One thing that I do...a tip that I picked up here on the forum...is to spray your grates with a cooking oil such as pam...store brands will be a lot cheaper...but when you get down to the washing...everything comes off very easy...I also use Dawn dish soap...seems to cut the grease and crap nicely..
Hope this helps ya..
After harvesting the smoked items from my smoker I submerge the grates and other items in a pan of cold water and walk away.
When ready to clean up in a day or three I put them in a row on our cement driveway and take the high-pressure washer to them. Be sure to hang them out to dry quickly.
My grates are chrome plated ones and they stay like new this way.
Vulcan is right on with his suggestion of spraying the grids with Pam or something like it before smoking. I have noticed that it is much easier to clean if sprayed well before smoking. Then when the smoke is over, I take them into the house and let them soak in hot soapy water for an hour or so. Then with a steel wool pad and a little scrubbing they come out clean as a pin (mine are chrome plated).
And by the way, It may be due to the salty air here on the coast but I have found that if I don't put some veg. oil on the grids before storing them back in the smoker, they will rust in a matter of a couple of days.
Well... On my large offsets, I normally do not clean the grates after cooking... or course we tend to cook often... I like to leave that layer of grease as rust prevention... Now I do scrape the grease out of the bottom of the pit etc. and before the next cook, I give the grates a good cleaning with a propane weed burner and a wire brush...