How to clean your charcoal grill
with a pressure washer
Previously, I was a huge fan of cleaning my charcoal grill with a scouring pad and oven cleaner. However, this method is painful and if you have any time constraints (i.e., kids), you'll be needing a faster way to do this. I decided to buy a pressure washer just for this purpose. The high pressure of the power washer allows you to skip the scouring pad and hours of scrubbing. This is my new method for cleaning my Weber kettle.
Here's what you'll need:
A few spray cans of heavy duty oven cleaner
I my previous post about cleaning, I discuss how to disassemble a Weber kettle and prepare it for cleaning. The only modification I am doing now is no black trash bag. Using the black trash bag on a hot summer day helps the oven cleaner penetrate the grease, but to be honest, I didn't have time for that. I simply sprayed the lid, the grates and the bottom of the kettle and then went to start up my pressure washer.
I'm a huge fan of Costco, so of course my pressure washer had to come from there. I think any type of power washer will work. All you need is the extra force of the high pressure water. This replaces the elbow grease required with the scouring pad.
This part is critical to your safety. Get some safety goggles and before you apply high pressure to the oven cleaner soaked grill, stand back and squirt the grill from a distance to get the oven cleaner off. The high pressure from the power washer, if used at the wrong angle, will come back at you. You don't want oven cleaner on your skin or in your eyes. So stand back about 20 feet and soak the grill with water. This will remove all the oven cleaner. Do me a favor and read this paragraph again, please.
Prop the grill up against a fence or a tree or something that will keep it from moving. I had a nice wire fence next to my house to keep it up. Test out a few angles before committing. Since the grill has a parabolic shape, the high pressure water will shoot right back out at you. You need to find a position to stand in where the water won't shoot back at you. It's not too difficult to find, but you'll need to experiment with moving around a bit.
Wow! Look how clean that baby is. I also spent some time pressure washing the grates. Since I did all the pressure washing in the grass I noticed that the grill was getting covered in grass. This was easy to fix afterwards by using the regular garden hose and a towel on my driveway to wash away the grass and do some final clean up. I think the pressure washer method saved me about an hour of hard scrubbing, so I think it's totally worth it.
I have no idea whether the grill companies approve of this method but I didn't see any enamel chipping off of my grill. The pressure washing method, at least the way I did it, seems to be perfectly safe for my Weber Performer.