Cleaning your barbecue

During the winter months, we often neglect our outdoor equipment and furniture.  From potentially October through to April, we tend to turn our backs on our gardens and wait patiently for the warmer months to come back, before we step into them again. Because of this, your equipment can become unusable due to the build-up of unwanted residue.

The Harsh weather over the months can cause havoc on any item outside, especially your barbecue. If you want to make sure you can continue to flip those burgers and sizzle those sausages, keeping on top of the upkeep of your barbecue is essential. Here, we will look at the best ways to clean your cooking utensil so that it is fit and ready for action when the weather picks up.

Start the grill
This may sound like a weird place to start but it can be effective. Although recommended, many of us won’t thoroughly clean our equipment after each use. While the likes of our tongs and spatulas that will be cleaned by hand when we pack up, the grill is sometimes left forgotten.

If this sounds familiar, and you have left the dirt stagnating for months on, then it’s best to turn on your barbecue. By having an intense heat, this will burn off a lot of the most stubborn lingering food pieces and make it easier to rid those still clinging on.

Clean the grill
After you’ve turned on the flames which would have hopefully burnt off or loosened any residue, next it’s time to wipe that grill clean – of course, once it’s cool enough to touch. With a wire-bristled brush, scrub over your grill, just as you would with your oven’s version. To avoid any damage to your equipment, it’s recommended that you use a brass-bristled brush. However, don’t fear if you don’t have one of these to hand. Simply screw up a ball of aluminum foil and use this instead.

Next, fill a bucket of hot soapy water ready for use. Again, just as you would with your kitchen utensils, clean it with a dishcloth. If you find that the grime is too stubborn, it may be worth investing in some household cleaning products. Just make sure it’s specially designed for the job, otherwise you may find it’s too abrasive and toxic.

Cleaning the grill burners and lids
Once the grill is sparkling, and you’re one step closer to a germ-free appliance; the rest of the equipment shouldn’t take as much cleaning. However, you still need to dust down inside your barbecue, using soapy water where necessary.

For those with Gas BBQs that have food caught in the burners, you should check the manufacturer’s guide that you got with it. This will tell you the best way to extract it. Make sure that no matter what is recommended, you’ve turned off your barbecue before you make an attempt.

But my BBQ has a cleaning setting
Many Gas BBQs tend to have a self-cleaning setting. While this is a good place to start, it certainly shouldn’t replace a manual clean. Yes, it does burn off certain particles, but it’s not a substitute for regular cleaning.

It’s good practice to clean every cooking compartment after using it and the heat deflectors every couple of uses. You should also plan in an annual clean and disassemble each part to give it a thorough clean. Before putting your utensil back together, allow each component the time to thoroughly dry so that dampness doesn’t affect your product when left to sit.

Keep it covered
Finish up your cleaning spree by covering your equipment. Doing so will keep it in the best possible condition until you want to use it again. While it may seem like a fiddly job and is often overlooked, this will help to protect your barbecue from all the elements Mother Nature may throw at it.

Each model tends to have its own cover available, and although it may be an added cost, it will prolong the life of your barbecue for years. This is because it will help you to avoid any unnecessary rust from occurring.

Having said that, each BBQ is different, so it’s important to follow the instructions best suited to yours. However, by following these steps, you will be well on the way to ensuring the cleanliness of your piece and your barbecue will be ready for use when the sun makes its next appearance.