I know some people expect their pit to be messy – comp cooks, people who do a lot of cooking for groups, caterers.  But lets face it – most of us are backyard cooks, and when company comes over to admire the pit – you want it sparkly!  Keeping an active pit clean can be a challenge.  Over the last 2 years I have had a lot of success keeping mine clean, and I’d like to share some of my successes.

Bar Keepers Friend


OK, I showed-up late to the party on this one.  After having my MAK 2.0 conversion to the stainless steel body, I started to see this dark stain develop on the right front (and rear) of the body.  This was more a scorch mark than a stain, as every cleaner I tried failed to make a dent in it.  MAK Daddy suggested Bar Keepers Friend, and I finally picked some up.  Put it on while the pit was cold, and it removed 85% of the stain right away (with a little elbow grease).  I’ll do it again while the pit is warm, and expect it will completely remove the stain.  This is a must-have for stainless pits.  Makes easy work of smoke stains!

Simple Green


This is my go-to everyday cleaner for quick cleans on my MAK.  Before and after each and every cook, I’ll do a quick spray-and-wipe.  Cuts most grease easily, wipes clean, and has a fresh scent.

Grill Brush


OK, this seems like a no-brainer, but I’m not talking about your standard brush/scraper, which you should already have.  i’m talking about the small, two-pronged brush you can get for a couple bucks at Home Depot.  I find these really helpful in getting stuck-on debris off my GrillGrates, from between my MAK Searing Grates, and from the outer channel of my drip pan.  I’ll sometimes spray a little Simple Green on it, and rub it on my pit probe a couple times to remove any stuck-on stuff.  A must-have!

Grates and Pans

I do a lot of high-temp grilling, but both with grilling and low-n-slow, you tend to get cooked-on food, grease, and sauce on the grates and drip pans.  I have a great cure for that.

When I bought my MAK, I kept my 4-burner gasser.  I crank-up the gasser to max on all burners, and put my grates and pans in and 15-20 minutes on high and voila!  Clean and grease free!