Outdoor cooking season is getting ready to start again and it is time to make sure that your barbecue will be up to the challenge again this season. It is time to start spring cleaning it to get it looking nice on the outside and sanitary on the inside. Spring cleaning is also a great time to do a safety check to prevent any accidents from happening during a family barbecue.
~Cleaning the Outside~
If you didn’t cover the barbecue for the fall and winter then you are going to need to scrub not only the inside but the outside also. It is best to start with the outside and work your way in, so that if the dirty water or cleaner leaks to the inside of the grill you won’t have to re-clean the inside again. If your barbeque has an impressive layer of dirt on the outside you may just want to spray it off with the hose first. A hose attachment such as a handled nozzle works well to create enough water pressure to move some of the dirt off.
Now that you have sprayed off the loose dirt it is time to get to the cleaning. To clean the outside of the grill, purchase a cleaner that is especially made to clean grills. These cleaners can be found at any store that sells barbecues or barbecue equipment. Using cleaners designed to clean kitchen counters or windows do not work well on the barbecues as they leave a white film or very visible streaks.
~Cleaning the Grill~
The blackened grill part of the barbecue is the messiest and the hardest part to clean. You are going to want to make sure that you are in clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty because when the black comes off you will be one of its destinations.
To minimize your mess think about cleaning your grill in the bathtub. You will be able to control the flaking and spraying, will be able to use the side of the bathtub to guard yourself and will be able to easily rinse down the left over mess. The only time that the tub is not recommended is if you have large chunks or a lot of solid burnt on food that will be coming off as this can clog your drain.
To clean the grill run it under very hot water to soften what is burnt on and scrub it down with a wire brush designed for the grills. No cleaning chemicals necessary as the scrubbing and the hot water will get off what is going to come off.
Since you are cleaning and dismantling to clean the grill anyway, now is a great time to check to make sure that everything is working and will be safe to use. If you are using a barbecue that uses briquettes to heat, clean out and dispose of the ashes that have collected at the bottom of the barbecue. Go over it and make sure that it is not too rusty, that there are no broken pieces that could hurt someone and that its legs are still secure and will not fall over.
If you are using a propane barbecue, check the hose that attaches to the propane tank to make sure that there is no fraying or cuts and that the attachments are still secure. Check to make sure that the grill still lights properly as it should and that it lights all the way. If something is not working consult your owners manual to order a replacement part, do not try to use it until you are able to fix it.
If you find something that can not be fixed, such as there are parts that are too rusty to use anymore, dispose of the barbecue properly and head to the store for a new one. Never ever use a barbecue that is not safe or is not in working condition.