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Barbecue World’s Lifehacks and Best Ways to Clean Your Barbecue

You’ve spent all spring and summer grilling on that grill of yours and the moment you’ve been dreading is here, it’s time to clean your barbecue. We know you don’t really want to, so we have come up with the best ways to clean your barbecue. National headlines have reported on several incidents of dangerous cleaning tools and practices when it comes to properly cleaning your barbecue especially with regards to bushes with stray and loose bristles. Barbecue World has safe cleaning materials like the Grate Grill Scrubber from Weber which has no bristles and the CSA approved Stainless Bristle Brushes and Wood Scrapes from Brushtech (which when either of these is used with the 100% Canadian Made Food Safe BBQ & Grill Degreaser makes life easier to do your annual cleaning). We want to make sure that every meal is safe for all of our Barbecue World community, so check out our Accessories section the next time you stop by.

The leaves are almost into full fall mode and the nights are already getting nippy, for some of us this is the signaling of the end of barbecuing season, which means time to clean stuff up before the snow sets in. Unless that is you grill all year round, then in which case this would be your mid year cleaning, or so we hope. Depending on the use you have subjected your barbecue to you are going to either spend a little time cleaning it or you will spend a good portion of a morning or afternoon cleaning it.

If there is one thing that is very important when it comes to grilling its keeping your grill well maintained and clean throughout your usage. Now if you are like me and you’re busy, and perhaps a tab bit lazy, this is certainly the article for you. Most of us have families, significant others and other activities that usually prevent us from cleaning our grills, it is after all on top of your to do list after cleaning your oven and windows.

After having read through numerous articles detailing the best ways to really get out all the gunk from your grill I came to the conclusion that its going to be a pain one way or another; the question is going to come down to: what have you been doing to lessen the mess up to get you grill ready for winter grilling?

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Avoiding cleaning your barbecue isn’t recommended

Gas grills for example were built with a long lifespan in mind, but its cut short if burners are clogged with grease, oil, marinades and food stuffs. These can in turn lead to mini flare ups and fires as well as to rust, which kills your cooking and eventually your grill. If you own a gas grill you should:

  • Regularly check for fuel leaks
  • Cover your grill from the elements
  • Routinely clean your grill

Most experts will tell you only need to do a real deep clean once, tops twice a year, so don’t go overboard, we want you to enjoy grilling not get turned off by it.

Useful tips always include:

  • Spot cleaning after each use.
  • Brushing the grates clean.
  • Wiping down the exterior with a cleaning product like Windex, or an exterior grill cleaner, stainless cleaner and polish.
  • An expert tip is to turn up your grill to max for 15-20 minutes once a week, scrape off the burnt gunk and residues and you’re good to go.

When it comes to a bigger cleaning you only need a good grill brush like the Brass Brush from BrushTech, a bucket of soapy water, another empty bucket or container for the debris and greasy gunk, and an old sponge that you don’t ever plan on using again.

  • Give the grates an extra good scrub with your brush.
  • Brush the grime off of your burners
  • DO NOT REMOVE THE BURNERS (Unless you like courting problems).
  • But if you are ambitious, remove burners and deep clean using a Venturi tube cleaner.
  • Get rid of the nasty stuff that accumulated at the bottom. (tip: a shop vac works great for this!)
  • Put your grill back together without parts and pieces to spare. We don’t mean rebuild it!

Try changing your habits when you’re done cooking

Give your grill and grill accessories a quick scrub with your brush to remove the bigger residues (if you can remember to in the mad dash to getting the food to the table). Jon from our Kanata location gave a simple solution to getting out tough food. Jon said to take an old pie tin or foil pan (everyone has a few lying around), fill it with water and you place it over one of the burners.  Turn on just one burner and make it only hot enough to make the water inside slowly boil, and then close the lid. Think steam cleaning here, this is working smarter not harder, we’re all about that. Don’t overdo it, as you want just enough steam to keep everything soft until you get a chance to clean it, which will be much easier because the food stuck on has been completely loosened by the steam.  Be careful!  Steam can cause scalding, so turn off the burner and wait a bit for the steam to dissipate before opening the lid.

What Not to Do Under Any Circumstances:

  • Never use bleach or cleaners containing bleach
  • Never use metal or steel wool to scour stainless steel. The residue left behind by the metal or steel wool will show as rust.
  • Never use harsh abrasives. They will scratch the surface. Instead, use scrapers and harsh abrasives on cooking grills where appearance is less noticeable
  • When using mild abrasives or a synthetic scouring pad, on the exterior of the grill, always go with the grain of the stainless steel.
  • Never use acid on stainless steel.

What our experts at BarbecueWorld also suggest:

  • You may not always have the time to clean up everything but using aluminium foil to trap heat and incinerate food residue works but it is a potentially dangerous practice and we suggest against it.  *Please note, for exactly that same reason, one should never cook with the grills covered in foil.
  • High pressure washers can cause more problems than they solve. We don’t care if you saw a someone on YouTube doing it, its really a bad idea, unless you grill on a Crown Verity. Garden hoses fall into the same category. Aside from having grease flying everywhere in your backyard, and attracting ants and other critters, it can also drive grease into places, like inside the burners, where it can cause more harm than good. This can then affect the gas flow and the proper function of your barbecue.
  • Our solution: If you’re feeling lazy there is this thing called a dishwasher.  Use it! Unless your barbecue grills are cast iron or ginormous, they should fit into every kind of dishwasher. Please make sure to scrape off all of the excess grease and dirt before putting them in the dishwasher, this is to prevent clogging of your drain and calling a plumber. Use the regular dishwasher detergent of your choice and set it for the Pots and Pans cycle, if your washer has this feature. Moisture and heat do all the hard work for you.  Don’t worry, it’s OK if they are still black when they come out, as long as the food and grease residue is gone that’s what matters. 
  • Our Last Grill Tip! Seasoning with Grape seed oil before and after use is excellent for all types of cast iron cooking grills and accessories. It helps to protect grills from salts, reduces sticking, and aids in cleaning.

We know that we say a lot in our posts but we want to make sure you spend more time grilling than cleaning and let’s face it, cleaning isn’t ever high on most peoples to do lists. If we can, and we can, we’ll provide you with the best life hacks our experience has taught us when it comes to barbecuing and how to best keep your grill clean for many years to come. Feel free to give us your best barbecue cleaning tips, tricks and lifehacks on any of our accounts we always want to hear from you. If you need any barbecue cleaning tips please don’t hesitate to ask us the next time you’re coming in to stock up on all your grilling or smoking needs, one of our associates will gladly help you out.

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