The weather has been very mixed of late. Beasts from the East, Pests from the West, snow at Easter and plenty of rain.
However, the May bank holiday has just proven to be the hottest since that holiday was introduced in 1978. A few weeks before that, a mini heatwave. Then all that said, it wouldn’t surprise me if we end up back down to 5 degrees and rain next week.
Although, we shouldn’t complain too much about the rain. It has my lawn looking fantastic. And we wouldn’t be British if we didn’t moan a little about the weather I suppose.
I managed to give my lawn it’s first cut of the year just before Easter, plenty of feed down, repaired the patches from the dog, and all that mix of rain and sunshine has really helped.
It is looking great. Mind it needs another cut as I sit here typing. Hopefully we have many more weekends like the early May bank holiday to come.
So with that in mind, I’m planning on getting my gas BBQ out of the garage. Forecast looks OK next weekend and it is the perfect time to give it a bit of a BBQ Spring clean.
Ideally, I would of done this before I put it away but we had so much going on. We moved house, new area, new school for the kids etc. So it was a quick wipe down and into the garage it went.
So whilst it is looking a little grim at the moment, it is nothing I cant get looking as good as new again.
And I’m no expert, so before I tackled it, I thought I’d pull together this article. Look at the best ways to clean a BBQ, pool together some tips and advice from the Lazy Susan team.
We all have our own way of cleaning our BBQ’s, our preferred cleaning products, so in this post I’ll share the benefit of our collected experience.
BBQ Spring Cleaners
However, before we start with the how, I wanted to look at the products we all use here at Lazy Susan for our own BBQ Spring clean.
I have used Oven Pride for the last 7 years or so. Both on my BBQ and my oven in the kitchen. If like me, you tend to put the clean off until your BBQ is in a bit of a state, then this is the product you need.
Keep on top of the cleaning, then this one is a little extreme. However, it does work an absolute treat on removing even the most baked on dirt and grease from the metal cooking grates.
Oven Pride is basically a single use all-in-one deep cleaning system so ideal for a deep BBQ Spring clean.
It will transforms racks and grills as well as the inside of your BBQ, leaving it sparkling clean with next to know effort at all. Zero scrubbing.
The downside is this stuff is strong. You must wear the provided rubber gloves, and be extremely careful using it.
This video shows how easy it is to BBQ Spring clean with it:
The Weber grill cleaning range does exactly what it says on the tin so to speak.
The range includes everything you need for a BBQ Spring clean. From Grill Spray Cleaner and Stainless Steel Polish, to a Grill Scraper, Stain Remover, and Grill Scrubbing Pads.
If you want to keep your BBQ looking and functioning like new then it takes maintenance.
However, as long as you’re not like me, it should only need a little effort to keep it in pristine condition. As long as you clean it after every use.
With Weber’s flexible brush and cookbox scraper you’re off to a good start. That will help you to clean the inside of your BBQ, and get rid of all of the baked on food and grease.
Using their 2-in-1 grate cleaner will make the job much easier, while their Stainless Steel Cleaner is guaranteed to protect and clean the external stainless steel parts of your BBQ.
This is not one I have used personally, but it comes highly recommended by one of my colleagues.
The hardest part of cleaning a BBQ after use is always cleaning the grill. She swears this makes her BBQ Spring Clean a doddle.
The powerful cleaning gel will quickly get rid of caked-on food, carbon, grease and baked-on deposits that can ruin the quality and taste of your BBQ’s.
You just spray it on your grill and grates and the gel clings to surfaces to dissolve grease and grime.
Plus, it doesn’t just clean… It’s biodegradable, will reduce smoke/flare-ups, prevents corrosion and is safe to use on food-prep surfaces.
It’s definitely one I plan on trying this summer!
And last up is HG’s Oven, Grill & BBQ Cleaner. This is the one I use when I do keep on top of the cleaning. Wait until it cools down a bit, give it a good clean with this multi purpose cleaner. It does the grates and BBQ.
For best results with HG, I find it best to clean when the surfaces are still warm but not so hot that you can’t touch them.
