The DIY Outdoor BBQ Cleaning Guide
It’s always a good time when there are family and friends gathered around, awesome food sizzling on the grill, and fun and laughter all around! That’s what barbeques are intended for – making good food and lasting memories!
Unfortunately, what’s left of a great BBQ is a grease-covered grill that needs a deep clean to remove stubborn, burnt-on food bits and oil drips. It’s not just the metal grill, though, the lid, pot/undertray, and stand are also prone to grease and staining which require the same amount of cleaning and care to keep your barbeque kit well-maintained for years to come.
Like most cleaning tasks that involve more than just a scrub down and rinse, a DIY cleaning guide certainly helps to get the job done efficiently and effectively. Luckily, that’s what we are sharing with you today to clean your outdoor BBQ kit and make it shine again! Read on.
Step One: Get the Grill Going Again
It might seem strange but heating the grill again is an excellent way to simplify the rest of the cleaning process. This is because dried grease and stuck-on food bits will get charred and come off more easily as compared to scrubbing at it right away.
To get this done the right way, the temperature must be high and the lid firmly covering the grill so that heat does not escape. Keep the grill going for at least 15 minutes to carbonise all the remnants of your barbeque before leaving it to cool off.
Step Two: Gather Cleaning Tools and Products
If you have a charcoal grill, remove the coal with tongs and allow the pot and grill to cool down. In the meantime, this would be the ideal time to gather up the things you’ll need for this DIY outdoor BBQ cleaning process.
Here’s what you will need:
- Stainless steel scrubber/wired brush
- Regular scrubbers
- Liquid dish soap
- Kitchen cloth
- Large basin/bucket
- Baking soda
Now that you have everything you need to get your BBQ cleaned up, wait for it to cool down and move on to the next step.
Step Three: Soak and Scrub the Grill
If you have a large enough basin or bucket to fit the metal grill in, this would be ideal for soaking it in a cleaning solution before you start scrubbing. Even 5 minutes of soaking can loosen charred grime and make it easier to remove.
To make your BBQ cleaner, fill up the basin halfway with warm water, and add 1-2 squirts of grease-fighting liquid dish soap; swish the water to create suds. Soak or dunk the grill in the cleaning solution to wet it before scrubbing the blackened grime away. To protect your hands when using an abrasive scrubber, wear a pair of rubber gloves or hold a regular scrubber over it.
TIP: Scrub the grill while it is submerged in the water for faster results.
Step Four: Scrape Corners with a Butter or Putty Knife
When it comes to blackened grills, the trickest areas to clean are the corners. Using a wired brush or scrubber is often ineffective in removing carbonised grease from the corners of a grill and hence, the use of butter or putty knife is advised. Gently scrape off the charred-covered corners and rinse out the grill as you go (to make sure you haven’t missed any spots).
Give the grill one more scrub down using a regular scrubber and dish soap before rinsing it thoroughly under running water. Wipe with a kitchen cloth and keep aside.
Step Five: Clean Other Components
Other parts of a BBQ kit include the stand, lid, and undertray or pot that holds the coal. It’s important to clean these components for the overall maintenance of your BBQ and, more importantly, to prevent bacteria buildup.
Here’s how to clean the rest of your outdoor BBQ kit:
- Make a soapy solution of warm water and dish soap; pour it into a spray bottle and shake well.
- Dampen a scrubber with the cleaner and spray the stand to wet the exterior. Scrub it thoroughly from top to bottom. For very soiled stands, make a stronger cleaning solution to cut through the grease.
- Rinse off with water and wipe dry with a kitchen cloth.
- Turn the lid upside down and pour vinegar along the sides so that it drips down and pools in the middle.
- If there is a lot of blackness on the inside of lid, go one step further and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the interiors which have already been dampened with vinegar.
- Wait for 2-3 minutes before cleaning with an abrasive scrubber to remove black stains. Vinegar and baking soda are a powerful combination which is often used in household cleaning.
- To clean the top of the lid, use regular dish soap and a scrubber.
- Rinse the lid inside and outside; wipe dry.
- Wipe the interior with a rag to remove ash and other debris.
- Mix equal parts water and vinegar; heat till it comes to a boil.
- Pour this into the pot/tray up to where the black stains are most visible.
- When lukewarm, discard the water (the blackness will have lightened up by now).
- Scrub the interior and exterior with dish soap and a stainless steel scrubber.
- Rinse off and wipe dry.
Step Six: Put the Kit Back Together
With all the components of your BBQ kit clean and shiny again, it’s time to put them back together. Make sure that they are all completely dry as trapping any moisture inside can cause mould/mildew. It’s also important to store your outdoor BBQ kit inside when it’s not in use as prolonged exposure to changing temperatures and weather conditions may cause rusting.
The best thing you can do for your BBQ kit is to clean it after every use, otherwise, you have the added work of cleaning up twice (or thrice) the amount of burnt-on grease and stubborn blackness. Use the guide above to keep your kit shining and ready to use for your next barbeque!
If you're into DIY, check out our do it yourself window cleaning guide.
Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.