An electric grill gives you the freedom and flexibility to cook burgers and toasted sandwiches from your patio or kitchen countertop whenever the urge strikes you.
Although it’s very easy to cook with, cleaning it can be a whole other ball game because your food residue can stick to the plates, and you can’t pop the whole unit into the dishwasher.
A few simple steps will help you get your electric grill clean, and we’ll outline three easy ways you can try to return your grill to like-new condition.
If you’re wondering how to clean an electric grill, start by unplugging it and letting it cool before removing the cooking grates or plates. Wash them with soapy and warm water before rinsing them out and wiping them dry. Don’t allow them to air dry and don’t soak them. Wipe down the surface of your grill, remove the grease trap, and clean it thoroughly.
How to Clean an Electric Grill – Indoor Countertop Model
Your indoor countertop electric grill most likely sees a lot of usages. This can result in a lot of buildups that are difficult to remove, especially if you don’t make a point to clean it thoroughly after each session. The good news is, you can easily transform your indoor grill back to new by following the steps outlined below.
Step One – Unplug Your Grill
After you finish using your grill, unplug it from the wall and let everything cool off, so you don’t accidentally burn yourself if you brush against the components.
Also, unplug the grill before you get anything wet around it because this can lead to an electric shock because the metal is an excellent conduit for electricity.
Step Two – Allow Everything to Cool Slightly
The trick with appliances is not letting them cool down 100% before you start cleaning because it’s generally easier to clean the debris off of the plates that are slightly warm.
As a general rule, give your electric grill 10 to 15 minutes to cool before you start actively cleaning it. The debris should still be loose, but the components won’t be hot enough to burn your skin.
Step Three – Scrap the Leftover Debris
Get out a leftover spatula and gently scrape off any leftover food debris you see on the grill’s surface and avoid using abrasive pads because this can scratch the nonstick surface.
If your electric grill doesn’t come with a rubber spatula, you can use any you have in your drawer. You want to pay close attention to the plates’ crevices or ridges because that is where a lot of food sticks.
Step Four – Wipe with a Damp Sponge
Get a traditional kitchen sponge, get it wet, and gently wipe down the grill plates. You want to ring it out thoroughly before you use it and take a few minutes to rinse the sponge out after every pass or so because it’ll get grimy and greasy quickly. If you have a really tough job, add a drop or two of dish soap to help cut through the grease and grime.
Step Five – Dismantle the Electric Grill
Gently pull out the drip tray, dispose of the contents, and wash it with warm soapy water to remove any grease residue.
Dismantle your grill by removing the drip tray and taking the plates off if they are removable. Add dish soap to your sponge or cloth and wipe down the plates to remove any lingering food particles.
Step Six – Dry Everything
You shouldn’t leave anything to air dry on your grill because moisture can sink into the components and lead to rust, mold, or an electrical short.
Get a paper towel and dry everything, and you can take two or three passes at the drip tray and grill plates to make sure they’re 100% dry. When everything dries, it’s now time to remove anything that didn’t come off in the first round of washing.
Step Seven – Put Detachable Parts in the Dishwasher
If you have a dishwasher and your electric grill has detachable parts like the plates or drip tray, put them in the dishwasher if your manufacturer’s instructions say it’s okay.
When they run through a wash and dry cycle, you can wipe them down one more time and reassemble your grill, so it’s ready to go when you need it again.
How to Steam Clean an Electric Grill – Indoor Countertop Model
If the first method sounds like too much work or you’re short on time, you can steam clean your electric indoor grill and get fair results. It most likely won’t be as clean as the first method, but it’ll be okay for a pinch as long as you thoroughly clean it the next time you use it.
Step One – Unplug Your Grill
First, unplug your grill when you finish using it and let it sit on your counter for 5 to 10 minutes. This will be enough time for the plates to get to a level where they won’t burn you, but they won’t be stone cold when it’s time to clean them.
Step Two – Wet Paper Towels
Get two or three paper towels and wet them in your sink until they’re moistened but not soaked. Lay these moistened paper towels inside your grill on top of your grill’s bottom plates.
You may need more or fewer paper towels, but it depends on how thick they are because you want a thick enough pile to grab onto any food debris stuck to your grill without causing tears.
