How to clean your barbecue
If you have invested in a good quality barbecue, then it pays to take care of it. Despina Sierra, cooking product manager cooking at BeefEater Barbecues shares some tips on cleaning your barbecue to ensure safe and effective use:
1. Soap Up – Once the barbecue has cooled down, remove the grills and immerse in warm soapy water. Scrub the bars gently with a regular kitchen scrubbing brush to avoid damaging the surface of the grill.
2. Towel Dry – Rather than allowing your grill to drip dry, rinse off the soapy water then dry immediately.
3. Oil Up – Spray with a light coat of vegetable oil to protect the surface of the grill.
4. Tray Clean – Scrape out any fat and residue from the drip tray and put in the bin (rather than the sink as it can clog the drain). Remove the tray and wash in warm soapy water.
5. Equipment – Use a stiff wire scrubbing brush to remove any hardened residue and then a regular kitchen brush for the rest. A mild detergent will suffice, to avoid damaging the surface of the grill. You can also purchase specialist barbecue cleaning equipment from most barbecue retailers and hardware stores.
Finally – if you haven’t cleaned the barbecue since the last time, then use the ‘bake off’ method. The high temperatures of barbecue cooking is what gives the food its delicious flavour, but cooking with high temperatures releases juices and fat from meat that can stick and splash which can take some time to clean off, especially if left.
1. Turn up the Heat – heat the grill to full heat. If you have a solid fuel barbecue, throw on the charcoal and wait until red hot.
2. Wait-a-while – put the lid on and run burners on high for five minutes. Turn off the burners and keep the lid closed for 15-20 minutes. This will bake off any hardened grime and food particles.
3. Scrub Away – wait for the barbecue to cool down then follow the instructions as per above, starting with removing resistant food stains and residue with a wire brush.
Rather than leaving the barbecue to clean until the next time, Despina advises cleaning straight after each meal. Just like the cooktop, microwave or oven in your home, the barbecue is much easier to clean after a meal than if left, when cooking splashes and food residue can become hard and caked-on. It also means you are more likely to enjoy a spontaneous barbecue the next time you feel like it, if you know you don’t need to clean it before you click the ignition.
When the barbecue has completely cooled down, close the lid or hood to keep the cooking surface dry and rust free. The most important accessory for keeping up the appearance of your barbecue is a good quality barbecue cover. Ensure the barbecue is completely cool before covering with a barbecue cover.
Despina’s top tip – add some zest! Heat the grill up high then rub two halves of lemons dipped in salt into the grill surface. The acidity and abrasiveness in the salted lemons will break down any stubborn fat and grease to make light work of cleaning.