Grilling is part of our lifestyle here at Wildwood. But our least favorite part – by far – is having to clean up. After indulging in a delicious, smoky meal, the last thing I want to do is scrub down my grill. So needless to say, the grill gets a little dirty.

So here are my top 4 tips for reducing your time spent deep cleaning the grill, and maximizing time spent grilling with your family and friends.

1. Cover your grill

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we can have snow, rain and sunshine all in the same day. So, needless to say, a cover protecting your grill is a worthwhile investment. It will keep it safe from the elements.

2. Rinse well!

If you use any kind of soap or chemicals when cleaning your grill, make sure you rinse it off well! Nobody wants their food to taste like soap, let alone have chemicals on their food. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear.

3. Clean after each use

This rule is not a fun one, but it’s true. Giving your grill a quick cleaning after each use will significantly help keep it clean. You won’t have to deep clean your grill as often, when you spend those couple extra minutes each time wiping it down and cleaning it out each time you use it.

4. Use grilling planks

Using a plank when grilling makes a big difference. Not having your food directly on the grill helps enormously with clean-up. Things like BBQ sauce or other marinades tend to create a big mess. And if you don’t clean it up immediately, you’re left with a sticky situation, to say the least. Having the plank in-between the food and grates not only adds delicious flavor, it also prevents the sauce from getting stuck on the grates. Of course, there can still be drippings, but it is drastically minimized.