You’re at the barbecue, about to cook for your hungry guests and looking forward to an evening of good food and great company. The preparations have been made, your guests are engaged in lively conversation around the table, all you need to do now is barbecue the food. You lift the lid and…oops. The cooking grate is still dirty from last time.
But there’s no need for this to ever happen again! Cleaning the cooking grate is quick and easy once you know how. All you need for a basic clean is a good grill brush, cooking oil, a hot barbecue and 15 seconds.
1. Brush While The Grill Is Hot
Always clean your barbecue while it is hot. This saves time and unnecessary wear on your grill brush. Spend 10-15 seconds brushing the hot grate clean and leave to dry naturally.
2. Remember To Brush
Use a solid grill brush on the grate and wipe it at the end using a damp cloth. Some grill brushes may only be used on the grate and not on the interior of the grill. You can use folded metal foil here instead. You should generally only use grill brushes with stainless steel or brass bristles.
3. Surface Rust
If some surface rust appears on the welded joints on your grill, you can easily remove it using non-acidic oil (WD40). It is a good idea to regularly apply a little non-acidic oil to the exterior welds on your barbecue. Then polish using a dry cloth. Never use non-acidic oil inside the barbecue.
4. The Exterior
Clean the exterior surfaces of teh barbecue using soapy water and a damp cloth. Then polish using a dry cloth.
Weber’s kettle barbecue and large coloured gas barbecues are not painted – they are porcelain enamelled. Yet after extended use, flakes may appear on the inside of the lid which fall off. These are not paint, but charred fat residue which does not have to be removed. Yet it can be removed if desired by thorough cleaning with hot, soapy water.
6. Cast Iron Grate
Cast iron products need a little bit more TLC because it is susceptible to rusting. The care required is quite straight forward though. Always apply oil to your cast iron grate after each use and occasionally pamper your grate by immersing it in scalding, soapy water. Place it back on the grill and give it full heat for 15 minutes. The remaining grime should now be charred and can be scrubbed off using a grill brush. Apply a complete layer of cooking oil afterwards to protect the grate against rust. For storage, follow the usual steps but once dry and cooled, apply a layer of solid vegetable fat such as Trex. Wrap in kitchen paper or newspaper and pop in a kitchen cupboard.
7. Weber Q and Gas Barbecues
The burners at the base of Q and gas barbecues need to be cleaned occasionally. Turn off the barbecue, let it cool, and then brush the grime off the burners using a clean grate brush. Regularly remove the layer of fat at the bottom using a normal kitchen scourer. Scrape it down into the drip tray so it cannot catch fire.
8. Flavorizer Bars
If you want to get them extra clean you can immerse the bars in soapy water. Use a scourer to clean them, rinse thoroughly and wipe dry using a tea towel.
9. Oil, Oil, Oil
Generally, you should apply oil to your food before you begin barbecuing instead of oiling the grill itself. This helps the food not to stick. However, if using a cast iron grate, a safe and easy way to apply oil to the grate is to dip half an onion in oil and rub the onion onto the grate using a barbecue fork, so you avoid burning your fingers. This seasons your grate at the same time as oiling. Never using a basting brush, as the grill may flame up and the brush may melt. Never use olive oil as it may become rancid and give the food an unpleasant taste.
10. Barbecue Cleaner
If you want a perfectly clean grill you should use Weber’s grill cleaner spray to ensure an extra shiny surface.
Essential Cleaning Tool Kit
This genuine Weber barbecue cleaner is ideal for cleaning the inside of all Weber barbecues. This cleaner degreases, deodorizes and cleans burnt on grime and food deposits on the enamel. This liquid makes it easy to loosen fat and food residue, keeping your barbecue clean and ready for use next time. Simply spray on, leave for 30 seconds and wash off with warm water. For more stubborn grill cleaning use a grill cleaning brush.
Weber 12″ T Brush – Perfect for Gas Barbecues
The triangular shape of this cleaning brush means that it’s perfect for reaching the hard to reach spots between the cooking grate rods. Rust resistant brass bristles make this an extremely durable tool
Weber 18″ Grill Brush – Perfect for Charcoal Barbecues
This grill brush with stainless steel bristles is perfect for cleaning grates found in charcoal barbecues. Set into a bamboo handle with a notched scraper this will make cleaning your barbecue easy.
Weber Small and Large Drip Trays
Prevention is sometimes better than a cure! Weber drip trays protect your barbecue from fat and juices that otherwise become baked on, making them difficult to remove again. Weber drip trays also collect juices to make perfect gravy and have high sides to prevent spills. They also have a sturdy design making them reuseable. Not suitable for Weber Summit barbecues.