Barbecue grills simply offer cooking results that other methods can not duplicate. This is the reason that outdoor grilling has exploded in popularity. The main disadvantage for barbeque cooking is it can be messy, creating a great deal of grease splatter, smoke, and heat makes for difficult clean up. Also, most grills are left outside exposed to the elements. This article attempts to offer some simple cleaning tips to keep you BBQ looking and working its best for years to come.
There are some basic rules to cover first. Always turn the BBQ off, cutting the supply of gas, and wait for it to cool before cleaning. Aside from the obvious risk of burning, cleaning hot surfaces will reduce the cleaning effectiveness and may produce foul odors.
Never use oven cleansers, abrasive cleaners, cleaners that contain citrus products, or abrasive cleaning pads on exterior BBQ grill surfaces. These may damage the finish by scratching, staining, or otherwise discoloring. The best solution to use for cleaning barbeques is warm water and a mild detergent like liquid dishwasher soap. Also handy will be a soft brush and sponge for exterior surfaces and a stainless steel wire brush for cooking crates and other interior surfaces.
For outside surfaces:
Mix warm water with a mild soap and apply the mixture with a non-abrasive sponge or brush. Rinse with clean, cold water.
For cleaning grease catching drip pans:
Remove excess grease with a paper towel or other rag. Wash with warm soapy water and rinse.
For cleaning cooking grates, bars, briquettes:
Do not use soap on these surfaces, simply clean with a stainless steel bristle brush. If additional cleaning is required use mixture of warm water and mild soap with brush and thoroughly rinse.
Inside of BBQ grill lid:
This is perhaps the most frequently asked question. Build up of grease on the inside lid surface can appear to look like flaking paint. However, this is not paint. To keep lid clean wipe inside with a paper towel while hood is still warm to prevent grease build-up.
Cleaning stainless steel surfaces:
Do not use any abrasive materials including wire brushes on stainless steel surfaces as these can easily scratch the finish. Do wash stainless steel surfaces with a soft cloth and a solution of warm soapy water. When cleaning stainless steel, always scrub with the grain. Do not use cleaners that contain acid, xylene, or mineral spirits. Rinse extremely well following cleaning.