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How to keep your charcoal BBQ clean

Depending on the barbequing tradition of your family, you might be indifferent to fuel choice … or you may admonish anything that isn’t a charcoal barbeque as the highest form of sacrilege. Charcoal gives food extra flavour, especially if you opt for something like the Smokey Mountain Weber series, with its vertically elongated smoke chamber, and water tray for added moisture. But while charcoal burners are flavour kings and queens, they do have a dash of diva.

They take longer to light, require outdoor space for ventilation, and are fussier than gas or electric BBQs. Once you’re okay with all these caveats, then it’s just a matter of getting the right charcoal BBQ grill for your needs. These days, there are models small enough for a tiny urban balcony. You could look for an easy-cleaning model like the Weber Smokey Joe. It has a one-touch ash catcher, so when you want to clean it, you just remove and empty said ash catcher.

Daily maintenance

Either way, if you’re someone that BBQs regularly, it’s helpful to clean after every use. Once you’re done with cooking, set your BBQ to its maximum heat and run it for ten to fifteen minutes. This turns any food deposits into blackened, hardened crusts that are easier to clean off. Let it cool for a bit to avoid burning yourself, then clean the grates using a long-handled grill brush (we have some in stock). Alternatively, crumple some foil into a ball, hold it with tongs, and use it to scrub the grills until they’re clean.

Next, dip a clean rag or paper towel into vegetable oil, then grip the oily wad between your tongs and use it to wipe down the grates. This has three functions. It prevents rust between uses, it removes any leftover residue, and it ensures your food won’t stick to the grills the next time you cook. On the downside, the vegetable oil can attract dust, so keep your BBQ hidden under a secure lid and/or a dust-proof cover.

Seasonal maintenance

Wood heaters ignite better when there’s a little ash left in the grate, but that’s not necessarily true of charcoal Webers. If yours has an ash catcher, you can empty it every week or so – you don’t have to dump it out after every use. But at the beginning and/or end of BBQ season, you should take the ash out. During the season, extract the ash regularly, because if the ash pile gets too deep, it will affect temperature control, and that can influence your barbequing results.

If your BBQ has no ash catcher, pull out the grate and remove the ash manually, then clean the bottom of your BBQ with water and mild soap. This can be dishwashing liquid or designated products like Weber All Purpose BBQ Cleaner. Clean the outside of the BBQ with soap and water as well. After washing and rinsing, dry every part of the BBQ with a towel, to prevent rust. Cover your BBQ or put it in the store for the off-season. Because many Aussies BBQ year-round, you can do this deep-clean once a month to keep your BBQ in top condition.

For high-quality charcoal BBQs (and more tips on keeping them clean), call Home Heat and BBQ today on 02 9838 1300.

 

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