Grease and oils get rancid and can make your food taste bad but more than anything else it’s toxic to eat. Cleaning the grill with a grill brush has sent some people to the emergency room by accident.
The Centers for Disease Control says on their site, “Out of six different patients, three cited severe throat pain and the other three suffered from severe stomach pain. The injuries ranged from perforated throat to a perforated gut with emergency surgery. Examining the grill surface before cooking and after cleaning is imperative. All grill cooks claimed they didn’t wipe the grill down after cleaning just brushing and grilling.” If you are using a grill brush intensely inspect your grill grates before you proceed.
Yes there is an easier way to clean the grates
Grillfloss, is probably the most thorough at cleaning the grill grates, designed for metal grates and cleans each rod individually. The Grillstone Cleaning Block, looks like a pumice stone and comes attached to a handle or just the big block for hand use. The best use is to go in the same direction of grates for a smooth finish. Not for porcelain or cast-iron grates. A block of wood will do the same thing with a little less scouring action; blocks only clean the tops and bottom of the grates without getting in between action.
A Billy Bar is used on a hot grill, wooden handle and nitride coated steel the manufacturer claims doesn’t rust is designed to fit thinner grates. The Grillion uses an onion with and a special knife to conform the onion to the shape of the grill grates and a handle to hold the onion, the juice enzymes work to clean the grates. Not necessarily a good scrubber. A lemon can also be used with the same intention, in your hand to clean off your grates and cuts grease, and a handheld steamer works divinely. A wad of aluminum foil works if you have a heat-proof glove or a PeeWee Herman sized wad of foil.
Not in the dishwasher please
If you put your grates in the dishwasher your cleaning hasn’t even begun, experienced dummies say the grease thoroughly lines the inside of the dishwasher (no you can’ camp out on the neighbors couch) and takes a several washings with detergent to break it all free before you can expect your glasses to rinse clean again.
If you have a lot of stubborn grease
Just crank up the grill and cook it off and then proceed with the regular cleaning.
Lay the grates on an old cloth or table cloth, on the ground and let the kids scrub them with a good plastic brush from the dollar store, with soapy (Dawn) buckets of water front and back, and stand them up to hose off. You may need to pull a “Tom Sawyer” to get things started and make it look like fun. Happy grilling.