Why You Should Be Cleaning Your Grill With an Onion

An ordinary onion may be the best way to get grimy grill grates clean.

Nothing takes the joy out of an evening of grilling juicy meats, tender vegetables, or succulent desserts like knowing you have to scrub the grill later. It's a messy and labor-intensive process—and most traditional grill cleaners are toxic and stinky.

So what if we told you that there was a cheap, non-toxic alternative that's already sitting in your kitchen? Save your back and your Brillo pads—an ordinary onion can clean that nasty grill in minutes.

Cleaning Grill with Onion
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Why Use an Onion to Clean Your Grill?

Grease and bits of food adhere to grill grates like glue on a school art project. It's nearly impossible to separate them, but don't give up on those grimy grill grates just yet. An onion's natural acidity and fluids can loosen dirt, stuck-on food, and grease, and have your grill looking nearly new in minutes.

Plus, using an onion to clean a grill can be a safer alternative to chemical cleaners. Once you use a chemical grill cleaner, you have to let it burn off before you can safely cook on the grates again.

Wire brushes are a risk, too. They can leave behind small bits of metal, and those sharp bristles can end up in food you're cooking if you're not careful.

How to Clean a Grill With an Onion

Step 1: Turn the grill to high, or stoke the charcoals for more intense heat. Let the flames or high temperatures burn away as much detritus as possible.

Step 2: Slice an onion in half (no need to remove the skin). Skewer the onion half with a long grilling fork.

Step 3: Rub the cut side of the onion on the grill grates. The heat will activate the onion's natural fluids, helping remove the bits of charred food and debris.

For extra gunk-fighting power, spray the grates with lemon juice or white vinegar first. The extra acidity helps boost the cleaning power of the onion and loosens the stuck-on food.

What Kind of Onion Should You Use to Clean a Grill?

Any onion you have on hand will work for this. The type (or color) doesn't matter. But for speed and efficiency, a larger one will obviously cover more grill territory than a smaller one.

What Should I Do With the Used Onion?

You can throw it away if it's all used up. But if you're cooking with charcoal, you can toss into right in the coals when you're finished to add flavor to whatever you're grilling.

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