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Have you already started dreaming of lazy balmy days out in the garden grilling steak and sizzling sausages on the family Barbeque? Do yourself a favor.
Make it easy to pounce on those rare sunny weekends as they happen. Ensure your Barbeque is prepped, seasoned, cleaned and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Here are a few reminders and tips to get you summer-ready.
If you bought one, make sure it is seasoned first. Washing, drying, oiling, and heating are the key steps. This ensures the BBQ hot plate lasts longer.
For a steam clean, spray water on a thin cloth or newspaper on the grill, insert it and close the lid while there's still enough heat inside to generate steam inside.
The steam will release the last remnants of grease and fat, transferring it into the newspaper, which you can then bin!
Fighting grease with elbow grease is your next step!
A stiff-bristled brush or a ball of scrunched-up foil will get the last stubborn grease bits off. Beware if you have porcelain finishes - don’t use a metal wire brush.
Then finish off with good old fashioned warm water, suds and a good cleaning cloth.
Some say a dash of leftover beer will also help get the grease off due to its acidic properties - put some on and apply with the hard-bristled brush.
An onion rubbed over the cooking surfaces is another hack for removing grease. It also comes with antibacterial properties.
The key is to use a slightly acidic liquid. You can soak the BBQ grill and utensils in a coffee solution. This will also work at cutting through the dirt and removing any remnants of food.
For smaller cooking plates (assuming there is no special enamel or coating) just put them in a dishwasher for a final clean.
For stainless steel finishes, you can use appropriate stainless steel cleaners. You can even use white vinegar mixed in equal parts with water in an empty spray bottle - a much loved sustainable home remedy.
Baking soda on the grill with a sponge or scourer and some water will also leave it shining.
When cleaning the base under your cooking grill, start by removing any final remnants of ash and fuel.
Handle the chore of cleaning out ashes from larger units with a purpose-built ash vacuum cleaner. These are usually ideal for cleaning cold ashes from fireplaces, BBQs, wood stoves etc. It is a worthwhile investment that can be used indoors for the fireplace during the winter months.
Then wipe down with warm water and a sponge.
You can touch up a tarnished BBQ or rejuvenate fuel fires and accessories with stove paint. Give your appliance or accessory a new matt black finish, protect it and keep it looking new again. It is heat resistant to 650 Degrees (centigrade) and corrosion-resistant. Perfect for BBQs.
Now that it’s prepped and clean make sure you have stocked up on fuel so you won’t be caught out when the opportunity arrives, and you can fire up your BBQ on an impulse!
Some fuel options for stocking up include
After you have cleaned your Barbeque and are ready to stow it away again, cover the cooking surfaces with cooking oil to protect those internal parts.
Wipe down the outside of the Barbeque with warm water, suds and cloth, dry it down and then buff it with a dry towel or cloth. If there are enamel surfaces, you may want to protect them further with a thin sheen of baby oil.
Last but not least, don’t forget to keep your hard-working BBQ in good nick all summer by protecting it from the Irish weather with a decent BBQ cover. Use it to cover your BBQ after each use but only once it has cooled down.
A cover helps protect against mould and rust. Covers are more relevant if leaving a more heavy-duty appliance outside instead of storing it back in a shed.
As an added precaution, don’t forget to stay safe during BBQ season by keeping a handy fire blanket and Fire extinguishers nearby in case of mishaps and flare-ups.
Remember, never be tempted to do your grilling inside the house - always grill outside to prevent a house fire. Using a charcoal or propane grill inside your home or garage will also put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.