Enthusiast Exclusive Content

Ugly Grill

It’s time again for Johnsonville’s Ugly Grill Contest! Are you looking for a new setup for grilling or BBQ? Want bragging rights for having the ugliest grill in the land? Do you just want to win something?

Whatever your reason, here are some tips to get your grill old and busted in no time!*


  • Ditch the Grill Cover. Save money by not covering your grill. Who would want to potentially extend the life of their grill for years to come? Nothing shows your superiority over mother nature by exposing your grill to rain, snow/ice, UV rays and other harsh elements! You’ll get some beautiful rust spots in no time—even some mold if you’re lucky! Use the money you’ll save on a grill cover to buy something everyone enjoys: cheap hotdogs!
  • Forget Low and Slow. Low and slow may be great for brats, Italian sausages and your other Johnsonville favorites, but you need to change your game plan for the Ugly Grill Contest. Grilling only with direct heat and a “hot and fast” method will help char the insides of your grill and potentially damage your grates. Score! As an added bonus, the hot and fast method is perfect for turning cheap hotdogs into scorched meat sticks in no time.
  • Grease Your Grill. Lightly seasoning your grill grates can be good protection. But if you’re going for ghastly, too much of a good thing is perfect! Excess oil will run off the grates and into your grill box. The high heat will burn and provide a unique discoloration to your grill’s metal.
  • Slather the Sauce. For fans of barbecue or marinades, it’s best to baste your food as soon as it hits the grill. Some may say that it’s best to apply sauce during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, but that won’t get you grill grates nice and gunky. The sugars in most sauces will burn easily and can create smoke. Smoke buildup is perfect for getting your grill super dirty!
  • Buildup the Flavor. Avoid cleaning your grill after each grill session. The buildup can add extra flavors and layers of gunk that will coat your grates with some gorgeous nastiness. Besides, everyone loves tasting unwanted flavors and char on their foods!
  • Do Cold Cleaning. If you feel the urge to clean, cold cleaning is best for getting grills ugly. There’s no need to heat the grill for an extra 10-15 minutes after cooking if you want to clean the hard way. The extra elbow grease you’ll need can potentially scratch grates and grill boxes. If you’re going for extra ugly, use abrasive cleaners and brushes.


Following these tips will accelerate the aging process and get your grill picture-perfect for the Ugly Grill Contest. For some photo tips, remember to point your camera at your grill. If your images are coming out dark, remember to remove the lens cap or get your finger out of the way.


Good luck!


*We’re not really endorsing these tips at all, of course. If you want some real, genuine tips on getting your grills clean and beautiful, check out our other cleaning guides. If you want to cook more than cheap hot dogs on your grill, try out our Brat Hot Tub or Pretzel and Honey Mustard Bratwurst Burger

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