As summer takes root, it is time to move to the open outdoors and try your hand at grilling. Hopefully, your Big Green Egg will be jumping into action. Before you start laying on the stake, you should consider some deep cleaning to eliminate all that accumulated dirt and grime.
You could use a couple of tricks to keep your Big Green Egg as clean as possible. They all vary depending on how often you use the grill or how dirty it has gotten over time.
Rookie Mistakes to Avoid
Avoid common cleaning procedures that use vinegar, alcohol, and other common household cleaners. Your Big Green Egg is ceramic. It can absorb these chemicals and translate to the next meal you prepare.
You should also avoid using any water in the cleaning process. If the Big Green Egg gets wet, the moisture will permeate into its pores, and the constant heating and cooling as you cook will cause uneven expansion that can crack and ruin it.
Deep Cleaning a Big Green Egg
It would help to deep clean the grill at least three times a year. The frequency will vary depending on how often you use it. If you are quite the busy grillmaster, consider cleaning it more often.
Deep cleaning combines different cleaning procedures to ensure that you capture every single surface in and outside the BGE. We’ve split the process into easy-to-follow sections to ensure you don’t miss anything.
How to Clean the Outside of the Big Green Egg
Exterior cleaning will keep that deep green enamel finish looking as pretty and appealing as when you got it out of the store. The enamel finish is for looks and plays a critical role in protecting the Big Green Egg’s ceramic body.
Using a wire brush, an abrasive scrubber, or strong cleaning chemicals will ruin your BGE. Here’s how to properly do exterior cleaning.
ProTip: Don’t try cleaning the Big Green Egg immediately after using it. It will be hot and hard to handle. Please wait until it has completely cooled down before attempting the clean-up.
- Get a clean, soft cloth and dip it in clean water.
- Wring it out so that it is just damp and not dripping wet
- Use it to wipe the outside of the Big Green Egg gently
Wiping your green enamel finish with a piece of cloth should be enough to get all that gunk and sticky residue. This is helpful because the enamel finish is very smooth and easy to wipe down.
If plain water doesn’t cut it, try a few drops of dishwashing soap in the water before repeating the same wipedown procedure.
You can use the same soapy mix to clean other parts of the Big Green Egg, like the fold-out trays and the nest.
Making a habit of wiping down the outside as soon as you’re done using the grill will minimize gunk buildup. This will ensure that you don’t need aggressive cleaning procedures to make the entire unit look new again.
How to Clean the Daisy Wheel
The daisy wheel at the top vent in your Big Green Egg sees much smoke when cooking. It will get very greasy, especially if you often use the BGE as a smoker.
Resist the urge to use a wire brush or a scouring pad to get rid of the grime. All you have to do is a clean burn.
Clean burning is also a great way to clean the inside of the Big Green Egg. We have explained how to do it in the ‘cleaning the inside’ section later in the guide.
After a clean burn, the daisy wheel might look discolored. To restore its original look, you can disassemble it and spray it with black grill spray.
How to Clean a Big Green Egg Heat Deflector
Wiping down the heat deflector with a rug dipped in soapy water and wrung so that it doesn’t drip any of the water onto the deep green egg should be sufficient.
You can let the rug lie on some stubborn stains to loosen them up, making cleaning easier. If your heat deflector is removable, you can always remove it from the Big Green Egg and use other wet cleaning procedures to get rid of tough stains.
Should You Clean the Inside of a Big Green Egg
Yes. It would help if you cleaned the inside of the Big Green Egg frequently since that’s where your food goes. Cleaning after every cook is the right way to ensure you don’t have dirty and gunk accumulation that will make deep cleaning problematic.
All inside deep cleaning procedures begin with a clean burn. Clean burning is a procedure most ovens use to burn off gunk, food residue, and other types of gunk. The burn turns these into smoke, ash, and charcoal-like residue that’s easy to deal with.
How to Clean Burn a Big Green Egg
Start by preparing the BGE for the clean burn. This involves removing any big chunks of food residue and emptying the ashes from the previous burn (they shouldn’t be there because you have to empty them after every use)
How to Empty Ash from the Big Green Egg
- Stire the charcoal in the BGE so that any remaining ash sinks into the ash basket
- If your model has a Kick Ash Basket, pick up the basket and shake it well to separate the charcoal from the ash
- Discard the charcoal if it is damp and soggy
There will be more ash at the ceramic base of the EGG. Getting rid of this is sanitary and ensures that the Big Green Egg burns as evenly as possible.
- Use your ash tool or poker to move around the charcoal and separate it from the ash
- Use the ash removal pan or another collection pan to catch the ash as you scoop it out of the EGG’s base through the draft door
Performing the Clean Burn
Clean burning involves raising the temperatures in the EGG to between 700 and 1000 degrees F and keeping it there for around an hour. It’s best done with high-quality fresh charcoal, but you can still reuse charcoal remnants as long as they’re dry.
- Fill the Kamado halfway with charcoal.
- Place the daisy wheel on the grate if it’s caked up with soot
- Light the charcoal and get the grill as hot as you can by keeping the draft door open
- Once your thermometer shows its above 700 degrees F, set a 1hr timer
- After the hour, close the draft door and open the EGG to let it cool
Once the Egg cools down, you can open it up in preparation for the final cleanup. You will need a plastic or wooden scraper and a shop vacuum.
- Remove any remaining charcoal, the firebox, the grate, the firebox, and the grid
- Use the scraper to gently nudge off any buildup remaining inside the Big Green Egg
- Use a shop vacuum to suck off all the ash and burnt dirt from inside the egg
- Use the same scraper on the firebox and the fire ring before sucking off the residue with the vacuum cleaner
With the metal grate and grid out of the EGG, you can now use a wire brush or the Grid scrubber to remove accumulated food residue and soot. Don’t worry about using soap or any disinfectants on the grill, as the hot temperatures during cooking and the cleaning burn kill even the toughest of the bacteria.
How to Clean a Big Green Egg Pizza Stone
Wait for the Pizza stone to fully cooled down before scraping off the baked-on residue with a scraper. Once they’re all loose, use a soft brush to clean it before wiping it down with a damp cloth.
The pizza stone will naturally acquire a dark patina over time and some stains. This is normal. Don’t worry about it, as it won’t contaminate or affect the taste of your pizza.
Don’t wet the pizza stone or soak it in water for ‘more serious’ cleaning.
How to Kill Mold in a Big Green Egg
Mold builds up if you don’t use your EGG for a while and left it when not perfectly clean. Luckily, you can burn off the mold by firing up the EGG and waiting until it is hot, then keep it there for around 15 minutes. The heat will get rid of the mold for you.
Follow these tips to avoid mold.
- Clean the Big Green Egg before storing
- Store it in a protected, dry place away from the elements (in the garage instead of out in an open gazebo)
- Leave the snuffer cap or dual function metal top open
- Leave the ceramic base draft door fully open to encourage airflow
How Often Should I Clean My Big Green Egg
It would help to clean the EGG every time you finish using it. A quick maintenance cleaning of the grates and wiping down the outside will keep it cleaner and make your next deep clean simpler.
Deep clean at least four times a year or after using it around ten times.
Any time you see that your Egg is dirty is the perfect time to clean it. Don’t wait for a schedule. The more often you clean, the less effort it takes to keep it clean. This is good for you and reduces the chances of damaging the grill with aggressive cleaning procedures.
Can You Powerwash a Big Green Egg?
No. You can not powerwash a Big Green Egg. The ceramic doesn’t take well to be wet, let alone power washed. You will ruin your EGG or shorten its lifespan if you use a pressure washer to clean it up.