There are a few clever ways you can keep your barbecue in top shape and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
When to clean?
One of the age-old questions to barbecuing is whether to clean thoroughly as soon as you’ve cooked or to leave it and clean before the next time you use it. There are benefits and drawbacks to both, but whichever way you choose there’s a cleaning method for it.
Cleaning after cooking
The idea of cleaning the barbecue while it’s still hot does have merit, but it also takes you away from time with family and friends. A great way to get the best of both worlds is to add a little steam. Fill a baking tray with boiled water over a burner, let it simmer and close the lid. The steam will stop the grease from congealing so you can come back and clean it at your leisure. Turn the burners off and let the steam dissipate before you open the lid. After cleaning give it a spray with cooking oil to seal the surface.
Cleaning before cooking
The idea of cleaning the barbecue just before use is that the grease from the previous cook-up seals the hot plate to prevent it rusting. If this is your preferred method then heat up the barbecue for about 10 minutes to loosen everything up, let it cool a bit then scrape off with a brush or scraper. Pour a bit of oil over the hot plate then wipe off with a paper towel to remove the last of the residue. Use paper towel with oil on it for the grill.
You don’t have to worry about rust on stainless steel cooking surfaces so when you clean it is up to you. A good way to clean stainless steel is with that great all-purpose cleaner, vinegar. Mix up a 50:50 solution with water and pour over the plate while it’s still hot. Use a scrubbing brush to loosen any of the fats and oils. To clean the grill, dip the scrubbing brush in the mixture and scrub along the bars. Clean up with paper towels.