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How to clean the BBQ grill and gear

clean barbecue paraphernalia on wooden planks

We can almost smell that smoky deliciousness in the air—BBQ season is upon us! Whether you’re a hard-core griller or a social barbecuer, your grill and barbecue gear are not only going to need some TLC after each use but also a good scrub after the winter.

It may seem like a chore, but unless you want charred food and a potentially faulty grill, cleaning is essential—and easy to do. Phew.

Start by having your cleaning supplies ready!

What you’ll need:

  • Grill and oven cleaner
  • Sponge, microfiber cloth (or both)
  • Long-handled wire-bristled brush
  • Bucket with soapy water (dish soap)
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Groovy playlist (not essential, but nice to have!)

Deep clean: How to clean your grill after the winter

If you’re like us, you most likely put the grill away after the last barbecue without cleaning it. Oops. And even if you did clean it (well done, pat yourself on the back), it will probably need cleaning again after months of not being used.

1. Clear out the gunk

That black grease sure builds up thick and fast. It’s unsightly and can be a corrosive hazard. Get rid of it by dismantling your grill and cleaning each piece with warm soapy water and a scouring sponge or cloth.

2. Rid the rust

If there is any rust, treat those parts accordingly with a rust-removing product, such as our Loctite Naval Jelly Rust Dissolver, and follow the instructions. Please be sure grill is off and sufficiently cooled down prior to cleaning.

3. Clean the grill

Spray the grill plate with oven and grill cleaner from about 8 inches away. Let it soak in for 10 minutes—longer if it’s caked on there—and wipe off using a wet scouring sponge or cloth. For more deep-cleaning tips, check out this article on cleaning the grill grate.

4. Season the grill

Once your gas or charcoal barbecue is freshly cleaned, it’s time to season it. No, not salt and pepper—seasoning in this sense means priming it for when you next want to cook. Apply a cooking oil, such as sunflower oil, to the grilling surfaces. Then, simply light up the BBQ and heat up the oiled surface to ‘seal’ and protect the grill grates. Seasoning them like this prevents rust and makes cooking on them that much easier.

Cleaning the barbecue grate with a steel brush
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Quick and easy: Cleaning the grill after each use

One of the best things you can do to avoid a mega clean, where you get up to your eyeballs in caked-on grease, is to clean as you go. A little wipe down after every use will save you time in the long run. The following steps are good to do the day after you cook—because we know all too well that nobody feels like cleaning after a fire-grilled feast! 

1. Burn it

Start by firing up your barbecue grill, closing the lid and letting it get to maximum temperature. After 30 minutes, any grease and food on the grill should have been burnt off, making it easier to clean.

For a charcoal barbecue, dump the used charcoals and scrape away caked-on carbon with your wire-bristle brush.

2. Soak it

Once cool, remove the grilling grate(s) and soak them in a tub of warm soapy water for 30 minutes. Or, generously spray with a grill and oven cleaner and leave for 10 minutes.

The same goes for your barbecue gear—even the things with caked-on grease and grime: Soak tongs, spatulas, grill mats and grease trays in warm soapy water for 15–30 minutes.

3. Scrub it

Time to roll up those sleeves and scrub everything! Use a scouring brush and wire-bristle brush for this. For really stubborn grease and gunk, spray again with grill and oven cleaner. Watch out: Steel bristles, metal sponges and coarse scouring pads can cause scratches. Avoid using them on shiny, finished surfaces.

To clean your soaked barbecue utensils, scrub them with a scouring sponge. 

4. Wipe it

Then, with a clean bucket of soapy water and a soft cleaning cloth, wipe down the whole barbecue, effectively rinsing the surface areas of the cleaning product. Then, using a clean microfiber cloth, dry all surfaces. Dry cast-iron grates especially well—this will prevent rust.

Rinse your cooking utensils and dry them with a soft cloth.

5. Season it

See above; you know the drill!

Safety first

On a final note, it’s really important to regularly do a safety check on your grill by checking everything is in order, especially the ignition parts. Also, test pipes for leakage if you have a gas barbecue.

Now, bring on the sausages! Oh, and if you get pesky tomato or grease stains on your shirt, follow these steps to remove the stains. And make sure you register with Ask Team Clean to get more advice and rewards sent to you!