How to Clean Your Grill With This Vegetable

Updated: May 18, 2023

Looking for a cheap and easy way to clean your grill? No chemicals or brushes are needed for this nifty, eco-friendly trick!

Did you go a little heavy on that BBQ sauce during your last cookout? It’s okay, life happens, and the BBQ sauce is delicious.

Plus, with this simple hack on how to clean your grill, you won’t have to worry about that caked on BBQ sauce much longer. This grilling hack doesn’t require a brush or aluminum foil (which yes, is a nifty way to also clean your grill, here’s how), but requires a simple vegetable: An onion!

That’s right, an onion can actually clean your grill in a precise and efficient manner, while also being an eco-friendly product for your food, grill and the environment. Numerous grillers rave about this simple trick, and how incredibly easy it is to do.

How Do I Clean My Grill With an Onion?

Here’s all it takes: Cut an onion in half. Take your grilling fork and spear that onion on the skin side. Head over to your preheated grill (warming up the gunk on your grill helps to scrape it off) and rub the cut side of the onion on your grill. That’s it!


Now if the BBQ sauce on that grill is too powerful to your onion, you can actually loosen it up with other natural ingredients. Try spraying lemon juice or white vinegar across the grates to dampen and separate the gunk off the grill. The acidity can actually help with the cleaning process, and will make cleaning the grill with that onion even easier than it was before.

Why an Onion?

Apparently, onions have antibacterial properties that can help with cleaning, especially with a messy outdoor grill.

According to the National Onion Association, onions contain phytochemicals, which are various biologically active compounds that can be found in plants. The health-functional properties in these compounds actually include anticancer and antimicrobial activities.

So why does this matter for the grill? For the antimicrobial activities, actually. An antimicrobial is an agent that can kill off microorganisms and stop growth, fighting bacteria and fungi.

What Should I Do With the Onion When I’m Done?

Simple! Throw it in the charcoal. It may sound completely crazy at first, but hear me out. When you add onions to the coals on your grill, you are giving your meat (or whatever else you are grilling) an extra flavor added onto the delicious char of a well-grilled meal.

Plus, after using that onion you probably aren’t going to want to chop it up and throw it in your salad. Adding it to the grill makes the entire cleaning process eco-friendly, creating no trash and using natural products to clean up your grill. It’s a delicious win win!

Now that your grill is clean and ready to cook a delicious meal, just make sure you keep an eye on these 16 ways you’re using your grill wrong. Don’t let all of that cleaning effort go to waste!