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How to clean a BBQ the best way

Our expert advice on how to clean a BBQ includes everything you'll ever need to know about keeping your barbie spick and span.

With UK temperatures soaring and solar-powered people ready to cook up a storm on their barbies, how to clean a BBQ after you’ve grilled your burgers and bangers is a good question.

What’s the best way to spruce it up after you remove the cobweb-infested waterproof sleeve it’s been hiding under for the last 11 months? What if you don’t have a waterproof sleeve and it’s rustier than a nail in a monsoon?

Read on for all the answers to these pressing questions. Our expert advice on how to clean a BBQ includes everything you’ll ever need to know about keeping your barbie spick and span.

Make sure you use the following advice to clean your BBQ after you’ve turned off the gas.

The best way to clean a BBQ

There are several good ways to clean a barbeque, depending on the level of grime and the make of your grill. However, there’s one tool every serious grill master needs in their arsenal, and that’s the humble wire brush.

Want to know how to clean with a BBQ wire brush? We’re glad you’re curious. Here’s how to use this handy tool for various cleaning tasks.

How to clean a BBQ grill

Most grill masters put their meat straight onto the grill, which is what gives your food all that lovely BBQ flavour. However, with great taste comes great grease, and grills are particularly prone to grease burns, burnt fat, and caked-on food residue.

As a result, most cleaning tools aren’t fit to tackle this kind of stubborn grime, which is where a metal or stainless steel wire brush comes into its own.

Let your BBQ cool down (but not completely) before you get started, then scrub the surface with your wire brush to remove any residue. We always recommend avoiding washing up liquid on cast iron grills as it damages the coating and reduces its effectiveness.

Instead, fashion a cleaning paste using baking soda, salt and a few drops of water until you reach a thick consistency.

Afterwards, apply your mixture to the grill and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Afterwards, scrub using your wire brush and follow it up with a sponge or cloth until your grill is sparkling again.

Dry with a paper towel or leave it to air dry in the summer heat.

How to clean a BBQ griddle/plate

Plates and griddles are used over BBQs to cook food that needs an even heat distribution, such as vegetables, eggs, halloumi etc. BBQ griddles or plates are usually flat, smooth, and removable, and therefore require a slightly different (yet easier) cleaning method:

  1. Remove your griddle/plate after you’ve finished cooking immediately
  2. Fill up a bucket with warm soapy water
  3. Place the griddle or plate straight into the bucket
  4. Use a sponge with a scouring side to thoroughly clean the surface
  5. Use a stronger scourer if needed
  6. For more stubborn stains, add a measure of laundry powder to the water and leave the griddle to soak for an hour
  7. Scrub again, rinse, and dry
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How to clean a BBQ after use with natural methods

Although household products and chemical cleaning agents are used to clean stubborn grime, there are several natural hacks you can try to clean your BBQ after use.

Let’s look at how to clean a BBQ grill naturally.

Method one: Spray on a vinegar solution

  1. Add a cup of vinegar to a spray bottle and top it up with water.
  2. Generously spray the mixture over your grill once it’s cooled down and leave to soak.
  3. Then, instead of using a wire brush, screw up some aluminium foil and rub the ball across your grill.
  4. This should scrape the grime right off!

Method two: Steam your grill

  1. Fill up a metal, heat-proof tray with water and boil it on the grill with the BBQ lid shut. The steam will dislodge the grease, which makes it easier to clean.
  2. Turn off the gas and wear some gloves so you can immediately use a scrubbing brush or scourer to thoroughly clean your entire BBQ.
  3. If needs be, remove the griddle and hotplates and pop them in your dishwasher.

Method three: Use beer as a natural cleaning agent

While your grill is still warm (and the gas is off), pour on half a bottle of beer, coating the greasy grates.

The effervescence and alcohol will break down any oil or grease stains, making them easy to scrub off with a wire brush.

Or avoid this method and drink the beer instead, up to you!

Method four: Try an onion

Onions are complex with layers and enzymes that break down oil, grease, and fat. Simply cut a white onion in half, stick it on the end of your fork, and rub it all over your warm grill. Repeat until the grill is easy to clean with your wire brush.

How to deep clean a BBQ

When people want to know how to clean a BBQ after winter, it’s usually because it’s suffering from rust. However, this method is good to use on any BBQ you want to deep clean.

How to clean a bbq grill with rust

Humidity, rain, and general wear and tear all contribute to the corrosion of steel or cast iron plates. Although rust is preventable with waterproof sleeves, maintenance and some special coatings, sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Keep in mind that harsh chemicals aren’t a good idea due to the fact you’re cooking on a BBQ and don’t want to run the risk of ingesting potentially poisonous substances.

Before you get started, add the following items to your arsenal:

  • Wire brush
  • Metal scraper
  • Baking soda
  • Cooking oil
  • Paper towels
  • Grill stone cleaning block

Once you’re equipped, follow these steps:

One: Fire up the BBQ

Let your grill and plates heat up to help loosen any dirt. Leave for around 20 mins until it’s up to temperature, then turn off the gas and leave to cool slightly.

Two: Use your metal tools to remove corrosion

While the plate is bone-dry, use your wire brush and scraper to scrape off as much rust and dirt as possible. When you’re done, wipe down the surface with a paper towel to remove the debris.

Three: Repeat if there’s still a lot of corrosion left on the plate

Consider adding some baking soda, which will bubble up and help dislodge more stubborn areas of rust. Once the fizz stops, turn off your BBQ and scape down the grill again.

Four: Rub on some cooking oil

Pour some cooking oil (any brand will do!) on the grill and/or plate and rub with a stone cleaning block. This should remove all traces of rust.

Five: Wipe down the surface

Use your paper towels to wipe down the surface to reveal a rust-free grill ready to welcome food. If there’s any leftover rust, simply add more cooking oil, scrub, and wipe down again.

How to clean a BBQ with mould

The best way to get rid of mould is to use some bleach. Add some to a bucket of hot water (1/4 cup of bleach to 4 1/2 litres of water) and mix well. Take a scouring pad or sponge with a scouring element, dip it in the solution, and wipe down the part of your BBQ suffering from mould to remove it. Leave to soak for more stubborn areas.

For a more food-friendly alternative, use baking soda and water to make a paste. Distribute evenly and leave on for half an hour before scrubbing clean.

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Do you need to clean a BBQ after every use?

Absolutely! To increase your BBQ’s longevity, clean it down and scrape off any dirt every time you use it. Wondering how often you should deep clean a BBQ? It depends on how much it’s used. If you’re throwing shrimp on the barbie every day, a weekly deep clean is advised.

What’s the best thing to clean a BBQ with?

Grill cleaning stones and wire brushes are the best tools to use, while BBQ cleaners and the aforementioned natural methods are the most recommended cleaning agents.

Can you clean a BBQ with a pressure washer?

Most residential power washers on a low setting are great for cleaning your BBQ. However, think ‘safety first’ and test the power setting against a wall before you send your BBQ all the way to Kansas. If you do opt to power wash your BBQ, make sure you thoroughly dry it afterwards to avoid rust.

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