This Kitchen Staple Is The Key To A Clean Grill

Spending time outside grilling — whether that's on your beautifully stained deck or over a perfectly built fire while camping — is one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors. However, no matter where you decide to fire up your old charcoal grill or modern electric masterpiece, you probably need to give the grates a quick clean before you get started. This is important because keeping a grill clean helps it work better and cook better food. However, recent research has shown that wire grill brushes are actually bad for you and can cause pieces of wire to break off into your food which, when ingested, are quite dangerous (via Consumer Reports).

So, what can you use instead? There's always the boring choice of reaching for a wet rag to wipe down your grill grate. However, if you want to have a little more fun and add some flavor to your food at the same time, you can reach for one common kitchen staple instead: an onion. This works because onions naturally release acidic juices which help get off burnt food scraps and stuck-on grime. Furthermore, onions are naturally antibacterial and are likely better for you than any type of chemical grill cleaner. So, how do you do it?

How to get a clean grill using an onion

When it comes to wiping down your grill, any onion (white, yellow, or red) will do the trick. However, the bigger the onion is, the easier and quicker the cleaning process will be because you will be able to cover more surface area at once.

To start, fire up your grill and get the grate nice and hot. Then, simply peel your onion and cut it in half. You will only need one half for cleaning and can save the other half for future recipes. Next, you need to make yourself a handle because your grill will be too hot to just use your hands to hold the onion. To do this, first place your onion cut side down on your table and stab the uncut side with a grill fork or other tool. Then, holding the onion with your long fork, simply rub the cut side of the veggie back and forth across the hot grill grate until all the burnt residue has been removed.

If you are using a charcoal grill, you can also add some extra flavor to your food by dropping the used onion half inside the grill so that it will infuse your food with aromatic steam as you let it cook.