There is nothing more devastating than opening your grill at the start of spring to fire up your first BBQ of the season and you discover that the interior is covered in white fuzz.
Well, there are far more devastating things happening in the world, however, 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, or a full custom rig.
If there is a nice moist spot, it will invite itself over.
So then, what is the best way to kill mold?
Do you just throw away the grill? Put the cover back on and hope 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.
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 and 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.
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.
- 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 get a good high temperature back, then burn off all the food residue that has built up throughout the cook.
- Once all the food residue has been burnt off, its time to work on the 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.
- 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 that you open all vents or take away any side piece 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
If 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. Voila, you now have a mold free grill ready for your next cookout, and the kids have learnt about mold and how to kill it!
- Take away any charcoal, ceramic briquettes, lava rocks or other porous materials from the grill.
- Fire up the grill! Make sure it is as hot as possible, this will kill the mold and burn off the mold and 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.
- 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 pressure washer or a wire brush. If you don’t have a pressure washer you are going to need a lot of elbow grease.
- 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 afterwards.
- Finally, fire up the BBQ one more time. This will ensure that any soap residue, moisture, grease and mold has been totally eradicated.
What Temperature Kills Grill Mold?
Research from Oho State University, found that most molds are not able to survive above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
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 perfect solution for you!
- Using a grill brush scrap your grill to remove any oil debris such as food or grease.
- Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and tighten the spray head. Using an empty spray bottle, fill it with 2 parts white vinegar, one part water.
- Give the grill a good spray with the vinegar mixture.
- Get half a meter of aluminum foil, scrunch it into a ball.
- Rub the foil all over the grill and wipe away any remaining grease and food debris.
- Repeat the process as needed
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 and working out how much food to cook.
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 about maintaining & looking after your belongings.
Do you have a good way of leaning/ a cleaning ritual that makes the job not so bad?