It’s summer, it’s barbecue season. To ensure your barbecued food is both tasty and hygienic, you’ll want to make certain your barbecue is clean and functional. This article explains the basics of cleaning a gas barbecue, including the casual scrub-down recommended after every barbecue and the annual thorough cleaning your barbecue deserves.
How to Clean a Gas BBQ after Every Use
Cleaning a gas BBQ is much easier while it’s still warm, so give your gas barbecue a quick scrub after every cooking session. If your BBQ has a “clean” setting, using this setting alone will not be enough to actually clean the entire barbecue, although it will help a lot. Follow the steps below:
- When the barbecue has cooled down enough to touch (but is still warm), take a stiff wire brush and clean off any remaining food particles from the grate. You can also use the “clean” setting on your barbecue, which provides enough heat to burn off some of the food particles – but you will still need to scrub away at the charred food manually.
- Remove these food particles and toss them in the bin.
- There are plenty of products suitable for cleaning a gas BBQ, but it’s well worth checking the manufacturer’s guidelines and the label of your chosen product to be certain they are compatible and that you are using the cleaner correctly. Some people like to finish up a clean by slicing either a lemon or onion in half and rubbing it along the grating and the interior of the barbecue – this is optional.
- Allow the barbecue to air-dry and cover when it has cooled.
How to Clean a Gas BBQ: The Annual Clean
The other essential part of gas barbecue cleaning is the thorough clean, which you should do once a year after barbecue season is over. You’ll need to set aside an hour or two (not including soaking time) for this task, but the steps are very straightforward:
- Disconnect the gas from the barbecue.
- Lift out the grill parts, layer by layer.
- Inspect and clean the lava rock, briquettes, or metal plates of the barbecue. Make sure nothing is blocking the flow of gas. If the lava rocks or briquettes are too dirty or encrusted with food to clean, you will need to replace them. In the interest of hygiene, you should be replacing these once a year.
- Clean the grate thoroughly using a commercial cleaner suitable for barbecues (Domestos works well), or warm soapy water. If you’d like to try a homemade solution, mix together a little liquid dish soap, water, and white vinegar. Use a wire brush to scrub away any food particles.
- If there are particularly stubborn bits of burnt on food, you should soak the grate for a few hours in soapy water — or if you need something stronger, a solution of ammonia. Check the instructions on the label of your chosen product to determine which safety precautions will be necessary and how much it needs to be diluted: ammonia is a powerful cleaning product.
- As the fumes can be strong, make sure to do this in well-ventilated area when there are no children nearby. Never use bleach or chlorine-based products to clean any part of your barbecue, as these can be very dangerous around heat.
- After the soak, you should be able to scrub the remaining food particles off.
- Use soapy water to clean the rest of the barbecue, including all surfaces and the exterior.
- Rinse the parts with clean water and let them dry thoroughly.
- Carefully reassemble your barbecue.
- If your barbecue is cast iron, it should be oiled with vegetable oil to stay in good condition.
- Heat your barbecue or use the “clean” setting to burn off any soap residue before cooking again.
Gas BBQ cleaning is not as difficult or unpleasant as it sounds. With these easy steps, you should be able to keep your gas barbecue clean and functional, so you can continue to enjoy summer barbecues for many years to come.
Safety Warning: Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.