Just spray it all over your BBQ, leave it for 3 to 5 minutes for the product to work. Then wipe over the BBQ with a warm damp sponge.
It’s quick and easy to use, and whilst not as strong as say Oven Pride, it will still lift off most dried and baked on grease from your BBQ. As long as its not been left too long or allowed to build up over several BBQ’s.
So that’s the products. What about the how…
Cleaning The Cooking Grates First
This is always the hardest part. It’s easy to list a few products and say how great they are.
However, until you’ve actually had a large BBQ, and you then roll your sleeves up to give that grill a clean, you never know how hard it’s going to be.
It depends on what you’ve cooked, how much, how long for, how long you’ve left the grill after cooking etc. Backed on BBQ marinades for example can be a nightmare.
Cleaning Your BBQ Grates
As I mentioned above, the best thing to do is clean it as soon as you can after use. I appreciate this isn’t always possible, especially if you’re entertaining friends, or you’ve cooked late in the evening etc.
But if you can, leave your BBQ to cool down for around an hour or so. That way it will still be warm, but it’ll be cool enough to touch, and it definitely won’t burn you.
You want the BBQ warm as any grease etc will be much easier to remove. If this is not an option, and you’ve left the BBQ for a while, then turn it on for a bit. Warm it up enough to soften the grease and burnt on food etc.
Start by tackling the cooking grates first. Always the toughest job. Remove them from the BBQ as it is much easier to clean both sides. Plus, you can give them a good scrape and scrub if they need it, without damaging the BBQ itself.
Use one of the spray BBQ grate cleaners listed above or washing up liquid and warm water. Leave the spray to work for the time specified or let them soak in the warm soapy water to degrease and soften any burnt on food.
Once soaked and soft, using a BBQ brush, remove any remaining stubborn bits of food still stuck to the grate. Brush until completely clean. Now all you need to do is leave them to dry in the sun.
This is where Oven Pride makes the job a little easier though. It removes the scrubbing. You just place the grates in a bag with the cleaning solution and leave for a couple of hours.
The grates come out like new. However, it is a highly corrosive substance, so not one some people like to use.
Cleaning A Gas BBQ
Once you’ve cleaned your BBQ grates, it’s time to move on to the main BBQ Spring clean itself.
Type of BBQ, be it gas, charcoal or another is a personal choice. Taste versus convenience I guess. However, the gas BBQ is definitely the easier to clean. For a starter there’s no ash or soot left behind.
Start by turning off the BBQ and safely disconnect the gas bottle. Then spray on a cleaner such as HG’s BBQ Cleaner or Weber’s Stainless Steel Cleaner. Wipe down with a soft soft sponge and warm water, then dry with a soft towel.
Always make sure there is nothing lodged in your gas burners too. This can prevent your BBQ from giving you even heat next time you use it.
BBQ Spring Clean For A Charcoal BBQ
Once you’ve finished your BBQ, unlike the gas BBQ you’ll need to wait a little longer for the coals to cool. Overnight is best.
Don’t be tempted to pour water on the coals too. This will send ash everywhere and give you even more of a mess to clean up.
Clean the grates while they’re still warm, but leave the main body of your BBQ until the coals have fully cooled.
Once the charcoal has been removed, empty any remaining ash and dust into a bin bag. A clean paint brush is the perfect tool for brushing this out.
Again, using a mix of warm water and washing up liquid or one of our recommended BBQ cleaning sprays give the body of your BBQ a really good clean, using a soft bristled brush or sponge. Rinse with water and leave to dry in the sun.
It’s simple but you’d be surprised how many people don’t clean their BBQ’s correctly. Using our tips and recommended products for cleaning your gas and charcoal BBQ’s should hopefully make the job a little easier though.
We all love a BBQ but I’m yet to meet someone who actually likes cleaning them. However, follow our steps and that process should at least require a little less elbow grease.
And if you store your BBQ correctly, it’s always nice to pull a nice clean grill out of the shed that’s ready to use when the sun is shining.