Keeping your BBQ clean:
- Leave a light coating of oil on the hotplate to protect it from rust.
- If you wash your BBQ hotplate in warm soapy water, it will need to be seasoned again and sprayed with a coating of vegetable oil.
- Keep your fat tray lined with foil, sand or volcanic rock and replace it regularly.
- When cleaning your barbecue, after each use and while the plates are still warm, scrape or brush off any food residue and excess oil, or turn the burners on high for five minutes. This will help to burn off any excess fat.
- To clean grease and dirt off your BBQ exterior, use any all-purpose cleaner or warm soapy water.
- Make sure the barbecue is completely dry before covering or closing the hood.
- Stainless steel requires extra attention as it can easily scratch, and low-grade stainless steel can rust. Use hot soapy water and vinegar or a commercial stainless steel cleaner. Avoid harsh scourers, as they can scratch the stainless steel. Dry and polish with a microfibre cloth to prevent corrosion.
- When you are done cooking, give the grill or hot plate a quick brush to remove the bigger pieces of food residue. Then take an old pie tin or other metal baking tray, fill with water and place over one of the burners. Turn on just the one burner and only enough to make it slowly boil, and then close the lid (think steam cleaning).
- Lava rocks saturated with old grease can help to emit a bad smell. If your BBQ has lava rocks, and they become old and dirty, you could try to clean them in a bucket of hot water and dish detergent. However, the easier solution is to just buy fresh lava rocks. Replacing them once a year is probably about right.
- Pre-heat your BBQ for at least 15 minutes. This will burn off any residual dirt and grease that may have been missed and kills germs on cooking surfaces. It will also season the cooking surfaces if you spray them with cooking oil before heating. Pre-heating is also a good cooking practice, as it sears the meat when it first goes on the grill, making the meat more tender and juicy.
And don’t forget the gas bottle!
- Regularly check your gas bottle for leaks – connect it to the barbecue and turn on the gas at the bottle.
- Brush soapy water over the bottle’s joints and connections; leaking gas creates bubbles.
- Give your barbecue an annual maintenance check, particularly at the start of summer.
- Remove the flame diffusers and check the burners are not clogged.
- Check the gas bottle connection, ignition and controls.