If all household cleaning tasks were ranked, cleaning a BBQ is probably dead last. Apart from dealing with a bin bag with a hole in it.
A dirty BBQ can affect the taste of your perfectly grilled burgers and kebabs, so cleaning it regularly is pretty essential. To make the whole messy job easier, find out how to clean your BBQ grill thoroughly below, whether it’s charcoal or gas.
Charcoal BBQ quick clean
Maybe this is asking a lot, but if you clean your BBQ before every use, you won’t have to do a big, biannual degreasing.
The post-BBQ clean-up is already a big undertaking, so we understand if you’d rather eat leftover potato salad by yourself and hire a cleaning service in London instead.
Heat the BBQ and charcoal first.
This loosens the dirt and burnt-on food.
When the BBQ is cool again, remove the grill and empty the ash.
Air needs to circulate through the BBQ, so it’s important to keep the vents clear.
Scrub the grill with your wire brush.
Remove as much debris as possible. If the wire brush alone doesn’t remove everything, cover with a cleaning spray, leave for 10 minutes, and clean with the brush again.
Cover the BBQ.
Whether you’re using it again next week or next year, keep the BBQ covered so it’s easier to clean next time.
Charcoal BBQ deep clean
The minimum you should deep clean your BBQ is at the beginning of summer and at the end. The grills themselves should be cleaned after every use.
What you’ll need:
- A wire brush or tough scourer.
- Thick gloves.
- BBQ cleaning spray (check reviews for one that’s particularly tough on grease, or make your own natural cleaner with baking soda).
- A bucket of hot, soapy water.
- Some old clothes you don’t care about that much (it’s a messy job).
- When the BBQ’s cool, remove the grills and attachments and empty all charcoal and ash from the base.
- Spray the grills and base of the BBQ, then leave it to do its thing for 10-15 minutes.
- Soak the grills in hot soapy water while you get to work on the BBQ itself. Use the wire brush to scrub off all the debris and dirt.
- To keep mess to a minimum, scrub the grills while they’re still in the bucket.
- Rinse off the grills and the inside of the BBQ with a hose. If you don’t have one, a fresh bucket of hot water will work just as well.
Gas BBQs need a bit more attention than charcoal. With a regular deep clean, your food will taste better, and the heating mechanism will work smoothly.
You’ll need the same kit as before, plus some newspaper to protect surfaces.
Charcoal BBQ deep clean
- Disconnect the gas supply.
- Lay out your newspaper, so you have somewhere to put the parts while you’re cleaning them.
- Remove the grill on top and cover with degreasing spray. Leave to work while you clean the rest of the BBQ.
- Remove the ceramic plates, use the wire brush to remove burnt-on food and dirt. Place them on newspaper while you’re cleaning to protect the surface underneath and catch the dirt.
- Remove the burners and brush the dirt off in the same way. If you want to be really thorough, use a toothpick to remove dirt from the small holes on the side.
- It’s tempting, but don’t use a conventional vacuum to hoover out the debris inside the BBQ. It could damage it. Instead, use a dustpan and brush.
- Scrub the grills with your wire brush.
- Replace the burners, ceramic plates, and grill once clean. Leave open to air-dry the grill, then close and cover until you use it again.
It’s a big job but someone’s got to do it. If you pride yourself on hosting a legendary garden party, and your spicy marinade is carefully concocted, a clean BBQ is pretty vital.