Summer’s finally here, and at Cosy Home we’re thinking about dragging out the trusty barbecue and getting to grips with all that tempting summer food – chargrilled vegetables, marinated meats and fish skewers.
The first step, though, is to remove all the spiders, dust and associated debris that always seem to accumulate over the winter! Here’s our lowdown on cleaning your barbecue ready to use again this summer.
Top barbecue cleaning tips
As a starting point, keep in mind that you should never use harsh or chemical cleaners such as oven cleaner, as these leave a residue which can taint food as well as damaging the barbecue itself.
Ideally, you will have cleaned the barbecue at the end of last summer before putting it away. But if you forgot (or never got around to it), you’ll still be able to get a good result now with a little extra elbow grease. If you’ve got a lidded barbecue, there’s a shortcut you can use.
Take an old metal dish (metal pie plates are ideal), half fill it with water and put it on the grill. For a gas barbecue put it over one of the burner jets, and for a conventional barbecue put it over the heat source.
Light the gas and or use a couple of charcoal bricks and some kindling to make a heat source, let the barbecue heat until the water comes gently to the boil and close the lid for a few minutes to let the inside steam clean. When opening the lid, be very careful as steam may rush out and scald.
Turn off the gas jet first and stand behind the lid as much as you can, and let the unit cool down to just warm before cleaning it.
Now for the elbow grease.
Use a wire brush to remove as much debris as possible, then use a pan scourer and some washing up liquid to clean the grill and inside of the lid. If the grill isn’t too big, you could also try running it through the dishwasher. You can also buy special scrubbing stones for really caked-on dirt.
If your gas barbecue has a removable grease tray, take this out, scrape out any fat residue and clean the tray with washing up liquid and hot water.
Once dry, line it with foil and grease absorbing granules (available from BBQ suppliers or online) to make the job simpler next time. Don’t take the burners apart unless it’s recommended by the manufacturer, just clean them with a damp cloth.
Now, tackle the outside. Brush off any loose dirt (and dead spiders) with a soft brush, wipe the whole thing with hot water with a squeeze of washing up liquid added them use a soft cloth to dry. Don’t use pan scourers or anything abrasive, as this can scratch enamel surfaces.
If your barbecue is mounted on a wooden trolley, now’s the time to treat it with wood preservative as well. Refer to the manufacturers’ instructions for what to use, as some products are flammable and not suitable for use near heat.
Finally, put everything back together and spray the grill with cooking oil to make it easier to clean next time. If you don’t already have one, barbecue covers are a great investment for keeping everything clean (we can’t guarantee it will stop the spiders though, sorry).
Now all that’s left to do is put on your apron and break out the sausages – hurrah!
By Sara Walkerby