Using Foil On Your Grill

Using Foil On Your Grill

“Aluminum foil can foil a good time”

There’s an outdated (and potentially dangerous) practice that promoted cleaning cooking grates by laying aluminum foil on the grates, turning the grill to high, and letting it run for a while. This is a major NO-NO. Laying the foil on the grates can restrict the intended air flow inside the grill, which could lead to damage of the internal components, not to mention create a dangerous situation.

Also, on the topic of aluminum foil, is the practice of lining the slide out bottom tray with aluminum foil. This is usually done as a time saving method for cleaning, so one does not have to manually clean the bottom tray, rather, they can just pull out the foil and line it with new foil, as needed.

The problem with this is that the bottom tray on our grills is specifically designed to maximize the flow of grease to the catch pan. If you’ve ever lined something with foil you’ll probably remember that doing so creates all sorts of ridges and creases in the foil, as few people could be bothered to sit there and smooth out each ridge and crease.

Those ridges and creases all create barriers to the proper flow of grease to the catch pan, which sets the stage for lots of it to build up on the bottom tray, which in turn, builds the potential for grease fires and flare ups.

Foil does have useful applications in our grills though, and works well as a makeshift smoker packet. It’s also great for wrapping up vegetables, ribs, fish and other foods for a different method of cooking on the grill.

What are your thoughts? (2)


s b

What about cleaning with aluminum foil crumpled into a ball?


John Burns

Hi! Using crumpled up foil as a cleaning tool is perfectly fine, although you may get better results with a stainless steel wire brush or a plastic scraper. Thanks! John


Peter H

Can foil be used on the flavor bars if tightly fitted? The idea is to extend the life of the bars!


John Burns

Hi Peter, Thanks for your question. We would not recommend lining your Flavorizer Bars with foil, even if it’s tightly fitted to them. While it may provide a bit of extra protection to the bars, it would be rather minimal. The possible negative outcomes outweigh the minor benefits gained. The foil would be incredibly close to your burners, and will likely scorch and deteriorate, which may lead to other issues. While using your grill is undoubtedly more fun than cleaning it, my suggestion would be to brush your bars off as frequently as you are willing to. I also like to suggest rotating the position of each of your Flavorizer Bars in your grill after you’ve cleaned them. If you’re like me, you likely end up cooking on one portion of your cooking grates more than others. For me, it’s smack dab in the middle. As a result, the flavorizer bars positioned underneath that area end up with more drippings and grease on them. Even with cleaning, they’d likely break down faster than the ones positioned closer to the sides of the grill. To combat this, I change the positions of the bars every time I clean them, which helps them wear more evenly. I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any other questions! John Burns


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