How to Clean Hibachi Grill: From Greasy to Gleaming

Picture this: sizzling steaks, juicy burgers, and perfectly charred veggies, all cooked to perfection on your hibachi grill, but do you know how to clean Hibachi grill?

To keep enjoying those mouthwatering flavors, however, you need to properly clean your favorite barbecue device.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to clean hibachi grills in five simple steps. From gathering the necessary tools to scrubbing away the toughest grease spots, keep reading for all the details!

Should You Clean Your Hibachi Grill?

Yes! Regularly cleaning your hibachi grill is essential for maintaining its performance and ensuring a safe cooking experience.

Here’s a detailed explanation of why cleaning your hibachi grill is so important:

1. Avoiding Health Hazards

Although hibachi grills involve high temperatures, the equipment can be a source of many health hazards without regular cleaning.

For starters, they can become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria and mold. The combination of high humidity, moisture, and leftover food residue creates the perfect environment for microorganisms to flourish. That’s especially true for mold!

These resilient creatures can thrive on various surfaces, including grease. What’s concerning is that when mold is left unchecked, it produces toxins known as mycotoxins.

The problem is that mycotoxins are heat resistant. Even if you crank up the heat during your next cooking session, these toxins can survive up to 250ºF and seep into your food the next time you cook a meal. Consequently, it can lead to food poisoning.

However, it’s not just microorganisms you need to be cautious about. Burnt food remnants can pose another health risk. The charred bits of food contain harmful chemicals that can increase the risk of developing cancer.

2. Preventing Flare-Ups and Fire

Grease accumulation on various parts of your hibachi grill poses a significant risk when it comes to flare-ups and fire hazards.

Over time, grease can turn into vapor and ignite, leading to unexpected and potentially dangerous flare-ups. Such fires can spread rapidly, causing troublesome burns.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, charcoal and other solid-fueled grills are involved in approximately 1,440 home fires annually. Around 686 of those are outside fires. Cooking oil and grease fires contribute significantly to such a problem.

Additionally, accumulated food debris, particularly those rich in acids and salt, can facilitate corrosion on the grill’s surfaces. As a result, it reduces the grill’s lifespan.

Not to mention, grease also attracts dirt. Such sticky stains are a nuisance to clean and can even become permanent!

3. Improving the Taste of Your Food

Juicy meat grilled on the net

Many people prefer grilling food since it brings incredible flavors and mouthwatering aromas. One reason behind this deliciousness is the Maillard reaction.

During grilling, proteins break down into amino acids, which then mix with sugars to create a range of flavorful compounds. These compounds contribute to the unique taste that makes grilled dishes irresistible.

However, if you don’t properly clean your hibachi, the food residue can impact the freshness and taste of your meals. Those leftovers are already cooked.

Once exposed to excessive heat, the sugars in it can go beyond caramelization and end up burning. That produced new compounds with a bitter taste that overpowers the desired flavors of grilled food.

How to Clean Hibachi Grills in 5 Simple Steps

Here’s how to clean your hibachi grill and restore it to its former glory:

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools

Cleaning your hibachi grill is a straightforward process that requires a few essential tools. Having these materials on hand ensures a smooth cleaning experience.

Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Dish soap or grill cleaner: Choose a mild dish soap specifically formulated for cleaning grills, or opt for a specialized grill cleaner for tougher stains and buildup.
  • Warm water: Prepare a bucket or basin of warm water to use during the cleaning process. Warm water helps to break down grease and grime more effectively.
  • Nylon brush: Choose a non-abrasive bristled brush to scrub food residue and grease from the grill grates and surfaces.
  • Sponge or clean cloth: Use a sponge or cloth for wiping. Make sure it’s a non-abrasive material to avoid scratching the grill’s surface.
  • A clean towel: Keep some paper towels handy for drying off surfaces and removing excess moisture after cleaning.
  • Gloves (optional): Wear gloves to protect your hands from hot surfaces, cleaning agents, and burned debris.

Step 2: Prepare the Grill

Before you begin the cleaning process for your hibachi grill, it’s essential to take a few necessary steps to ensure a safe cleaning session. These include:

  1. Wait until the grill cools downs since the hot surface can be hazardous.
  2. Remove the charcoal or turn off the gas supply, if present, to prevent any accidental gas leaks during the cleaning process.
  3. Remove the cooking grates and drip pan to access the interior of the grill better.
  4. Spray an acidic solution made of 3 parts water and 1 part lemon juice or white vinegar over the grilling surface to break down grease and food debris.

