Buying a new barbecue is a task that should not be done in haste. It’s important to select the right grill for your needs, to know what you want it to do and be sure you’ve chosen the correct size and set-up. Most people know this. Where they make a mistake is in caring for the barbecue once it’s home and established on their porch.
Modern barbecues come in a range of materials that require different cleaners and techniques to keep their surfaces clean and well-maintained. It is probably a good idea to research options through a reputable site like Ziegler & Brown at zieglerandbrown.com.au/ for a better understanding of the different barbecue materials and their maintenance requirements. But as a general rule, here a few tips to help care for your outdoor grill.
Use steam to keep it clean
Like any cooking utensil, the longer you leave the remains of the cooked food to cool and congeal, the harder it is going to be to clean it off. Ideally, you should clean you hot plate immediately after you have finished cooking; certainly before the barbecue has cooled down. The problem with this is most barbecues are used in a party atmosphere, and to clean immediately would mean ignoring your guests.
Try this steam cleaning method. After cooking, leave one burner on low before quickly brushing the larger bits of food away. Then place a tin of water on the still hot grill before closing the lid. This will generate steam that will keep the food residue soft until you can get back to it after the guests have gone.
Clean all over
The hot plate is the most obvious area of a barbecue that needs cleaning after use but remember there are other areas that gather oil, grease, dust and dirt. Failure to keep these areas clean will shorten the life of your grill.
Remove any remaining food with with mild soap and warm water. If you have some baked on material, it is okay to use a nylon brush by rubbing in the direction of the grain. Do not use steel wool. This will damage the plate and cause it to rust. Be careful when you get to the burners under the plate. These can be easily damaged. Mostly, all they will need is a wipe down with a soapy cloth. However, check each burner outlet for any blockage. If fat or other material is wedged in the holes, carefully remove it with a skewer, paper clip or other suitable object.
Finally, wipe down the outside of the barbecue with a damp, soapy cloth. If you do this each time you use the grill, this will be the easiest part of the cleaning operation.
Cover when not in use
The purchase of a waterproof barbecue cover is a wise investment, especially if your grill is regularly exposed to the elements. The cover will protect your cooker from sun damage, rain, dust and dirt.
If you do these simple cleaning tasks every time you use your grill, you will be ahead of the game in keeping you barbecue on the path to a long life, and make the end-of-party wash down much easier.