How to Properly Clean Your MAK Grill

A popular topic in the pellet grilling community is how to properly clean your pellet grill. Almost every MAK Grill owner has witnessed their grill’s transformation from shiny to grimy. Most of us can remember the day we first constructed our MAK Grill like it was yesterday.

After construction is complete, you’re finally able to put your tools down and just stare at it. It sits there majestically in your backyard, the sunlight gleaming off the surface as it beckons you to fire it up and start cooking.

Eventually, after countless days of smoking, the shine begins to fade. Each part becomes coated in a slick layer of grease, the grates are crusted with charred bits of smokey residue and the sides begin to fade to a rich charcoal color. To us, all this grime is a work of art because a dirty grill is a well-loved grill.

We do, however, understand that not everyone shares this viewpoint. Some would much rather keep their grill in that initial shiny state for as long as possible. Then there’s also those on the opposite side of the spectrum who never clean their grill. We recommend a happy medium of letting the grime build up, but not to the point that it interferes with it’s function.

Tips on How to Clean Your Pellet Grill

When trying to figure out how to clean your pellet grill for the first time, you’re going to have a lot of questions. We’ve done our best to provide you with answers to all your MAK Grill cleaning inquiries. Our hope is that these tips and tricks will help you maintain a healthy grill for not just your lifetime, but for future generations as well. A seasoned General is the best kind of General.

Which Cleaners Should I Use?

We’ve tried out a variety of cleaners on the MAK in order to see which types work the best without any long term negative effects. After years of testing different products and collecting customer feedback, these are our top picks:

1) Mild Soap and Detergent

Very basic, but very effective. It’s hard to beat good old fashioned soap and water. This option is also the cheapest since you don’t have to go out of your way to buy a specialized product. Most people keep these types of soap around the house for other purposes and if not, you can always find some at your local dollar or grocery store.

2) Mr. Muscle

If you haven’t cleaned your grill in awhile and find that soap and water just aren’t cutting it, you may want to invest in something that can cut through grease and charred bits more easily. We love use Mr Muscle® Oven and Grill Cleaner since it has a unique formula that is great for clearing away tough grease and baked-on food buildup.

3) Bar Keeper’s Friend

Another name brand option that also does a great job at removing grease and food soils is Bar Keepers Friend® MORE Spray + Foam. We haven’t found anything that this cleaner can’t remove, even that black mystery grime that seems to have permanently taken hold on your grill.

4) Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes

Once your grill is rid of grime, you may want to polish and buff it a bit. These wipes work great for quickly wiping down your grill before you host a backyard BBQ or if you’re one of those who simply love a shiny grill. You’ll first want to use the wipe in the direction of the metal grain on your MAK Grill and then buff with a dry, soft cloth for best results.

* Important: Do not use commercial degreasers or corrosive oven cleaners—anything corrosive that drips onto the powder coat will cause it to fail. Also, make sure to always clean your grill outside or in a highly ventilated space.

Which Tools Should I Use?

Some grease stains are harder to clean than others. We know the frustration of scrubbing and scrubbing until your arm aches and still not making any progress. The type of tool you use to clean your MAK grill can make a huge difference. Here are our top cleaning tool picks:

  1. Soft bristle brush
  2. Stainless steel brush
  3. Steel wool
  4. Nylon scouring pad.
  5. Putty knife for cleaning out the grease trough around the FlameZone pan.

Important: Steel brushes can cause serious bodily injury if a bristle gets into your food and is accidentally ingested. Never leave your steel tools outside in the rain where they can oxidize and never use one that has any sort of rust on it.

Can I Pressure Wash My Pellet Grill?

Yes, you can! We feel that it’s easiest to first pull out the components and pressure wash them individually, then wipe down the body with one of the recommended cleaners listed above. If you really want to pressure wash the body itself, we’d recommend removing the Pellet Boss and all electrical components before washing. We do want to caution that the pressure washing process can be very messy, so make sure you do it outside or somewhere you can easily clean up afterward.

How Often Should I Clean My Pellet Grill?

Honestly, you can clean it as much or as little as you want. Some pellet grill owners wash it after every cook. We realize that’s not always realistic, especially after a full day of smoking. It really depends on your own personal cleaning preferences. As mentioned above, we personally prefer our grills on the dirtier side. Each grease stain and leftover charred bit reminds us of all our glorious smokes. Also, the leftover smoked bits can add a little extra flavor to future meals!

Our Suggestions

  • Empty your firepot every 3-5 uses. The residual ash will need to be dumped out to avoid having the ash cover the igniter and interfere with the pellets catching fire. In order to make this easier for you, we’ve equipped our grills with a removable firepot.
  • Scrub your thermocouple with a bit of steel wool (until it is shiny) every few weeks.
  • Clean out all of your vents & grease chute at least 2-3 times per year, to keep the air flowing freely.
  • Keep an eye on your grease bucket or grease drawer to make sure they don’t overflow.
  • For more cleaning specifications, reference these two guides:

Here are a few Extra Tips for Cleaning Your Pellet Grill.

Extra Tips for Cleaning Your Pellet Grill

  • Use cooking spray or oil before grilling to help prevent your food from sticking and creating a mess.
  • When cleaning your commercial thermocouple, be sure not to bend or break it; clean with a nylon scouring pad or steel wool.
  • You can line your grease pan with foil to help prevent buildup, although you’ll want to make sure that you’re not blocking any air flow in your grill. Make sure to to contour the foil to the dimples, then poke a hole in each dimple to allow for the direct heat to pass through if you are foiling over your Flame Zone area.
  • Regularly scrape your grill grates and empty your firepot after 10-20 short (hot’n’fast) cooks or 1-3 long (low’n’ slow) cooks to avoid grease fires or excessive ash.
  • Heavy duty stainless steel parts can be cleaned in a self-cleaning oven cycle to help remove food buildup.
  • You may need to soak some of your removable components in water before trying to remove large or baked-on deposits of food.

For any other MAK Grill maintenance questions, reference the FAQ section of our website or reach out to us directly. Either email us at support@makgrills.com , or call us 8am-5pm, Pacific Time, Monday-Friday at 503-623-1234.