How to Clean a BBQ in 8 Steps

There’s nothing like having a cold beer in hand while you’re flipping burgers on the BBQ. But if you want to keep that grill clean and bacteria-free, it helps to know how to properly clean it. Clean BBQs last longer and prevent the build-up of carcinogens, which can affect your health.

If your BBQ grill has been neglected through the winter, it may take a little elbow grease to get it looking spic and span. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these easy steps on how to clean a BBQ.

BBQ Cleaning Materials & Supplies

  • BBQ scraper or Steel Wool
  • Sponge
  • Wire brush
  • Paper Towel
  • Bucket of Soapy water
  • Vinegar and Baking soda

Step 1 – Heat and Steam up Your BBQ

Before turning the heat up, place a stainless steel container with water and place it inside your BBQ. The steam created will help loosen any baked-on food and make the cleaning process easier. Turn on your BBQ for 15 minutes on low heat, and then let it cool down.

Cleaning a BBQ is easier and more efficient when it’s hot as it carbonises any food debris and grease. This process also spares your grill brush from general wear and tear, increasing its lifespan.

Step 2 – Scrape off Grime from Your Grates

With a steamy interior, you’re now ready to start scraping off the gunk. Remove your cast iron grill grates and submerge them into a bucket of dishwashing soap and water. Next, use a BBQ scraper or grill brush to scrape off the loosened dirt and debris.

If you don’t have dishwashing liquid, you can smear your grates with a paste made from vinegar and baking soda. The vinegar’s acidity and baking soda’s abrasiveness will help break down any built-up food residue. When scrubbing, be sure to do so in the direction of the grill grates to avoid scratching them.

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Step 3 – Clean your BBQ Hotplates

Take out your BBQ hotplates and scrub excess fat with soapy water and a sponge or steel wool. Once clean, disinfect with a vinegar and water mixture or a commercial kitchen disinfectant. Finally, rinse your hotplates and put them to one side.

Step 4 – Vacuum your BBQ’s Interior

Place a box underneath the BBQ to catch any falling debris. Now use a vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment to clean the interior of your charcoal grill. To ensure you clean reach every nook and cranny, use a thin metal object such as a butter knife to help dislodge any built-up food.

Step 5 – Wash your Drip Tray

Remove and submerge your dip tray into a bucket of soapy water for 30 minutes. After soaking, give your dip trays a good scrub with a metal scraper or steel wool to remove charcoaled food. With the food chunks removed, you can now remove fat and grime with a soapy sponge.

Find out the similarities and differences of cleaning a BBQ and an oven here.

Step 6 – Scrub the Rest of Your BBQ’s Interior

Depending on your BBQ, you may need a little elbow grease to clean the remaining areas. Use a brush or sponge with hot soapy water to clean the side panels, front and back of your BBQ. The steam created from the hot water earlier will help loosen any stuck-on food, making the cleaning process easier.

Once everything is clean, rinse off all the suds and give your BBQ a final wipe down with a paper towel. Proceed to spray your hotplates with a light coating of cooking oil and reattach them with your grates to your BBQ.

Step 7 – Check Your Gas Burners

Burners have a series of ports that allow gas to flow and ignite. However, ports can be clogged by food drippings, causing gas to flow unevenly. This can not only make your BBQ difficult to light but also unsafe.

To clean your gas burners, ensure the gas supply is off and use a wire brush to remove any deposits. This should restore your burners back to their original condition.

Step 8 – Clean its Exterior

Now that your BBQ is clean, it’s a good time to give the exterior a quick wipe down. This will help keep it presentable and prevent any dirt or grease from building up.

Use a mild detergent, water mixture, and non-abrasive cloth to clean off your BBQ. For more challenging spots, use a soft bristle brush. After, wipe away soapy residue from your BBQ and allow it to air dry. Finally, spray with a stainless steel cleaner and polish to give your BBQ the sparkling finish it deserves.

Now that your BBQ is clean, it’s ready to be used for many more cookouts! As always, be sure to take precautions such as keeping a fire extinguisher nearby and never leave your BBQ unattended.

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Tips to Keep Your BBQ Clean

Like any other piece of equipment, BBQs need periodic cleaning and maintenance to maintain peak performance. Here are a few tips to help keep your BBQ clean and functioning well:

Buy a BBQ cover: This will help prevent dirt and dust from building up on your BBQ when it’s not in use.

Frequent Cleaning: Clean your BBQ’s interior every three months and exterior once a month. Users who grill frequently should spot clean after every use. Gas burners, meanwhile, should be brushed down once a month.

Store Cleaning Materials Closeby: Keep all of your BBQ cleaning materials in a designated spot so they’re permanently close at hand when needed.

Always Oil Spray Your Hotplates – A generous spray ensures food doesn’t stick during grilling and makes for easier cleaning next time.

Well, there you have it! How to clean a BBQ in 8 easy steps. BBQ cleaning may seem daunting at first, but it can be a breeze with these simple steps. So get out there and start cooking up some delicious barbeque!

Planning on cleaning the rest of your kitchen as well? Make sure to check out the following guides:

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