Step 3: Clean the Grill Grates

Once you’ve sprayed the de-greasing solution on the grilling surface, allow it to work its magic for around 10-15 minutes. This gives you the perfect opportunity to focus on cleaning the grill grates. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Take a sturdy grill brush with stiff bristles and scrape off any food residue from the grates. Make sure to go through both sides for a deep clean.
  2. Submerge the grates in warm, soapy water and let them soak for a few minutes. This helps to loosen any remaining grease or debris.
  3. Use a scrub brush or sponge to remove any lingering residue.
  4. Rinse the grates under clean, running water to wash away the soap and loosened grime.
  5. Dry the grates using paper towels or a clean cloth and let them air-dry well to prevent rusting.
  6. Repeat the same steps to clean the drip pan.

Step 4: Remove Ash and Food Debris

Now that the acidic solution has had time to dissolve the grease on the grilling surface, it’s time to address any stubborn debris that may remain.

Here’s how to effectively remove ash and debris from your hibachi grill:

  1. Using a grill brush or scraper, carefully scrape away any stubborn debris on the grill.
  2. Remove accumulated ash and dirt using a metal scoop or a brush. Dispose of the contents properly according to local waste management guidelines.
  3. Take a damp cloth and wipe down the interior surfaces of the grill, removing any remaining residue.

cleaning the grill with scrubber

Step 5: Clean the Grill’s Exterior

Cleaning the exterior of your hibachi grill is not just about aesthetics. It helps preserve the grill’s appearance by removing buildup, reducing the chances of corrosion.

Additionally, a clean exterior prevents obstructions in vents, allowing for proper airflow and even heat distribution during cooking.

To clean the exterior of your hibachi grill, here’s what to do:

  1. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the exterior of the grill, removing any stubborn stains. Pay attention to all sides, handles, and knobs.
  2. Consider using a stainless steel cleaner if your grill has stainless steel components to restore shine.
  3. Once the surfaces are clean, you can use a grill-safe polish or a clean cloth to add a final touch of shine to the exterior.

After cleaning, allow the grill to dry thoroughly. Once it has dried well, reassemble the grill, ensuring all parts are secure.

Tips to Maintain Your Grill

To keep your hibachi grill in good working order, follow these preventative maintenance tips:

  • Clean the grill thoroughly using a damp cloth or sponge after each use.
  • Apply a small amount of salad oil after cleaning. This helps keep the surface shiny and prevents buildup.
  • Wipe the stainless steel suction port regularly to ensure it’s free from food particles.
  • Cover your grill to keep it clean. This will prevent rusting, prolong its lifespan, and reduce maintenance needs.
  • Store your hibachi grill in a protected area to shield it from harsh weather conditions, dust, and debris.


Knowing how to clean your hibachi grill is essential for ensuring a safe cooking environment and preserving the taste of your food.

By following the step-by-step guide, such as preparing the grill, cleaning the grates, and scrubbing the grill, you can easily keep your hibachi in excellent condition.

Combine that with proper maintenance techniques, like storing the grill in a protected area, and you can expect your hibachi grill to remain in top shape for years to come!


How often should you clean a hibachi grill? 

It is recommended to clean your hibachi grill after each use to prevent grease buildup and maintain its performance. Additionally, regular deep cleanings should be scheduled at least once a season or as needed.

Can you use regular dish soap for cleaning a Hibachi grill?

You can use mild dish soap mixed with warm water to clean your hibachi grill. Ensure thorough rinsing afterward to remove any soap residue before using the smoker again.

What should you do if my grill has stubborn stains or rust? 

For stubborn stains, you can try using a grill cleaner or a paste made from baking soda and water. Gently scrub the affected areas and rinse well. 

To address rust, use a commercial rust remover and a bristled brush. After rinsing with soapy water, season the surface with cooking oil.

Is it safe to use a wire brush on my hibachi grill grates?

Yes, a wire brush is typically safe for cleaning hibachi grill grates. Just make sure to remove any loose bristles before cooking again.

Can I clean the hibachi grill while it’s still hot?

No, always allow the hibachi grill to cool down completely before attempting to clean it. Safety first!

What should I do if there is rust on my hibachi grill?

Remove rust by scrubbing gently with steel wool or a wire brush, then apply a thin coat of vegetable oil to prevent further rusting.

Do I need to remove the grates before cleaning the hibachi grill?

Yes, it’s recommended to remove the grates before cleaning your hibachi grill. This will allow you better access to all surfaces and ensure a thorough cleaning.

What’s the best way to clean the grates of a hibachi grill?

After removing the grates, scrub them with a wire brush or scouring pad under warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry before placing them back into the grill.

Written By


Hi there, I'm Greg (also known as Herbie) and like most Aussies enjoy a good BBQ. I want to share with you some tips and recipes, along with gear that I like, to help you with your backyard barbecue and grilling hobbie.Anyway, have a look around and let me know what you think and happy BBQing. Cheers Herbie.

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