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Top Tips on Looking After Your Barbecue

man flipping burgers on a barbecue

The summer barbecue season is almost upon us and it will soon be time to get the grill back in action and start brushing up on all those delicious outdoor recipes.

As being experienced suppliers of stone and masonry barbecues, Big K have provided these top maintenance tips which will help you get the most out of your barbecue and enjoy plenty of tasty outdoor meals right through the summer.

Clean Your Barbecue Before You Use It…

If you’ve bought a new barbecue, it can be tempting to fire it up and get cooking straight away, especially if the sun is shining and you and your guests are getting hungry. However, it is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions as they will often list some requirements for preparing your barbecue for its first use.

Whether you have just installed your barbecue for the first time or have recently got it out of its winter home, it’s important to always give it a thorough clean before the first use of the year. This applies even if you left it in good condition at the end of the last outdoor cooking season – insects, rust, dust and dirt could easily have made their way into your barbecue.

Put rubber gloves on and make sure you use cleaning materials appropriate for the problem. For example, use brushes with stainless bristles for hardened, baked-on food and warm soapy water for stains.

Don’t forget to clean the barbecue hoods, covers and lids, as well as all cooking surfaces, food preparation surfaces and barbecue utensils.

…and Afterwards

After providing a delicious grilled meal for your family or friends, it’s easy to walk away from the barbecue thinking you’re now relieved of your duties, or to promise yourself you’ll return to clean it… before forgetting all about it as soon as dessert arrives. However, this approach will mean you’ll end up spending twice as long cleaning your barbecue than if you just deal with it soon after you’ve eaten.

After you have finished cooking, leave the heat for a few minutes so that any food or grease deposits will be baked into a hardened layer; you’ll find this is far easier to remove than liquid grease. This cleaning regime should be used after every meal you use it for; it is also a good idea to deep clean your barbecue every three months.

You can also steam-clean it by covering the grill in water-soaked old newspaper while the barbecue is cooling down and closing the lid. While it is best to clean your barbecue while it is still warm, it’s also important to let it cool down enough to removing any charcoal or ash from the grill. If you’re using a gas supply, don’t forget to disconnect it from the grill before you begin cleaning.

Big K supplies a special barbecue cleaner which can be used on all grills and cooking surfaces, including masonry barbecues. The spray-on product will cut through the grimiest of surfaces. We also stock cleaning kits with a pan, brush and spatula, together with a holder so you can dispose of any used charcoal quickly and efficiently

Minimise Mess with Oil and Foil

Tin foil can be used to line any ash pan; this makes it easier to clean out and helps make the barbecue more efficient by reflecting the heat back onto the food. Prevention is better than cure – if you use the oil to coat the food rather than the grill, this will help cut down the amount of deposits and reduce the amount of cleaning.

If you’re cooking fish, sea food or other delicate foods, cook it in foil pouches to stop it falling apart and onto the coals. Likewise, if you’re cooking a roast or marinated meat, you can use an aluminium foil tray to contain all the lovely juices.

Keep it Covered

If your barbecue is a permanent or semi-permanent structure, it may be a time-consuming process to move it into the garage or shed all the time when it’s not in use. You can avoid long-term damage caused by the unpredictable British weather by covering it up.

Big K supplies a durable, weather-proof covers suitable for brick, gas, masonry and stone barbecues and up to two accompanying side tables, or for barbecues without a chimney.

Check the Instructions

Some types of barbecue may recommend using specific cleaning products. If you do not follow the manufacturer’s instructions, you may invalidate the warranty. For example, some manufacturers do not recommend using abrasive scourers, such as wire wool, as these can damage the surface of chrome-coated grills; sponge pads may be better.

Big K supplies a complete range of fuel for stone and masonry barbecues and other accessories. These include charcoal lumpwood and briquettes suitable for both commercial and domestic use, barbecue cleaners, and stainless steel tool and utensil sets. Follow the link above to view our full range of barbecue-related products.