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How To Deep Clean A Weber Charcoal Grill

Weber kettles grills get incredibly dirty after a season of cleaning. The mix of smoke, and grease, and char is more or less the dirtiest thing I can think of, and cleaning the grill has got to be one of the most tedious of all outdoor tasks. That said, the Weber charcoal grill is a wonderful tool and it deserves a deep clean every season. Here’s how I clean my Weber.

All this cleaning will happen without any grill cleaner, oven cleaner, or any harsh chemicals. That’s just how I like to work.

Related: Tools For Cleaning Your Grill

The Grates

Cleaning the grates is a totally different beast from cleaning the grill. For cleaning the grates, the best thing you can do is to get the grates nice and hot (with charcoal cooking), scrape off any big stuff stuck on, and then to use a grill stone to do a serious clean. You don’t need to use the stone every time you grill, but they are great for serious cleanings.

Grate Cleaning Tools

  • Grillstone
  • Wire brush

Grill Cleaning Video

The video above walks through the process of deep cleaning — basically fully refurbishing — the inside of your Weber kettle grill. The video has the standard Weber, a black 22-inch kettle model in the Premium model. The process would not be any different for any other Weber charcoal grill, or realistically for any enamel-coated charcoal grill, oven, stove, or fireplace.

Why To Clean Your Weber

Some people will say that you shouldn’t clean your Weber because you are cleaning off the flavor. The thinking is that the cooked-on char is similar to the seasoning on cast iron pan. While this sentiment isn’t entirely inaccurate (from what I can tell) it vastly over-emphasizes the importance of the “seasoning.”

You will know your Weber needs a cleaning if…

  • your food tastes dirty or overly “grilled”
  • your food looks dusty
  • your grill kicks up too much smoke or dust
  • the inside of the kettle looks visibly dirty

A good, deep clean will make your Weber look great and give the food a cleaner, fresher flavor.

Keep in mind you should be doing maintenance cleaning all the time! This includes lightly scraping out the inside, scraping the grates, and emptying the ash bucket.

How To Fully Clean A Weber

Deep cleaning a well-used charcoal grill is a bit of an involved process, mainly because grills get so dirty and it’s, well, the worst kind of dirty. Grills get clogged up with sticky grease, cooked on grime, and ashy dust, just to name few of the most annoying aspects. This process will address it all.

Grill Cleaning Tools

The same grill as above, after a deep clean

Grill Cleaning Process

And, here’s how to clean that grill!

  1. Remove the grates and ash bucket, clean them separately
  2. Remove any ash inside, and remove and empty the ash bucket
  3. Scrape the inside of the kettle — top and bottom — with a scraping tool. Loosen up the big stuff and get it out of the grill. You can vacuum it out if you have a shop vac or just put it down through the lower vent and on to a tarp
  4. Get your razor scraper and give the top and bottom bowls a serious scrape. How clean it needs to be is up to you
  5. Rinse out the inside of the kettle with a hose and then wash it with soapy water. When it’s fully soapy use steel wool to scour the inside. You’ll see the enamel start to look reflective when it’s clean. If it’s not shiny that’s fine, but you could probably stand to do more scraper (if there is texture) or scrubbing (if it’s smooth but doesn’t look clean)
  6. Leave the grill out in the sun to dry