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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
CPMatthew
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Default Cleaning Your Kettle: How clean is clean enough?

Greeting Brethren and Sistren,

So, I made some fatties last night and, after I pulled them of the OTG, I commenced to cleaning up. Before I knew it, I was using some paper towels and dish soap trying to get every drop of fat and every spec of charcoal dust out of the grill. Now, that is probably overkill, but certainly I shouldn't simply dump the ash and cover it. So, how clean is clean enough, and is there such a thing as too clean?

For context, this was the second time I have used this OTG out of the box.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:30 AM   #2
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I brush the grate while they're still warm, empty out the ashes sometime after the grill cools. Give it a good cleaning maybe once a year.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:39 AM   #3
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Definitely the best time to clean the grates is after the cook.

I brush any ash and debris from the cook down into the ash catcher using a wire brush.

I don't ever wash it completely out.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:42 AM   #4
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I think the biggest killer is that ash can hold moisture and encourage rust. Spit shining the kettle after every cook isn't necessary but you want to get the ash buildup out on a regular basis.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:44 AM   #5
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Anything that remains behind after being charred to death and scraped off with a grill brush deserves a shot at killing me for being so damn tough. That's Chuck Norris stuff right there.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:47 AM   #6
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I sweep the ashes after a cook, and that's all. I don't clean the cooking grid until just before the meat goes on during the next cook. That way the old crud protects the grid in between cooks, and it's really easy to get off once it's been preheated and mostly burned off in prep for next cook.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:57 AM   #7
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I bought my oldest kettle new in 1995. I have always stored it outside, with the deluxe weber cover (thicker material).

For cleaning, I pull the cooking grate off and hang it in the garage. I leave it greasy, because the grease is a rust inhibitor. When I go to use it again, I put it on the grill over the hot coals, take a brass grill brush to it.

As for ash, I empty the kettle before every new cook -- emptying hot ash would not be a good idea, IMO.

I wash my kettle outside a few times a year with car soap and water. Inside, I knock off the big flakes of soot on the inside of the lid as it accumulates, so it doesn't fall on my food. I think I've hosed it out a handful of times in the 16 years I've had it.

That's about all. And, it has worked for 16 years.

I do hose out my SJG on a regular basis, but that rides in my car when I go camping, so it is more for the car, than the grill.

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Unread 07-29-2011, 10:11 AM   #8
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I sweep the ash out after each cook and brush the grates. I will on occasion take a plastic putty knife and get the chunks of grease that the one touch system misses and knock them out but that's about all. One time I have de-scaled the lid inside with a ball of aluminum foil. Never have I washed them out as I don't want to lose that "seasoning" that I have work so hard at getting!!

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Unread 07-29-2011, 11:33 AM   #9
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I try to keep the outside of the kettle nice and shiny with simple green, glass cleaner, or whatever is on hand. For some reason I like to leave the vent the smokey amber color.

The interior of the kettle gets rubbed down with a few dry paper towels, with particular attention being paid to the one touch system so that there isn't too much build up. My goal is to get everything loose off like ash & coals, but leave behind everything that is stuck on. I scrub the grates with a wire brush after cooking, but before cleaning out the kettle and again after pre-heating for the next cook.

I've been pretty happy with the results I get with this process.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 11:39 AM   #10
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I bought two little tools from the dollar store. Actually they are a large plastic spoon, and a flat spatula. I cook so often that I do not clean the same night(also usually too stuffed after eating and it is late) but what I do the next time is use the flat spatula and spoon and scrape down the gunk and fat pretty good. Although not perfect, I can see metal. Some folks never do this, but the cleaner the weber is the more heat will bounce around inside the kettle. the first OTG I bought off of CL, the dude was trying to tell me that his gunk added flavor. I did not believe it then or now and the first thing I did was remove his years of food drippings down to the metal.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 11:39 AM   #11
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You really want to scrape the lid inside from time to time, maybe every few cooks, to make sure you get any deposits off of that. Unsightly on food.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 11:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
IThat's about all. And, it has worked for 16 years.

I do hose out my SJG on a regular basis, but that rides in my car when I go camping, so it is more for the car, than the grill.

CD
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I haven't cleaned out my kettle since I got it. It sits under my covered carport and I just dump the ashes before the next cook. I use Bigabyte's grate method.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 11:59 AM   #13
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dump ash whenever necessary or if it got wet.

scrape the grates right before cooking.

hose down the outside before and after a comp.

scrape lid from time to time. thats about ti.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 01:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redvert05 View Post
I sweep the ash out after each cook and brush the grates. I will on occasion take a plastic putty knife and get the chunks of grease that the one touch system misses and knock them out but that's about all. One time I have de-scaled the lid inside with a ball of aluminum foil. Never have I washed them out as I don't want to lose that "seasoning" that I have work so hard at getting!!

Terry
I second the concern for removing the seasoning within the cooker. Removing debris that may fall onto the meat and random ash is a must. I lightly scrub the inside of the cooker with my wire brush to knock off any major accumulation every time I remove the old ash & charcoal. Keep the exterior as clean as your heart desires.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 02:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
Does it stick it's head out the window and wag it's tongue like you too?
Hey Wang, it's a grill."

CD
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