The start of summer only means one thing for us Brits - time to get the barbecue out. The excitement is too real, until you lift the lid and release it hasn’t been cleaned since last August. The first thing to do is don’t panic. Whilst it might look a bit crusty and grimy, there is still time to fix it before your in-laws arrive. The second thing you must do is decide how you want to clean it.
When it comes to barbecues (check out our best ones for 2023 by the way), there is a mixed opinion on how they should be cleaned. Whilst a lot of people are comfortable using stronger chemicals on their grill, there are many who just simply prefer not to. Your preference is completely up to you, but has anyone ever told you how to clean a barbecue with natural ingredients? That’s where we step in, ready with our top tips on how to get started.
Before we jump in, read our top 5 barbecue safety tips so you can keep things safe this summer!
1. Heat things up
Heat will be your best friend when it comes to cleaning off your barbecue’s grime. Whether it’s a gas or charcoal barbecue, turn the heat on for 15 minutes to bake any grease or left over food. It will become blackened, making it easier to remove than cold grease. Take care when dealing with hot metal as you don’t want to hurt your hands.
When you think about how to clean a barbecue, you probably wouldn’t reach for an onion. However, Onions have natural antibacterial properties, which means that they are excellent cleaners. Once you’ve finished cooking, grab a white onion, slice it in half, stick it on a skewer and rub it across the metal whilst it’s still hot. You’ll be surprised at how well it does!
3. Olive oil
If the barbecue grates are covered in grime, olive oil is a great option. First, remove the grates and coat them in olive oil. Leave them to soak in the oil for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse them clean.The oil should help remove any food residue and can also prevent your barbecue from rusting in the future. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us?
You’ve probably heard of this one before, but it’s a guaranteed (and natural!) fix so we had to include it. Empty a spray bottle and mix one-part apple cider vinegar/white vinegar with three-parts water. Shake well and then wipe down your barbecue to remove any excess grease. Spray your solution directly onto the grill and leave for about two minutes, and then wipe again. Repeat the process until your grates are gleaming!
5. Ketchup (yep, you heard us right!)
Ketchup doesn’t have to just be used for burgers and sausages - it’s also a great way to remove rust from barbecues left out in the garden all winter! Just apply a small amount of ketchup to any areas of rust and leave for a few minutes. The results should happen pretty quickly!
Ready to get going? Read our useful barbecue tips and tricks from expert grillers to complete your crash course on barbecue expertise!