How to clean your barbecue

How to clean the barbecue

If you're planning on enjoying a barbecue this weekend, but haven't given it a thorough clean for a while, here are some tips to get it back in great condition.

  • While the barbecue is still warm from your last use, scrape off all the larger bits of food. Try spraying with cooking oil and then turn it up high for a few minutes to burn off all the excess.
  • Heat the grill up high and 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.
  • Once it has cooled, mild soap or dishwashing liquid and warm water should be all you need. Avoid harsh chemicals which can leave a residue (affecting taste) and harm stainless steel.
  • For stubborn stains on stainless steel, rub only in the direction of the grain of the steel. Try to avoid abrasive scrubbers (such as steel wool and wire brushes) as they can contaminate the finish and encourage rust. Opt for the same brush you would use on your non-stick pans, or barbecue wipes. You can also put your grills and plates in your dishwasher using the pots setting.
  • Rather than allowing your grill to drip dry, rinse off the soapy water then dry immediately.
  • Use a stainless steel polish to protect the plate from corrosion.
  • Clean out the drip tray and reline with aluminium foil, then cover with fat absorber.
  • Do not use kitty litter or sand, which may cause rusting or bad odours.
  • Before closing up the barbecue, lightly coat the cooking side of the grills and plate with canola oil or a cooking spray to prevent rusting. Do not use olive oil, butter or margarine.
  • Don't pull your barbecue completely apart. Try to keep the gas components in place as reassembling them incorrectly creates a safety hazard.
  • If the small burner holes are clogged, use a paper clip or small metal skewers to gently clean the blockage. Take care not to push it inside the burner.
  • Avoid high pressure washers - they can drive grease into unwanted places, such as inside the burners.
  • Next time you use your barbecue, pre-heat for at least 15 minutes. This will let any residue burn off and season the grill and plate.