No matter what kind of grill you are cleaning, you’ll want to start by reading the manual and collecting the right tools. Check local hardware stores or barbecue stores for a slim, flexible venturi brush for cleaning the venture tubes, and a stiff-bristle wire brush. We recommend using a brush with brass bristles, as steel brushes can scratch cast-iron, porcelain or nickel. Also, make sure there is a good scraper on one end.
When cleaning, you will want to avoid using a brush with worn bristles. If yours appears worn consider replacing it at the beginning of the barbecue season.
Most barbecues can be cleaned with hot soapy water; however special cleaners such as barbecue degreasers can be purchased for use on tough messes and used on the interior walls of the barbecue only. Be sure to follow cautionary instructions on the product and wear rubber gloves to make it easier on your hands. Avoid bleach or chlorine cleaners, abrasive cleaners or steel wool, because scratches can lead to rusting.
Steps to cleaning Barbecues
- Start with a cool BBQ.
- Remove warming rack, grates, and burners and place on layers of newspaper.
- Use the scraper to loosen greasy-ashy build-up on inside of lid and wash with hot soapy water, rinse and dry well.
- Barbecue interior can be brushed or scraped clean and then vacuumed out with a shop vacuum.
- Brush off burners carefully, clean individual port holes, brushing up and down. Do not force anything into port holes that may damage them such as metal skewers or wooden picks that may break off.
- Use the venturi brush (small brush with a long handle) in the burner tubes to sweep away grit.
- Heat plates or flavourizer bars prevent grease from dripping on the burners. They can get grimy so clean them a few times a season to prevent flare-ups and fires. Brush the bars, wash with hot soapy water and a non-scratch pad, rinse and dry.
- Briquettes or lava rocks, used instead of flavourizer bars, need to be turned every couple of uses to burn off grease. Replace them annually or when they start to break down.
- Empty and wash the grease pan regularly, do not line with foil, as this may cause a fire. Foil pans can be used in the grease drip tray.
- Thoroughly wash grates at the start of the grilling season following specific instructions in manual or use the following:
To keep grates clean, preheat barbecue for about 15 minutes, then use bristle brush and scraper to get off stubborn bits. Do this right before cooking, because grease can protect grates when the barbecue is not in use.
Seal by brushing with oil or spraying with cooking spray
- Brush grates
- Wash with hot soapy water, rinse and dry with old, clean towels
- Soaking in water can promote rusting
To clean the outside of the barbecue, wash with hot soapy water, rinse and dry. If necessary use a stainless steel cleaner, rubbing in the direction of the grain.
Remember to position the barbecue away from the deck railing, walls of your home, or any combustible materials (check manual for safe distances for clearance). A barbecue accidently left unattended can be very dangerous especially if positioned without adequate clearance around it.