Cleaning your Barbecue in Time for Summer06Jan 2015
No matter what the time of year is, we always manage to find an excuse to have a barbecue. However, even if you do only prefer to bring it out for the burgers during the summer, maintaining it and keeping is clean all year round will not only keep it looking pristine, but is also hygienic and will keep it in full working order. Here’s how you can clean it effectively in time for the hot dogs (or turkey on Christmas day, if you’re so inclined).GrillsFirstly, remove your grills from the barbecue and use a brush to remove any large chunks of burnt-on food. If you’re able to, put the grill racks in the dish washer; if not, leave them to soak in warm water and washing up liquid in the sink. Once soaked, use a sponge to wipe them clean and allow them to dry thoroughly before replacing them in the barbecue.InsideFor the rest of the interior of the barbecue, use a mild detergent, warm water and sponge. There are special barbecue brushes, which you can use on the built in racks, which won’t harm the barbecue and are effective at getting off stubborn stains and bits of food. Make sure to clear out any bits of food or carbon which fall to the bottom of the barbecue and throw these away.Grease trayThe best way to clean the grease tray is to line it with foil and then fill it with grease absorber, then dispose of the mess. However, you can also use hot water, detergent and a sponge to wipe away any grease. This way take a couple of washes but will be worth it, as a lot of the time, the unpleasant smell that sometimes comes from our barbecue while cooking is the grease from this grease tray burning. You’ll therefore be improving the flavour of your food just by cleaning this component.Lava rocksAlthough you should ideally replace your lava rocks once a year if you use the barbecue regularly, maintain them in the meantime by washing them with warm water and cleaning detergent. OutsideWipe the outside of the barbecue down with a non-abrasive cloth and warm water mixed with mild detergent. Don’t use harsh chemicals, especially if it’s made out of stainless steel, as this can stain the metal and ruin the look of the barbecue. Also, avoid using harsh chemicals on the inside unless the product specifies on the packaging that it’s supposed to. Buff dry with a clean, dry cloth to avoid water marks and dripping. MaintenanceThe most effective way of preventing a huge build-up of grime and grease is to keep up a general cleaning routine after you’ve used the barbecue. If you use it regularly, slot this in with your usual kitchen or domestic cleaning regime. All you need to do is put foil down where you can to catch any grease and always wipe away excess fat, grease and food after you’ve finished cooking. Nowadays, you can buy specially designed barbecue sets which include all the usual utensils you need to barbecue food, as well as brushes, which won’t scratch or damage it but will be effective in cleaning it. If the barbecue has surfaces, like a chopping area, which you use, make sure to wipe this down with warm water and mild cleaning fluid afterwards to prevent a build-up of grime and germs. This will not only keep it clean, but will also prevent any nasty germs from breeding and making you ill in future.
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