BBQ Maintenance 101

If you are new to barbecuing, one of the most important things to know is how to properly maintain your barbecue. Here at BBQ Tips, we have put together our own guide to basic barbecue maintenance so you can keep your barbecue looking spotless and ready for use whatever the weather. It has been tried and tested by us and works every time.

Having a clean, well-maintained barbecue means it will last a lot longer, saving you money in the long run. A high-quality barbecue is not cheap to buy, which makes it even more important to maintain its cleanliness and overall quality. Even if you are not an avid barbecue chef and don’t use your barbecue all the time, it is important to give it a quick maintenance check every month to make sure all is intact and to a standard that will not harm the barbecue when it’s not in use.

There is nothing worse than when you come to get your barbecue out on a hot summers evening to accommodate family and friends, to then realise it’s covered in cobwebs with leftover pieces of food from the last usage or even a wonky wheel! This level of neglect to your barbecue makes it look horrible and gives you another job that you could have avoided by simply showing your barbecue some love and making sure it’s well maintained!

Check for propane leaks

We recommend checking your barbecue for propane leaks at least once a month if possible as part of your regular maintenance. This way you will hopefully be aware of any problems before they get in way of one of your barbecues.

To check for propane leaks, turn on the propane and run some soapy water along the gas line and connections. If any bubbles appear, it means that there is a leak.

To fix the propane leak, you may just need to tighten the connections. However, in the worst-case scenario, you may need to replace the gas line completely.

Cover the grill

It is really important to keep your barbecue covered when it’s not in use to protect it from the elements.

It’s likely that your barbecue didn’t come with a cover when you purchased it. Most brands will have covers for their barbecues that can be bought separately, or alternatively, you can buy something more generic. Whatever option you decide, make sure you purchase one that covers the entire barbecue for the best protection.

Covering your barbecue protects it from collecting dirt and rusting due to wet weather, especially if you don’t have somewhere to store your barbecue in the winter months (unless you want to enjoy a winter barbecue!). However, even in the summer months, the British weather can still be very unpredictable, which is why we recommend keeping your barbecue covered whenever it is not in use.

Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning your barbecue, we recommend doing a quick spot clean after each use. For a spot clean simply brush the grates with a stainless-steel brush. This should remove any grease or food that has become stuck during barbecuing, leaving your barbecue fresh for its next use.

We also suggest giving your barbecue a deep clean occasionally too. This does not have to be done as frequently as a spot clean, but we recommend doing it at least once or twice a year if possible. Once at the beginning of your barbecue season, and again at the end of the year are the best times for a deep clean!

For a deep clean, remove the grills and soak them in hot soapy water. Spray with a strong degreaser and scrub with the stainless-steel brush. Some barbecue experts recommend putting the grill on high (with the lid down) for about 15 minutes to burn the excess grease deposits. Any grease and food deposits will then be easier for you to remove than liquid grease.

If you wish to clean the burner tubes as part of your deep clean, make sure the propane tank is turned off before doing so. Remove the briquettes and cooking grates, then slowly and carefully detach the gas tubes and burner. Clean the tubes with warm, soapy water and towel dry them and wipe the burner clean with a damp cloth. Towel dry the gas ports on the burner, and then if needed you can clean them out with a toothpick.

It is important to ensure everything is cooled down and dry after deep cleaning. Once the barbecue has cooled down remove the coals/ash if you have a charcoal grill or disconnect the gas if you have a gas barbecue.

If you’d like a more detailed summary of how to deep clean your charcoal or gas barbecue, check out our more in-depth guide on how to do so.

Safety

And lastly here are just some safety tips to make sure all your barbecues go smoothly and accident-free!

  • Be sure to open the lid before lighting a gas grill.
  • Make sure your grill is at least 10 feet away from the house and other flammable materials.
  • Whenever you change your gas cylinder, be sure to turn off the gas taps and change the cylinder in an open air space.
  • If you have any worries about the safety of a gas barbecue, do not use it. We would recommend you contact a gas safe registered engineer who will know what to do to make it safe again.
  • When giving your barbecue a maintenance check, do not over tighten any of the bolts.
  • Whilst it is great to get the whole family involved in the making of the food, do not leave any child unsupervised at the barbecue. Ensure that the children understand the dangers of controlling a barbecue so they can avoid them.

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