There’s nothing quite like a bit of outdoor cooking to round off a warm and sunny Saturday, but unfortunately BBQ grills do require a little care and maintenance to keep them in good condition. But don’t let this put you off! Cleaning your BBQ is actually much quicker and easier than you may think. Here’s how to clean your BBQ leading into the Summer months:
Burn, Baby, Burn!
The first step to cleaning your BBQ is to make things easier for yourself. There’s no point working harder than you have to! If some meat has stuck to your BBQ grates, don’t try and remove it while it’s still fresh and juicy. Instead, after eating, turn your BBQ back on to high and allow the food to caramelise. It’s much easier to scrub away at burned-on food than it is to try picking off food that’s only just cooked.
Sit Back, Relax, and Scrub!
Resist the urge to get to work straight away… unless you want burnt hands! Take a few minutes to relax while your BBQ cools down, and then start scrubbing away at the grates. You can use a wire brush for this, although many people prefer to use an abrasive pad or even some scrunched up kitchen foil rather than purchasing special equipment. This should remove most of the burnt residue from your BBQ.
Time for the Machines
If you’ve got a smaller BBQ with grates that can easily fit into your dishwasher, there’s no reason why you can’t get the machine to do all the hard work for you. You can also wash plastic and silicone BBQ tools in the dishwasher, too (wooden tools may not always be dishwasher safe – check to be sure!). For larger grates, treat them in the same way you would oven shelves, and soak in the sink to remove grime. To avoid blocked drains, make sure you run hot water down the sink to dislodge any oil that might threaten to stick to the pipes.
Unusual Methods to Try:
If you’ve got some particularly stubborn dirt, grime, or rust that just doesn’t seem budge, don’t panic! This isn’t a sign that you need to throw out your BBQ, it just means you may need to get a little more creative in how you clean it! Here are some of the more unusual cleaning methods that really work:
Vinegar – White vinegar is famous for its cleaning properties, and it’s great at getting out the last of the grease and grime from your BBQ. Dilute with equal parts water, pour a little onto a cloth, and wipe away at the grates. Don’t worry about the smell – it will disappear as the vinegar dries.
Salt – Forget about table salt, we’re talking rock salt or coarsely ground salt flakes here. Salt is a very gentle abrasive, which means it’s great for using to scrub away at burned on foods. Unlike harsh cleaning products, salt is natural, which means it’s perfectly safe to use on a BBQ grill.
Keeping Your BBQ Summer-Ready
As we all know, the British weather can be somewhat unpredictable to say the least, which means we need to be ready to don that apron at just a moment’s notice. To make sure your BBQ is always at the ready, consider purchasing a BBQ cover to keep moisture away and minimise the build up of rust. It’s also a good idea to wash the grates after each use, and keep them, and your BBQ utensils, indoors when not in use. Once that sun is shining, all you need to do is replace the grates and you’re ready to grill.