Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Brief Guide to Cleaning Your Barbecue


Everybody loves a good barbecue cookout. However, at the end of the day, when everybody goes home, you are left with your grill and nobody enjoys cleaning up a grimy grill. Here are some smart tricks to make cleaning BBQs so much easier.


Dos and Don'ts
First of all, you need to have an understanding about what not to do when cleaning your barbecue.
 

When you see your barbecue grill all greasy and grimy, you would be tempted to take the easy way out. You could easily pour out a whole can of oven cleaning liquid all over your grill. However, you need to know that taking this approach could end up in you facing a whole lot of problems you did not anticipate. Harsh chemicals contained in these oven cleaning solutions can leave a residue, which can completely ruin the taste of your barbecue dishes the next couple of times. Apart from that, these chemicals can cause damage to your stainless steel or painted finish of the grill.

Maintain Your Shine
 

If your barbecue has a shimmery stainless steel finish that you are proud of, you need to take measures to ensure that it stays that way for a long time. With a little care you can make this happen. Stay away from those off the shelf cleaners that could ruin the finish. All you need is just some mild soap and water to scrub your barbecue down.  When you're done with your scrubbing, give a brisk rinse with clear water and dry out the surface.  Once your barbecue is dry; apply a stainless steel polish so that it gives out that sparkling shine. Of course, it goes without saying that you  cannot use steel wool or wire brushes to clean your barbecue, unless you want it to look like it was mauled by a bobcat.



Stubborn stains can be eliminated with the help of a non-scratch scrubber. Another factor to be kept in mind is the direction in which you scrub on the stainless steel surface. Never use a circular technique, instead scrub the surface in the direction of the graining on your barbecue surface.
 
Keep it warm

It's a widely accepted fact that it's much easier to clean your barbecue if you do it before it turns cold. You can imagine how everything on your oven turns hard like a rock. But then, does this mean that you have to spend your party time scrubbing your oven clean while your friends are having a rocking time? Not necessarily. You can implement a simple trick to ensure that your barbecue stays warm until you get around to cleaning it. All you need to do is fill a baking tray with some water and let it boil on one of the burners. Once it gets boiling, turn off the burner, and close the lid. This way, the steam keeps the entire residue in a state where it can be cleaned easily later on.

The automatic option

This is the chance to make use of your dishwasher. Make sure you use regular dishwasher detergent. Opt for the Pot Scrubber setting on your dishwasher if it has this feature. Even if it doesn’t, you can be sure that the heat and moisture gets most of the work done for you. You don't have to worry if your pots are still black. Your priority is just getting rid of the greasy residue that makes it so hard to clean.

Cleaning the grease drip tray

Your grease drip tray is one of the most stubborn components involved in cleaning your barbecue. Here's how you make it work. First of all, you need to line the tray with aluminum foil. Once you're done, fill it up with some kitty litter. When you see the litter has soaked up the grease to saturation point, you just need to take it out along with the foil. What you now have before you is an amazingly clean grease drip tray.

Grill sheets

A non-stick grill sheet over your hotplate can prove to make things much easier for you. They are available in a wide array of sizes. The sheets help to keep all the food away from direct contact with the hotplate. All you need to do is wipe clean the grill sheet after you're done with the barbecue cooking.

Lava rocks

The lava rocks in your barbecue could be the source of a stink when they are exposed to a lot of grease after you've been cooking on it for a while. You can clean your dirty lava rocks by immersing them in some hot water and dish detergent. Of course, it's much easier and effective if you just buy new lava rocks. The optimum time frame to replace your lava rocks is once every year.



Around the barbeque

Most people focus on cleaning the barbecue, but fail to consider the barbecue area. Unlike the insides of your household, you can’t just deploy a robot vacuum and wait for the thing to do its job. And I imagine you have a relatively wide area to clean. Even if using such a gadget would be possible, the battery life of this thing would need to be humongous. Instead, use a corded garden blower or a shop-vac and make it work.

The annual makeover

Your barbecue oven may be a source of joy to you and your friends; however, it needs to be given a thorough cleaning at least on an annual basis. You really need to fish out your owner's manual and actually read through it to know how you can do this. If you find this hard, it's in your best interest to let a professional do it: it's not everybody's piece of cake. If you are removing the burners to clean them, make sure you know how to put them back exactly as they were. Failure to do so may result in a fire hazard. Be careful with the burners. The best option is to just wipe them clean. If the small burner holes are clogged, you need to pick them clean with something metallic and pointy. Bent paper clips are an option. You could also use skewers. When you are cleaning the burner holes, make sure you bring out the blockage instead of pushing it further in.

Finally, before you start cooking, always make sure to preheat the barbecue for a minimum of 15 minutes. This will make the cleaning process later on much easier for you. Spraying the cooking surfaces with cooking oil before you heat it is also a great idea.



Well, I hope I’ve covered everything, but if I missed something, don’t be shy, just let me know using the comment form below.

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