How to use an onion to clean your grill – to achieve a spotless clean naturally

This is how to use an onion to clean your grill – for an effortless end to your garden party

How to use an onion to clean your grill
(Image credit: Morsø)

Grilling season is (almost) here. But while you may wait with anticipation for your first garden party, it is hard to forget the chore that will await when the party ends: cleaning your grill. However, the simple solution to this task may be hiding in your pantry. 

Knowing how to use an onion to clean your grill is a refreshingly simple way to ensure your BBQ comes up spotless after you’ve finished eating, but its benefits don’t end there. 

When thinking about how to clean grill grates, there are several effective solutions available, but this organic method is one of the most natural options you can choose. 

Outdoor kitchen with grill

(Image credit: Future)

This technique is also a great alternative for the avid chefs amongst us, as this method will fill your BBQ with flavor (instead of product residue) for your next event. Because that all-important taste comes down to more than investing in one of the best grills or best gas grills. Here the experts share what you need to know about this natural cleaning trick.

How to use an onion to clean your grill – according to the experts 

food on a grill

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

When it comes to using an onion to clean your grill, the steps to success are simple. Dan Cooper, Head Grill Master at Weber, explains that you should use stick half a raw onion (cut side down) on the end of your BBQ fork or tong – then scrub the grates back and forth until clean. It is best to complete this when the grill is still warm – to maximize success. 

Why are onions good for cleaning your grill? 

Outdoor kitchen

(Image credit: My Outdoor Kitchen)

‘Onions are acidic and will pick up the grease that’s left behind, as well as any small specks of dirt and carbon,’ Dan explains. ‘I use this method regularly, and it really helps keep my cooking grates in good shape.’

Andrew Lovell, the Product Manager at LANDMANN, adds that the water in the onion will help to ‘steam the grime away,’ so you are left ‘with a glistening grill with minimal effort.’ 

If you’re faced with charred remains that are particularly hard to clean, it can be a good idea to spray lemon or vinegar onto your onion. The acidity will break down all grime and leave you with a perfect clean. 

Are there any onion alternatives? 

summer entertaining

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

Whilst knowing how to use an onion to clean your grill is a failsafe way to achieve a spotless BBQ, it never hurts to flirt with alternatives. Deni Ivanov, the Digital Marketing Director at Royal Cleaning, suggests that corn husks offer a similar cleaning alternative that works in a similar way to onions. 

‘You may have heard about using tin foil or onions as scrubbers for barbeque grills, but dried-up corn husks cut in half or quarters work just as brilliantly as natural scrubbers,’ he says. Deni also recommends soaking them in white vinegar for an even greater result. 

So, your BBQ is officially amongst the things you can clean with vinegar – we’re taking this news into summer. Don't forget to raid your pantry after your next party concludes. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.