How to clean your grill with an onion

Did you go a little heavy on that barbeque sauce during your last cookout? It’s OK, life happens, and barbeque sauce is delicious. Plus, with this simple hack on how to clean your grill, you won’t have to worry about that caked-on barbeque sauce much longer.

This grilling hack doesn’t require a brush or aluminum foil (which yes, is also a nifty way to clean your grill), but requires a simple vegetable: an onion.

That’s right, an onion can actually clean your grill, 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.

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So 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 barbeque 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 from the grates. The acidity can actually help with the cleaning process, and will make cleaning the grill with that onion even easier than it was before.

grill onion istock

Stock-photography services have MULTIPLE photos of people cleaning grills with onions, so you just know it's a real thing.  (iStock)

Why onions?

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 anti-cancer 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 do I do with the onion after?

Simple — throw it in the charcoal. It may sound completely crazy at first, but when you add onions to the coals on your grill, you are giving your meat (or whatever else you're grilling) extra flavor. Besides, 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 andusing 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 aren't practicing one of these 16 ways to use a grill wrong. You don’t want all of that cleaning effort go to waste, after all.