How to Clean a George Foreman Electric Grill: Safe and Effective Ways

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The George Foreman Grill has been a popular indoor cooking implement since its introduction in 1994.

It consists of two separate plates which provide a heated grilling surface on both sides of food and has a separate reservoir to gather excess fat removed or drained while cooking.

With its popularity, it is common to see this grill in kitchens across the country, both residential and commercial.

However, few people want to know how to clean a George Foreman Electric Grill effectively.

That is in order to avoid common forms of damage like removing the non-stick surface, as well as possible injuries.

How to Clean a George Foreman Electric Grill

How you clean your George Foreman Grill will depend on the model that you own.

Thus, if would like to clean it the right way, we have created a simple guide for each type.

1. The Basic Grill Model

If you have the simplest type of grill, which is the basic model, then you actually have a couple of cleaning options available.

If a bad smell is left behind from cooking, even after you try any of the methods below, you can use lemon.

You can mix a little bit of lemon juice with water and rub it on the cooking surface to break down the particles, which cause bad odors.

Simply rinse the citric acid away using a small amount of water and a paper towel when you are finished to preserve the non-stick surface.

The First Method

This involves some work while the grill is still warm.

Wet a ball of paper towel and hold it in a pair of non-metal tongs.

While the grill is warm, use the ball of paper towel to pick up extra debris and grease that was not filtered out during the cooking process.

Once done, toss out the paper towel and wait for the grill to cool.

After roughly 30 minutes, return to your grill and wash the surface using a soapy sponge and warm water.

At this stage, you want to get into all the machine's crevices to ensure no grease is left behind.

You can dry the cooking surface with a soft towel and wash the drip tray in the sink with soapy water to finish the job.

The Second Method

If you don’t have a pair of non-metal tongs, this might be the best option for you.

Wait for the grill to cool from hot to warm.

Then, wet several paper towels and lay them flat on the cooking surface.

Close the grill and allow the paper towels to steam.

The steam helps loosen food particles and the charred pieces leftover from cooking.

You can then open the grill, toss out the paper towels, and clean the cooking surface with soapy water and a sponge.

It would be best if you wait for the grilling surface to cool, so you don’t burn or hurt your hands.

The Third Method

If you don’t like the first two options, you can utilize some tools while cooking to avoid having to clean up after yourself.

Before grilling food, line the surface with parchment paper or aluminum foil on both sides.

You can then cook like usual and toss out the paper or foil once it is cool to the touch.

Afterward, you just have to clean any spills that might have occurred while making your meal.

2. The Grill With Removable Plates

One of the perks of owning this style of George Foreman Grill is that it is one of the easiest to clean.

To scrub the plates, you just need to detach them from the base of the grill and wash them in the sink with a sponge and soapy water.

If any grease dripped onto the main base of the grill, wipe it off with a wet paper towel with a dab of soap on it.

If you do not enjoy washing dishes by hand, then you can put the coated plates in the dishwasher.

Neither of these methods will damage the non-stick coating.

Of course, if you want to avoid cleaning altogether, you can line your grill plates with parchment paper or aluminum foil while cooking.

You can then take these sheets off of the plates once the grill has cooled, and you are done cooking.

3. The Premium Grill With Interchangeable Plates

If you have this type of George Foreman Electric Grill, then you undoubtedly enjoy having extra flexibility in your life.

Luckily, you can clean this style like all of the others.

Since each of the interchangeable plates is non-stick and coated with ceramic, you should be able to detach each one and clean it in the sink with soapy water.

Remember to try each plate thoroughly before attempting to connect it to the base of the grill.

If your premium grill has a broiler, do NOT try to clean the broiler element. 

The broiler does not react well to soap, and there is no guarantee from the manufacturer if you damage it during cleaning.

Instead, it is best to wait for the broiler to cool and then wipe it clean using a warm, damp paper towel.

You can then dry the entire machine with a soft paper towel.

how to clean a george foreman electric grill

How Not to Clean a George Foreman Electric Grill

Now that you know what to do, it is important to discuss what you shouldn’t do.

1. Do Not Soak

The first thing you need to avoid is dunking the entire grill in a sink full of soapy water.

Since the grill is electric, it has wiring that could be damaged by the liquid, resulting in shocks and even electrocution.

It is further possible to permanently damage the heating plates, which means the grill will not work in the future.

2. Do Not Use Abrasive Tools and Solutions

It is also essential to avoid using an abrasive scrubber on the main cooking surface since the material will scrape the non-stick coating off.

That means you should not use basic items like steel wool, a rough sponge, or the new chain mail cleaners.

You should also never utilize chemical cleaners when trying to remove the grease from your grill.

Many common kitchen chemicals contain components capable of disintegrating part of the non-stick coating, which will leave you with an ineffective cooker.

Special Sponges to Consider

If you want to be extra careful with your George Foreman Electric Grill, you should know the manufacturer makes a special line of sponges.

These sponges are affordable and feature both a nylon scouring surface and a softer nylon end, which is great at preventing scratches.

The sponges also can fit into all the crevices of the grill surface.

Thus, you don’t have to worry about being unable to reach food and charred debris.


If you are wondering how to clean a George Foreman Electric Grill, you have to look no further than this guide.

No matter what type of model you have, it is imperative to avoid getting the electrical components wet.

Instead, you can remove the grease from the grilling services using damp paper towels and then wipe them down with a soapy sponge.

In the end, remember to give your grill enough time to dry so that it will function properly next time.

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