The Big Green Egg is a phenomenal charcoal kamado grill and smoker, but it is also a big financial investment. It makes sense that you would want to keep it clean so that it will last for a long time. Cleaning your Big Green Egg is simple to do and doesn't take much work as long as you regularly maintain it.
Like many things in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to clean a kamado grill. Incorrect cleaning can affect the way your Big Green Egg works, change the flavor of your food, and can void your warranty if you cause damage to the grill. We'll go through each step in the cleaning process so you'll know exactly how to keep your Big Green Egg clean and working perfectly.
Is the Big Green Egg Easy to Clean?
The good news about cleaning your Big Green Egg charcoal grill is that the process is very simple and doesn't require any special tools or chemicals. In fact, the fewer products you use, the better your results will be. The best thing you can do is to start a preventative maintenance routine when your Big Green Egg is brand-new. This way, you won't deal with the buildup of soot, grime, and grease that happens when a grill is poorly kept.
How to Clean a Big Green Egg – It's Easier Than You Think!
Let's start with the basics before we get into the deep-cleaning aspect. Rule number one is never use harsh chemical cleaners to clean the inside or outside of your Big Green Egg grill. Chemical cleaners can affect the exterior enamel surface and can leave behind residue inside that will contaminate your food. Think about it this way – if you wouldn't put it in your mouth, don't put it in your Big Green Egg.
That beautiful deep green enamel finish does more than look slick. It helps to insulate and protect the ceramic body of your Big Green Egg. You can easily damage the finish by using harsh chemicals or a wire brush. The best way to clean the outside of your grill is with a soft cloth dampened slightly with clean water. You'll be able to remove most of the gunk that gets on the outside of your Big Green Egg using nothing more than water. If the dome or body doesn't wipe clean, you can use a few drops of dish soap in clean water to make a solution that will clean the exterior of your grill without causing harm.
Use the same water and soap mixture to clean the nest, fold-out trays, and other parts of the grill. Doing this regularly will prevent buildup that is difficult to clean and looks unsightly. An important tip is to remember that your grill gets hot when in use, so it's best to wait until the Big Green Egg has cooled completely off before wiping it down. If you get into the habit of wiping the enamel clean before covering the smoker, your Big Green Egg will always be easy to maintain.
Cleaning the Daisy Wheel
The top vent on your Big Green Egg accumulates soot and grease as you are smoking. We know how tempting it is to grab a wire brush and attack that grimy vent, but you should try to hold yourself back. The proper way to clean the daisy wheel is to do a method called a clean burn. Clean burning will also make it easy to remove gunk and buildup inside the grill.
How to Clean Burn a Big Green Egg
You'll want to start with dry lump charcoal in the kamado. Light the charcoal and get it burning well. You want the temperature in your Big Green Egg to go as high as possible, so open up the vents to get it as hot as possible. You can remove the vent cap and place it directly on the grate while this process is going to help burn off debris in the cap. Opening the draft door all the way increases the airflow and temperature.
After about one hour, it's safe to close the dampers and let the grill cool back down. You should be able to use a clean towel to wipe the inside and outside of the daisy wheel and vent cap assembly clean. Wipe the surface of the draft door down. It's okay if it gets discolored from use, there is no need to scrub it to remove staining.
Cleaning the Inside
When it comes to cleaning the inside of your Big Green Egg, the temptation to grab a heavy-duty scrubbing pad or wire brush is even greater than cleaning the outside. Resist the urge, though. You might save some time and effort using harsh products to clean, but you'll run the risk of causing significant amounts of damage, too.
Big Green Egg Cleaning Tips
Remember how we showed you the process for doing a clean burn? Well, that's also the best way to clean inside the egg. Once the egg is cool, you should use a plastic paint scraper to scrape any gunk from the sides. Do not use chemicals inside the egg at all. The ceramic construction will absorb chemicals and release them when you are cooking. Instead, just scrape everything down into the bottom of the egg.
Remove the stainless steel grates, the fire box, and the fire ring from the Big Green Egg. Dump any ashes or old charcoal into the ash can and dispose of it in an appropriate place. Use a shop vac to vacuum out any remaining ash. Make sure to vacuum the fire box and fire ring while you have it out of the Big Green Egg. Once you are satisfied that you have all of the accumulation removed, simply put the fire ring and fire box back in the grill.
Deep Cleaning the Stainless Steel Grates
The grates in your Big Green Egg are high-quality and will resist extreme temperatures, acidic foods, and the naturally-occurring corrosive elements of smoke. Properly cleaning the grates will ensure they last a long time. One mistake that is all too common is to use metal brushes or scrubbers to remove built up residue. Doing so can leave scratches that allow corrosion to penetrate the surface of the grates, causing them to eventually rust and fail. Micro-scratches can cause flaking of the surface, not a pleasant thing to think about eating when you are ready to feast.
Warm water and dish soap should be all that is required to clean the grill grates. Regular cleaning after each use will make the task fast and simple. If your grill grates are heavily crusted with burnt on food, gentle cleaners are available specifically formulated to clean stainless grates.
How Do You Maintain a Big Green Egg?
Regular cleaning is the most important step you need to take to maintain your Big Green Egg. If it is kept clean, you will have very few problems. A pro tip we like to put out there is to regularly inspect the seal on the lid. If the lid seal comes loose, you can reattach it with a high-temperature adhesive. Keep an eye out for cracks in the gasket and replace it if you notice any damage. A leaky gasket is the main culprit behind inconsistent temperature control, and it's an easy fix. We try to replace ours every year or two when we do our spring cleaning.
Cleaning the egg is easy and fast, it doesn't require special tools or products, and you will extend the lifetime of your grill simply by cleaning it well. It's worth the time it takes to clean to protect your investment. As an added bonus, a clean egg makes the best tasting food, so keep it clean and keep hungry mouths happy.
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