and dogs and experiment with some savvy dishes an outdoor kitchen may be perfect for you. Also if you’re tired of the outrageous electric bills due to your heating up the kitchen and your air conditioner working overtime.  If any of these suggestions resonate with you, it’s probably time to do some outdoor kitchen shopping.

An outdoor kitchen can be as small or elaborate as you want with the grill being the centerpiece. The most common grills come with wheels that you can take with you when you move and come in a wide variety of sizes, features, and price.  These are also fun to take to the beach as well.  If you are planning to incorporate the kitchen as a permanent part of your home, select a built in grill that will drop into space on a cabinet with countertops that are integrated on the site. This is much like your kitchen inside. Some of the accessories you will need are baskets for grilling fish, vegetables or hush puppies, a griddle, tongs and a reliable meat thermometer.  Side burners are included in most grills today, but a camping stove can get the job done.  Make sure your work space is sanitized for food preparation. There are a variety of lights for your outdoor kitchen, but a direct light is best for the work area.

Clip ons are available to clip directly onto your grill so you can get your meat perfect in the center! Another consideration is a patio heater or fire pit if you are going to use the space year round in chilly environments.  Insects can ruin the most elegant and well-planned parties so never forget to have repellents conducive to your location.  If bugs were not enough, smoke in your guest eyes is not comfortable so don’t forget the exhaust hood.  Other important things to remember is having enough electrical outlets, a refrigerator, sink and warming drawers to keep food heated till time to serve.  An ice machine is also convenient (no ugly, bulky coolers) and of course the wine storage.  Don’t forget the corkscrew!

Cleaning A Grill Properly

Cleaning a grill properly is more than just scraping off leftover grease and food. It’s also a chance to take a closer look under the hood and make sure that everything is working properly.

Just like everything else, grills don’t last forever. They need maintenance. The burners can get clogged or deteriorate, rust can start to eat away at the metal, and hoses/gas lines can crack and age.

Professional cleaning is a great opportunity for regularly checking to make sure that everything is in proper working order. A professional knows how to disassemble the grill without breaking it, and can get in the nooks and crannies that you probably weren’t even aware of. This, along with inspection and maintenance, can significantly extend the lifespan of your grill!