The Easy Way to Clean a BBQ
It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s that super social way to cook food, but then comes the downer. Barbecues need to be cleaned and not many would list this as their favourite task but If you want a long life out of your barbecue there is no shirking the task, it is a case of rolling up the sleeves, rubber gloves on, and getting stuck in. With the best intentions most people would aim to clean up after every barbie bash but even if you do wipe over each time, a real good spruce up once every so often will ensure you get the best tastes, whatever your outdoor culinary fortes are. Here are some simple tips which will ensure your barbecue is all ready to start trying sizzling again.
Grills on any barbecue are the items needing the most attention, they take the main brunt of the cooking and the best way of cleaning them is while they are still slightly warm after cooking when any residues are softer and easier to scrape off. If cleaning is going to interrupt the party swing however, then a little more effort may be required. For gas barbecues, before scrubbing and scraping begins, put the heat on for a short time, (make sure it’s not too hot) to loosen unwanted gritty bits, other types can be soaked in warm water. Cleaners, pads or grill stones (a flexible pumice type stone) can help you eliminate the more obstinate debris. Before cooking begins next time, a little oil on the grills creates something similar to a non-stick cooking surface and will most certainly make the clean-up job easier.
If there is an internal oven to your barbecue this becomes as simple as cleaning a standard oven. Cleaning fluids can be left on for a few minutes prior to wiping out the insides and always check on the instructions to ensure it is used on the right type of surface. If using charcoal remove old coals and wipe out the insides with a soft cloth and apply cleaner for more dried or burnt food bits. Lava rocks need to be placed upside down so fats can drain off under a hot grill, catching the excess grease on a piece of foil, if cracked, consider replacing them with the easier to clean porcelain briquettes.
Gas barbecue burners and inner steel tubes should be removed, and soak in warm soapy water with a twist of lemon and vinegar before using a steel or wire brush to reach the smaller crevices to clear out any blocked nozzles. It is worth noting if you see a brighter bluish flame, it can indicate there are still blockages and a more intense clean may be needed. Refer to your manual for safe removal of any parts before doing any of these inner inspections and make sure all connections are turned off.
As barbecues live their natural lives outside, check for insects and grit which may have become trapped in between burners and more intricate parts. Natural elements and dust both inside and out may need cleaning off, particularly if it is in a sea location. If your barbecue is not covered all these will certainly lead to corrosion or even rust build up. Winter may have sent your barbecue into hibernation, so wipe down surfaces with stainless steel cleaning products or if it has a wooden surround, use a little oil to brighten it up and your barbecue will now be ready for action and more importantly, ready for experimentation of any new recipes you have collected.