Barbecues: how to clean and maintain
It is important to clean your barbecue at the end of the season, and also at the start. Your barbecue will last longer and food will taste fresher.
- Clean your barbecue grill after each use rather than letting residual food and grease build up.
- Oil the surface of the grill with a suitable vegetable oil to rust at bay and the grill in a good condition.
- Turn up the heat on the grill and let the residual food burn off. This doesn't clean your grill completely but it loosens up stuck-on food making cleaning easier.
- When the barbecue is hot, pour vegetable oil over the grill or plate and use a barbecue spatula to scrape off any residual food.
- When the barbecue is warm, use a wire brush or crumpled up aluminium foil to scrub off. This allows cleaning the hard-to-reach areas on the grate that might've been missed as well as removing grit and grime. Use paper towels to wipe down the surface. Be careful not to touch the surface and use long-handled tongs to hold the scouring pad or aluminium foil.
- For stuck on material you can use a mild abrasive cleaner and a little elbow grease! Be sure to wipe the surface down to remove all residues of the cleaner. For really tough build up, it will help to soak the grate in water for a few hours beforehand.
- Cut an onion in half and rub the onion face-down on a heated grill - it helps to remove the build up on the grill or plate. This will impart a slight onion flavour on the cooking surface so if you don't like the taste of onion, you may want to avoid this tip!
- Use baking soda - make a paste by combining equal amounts of baking soda and water. With a wire brush, apply the paste on your barbecue grate and let is dry for 20 minutes. Remove the paste with a dry cloth. Remember to burn off any residual paste before cooking.
- Once a season, give your barbecue a deeper clean by using strong dishwashing liquid - make soapy water and use a wet sponge to wash off leftover food and grease. Follow this up with a non-soapy sponge to remove any dishwashing liquid from the cooking surface.
- Don't forget the rest of the barbecue - the body around the grill also gets a bit of build-up. Use hot soapy water or a baking soda / vinegar mix with a sponge to clean off grease and food that has spilled over. And clean out any drip trays on a regular basis too.
Please note: every barbecue is different, so it is wise to refer to the user manual for specific cleaning instructions.