How to Maintain Your Camp Chef Grill (super simple!)
Pellet grills are really beautiful pieces of machinery.
In fact, Camp Chef grills are super easy to clean. If you were on the fence about buying one, you’ll probably want head over to House of BBQ Experts right away because I’ll show you just how easy it is.
On that note, let’s go!
Cleaning the outside of the grill
To keep your grill looking good on the outside, you can simply wash it with soapy water, preferably hot (it always works better!), then wipe it down.
Otherwise, I recommend tightening the screws on the lid once in a while (especially if you grill as often as I do!), to make sure it stays in place. A Phillips-head screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a little elbow grease, and you’re done!
Maintaining the inside of the grill
When the outside is looking good, it’s time to tackle the inside.
In a Camp Chef, there’s a main rack (the bottom one) but also a double top rack, which helps maximize cooking. You can even slide the side rack under the bottom one to have a “normal” top rack.
The top racks are made of chrome, so they’re really easy to clean. Ideally after each grilling session or at least once in a while, clean them thoroughly with a small, green, abrasive 3M-style sponge and soapy water.
The bottom ones are made of glazed porcelain and are just as easy to clean; the enamel coating on the racks makes the process much easier. In fact, the same cleaning principle applies. Scrub them with a sponge, preferably after each use, and that’s it.
If you’re not the type of person to maintain your racks after each use but want to completely restore them every once in a while, you can (and this goes for both the top AND bottom racks) apply some House of BBQ Experts The Degreaser, scrub them with a 3M sponge, let them soak in a bucket, then rinse them with plenty of water. Seriously, Camp Chef grills are among the easiest to clean on the market.
Heat distribution plate
Once you’ve removed the grill’s racks, you have access to the heat distribution plate (“diffusion” here refers more to “equalization”, as opposed to the one I’m going to tell you about next, which actually diffuses heat). Depending on your model of Camp Chef, there may be small slots in this plate. What do they do? They allow the fat from the food to drain off and drop, gently, not quickly, into the grease trap under the grill.
So, before cleaning this area, heat the grill up as much as possible. When that’s done, scrape the plate from left to right with a flat scraper (the ones with a metal head do a great job) to remove excess grease and dust (the latter usually comes from the burnt wood pellets) and toss that stuff in the trash.
Heat diffusion plate
Once you’ve removed the heat distribution plate, you’ll find a rectangular piece that covers your grill’s “burn pot”. To clean it, lift it up, then scrub it with a small brush to remove any dust or grease. (Note that if your grill has the Slide and Grill, it will be attached, but you can easily detach it from the grill by unscrewing the screws.)
All the grilling combustion takes place there. In this circular chamber, a small tray is located at the bottom. You can move it by pulling on the little ball bead next to the “burn pot” and all the ash inside will fall into the ash bucket under the grill (make sure the little “cup” is there first!). To clean this part, you can just pull on the bead, or you can run the vacuum cleaner through the hole.
As for frequency, you can empty the “burn pot” each time you grill, or after grilling 2-3 times, to make sure the bottom of your grill is clean at all times. As for the ash, you can spread it around in your garden or empty it into the House of BBQ Experts Ash Bucket.
Once all the parts are clean, you have to clean the grill’s tank. My advice is to take a plastic scraper (so you won’t scratch the grill’s interior) and scrape the inner surface of your Camp Chef from top to bottom, so the dust and grease sink to the bottom of your unit. Once that’s done, remove the residue on your grill, and it’ll be practically good as new.
Be careful, though! This is not a step you want to do before you put your grill away for the winter (I say that, but if you’re like me, that’s not going to happen anyway; you’ll just be putting an insulated cover on it! 😜). Yes, there still needs to be some fat left on a grill, so if you strip it all off, be sure to cook right after or very shortly thereafter to get a new layer going.
For the lid, use the same scraper as for the tank, but don’t be afraid to scrape the entire interior surface.
Once everything is clean, the next step is to take care of the pellet hopper. To empty it, first disconnect the grill, lift the top panel and pull on the small plate on the side of the hopper to empty the pellets. Next you unscrew the screws, remove the grate, scrape out the inside of the hopper, then remove any excess pellets. Once that’s done, put the grate back on and start your grill at “feed” so that anything left in the unit’s auger falls out.
It is important to restore this part from time to time to prevent excess dust or small pellet pieces from getting stuck in the “rod” (the auger). If you don’t do this often, chances are the pellets will get stuck in the rod and it will break. If this happens to you, it is very easy to fix. You remove the screws that hold the digital panel to the front of the hopper, then you have direct access to the auger. Pull the pin that holds it in, do what you need to do, disconnect and reconnect the panel, then put it all back together. Boom, done! (I’ll give you some links to check out below, if you’re more of a visual person 😉 )
And… that’s it! That’s pretty much everything you need to know about taking good care of your Camp Chef.
I’d like to take this opportunity to make a small clarification. Earlier, I mentioned an insulated cover. You should know that it doesn’t help protect your grill from bad weather, but it does insulate it from the cold (there are electronic components in there, so it’s kind of a necessity!). With a cover like this, you won’t have to store your grill because it will maintain its temperature. It’ll even be as energy efficient in the middle of winter as it was in the summer!
If, however, you want to protect your grill from all temperatures, there are “regular” covers you can use. It will also protect your appliance from pollen, dust, humidity… lots of stuff! Personally, I put one on my grills, and I am very happy—it’s really handy.
With that, happy grilling and… happy cleaning, everyone!
PSST! To learn more, feel free to come and see us or to check out Camp Chef’s YouTube page to watch videos on grill maintenance and repair and even recipe ideas. Here are a few that might interest you:
- How to assemble a Camp Chef Pellet Grill : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXSnaUjQ9NM&list=PLe0LNMHCof3gUPfrkQxtVtPw9ArKBB4j5
- How to replace the hot rod : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Q5IMCbj_A&list=PLe0LNMHCof3h_OFuN8g-JJJ6EkrM_3acs
- All about Camp Chef: https://www.youtube.com/c/campchefofficial