Kiwis love BBQs, but let’s face it, no one likes to do the BBQ cleaning! Still, a thorough clean annually will ensure your BBQ lasts and you’ll be able to get rid of all last year’s grease and grime build up that you really don’t want to be serving up with this year’s barbecue meat. This requires taking portions of the BBQ apart to give them a thorough clean and to check everything is in working order. Check the burners to make sure they aren’t clogged – blocked burners inhibit even cooking. Replace any lava rocks as necessary if you use these.
Vinegar and baking soda
In today’s world, it’s environmentally friendly to use common household ingredients for cleaning. A couple of tried and true cleaners are vinegar and baking soda.
Vinegar works very well for the grill, and you don’t have to worry about leaving any harmful residue behind. Simply mix 2 cups of vinegar with 2 cups of warm water into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the racks of the grill and the area above and underneath them to saturation and leave to dry for 10 minutes. Then fold some aluminium foil into a small square of approximately 5cm. While the grill dries, pour out any extra water/vinegar solution and refill the bottle with vinegar only. Spray the vinegar on the foil and use it to scrub the grill’s interior and exterior. No rinsing is required.
Baking soda is an effective cleaner and I often use it for cleaning the fan covers in the oven. So why not on the BBQ? It works wonderfully to rid the BBQ grate of grease and grime. Just dip a damp brush or scrubber into some baking soda and scrub the grate until it’s clean, then rinse.
For stubborn grime or a deeper clean try this vinegar and baking soda combination:
1. Place the grates in a large rubbish bag.
2. Mix together one cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda.
3. Pour this solution on the racks, close the bag and leave it overnight.
4. Rinse the gunk, which should now be loosened, off.
Cleaning your barbie during summer
Now you’ve done all the cooking for the family BBQ, you hardly want to miss out enjoying it because you’re cleaning the BBQ.
It’s always easier to clean the BBQ while it’s still warm. Here’s a trick that means you get to enjoy eating your delicious BBQ meats with everyone else and it saves you time later:
Once you’ve finished cooking, give the grill and hot plate a quick brush to remove any meat residue, then fill an old baking tray with water and place over one of the burners. Turn one burner on only enough to bring the water to a slow boil. Close the lid and your BBQ is getting a steam clean while you’re enjoying the delights you’ve cooked, with your family and friends. This makes it much easier to clean later. Take care though when lifting the lid; turn the burner off, wait for a few minutes, and lift the lid carefully to avoid any steam burns.