It's very common to see a substance on the inside of your grill lid that looks like peeling or flaking paint, or some sort of finish that is delaminating.
However, we don't apply any paint or finish to the inside of our grill lids.
As you use your grill, vapors and grease from the grilling process can build up and create a deposit on the inside of your grill lid.
The high heat of the grill will cause the the deposit to harden, and it will begin to flake or peel off. This peeling or flaking substance will be paper thin, black, and glossy on one side and matte on the other, and is known as carbonized grease.
The photo below illustrates an example of carbonized grease that has built up sufficiently to begin bubbling, and in the lower right of the photo it is just beginning to peel and flake.
It's important to know the distinction between the sort of grease that most people are familiar with, which is a gooey, oily substance, and carbonized grease, which is quite different in appearance and texture.
And don't worry, the carbonized grease is non-toxic, but not very tasty, so if some has fallen off of the lid and onto your food while grilling the worst you'll have is a less than appetizing meal.
Ever time you grill another meal, the carbonized grease can build up a bit more, and the grill needs a little bit of maintenance to keep it in top shape. If you haven't kept up on cleaning your grill, there’s nothing to worry about.
CLEANING THE LID
- First, use a Weber stainless steel bristle brush and clean off as much of the build-up as you can. This should remove most of the accumulated carbonized grease.
- Next, a plastic scraping tool can be used to clean any stubborn bits of carbonized grease that weren't removed by the brush.
- For a deeper cleaning, after brushing and scraping the lid, spray it with the Weber Grill Grate Cleaner found here (US) or here (Canada), which will break down the remaining grease. Let the cleaner sit on the lid for about 30 seconds before wiping it with a damp paper towel. If you do not have the Weber Grill Grate Cleaner, you can use soap and water while the lid is warm, not hot.
The photo below is of a lid that is in the process of being cleaned. you'll notice pieces of the carbonized grease have been brushed loose and are laying on the bottom/back of the lid. After brushing the carbonized grease loose, you can just brush or sweep it off into a dust pan.
The tips above should help you get your lid back in good shape, and keep that peeling carbonized grease under control.
Carbonized grease typically starts forming in the center of the lid on gas models, and around the lid damper on charcoal models. This is due to the dynamics of how the air circulates within the grill while it is operating.
Below are some examples of carbonized grease on various grill models.