Don’t you just love summer BBQs? There is nothing more fun than assembling a group of your favourite friends and family members, buying huge platters of fresh meat from the butchers (or Tesco), stocking up on crates of beer, and firing up the barbie.

Each year, as soon as it becomes hot enough (or maybe a little bit before), we start preparing the garden and planning those hot summer days and long balmy nights, filled with interesting chatter, tasty salads, and above all – freshly barbecued burgers.

As the day draws to a close, and the last of your relatives kisses you goodbye, thanking you for the delicious food and wonderful company, you have about one minute of feeling rather pleased with yourself before your thoughts turn to the barbecue.

And there it is, your pride and joy – the once gleaming barbecue now covered in dripping grease, burnt on fat, and with bits of food wrapped around the grill.

At this point, you have two choices, both of which assume that your BBQ has been extinguished and had time to cool down: either push the filthy BBQ into a dark corner of the garage and forget about it; or don your rubber gloves and protective clothing and get to work.

Assuming you actually want to use your barbecue again and don’t want to have to spend a few hundred pounds on a new barbecue every time you have friends round, option 2 is probably the most suitable, so here are some top tips for cleaning your barbecue.

How to Clean the Barbecue Cooking Grill

First of all, you should tackle the cooking grill. This is likely to be in pretty bad shape, so get ready:

Start with a wire brush and simply brush off all the excess fat, grease and food. If you have a large indoor sink in your garage or utility room, you can move here to take care of the next step. If not, you may want to consider getting a large bucket full of soapy water, and do the cleaning and scrubbing outside. Soapy water will do the job, but it will require patience, and probably a lot of scrubbing. It may be more useful to get a barbecue grill cleaner. A good cleaner will allow you to simply spray the grate and leave it to work its magic for several minutes – possibly longer depending on the cleaner. When you come back to your grate, there will be hardly any scrubbing required and you will simply be able to wipe it clean.

A few good options include Weber® Q And Grate Cleaner, Jeyes Fluid Spray BBQ Cleaner, and Bar-Be-Quick BBQ Cleaner. Scourers are also useful for this stage.

How to Polish the Barbecue Itself

Once your grills are clean, it’s time for the main event – the appliance! If you have a gas barbecue, this will probably be little more than disconnecting the gas and simply wiping the whole thing down with soapy water. It will be spick and span in no time at all. If, however, you have a charcoal appliance, a little more effort is necessary.

  • First of all, you will need to tip all the ashes and spent charcoal into a bag. Caution here: if you haven’t left the BBQ long enough, there is a chance that it may still be smouldering.
  • Double check for any signs of smoke, light or heat before you attempt this bit. If you have abandoned the task the night before and are tackling your cleaning the following day, you should be alright.
  • In order to remove the coal and ash, you may need something along the lines of a trowel so you can scoop some of it out to make it easy and light enough for you to tip.
  • When you begin your scrubbing, don’t neglect the area under the hood, the inside walls, and any metal plates or attachments.
  • You may need to cover up any heating elements to do your scrubbing. A metal brush or scouring pad can be used for the inside areas if they have been splashed with grease, and you may want to get your cleaning spray out for any tough to clean areas.
  • Once you have cleaned the inside, wipe down the exterior and leave to dry.

How to Clean the Barbecue Drip Tray

If you have a drip tray, where are the dripping grease has gathered, you will need to wait for the grease to harden and then scoop out into a bag. Linda Firth from consumer website,, suggests this top tip, “A good trick is to mix it with some cat litter if you have some. Rather than have to risk putting a bag of sludge in your bin, which has the potential to ooze out of its bag and coat your bin, the cat litter will absorb the grease and it will be much easier to dispose of.


Once dry, you should be able to replace all of your grates, grills, resting trays, drip trays, and other elements. Then it’s time to push your gleaming barbecue into the garage, knowing that the next time the sun shines, you will be able to arrange an impromptu BBQ at a moment’s notice, without having to worry about how you are going to restore your shabby appliance.

Source: Shutterstock / Author: nd3000

  • Last update: February 26, 2019

Posted in Cleaning Guides

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