First Things First!
So, you’ve finished standing around in your cool BBQ apron cooking up a storm for your party guests. You’ve all had a few drinks, enjoyed chewing-the-fat with great friends and they’ve all dispersed. It’s now dawned upon you that the loathsome job of cleaning your BBQ is next, so that it’s all ready and clean for the next barbie.
However, before you get into cleaning your BBQ grill, there’s a couple of safely precautions we’d like to alert you to.
- Turn off your gas cylinder or close the vents on your kettle BBQ.
- Assure that you’ve waited long enough that any extruding parts of the BBQ (including the lid) are no longer hot enough to burn.
Now that everything is safe we can move onto cleaning your BBQ grill. And your partner will be happy that you won’t appear with scold marks up your arm!
Make Use of Your Dishwasher
It may not completely clean your BBQ grill, but it’s a great way to remove a lot of the built-up grease and grime. Not all BBQ grills will fit in your dishwasher, but many will, especially if they come in parts.
Before placing your BBQ grill in the dishwasher, it’s a good idea to try and removed any large chunks of ash or dirt with a wire brush. This is so your dishwasher drainage outlet doesn’t get clogged. When this happens, any grease still in the dishwasher will just get washed around with the water and make this a pointless exercise.
When placing your grill in the dishwasher, I’d suggest you don’t add cutlery or especially glassware in with the grill. It’s best to have the BBQ grill in the dishwasher alone and then just add regular detergent. If your dishwasher has a ‘Pots n Pans’ cycle, use this setting. The water will rise to a hot temperature and do most of the work, along with the steam that is generated.
This method of cleaning is a great start but may not always clean perfectly. If your grill still requires further cleaning, use warm soapy water with a soft sponge.
Steam Clean Your BBQ Grills
Well, this method it going to consist of you turning your gas cylinder back on. In fact, it’s best that you think about steam cleaning your BBQ (if you’re not putting it in the dishwasher) before finishing up with your BBQ. You will want to keep your coal BBQ alight.
Because you don’t want to have to clean your BBQ whilst you should be entertaining, we’ve got a small trick, like what cooks do in the kitchen with their frying pans.
While a cook will half fill their frying pan with water to loosen the grim on the bottom of the pan, we’ll use a foil drip tray or other small foil tray. First, turn your BBQ back on. Simply place the foil tray over the hottest part of your BBQ such as a burner. Fill slightly with water making sure the tray is under half full.
Place the lid of your BBQ down to seal the area which will now fill with steam from the boiled water. This loosens all the grease and grim on the grill plates. Be careful not to overdo it though. You want everything soft enough to easily wipe clean.
Before you open the lid, make sure that you’ve turned everything off and have waited long enough so the steam has settled a little. Be careful when opening the lid so you do not scold yourself, the steam can be extremely hot.
What Not to Use and Why on your Whole BBQ!
There’s a few tools or items that we recommend you do not use on your BBQ. Here’s a list of items and why you should not use them.
High Pressure Cleaner
One of the worst things you can do is squirt grease into your BBQ burners. This is exactly what can happen if you use a high-pressure water cleaner (don’t even use a garden hose). The grease can solidify inside your burners and affect the flow of the gas when it comes to your next barbecue.
The other side effect from this is that flakes of food or grease can fly off around your garden if using a high-pressure cleaner. This, in turn, can attract the wrong type of animals around your garden, such as rats etc.
If you want your food fresh and tasting of what it is supposed to taste of, steer clear of harsh chemicals as they can leave residue that may affect your food on your next BBQ. It’s also possible that your precious stainless-steel BBQ interior or exterior can be disturbed and ruined as a result.
Steel Wool Brushes
Stainless-steel finished surfaces and steel wool do not mix. You will be left with scratch marks as a result and leave your BBQ looking second rate.
Instead, use non-scratch scrubbing products like what you’d use on your kitchen Teflon frying pan. You may want to try a sample size of scrubbing on the back or base of your BBQ first to see if it will not leave any marks. Then you can go ahead and work on the visible areas making sure to scrub in the direction of the stainless-steel grain.
Anything Else You Need to Know?
Yes! Before you start cooking your next BBQ, light the burners and leave lit for approximately 15 minutes. This gives time to kill any germs that may have embed themselves on your cooking surface. It also scares off any bugs that may have decided to call your BBQ home, especially if you’ve left it for a month or so.
Let us leave you with a great tip that can really help with your grill cleaning. USE GRILL SHEETS! If you’re a traditionalist you may prefer not to use grill sheets, if not, they are the perfect grill protection. Never heard of them? Well now is the time to get to know them.
BBQ grill sheets are made of Teflon and you can buy them relatively cheaply. Roll it out to cover your grill and start cooking. Don’t worry that you will not see the grill marks on your favorite meat, they will still appear. When finished you can simply wipe your BBQ sheet clean. Or in my case, leave them until the next morning. Warm up the BBQ for 2 minutes and wipe them clean with kitchen towel. Obviously too many beers the night beforehand!
These BBQ sheets can be bought at most BBQ stores, many hardware stores and online.
Obviously it goes without saying, that looking after your new barbecue grill requires looking after. Don’t ruin it from day one!