We all love our pellet grills; they are easy to use and produce amazing wood-fired flavor. However, there is one component of these grills that gets particularly dirty: the grease tray, also known as the drip pan.
Neglecting to clean the grease tray can cause numerous problems and damage your pellet grill. I have read about and seen firsthand people’s grills catching fire, which is all due to the grease tray being covered in old grease. Also, a dirty drip pan will ruin food and flavor since when old, dirty grease heats up, it boils and splatters all over your nice cut of steak and releases dirty smoke.
This is easy to avoid by cleaning the grease tray, and I will show you how in nine simple steps.
Follow these steps to clean your pellet grill’s drip tray
Step 1: Remove all the cooking grates from the grill.
Step 2: Warm up the grill to 350 to 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Using a paint scraper, carefully scrape off as much grease and gunk as possible while the tray is still hot. Some of it will be “caked up” and will crack off easily; for others, you will have to use some elbow grease and really work the scraper.
Step 4: Let the drip pan (or grease tray, whatever makes you happy) cool down and remove it from the grill.
This thing will still be messy, so put the tray on a batch of grass that you don’t mind turning brown because it is about to go down.
Step 5: Make a mix of hot water and dish soap. I do not like to use harsh chemicals when cleaning my grills, but soap detergents meant to clean kitchenware work great as degreasers. I mean, that’s how you clean grease plates.
Step 6: Pour the hot water-soap mixture into the drip tray and scrape it again. You can also use a non-wire sponge to deep clean the tray.
Step 7: Rinse thoroughly and dry the pan.
Step 8: Spray the grease tray with cooking oil to prevent rust. ( Light coat )
Step 9: Put everything back in the grill, turn on the grill, and set the temperature no higher than 300 degrees to burn off any excess oil and “cure” some of the oil onto the drip pan.
One Last Word
Cleaning the grease pan on the grill is easier than you think, but it is a time-consuming task. I always recommend covering the tray with aluminum foil before each cook and discarding the used foil.
The foil acts as a shield and grease collector, often eliminating the need to constantly clean the drip pan.
I hope you find these tips useful.