Step Three – Steam Clean
Once you have your paper towels positioned on the bottom grill plates, close the lid and let them steam clean. You should keep it cleaning for at least 60 seconds, but you can keep it on until the plates completely cool down. This process will help loosen up any debris or caked-on grease.
Step Four – Wipe the Plates Down
Now you’re ready to open the lid and get a sponge or another clean damp paper towel and wipe everything down. Remove the first set of paper towels before you scrub the components down until you can’t see any food particles, and it feels clean and non-greasy to the touch.
This could take several passes, and it’s a good idea to rinse your rag periodically.
Step Five – Dry Everything
You want to dry your grill before you put it away to store or use it again. Get a dry cloth and wipe down the exterior and interior of the grill. You want to wipe it down from top to bottom, and make sure you pay close attention to drying around the plug.
How to Clean an Electric Grill – Large Indoor/Outdoor Model
You can use larger electric grills indoors and outdoors as long as it’s a smokeless model. We’re going to assume that yours is one of these models, and it has grates instead of plates.
Ideally, you’ll clean it after every use as you would the smaller models to prevent buildup from happening, but the following steps will help you bring it back to excellent condition.
Step One – Power Down the Grill
The first thing you want to do is turn off your grill before you touch anything. You can do this by either pulling the plug from the wall or switching the power button to off. Give it 10 to 15 minutes to cool down before you touch anything, so you don’t burn yourself.
Step Two – Scrape the Grates
You’ll need to get a stainless steel grill brush or a grill stone to scrape your cooking grates. You want to scrape the grates when they’re still slightly warm instead of completely cool because this will help the food peel off much better. Run the brush or stone in the direction of the grates, and make sure that you get up to the edges.
Step Three – Remove the Liner
Many indoor/outdoor electric grills come with a removable liner that sits underneath the grates to make cleanup slightly easier.
Remove this liner and get a rubber spatula to scrape away any food bits or pieces that fell below and around the liner. If the liner itself is very dirty, you want to wash it with warm soapy water before drying it by hand.
Step Four – Wipe Down the Grill’s Lid
Remove the lid before getting a damp cloth to wipe it down to remove any grease or food particles. You don’t want to immerse the lid fully in water, and you want to take care to ensure that the cloth doesn’t drip water all over your cleaning area because this will spread the greasy residue.
Step Five – Remove the Grates
Next, you want to pull the grates out of the grill and wash them with hot water and soap. If the grill isn’t very dirty, you can wipe them down with a damp cloth instead of washing them.
You can submerge them in water and scrub them with your stainless steel brush if you have stubborn stains that refuse to come off.
Step Six – Dry the Removable Pieces
Get a paper towel or a cloth and dry any removable pieces to the grill after you finish washing them. You also want to dry out the grill’s interior and the liner before you put them back in. If you have disposable liners, it’s time to get a new one out and put it into place.
Step Seven – Deep Clean Annually
Make a point to deep clean your grill annually using a mix of baking soda and vinegar. You’ll need to mix one cup of baking soda into two cups of vinegar into a trash bag before adding your grates.
Tie the bag and leave everything to sit overnight before removing them, rinsing them, drying them, and putting them back in your grill.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it safe to get an electric grill wet?
Since an electric grill runs on electricity, no, it’s not safe to get your electric grill wet. This is why you remove things like the grates or plates and wash them by themselves before drying them and returning them to the grill. Never immerse the heating element or exposed cords into the water because this can short them out or shock you.
2. Is it healthy to cook using an electric grill?
Yes, it’s very healthy to cook on an electric grill because they have no smoke or gas output, and many of them allow the grease to drain away from your food during the cooking process.
3. Are electric grills safe?
As long as you keep your electric grill in good condition by using it as the manufacturer says and cleaning it regularly, they’re safe.
They produce no smoke or fumes, and this makes them environmentally-friendly while allowing you to cook both indoors and outdoors with them.
4. How long do electric grills last?
If you neglect your grill and don’t store or clean it properly, you could find yourself replacing the grates every two or three years.
If you take care of your grill after every use, you can easily get more than 5 to 10 years of use out of it before you have to replace it.
5. Why use an electric grill?
Electric grills come with many benefits associated with them like they heat up very quickly when you turn them on and set your desired temperature.
You can buy them in a huge range of sizes that allow you to cook for two people up to over ten, and they’re convenient because you can set them on your countertop and use them indoors.