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BBQ cleaning – how to make your barbecue shine

A ‘barbie’ is the essential component of the Australian lifestyle and home. But unless you clean them thoroughly, barbecues can get smelly, sticky, and rusty.

Six Steps to Cleaning the Barbecue

Barbecues should always be cleaned after use, the sooner the better while the hotplate is still warm. If you scrape your hotplate and grills after every use, the build-up of burnt fat should not be too bad.

Warning: Don’t use the hose to clean the barbie. Apart from making a terrible mess, the water could block the gas injectors and even damage the ignition system.

Step 1: Disassemble

Disconnect the gas or gas bottle, then take the barbecue apart. Remove the hood, plates, grills, the tray of rocks and drip tray; pull the knobs off the gas taps; then release and lift out the burners.

keep your barbecue spotless 
Step 2: Clean Hotplate And Grills

You can scrub and scrape the layers of burnt grease and food with a commercial barbecue cleaner or do it easily with vinegar, bicarb and sugar.

Sprinkle sugar on a hot hotplate and pour on some vinegar. Keep the heat under the mixture until the vinegar is all evaporated.

Pour some oil on the warm hotplate and wipe off the mess with paper towel. Wipe the clean hotplate and grill with a little cooking oil on paper towel to stop them rusting.

Step 3: Lubricate Gas Valves

If the gas valve controls become stiff, the knobs could break off. Spray valves with WD-40 then turn them on and off to soften old lubricant. Re-oil with light machine oil and coat the valves with Vaseline to keep the lubricant in and water out.

Step 4: Clean Stainless Steel Surrounds

Clean stainless the stainless steel surfaces with a paste of bicarb and vinegar, rubbing gently with a damp sponge. Rinse with water and wipe dry.

STEP 5: Reassemble Barbecue

Reassemble the barbecue. Discard any oily sand in the drip tray, wipe clean and re-line with aluminium foil. A little cooking oil under the foil will keep it in place. Fill with new litter or sand. Replace the volcanic rocks.

Step 6: Using Cleaned Barbecue

The first time you use the cleaned barbecue, turn all burners to high for 5-10 minutes, letting the rocks and cast iron get very hot to burn off any residue of cleaning products. Then turn it to low and wipe hotplate and grills with oil before cooking.

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