June 3rd, 2021 by
Barbecues are a great way to cook food in the warmer months when we can get into the garden. They’re not only good for parties with family and friends; they’re an easy alternative for a mid-week dinner – throw on some chicken breasts and some corn on the cob and serve with a quick salad. However, the downside of the barbecue is getting it clean again. Fatty meats, sticky marinades, and smoking coals can all make quite the mess.
Cleaning and maintaining your BBQ is Don’t worry though, as what seems like a dirty job is actually much easier than you think if you know a few cleaning hacks.
Top tip: if possible, start the cleaning process after use when the grill is cool enough not to burn you but still slightly warm as this will make the job easier.
1. Cleaning the grill
The grill is obviously the dirtiest area of the BBQ as it’s in direct contact with both the flames and the food. You can clean it in situ on the BBQ or remove it (only if completely cooled). There are a number of things you can use for this. If still warm, lay on some wet newspaper and close the lid to give it a steam clean – this will loosen up the dirt on the grill and the inside of the lid. A common DIY solution is also to rub a halved onion over the grill, which will help pick up a lot of the dirt while using the onion’s natural antibacterial properties to good effect.
If cold, you can clean it with a range of substances from ketchup, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, or a specifically formulated product such as BBQ Blitz. You can even remove it and soak it in coffee, which will loosen burnt on grime.
Use a brush, scourer, or even some scrunched up foil to scrub the bars. Remember to clean both sides as the underside will still have any food or grease that has dripped through, as well as smoke marks.
2. Cleaning the inside of the BBQ
With the grill removed, you can tackle the inside of the BBQ. Coals don’t necessarily need to be changed every time (depending on condition) but you can still brush away any splatters from the walls of the barbecue and give them a good wipe over with some of the items mentioned above.
If you are cleaning it out for its first use of the season or getting it ready to put away for the winter, remove any coals and ash and dispose of them safely. Give the inside a really good scrub and, while the household items mentioned can all do a decent job, the BBQ Blitz is probably the best product for a good deep clean.
3. Cleaning the lid
While the lid won’t see the same amount of grime and grease as other parts, it will still be subject to splashes and spatters from the cooking process. The last thing you want is to clean the grill, only to close it up and have dirt drop down from the inside of the lid. Using the newspaper steam method, as outlined in item 1, will really help loosen dirt on the inside of the lid as well as the grill or you can clean as per other parts.
Don’t forget to wipe over the outside of the lid as well. This may not be in direct contact with the cooking area, but the handle will no doubt have been touched many times and it’s also the area exposed to the elements.
4. Fire it up again
This is a step that many won’t think to do. By lighting the BBQ on again where feasible (for gas BBQs this is easy, but coal BBQs may require new coals), you will just burn off any substances you’ve used to clean it. If you don’t want to do this at the end of the cleaning process, just let the flames burn for a while before putting any food on when you come to use it again next time.
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