Grill Guide – How To Get Rid of Grill Mold

Picture this, its the first sunny weekend of spring and you can’t wait to fire up your grill or smoker for the first time.

You have been checking out recipes all winter and can’t wait to fire up your grill and have a beer. You take your grill cover off and find a white fuzz coating the grill surface.

Damn, grill mold. This is the worst. Well, there are far more devastating things happening in the world. But, in the BBQ world grill mold is pretty bad.

Grill mold does not discriminate. It doesn’t care if you have a charcoal grill, a pellet smoker, offset smoker, or a full smoker. If there is a nice warm moist spot, mold will invite itself over.

So then, what is the best way to kill mold?

Is it as easy as throwing away the grill? Or how about putting the cover back on and hoping it will go away?

Sadly none of these options are going to cut it. Here is how to clean your grill and get rid of grill mold.

How to remove grill mold
A dirty grill covered in mold

Everything You Need To Know About Grill Mold

Before we decide what to do in this situation, we need to find out what grill mold is. We also need to learn how we got ourselves into this moldy situation.

In this article I will cover everything you need to know about grill mold such as: What grill mold is, how you get it, how you prevent it and how to clean grill mold off your grill.

What Exactly is Grill Mold?

Mold is a term used for fungi that grow in the form of a multi cellular almost thread-like structure.

Mold is found in damp areas which have poor ventilation and/or high humidity levels

There are lots and lots of different types of mold. Mold comes in different colors, textures and smells. Some can cause disease and can be very harmful to the human body.

If you can smell mold, it is wise to get rid of your barbecue or smoker cover and continue with the cleaning steps below.

Can you cook on a moldy grill?

You could cook on a moldy grill. But you definitely shouldn’t. Grill mold can be harmful to humans at worst and can taint the flavor of your food at best. Don’t be lazy, clean your grill, always remember ‘a clean grill is a happy grill’.

How do you get mold off of grill grates?

Why Does My Grill Get Moldy?

In almost every situation a moldy grill is caused by storing your grill under a grill cover.

When you store your grill under a cover the cover traps moisture under it. The moisture has nowhere to go and creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and or rust.

When storing your grill under a cover for winter (or summer for that matter) it pays to air it. This often helps reduce the chances of mold.

How to remove mold on grill

How To Prevent Mold (Like They Say Prevention is Better Than A Cure)

One of the best ways to prevent mold is to super heat your cooker after you have finished cooking.

One of the best ways to prevent mold is to super heat your grill or smoker after you have finished cooking.

  1. Super heat your BBQ or smoker. If you need to add fresh coals to get the temperature back up do it! It will save you in the long run. You want to crank it to high and maintain max temperature. Then burn off all the food residue that has built up throughout the cook.
  2. Once all the food residue has burnt off, its time to work on the grill interior. With a plastic putty knife, you want to scrape away any grease build-up, food and excess charcoal. This can be a breeding ground for mold.
  3. After everything is cleaned you want to dry the interior as much as possible and pop the cover on. Make sure before you put the cover on you open all vents or take away any side pieces that can expose the interior. This will allow any additional moisture to escape.

Another major cause of mold is your cover. It traps moisture and creates the perfect conditions for mold and rust. Try and avoid using a cover/lid if you can, your pride and joy will not fall to pieces! If you can store it in the shed or under a covered area.

What To Do If Grill Mold Has Taken Over

In almost every situation a moldy grill is caused by storing your grill under a grill cover. 

When you store your grill under a cover theIf you do find yourself taking the cover off your grill at the start of summer and finding mold, don’t stress. Its not the end of the world. I have some very easy to follow, simple instructions to kill grill mold. What I like to do is get the kids involved, make it a learning experience for everyone. So, how do you get mold off of grill grates?

  1. Remove any charcoal, ceramic briquettes, lava rocks, or other porous materials from the grill.
  2. Make a mixture of water and baking soda and apply it to the grill grates with a basting brush.
  3. Fire up the grill! Make sure it is as hot as possible, this will kill and burn off the mold & any grease that has built up. Use a decent amount of fuel for the fire, you want to get as much burnt off as possible. Do not try to scrape or power wash the mold off. You might inhale spores and could possibly have a reaction. You could also spread the mold.
  4. After the fire has burnt down, let it cool and then scrub and scrape everything you can get your hands on! For best results use a grill scraper, pressure washer, or wire brush. If you don’t have a pressure washer you are going to need a lot of elbow grease.
  5. Once everything has been scraped off, give everything a good wash down with hot soapy water. Making sure to give everything a good rinse down afterward. If you are using a wire brush ensure there are no rouge wires on your grill grates.
  6. Finally, fire up the BBQ one more time. This will ensure any soap residue, moisture, grease or mold has been eradicated. 

 cover traps moisture under it. The moisture has nowhere to go and creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and or rust. 

When storing your grill under a cover for winter (or summer for that matter) it pays to air it. This often helps reduce the chances of mold.

Grill With No Grill Mold
Grill mold free grill

What Temperature Kills Grill Mold?

Research from Oho State University, found out most molds are not able to survive above 140F. To kill the grill mold before cleaning your BBQ or smoker you can heat it above this temperature.

Heating your grill also helps loosen baked on food debris and old oil.

How To Make A Homemade Grill Cleaner

Prefer to use a homemade grill cleaner? If you don’t want to use chemicals or harsh abrasives on your grill. This is the perfect solution for you!

  1. Using a grill brush scrape your grill to remove any oil debris such as charcoal, food or grease.
  2. Fill a clean, empty spray bottle with 2 parts white vinegar, one part water.
  3. Give the grill a good spray with the vinegar mixture.
  4. Get half a meter of aluminum foil, scrunch it into a ball.
  5. Rub the foil all over the grill and wipe away any remaining grease and food debris.
  6. Repeat the process as needed and finish off by giving it a good burn off at max temperature.
What Temperature Kills Mold

Final Thoughts on Grill Mold

Opening your grill after summer and finding mold is a real event killer.

The last thing you want is your guests to see you cleaning your moldy grill. Especially when you have gone through the hard yards of preparing all the food for your guests.

Its not hard to take the necessary steps to prevent mold build-up. I often get the kids to help me. Its a good opportunity to teach them a good life lesson. Maintaining & looking after your belongings is important. It ensures your gear is always performing at its best and giving you the best results. It can also save you money!

Do you have a good way of leaning/ a cleaning ritual that makes the job not so bad?

Happy Smoking
Charlie

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2 thoughts on “Grill Guide – How To Get Rid of Grill Mold”

    1. No Worries Bob!! Hope you had it all sorted before it was time to cook, had that happen to me before, safe to say we had some huuuunngry people by the time I was done cleaning and go it fired up!

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