A charred coating on a grate doesn't add flavor, it's just dirt, says Barry "C.B." Martin, Char-Broil's CGO—that's chief grilling officer. Any shiny black flakes on the underside of the hood are unlikely to be chipping paint; they're burned-on residue, a fire risk. Here, Martin's step-by-step for gunk removal.
The Interior: Dry-scrub crud from grates, burners, and inside surfaces with a nonscratch sponge or a nylon brush. You can even use an emery cloth or a wire brush on uncoated steel or iron. Then wash surfaces with dish soap and water, rinse well, and dry thoroughly. Martin suggests reseasoning cast-iron or metal grates with oil as you would a similar pan, but there's no need to coat chromed-steel or ceramic grates. Consider replacing these grates if they're rusty or chipping.