Keeping your grill clean will also improve the flavour of your food, greatly reduce risk of food contamination, and generally make for a much more enjoyable barbecuing experience.
What many people overlook is that the grease and oil left on your grill after cooking will go rancid over time, especially in hot weather. Attempting to cook on top of this grease will negatively affect the flavour of your food in a big way, and may even have adverse health effects.
Whether you have a gas BBQ or a charcoal BBQ, Weber, Landmann or any other brand, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your BBQ in great condition this Spring and Summer.
Follow the steps below at the recommended intervals and you can be sure that your BBQ will stay cleaner, healthier and in better condition for longer.
Some tools that will come in useful for the steps detailed in this article:
- a scraper (plastic if you want to be extra careful)
- a large bucket
- rubber gloves
- a stiff bristled brush
- steel / brass brush
- sponge with a textured side
- steel wool
- clean rags and paper towels
- dish soap and / or homemade soap
*Some people like to use zero chemicals, including dish soap, inside their BBQ. For a fantastic home-made cleaning solution with no chemicals just mix 1.5 cups of water, 1.5 cups white vinegar and 1.5 teaspoons of baking soda.
Some people clean before each use, and some people clean after each use. You should always do one or the other, and we recommend before each use; reason being that nobody wants to scrub their BBQ directly after cooking as all you want to do is eat the delicious food you’ve just cooked!
It may seem strange to leave the grease and oil on the grill until the next time you cook, but the residue will actually help protect from rust and corrosion until the next time you cook.
Clean your grill before cooking. All you will need is a good quality steel brush (available here) and a scraper (available here). If your grates are porcelain-coated then we’d recommend a brass brush instead of stainless steel as the latter may damage the grates.
- Close the lid and turn the heat to high for 10 minutes to get the grate nice and hot.
- When the smoke subsides turn the heat off completely and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Use your scraper to scrape away any carbon residue.
- Dip your steel or brash brush into water and scrub the grate thoroughly to remove any remaining residue.
- Once all the dirt has been scrubbed off wipe your grate with a damp rag to pick up any remaining pieces of charcoal or bristles that have come off your brush.
- Start cooking!
Check the manufacturers instructions for how to clean your deflector plates, but for most BBQs the process is as follows;
- Lay an old cloth on the ground, remove the plates and set them on top of the cloth.
- Using hot water and dish soap (or home made cleaner), scrub both sides of the plates with a stiff brush or scourer.
- If stiff grease still remains then soak in hot soapy water for 1 hour before scrubbing again.
- Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean cloth or kitchen roll.
- For cast iron plates apply a thin layer of vegetable oil after drying - this will protect from rust and corrosion.
Luckily the process is very quick and easy.
- Remove as many components as possible from the interior before cleaning.
- Use a scraper to away the flaky residue.
- Use a vacuum to hoover up the pieces.
- Empty the vacuum into the bin.
- Before doing any extensive cleaning make sure to check the user manual for any specific do’s and don’ts. Never use harsh oven cleaners on the interior or exterior of your BBQ!
- Follow instructions in the previous steps to clean all component parts of the BBQ.
- Using your scraper scrape away and hoover and burnt oil and grease from the interior of the BBQ.
- Once scraped, use your stiff bristled brush to remove any finer debris from the interior.
- Hoover any pieces that have flaked off.
- Using your dish soap / home made cleaner and a sponge clean the entire inside of the BBQ including any deflectors, flavouriser bars etc.
- Rinse sponge and with wash again but this time only with water.
- Now clean the entire outside of the BBQ with soap and water, making sure not to use and abrasive materials that make scratch the surface.
- Repeat with sponge and water to remove and leftover soap.
- Dry exterior with a clean rag, and then use the same rag to dry the interior.
- Replace all component parts
That’s it! Follow the steps above at the recommended intervals and you can be sure that your BBQ will stay cleaner, healthier and in better condition for longer.
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