Barbecues are so much fun, whether you’re going solo and making yourself a delicious hot dog just because you can or you’re celebrating in style with a bunch of friends and hideous amounts of food! The only trouble is, once you’ve enjoyed the culinary delights there is the state of the barbecue to deal with – burned-on food, mess everywhere from all the sauces, grimy grills, and mucky surfaces.
Luckily for you we have some top tips for making cleaning your barbecue simple, quick and effective. So whether you intend to keep your barbecue alight all winter or want to give it a thorough clean before tucking it behind the deckchair in the shed until spring time, get ready to clean it the easy way.
Grease the grill
Before you begin cooking, lightly coat the barbecue grill in some cooking oil. This helps prevent the food from burning and sticking to the grill – and makes cleaning it afterwards so much easier.
Not that we’re encouraging you to wolf down your burger or guzzle your grilled salmon but the sooner you’re able to clean the barbecue the easier it will be. Ideally, clean the grill while it’s still warm and the food and sticky stuff haven’t had time to totally harden.
The good news is that the barbecue grill stays warm for a while, and you want it to have cooled down sufficiently so it’s not too hot to handle, so you should have ample time to eat your food at a leisurely pace before tackling the cleaning!
When the barbecue has cooled completely, empty the ashes from the kettle and brush away any loose particles, wiping it clean with some kitchen roll. Clean the inside of the lid and exterior surfaces with a damp cloth before leaving to dry or wiping dry.
Invest in a wire brush
A good wire brush can save you lots of time and effort when it comes to scrubbing barbecue grills. Brush the grill thoroughly after use, in warm water, and you’ll have the burned and sticky bits off in no time.
Soak if stubborn
If your barbecue grill is looking really filthy and would benefit from a deep-down clean, leave it to soak in some hot soapy water for a while – this helps loosen even the most stubborn and hard-to-reach patches. You should then be able to clean the grill using a wire brush.
Little and often
Tempting as it is to think you’ll skip on cleaning the barbecue just this once, be good and clean after every cooking session. Not only will this ensure you’re eating food that has been cooked on a clean surface but the food will taste nicer too – and the next clean will be that bit easier as you haven’t got the really-hardened-on food stuffs on the grill or built-up charcoal ash to contend with!
Store it well
When not in use, make sure your barbecue is protected from the cold weather and elements. Either place your cleaned barbecue in a shed or garage, or wrap it in a barbecue cover to keep it clean and sheltered.