No matter what you’re cooking, everything tastes better made on a wood pellet grill!
We own a Traeger wood pellet grill, and it is a game changer for cooking meals for our family. During the summer, we use it frequently (sometimes up to five times a week!).
One of the reasons we love our Traeger so much is because of how delicious it makes any food we cook. Wood pellet grills heat much more evenly and add more flavour to your food than by other types of barbecues. Our family can tell the difference– our meat is always so flavourful and moist, and if we happen to leave it on the grill too long, it doesn't dry out.
TIP: We love making roasted vegetables on our Traeger and often use the Traeger veggie rub to give them even better flavour.
If we’re making chicken, beef, or pork, a barbecue seasoning rub is also a must-have.
Because we use our grill so often, it gets dirty really quickly! Over time, I’ve picked up a number of tips and tricks to easily clean and maintain your wood pellet grill. Although the upkeep may look intimidating at first glance, wood pellet grills are easy to clean and maintain.
Today, I’m sharing my best tips and tricks to maintain your Traeger or wood pellet grill.
Why is it important to clean your grill?
Every time you use your wood pellet grill, ash and grease start to build up. If not taken care of, this can lead to low-quality tasting meat, unevenly cooked food, or at its worst, start a grease fire.
It isn’t necessary to scrub every piece of the grill every time you use it, but it is important to clean regularly. As a rule of thumb, you should wipe the grill grates and scrape off any food left after each use. After 2-3 uses, spend a little more time cleaning each part of the interior and exterior of the grill.
Best tools to use when cleaning your grill:
Instead, here are some safe tools to use when cleaning your wood pellet grill:
- Heavy-duty paper towel or reusable cloths that you don’t mind getting dirty
- Bristle-free brush and/or and scrapers: there are a few different kinds of scrapers that don’t use bristles in them. Try a bristleless wide head brush for a safe wire option that can handle tough grease or a wood paddle scraper to clean messes and burnt pieces away.
- Food-safe cleaners: using harsh chemicals like bleach can destroy your grill over time and pass into the food you cook. I personally use the all-natural Traeger Grill Cleaner spray. You can also use dish soap or vinegar diluted with warm water
- A wet dry vacuum for easy ash and/or pellet cleanup
How to clean the inside of your wood pellet grill
Cleaning the inside of your pellet smoker involves several steps to ensure proper pellet grill maintenance. There are four main sections you’ll want to focus on:
- Grill grates
- Grease drip tray
- Fire pot
Let’s walk through how to clean your wood pellet grill step-by-step:
Before you start
Make sure your grill is off, unplugged, and cold to the touch. You won’t want to do a deep clean when the grill is still hot or on. Empty any pellets from the hopper by dumping them and putting them in a bucket.
Cleaning the Grease Drip Tray
Start by using a scraper to remove grease from the tray’s surface. With a heavy-duty paper towel, wipe the grease away until the paper towel comes back clean.
After scraping and wiping, you can also give your grease drip tray a deeper clean with soapy water or food-safe cleaner. Make sure to remove it from the grill first, and then dry it fully before putting it back.
To make it easier the next time you clean, add a drip tray liner after cleaning. The liner catches any extra grease and charred food to make cleanup a breeze.
Cleaning the ash
The burn pot may be a small part of the grill, but it plays an important role in making your food delicious! If not cleaned properly, your food won’t cook evenly and may taste terrible.
Thankfully, it’s easy to clean. Start by removing the burn pot from the grill, then use a wet dry vacuum to get any debris out. Once done, use a heavy-duty paper towel or rag to remove any leftover ash.
Cleaning the smokestack
Don’t neglect your smokestack! A clean smokestack creates proper ventilation for your grill and prevents fire hazards.
Start by removing the cap from the top of the stack. Use a long, flexible brush to scrub any ash from the inside. Make sure to brush downward instead of upward! To finish, grab a heavy-duty paper towel or cloth to wipe any excess buildup.
Cleaning the outside of the grill
To clean the exterior of the grill, simply wipe it with a damp cloth. If the surface has built up dirt and residue, you can use a gentle cleaner to get rid of it.
Maintaining your wood pellet grill regularly
Keep the interior of the grill dry
Remember, the inside of your grill cannot get wet! If you add water inside your grill, you may damage electronic parts like the igniter, motor, and fan. Before washing parts of the grill like the grates, make sure to completely remove them from the grill and only return them once completely dry.
Protect the exterior of the grill
One of the easiest ways to protect your grill is by using a grill cover. This will not only protect the beauty of the exterior from rain, dirt, or hail, but it will also keep your wood pellets dry inside the grill.
Pellets made from 100% wood produce much less ash, which means it’s easier to clean your grill. Right now, we love the Traeger Hickory wood pellets for an added flavour to our meat and roasted vegetables.
Properly store your wood pellets
Keeping your wood pellets fresh and dry is a must. Keep them in a dry, tightly sealed container that won’t let in any moisture. For easy access, we store ours beside our Traeger in a Stay Dry Pellet Bin.
Need an extra hand with your Traeger grill this season? Stop into Bobcaygeon Home Hardware and our staff will be happy to help you out!
We've got an extensive line of Traeger Pellet Grills, Pellets, Accessories and more.