Barbeque experts know how important it is to keep it clean. Even after using best ingredients and perfect recipes your food may not taste well if the BBQ is dirty. Especially the grill, if not cleaned properly may add a sour and bitter taste to the food prepared over and over on the same grill. It is therefore essential to keep it in good condition by regular thorough cleaning. This article entails effective methods for cleaning your various BBQ tools.
It is important to cool your BBQ before proceeding to clean it. Start from cleaning the exterior, then the inside and finally the bottom of the BBQ for a thorough and effective cleaning. This cleaning process will keep your BBQ in a good condition for a longer time and you will not face any hassle while cooking your steak.
Before starting, make sure you have the following cleaning tools to make your work easier.
* Rubber gloves to guard your hands from dirt and grease
* Cleaning pads-Make sure they are non-scratch ones to avoid unwanted scratches on the body
* BBQ brush – Use a stainless steel brush for enameled or ceramic coated BBQ whereas wire brushes for cast-iron surfaces. Choosing the right brush is extremely important to prevent any damage to the surface of your equipments
* Concentrated dish liquid to remove grease from the surfaces
* A bucket half filled with warm water
* Non toxic degreaser to remove sturdy deposited grease
* Paper towel
* Canola oil to prep the grill before cooking so that it prevents sticking
* Baking Soda for removing excessive grease
* Soft cleaning cloths to wipe off at the end
* A few onions
#1 The exterior of the barbeque
The exterior of the BBQ is easier to clean because there is no special skill required for it. You may do it just as you would do to clean exteriors of other kitchen appliances. Cleaning it regularly may not enhance the taste of your food but will definitely keep your equipment in an excellent condition.
*Whether you have a BBQ of stainless steel, plastic or metal surface, you may clean it with the help of a soft sponge dipped in warm soapy water. Put on your rubber gloves and add a few drops of concentrated dish liquid to a bucket of warm water. Apply it completely on the outer surface of the BBQ with a soft sponge and rinse off. Now dry the surface using a soft cloth.
* Side panels-Side panels tend to attract a lot of grease which gets deposited if not cleaned regularly. This may seem unsightly. To clean it you may cover it with a non toxic degreaser and let it stand for some time. When you see the grease breaking down just wipe it off with a soft sponge dipped in water. Take a soft cloth and dry the surface.
* Handles– Handles and knobs get dirty more quickly. You continuously keep touching them while preparing the food. Traces of raw meat may stick to such surfaces and if not cleaned properly may cause cross contamination. A degreaser may help in breaking down the deposited impurities. Use it in the same way as you cleaned the side panels.
* Hoses and the tank– The hoses and the propane tank need not to be cleaned specifically. You may use a clean cloth to wipe off any spills over them although it is essential to check for any leakage or clogs to prevent any accident. You may refer to your BBQ models user manual for ensuring the safety of the specific tank hoses and the burner. Replace any hose that has holes or cracks.
#2 The interior
Once you are done with cleaning the exterior of the BBQ, it’s time to clean the interior of it which requires more intense cleaning. Start with the inside of the lid, grates and the flavor bars in the following way:
* Interior of the lid– This is the place where you will see a lot of food built-up. This is nothing but carbonized grease which builds up from constant flare-ups and spatters. This may appear as a peeling paint but is actually non toxic. You may use a stainless steel non scratching BBQ brush or a non scratch sponge to scrub off these depositions. Again wash the inside of the lid with warm soapy water and dry it with a cloth.
* Grates– Now this is the most important part. If your grills are not cleaned properly, your food will never taste excellent in-spite of all your efforts. Whether you have stainless steel, porcelain enameled or coated, or cast iron grills make sure to clean it before and after every use. You may use a wire BBQ brush which has golden colored bristles to clean cast iron grills while stainless steel and porcelain enameled or coated grills may be cleaned with the help of a stainless steel wire brush.
You may also try rubbing onions on the grills when hot which remove the bits of food from the grills. To make the cleaning process easier, always apply canola oil on the grills with the help of a paper towel before cooking. It prevents the food from sticking to it.
* Burners and Flavor Bars– Burners should be regularly checked for ensuring safety while using the BBQ. Keep them free from any clogs that may cause flash back fires. Invest in a BBQ burner brush for cleaning it effectively.
Flavor bars are essential equipments which prevent any dripping to the burners that may cause flare-up and ruin your food. It is said to add flavor to the food by vaporizing the fat. To clean it, first remove the flavor bars and apply degreaser on it. Stand for some time and wipe off with a sponge or a clean cloth.
#3 The cook box bottom
Most of the food that falls to the bottom while cooking gets accumulated at the bottom of the cook box. Continuous deposition of carbonized grease and food tend to stick to the bottom if not cleaned regularly.
* The bottom– You may use a non scratch sponge to scrape away the deposits and wash the surface with warm soapy water. If there are tough grease accumulated, use a degreaser to clean them off.
* Grease tray– Some BBQ have grease tray that gets filled up quickly. Make sure you empty it as soon as it gets filled and wipe off with a clean cloth before replacing them. Using tins foils may cause fires, so avoid them completely.
#4 BBQ Accessories
Keeping your BBQ tools and accessories clean helps in maintains good hygiene while cooking on the grill. To clean them you may place them to the dishwasher if you have dishwasher safe ones. Or you may soak them in warm soapy water and rinse off. To keep your BBQ free from unwanted dirt, invest in a BBQ cover. Keeping your equipments covered when not in use will increase its life.
Caron Christoffer is a online manager for BBQTek.com and likes to blog on various food and catering related topics.He likes to share various tips on BBQ tools.