HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR BARBECUE THROUGH THE GRILLING SEASON
Keeping your barbecue functioning properly is simple. Regular cleaning is an important part of barbecue maintenance and should be done after at the end of each barbecue session. Thoroughly clean your barbecue at least once a year, and preferably in the spring, for more tips check out our Cleaning the Barbecue page. Always check your manual before doing anything on your barbecue, but if you need help, here are some tips.
Cooking Grates (or Grids)
- Leave your barbecue on high for 5-10 minutes after cooking to burn off any grease or residue. Or, after preheating the barbecue the next time you use it, brush the charred residue off using a bristle-free barbecue brush or wooden scraper. Do not use a metal scraper as it may scratch the grids.
- To clean really dirty porcelain or stainless-steel grids, place in a heavy garbage bag with newspaper or towel soaked with ammonia. Set outside overnight where it won’t damage or stain grass, deck or plants. Do not use ammonia with cast iron or chrome-plated grids. Wash grids with hot, soapy water and rinse. Only use non-scratching pads, not steel wool, to help remove stubborn residue. Rinse and dry.
- Use metal bristle brushes with caution! Bristles can come off and may get into your food. Ingesting metal bristles is extremely dangerous. Check bristle brushes often and replace regularly. Non-bristle metal brushes and wooden scrapers for barbecues are available and recommended.
Lava Rock, Briquettes
- Lava rock and briquettes should be replaced when they begin to fall apart.
- Briquettes are less porous, absorb less grease and won’t flare up as much as lava rock.
- Lava rock and briquettes can be kept clean by regularly turning them to burn off fat and grease.
Flavourizer Bars and Heat Plates
These are usually stainless steel or porcelain on steel.
Brush or scrape, wash with hot soapy water and a non-scratch pad, rinse and dry.
Burner or Burners
- Barbecues can have 1 or more burners.
- Barbecue flames should burn blue; other colours mean the burners need cleaning.
- Remove burners from the barbecue and clean thoroughly with a brush. Shake or tap to remove bristles that may have come loose during this cleaning and are stuck in the burner.
- Clean individual port holes and tubes with a venturi brush to remove rust and debris that can slow the flow of gas and propane.
- Remove ash that builds up around the burners as it encourages rust.
- Burners with large holes need to be replaced to prevent cold spots and flare-ups.
Natural Gas and Propane Barbecues
- Propane naturally burns at a hotter temperature than natural gas. Some barbecues are for natural gas use only, some are for propane use only and some are convertible from 1 fuel to the other.
- Propane tanks must be recertified regularly. Purchasing a new tank or being part of a tank lending program might be more cost efficient.
- See our videos on how to hook up a natural gas or propane barbecue, how to check for gas leaks and how to open and light your barbecue.