How to get your BBQ Ready for a Sizzling Summer

With our top 5 Tips for the Perfect Barbecue, hopefully you’ve got the culinary side of barbecuing covered already.

What you don’t want, however, is to let a dirty grill go and spoil all that hard work and beautiful organic meat!

Today, Caroline Mann, Category Manager for Outdoor Leisure at Wyevale Garden Centres, shares her advice for cleaning your barbecue to get it ready for the hot weather to come. 

Summer is fast approaching, and it’s set to be another scorcher which is good news for everyone who loves to dine alfresco. Plus, it’s still National BBQ Week, so you have more than enough excuses to crack out the barbecue and get grilling.

Responsible cooks will always make sure they correctly prepare their sausages, burgers, and other meats to reduce the risk of food poisoning. But did you know that keeping your barbecue clean is just as important?

From a health and safety perspective, giving your barbecue a good clean before and after every use is ideal as it helps to kill harmful bacteria. A regular scrub also prevents your barbecue from becoming a fire hazard, as built-up grease, grime, and bits of food can set alight.

Nobody wants to eat from a dirty grill. With that in mind, here’s a step-by-step guide and my tips for cleaning your barbecue properly so you can use it safely all summer long. 

Don’t let rust and grease spoil your day!

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How to clean your barbecue

Barbecue cleaning is probably a lot gentler than most people think, as the harsh chemicals found in heavy-duty cleaning products have the potential to damage the materials your barbecue is made from. Almost all your barbecue cleaning can be done with just hot, soapy water. Some people even rub half an onion over dirty barbecues as a non-toxic cleaning method!

Step 1: Start by removing any large debris with a brush or even a balled-up piece of tin-foil. It’s best to check the manufacturer’s guidelines for suggested scrubbing methods, as some tools could potentially damage the coating on your barbecue.

Step 2: Remove any grates and soak them in hot, soapy water while you clean the rest of your barbecue. If you have a gas barbecue, you could try turning the heat up full for ten minutes or so to turn the dirt into ash, which is easier to remove once the barbecue has cooled. Remember to disconnect from the gas supply before you start cleaning and, if you have a charcoal barbecue, dispose of leftover coal and ashes in household waste — never compost them.

Step 3: Scrape any lumps and grease into the drip tray and wash it with soapy water, then get right into burners, nooks, and crannies with pipe cleaners to prevent grime accumulating in these hard-to-reach places. With lidded barbecues, placing boiling water in a tray underneath the lid can help shift stubborn build-up with hot steam, which is good for reaching places that you can’t. 

Step 4: Scrub the entire grill with a brush, scouring pad, or whatever the manufacturers guide suggests, then rinse and wipe with a soapy cloth to get rid of as much burnt-on food as you can.

Step 5: Make sure that every part of your barbecue is thoroughly rinsed and dried before you reassemble it. Don’t forget to clean the exterior, too, to keep things looking good and protect your barbecue from rust. Again, soap and water should do the trick. 

Remember to keep an eye out for rust

Rust can be a serious threat to our barbecues as it can cause parts of the metal to wear and break apart. It can even crumble onto our food, which isn’t dangerous but can be unpleasant, so it’s a good idea to take steps to keep rust at bay. Of course, regular cleaning is a big help, but afterwards try using a cloth to apply a coat of vegetable oil to your barbecue to protect it from rust. 

Severe cases can be treated with rust remover and a hard scrub with some sandpaper, but baking powder and lemon juice that has been mixed into a paste can be an equally effective food-safe option for getting rid of rust that has already taken hold.

Barbecue maintenance is important for cooks concerned with health, safety, and keeping rust at bay. By following the steps above, you can make sure your barbecue is kept clean and ready for the summer months.