Continuing with the BBQ theme this week I'm sharing how to clean your BBQ. If you are looking into getting a new BBQ then check out my guide to buying a BBQ.  Our BBQ is need of a clean after the winter months and I'm guessing most of you reading this probably haven't looked at it or given it a thought until now. 

Since your BBQ hasn't most likely been looked at from last summer it's a good idea to get food safe and sparkling before your next get together. I reccomend at least giving it a day before you use it to make sure you can give your BBQ the care it needs. 

Gas BBQs 

Make sure with gas BBQs before you give it a clean that you disconnect it from your gas supply first. Make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and hot water in which you leave for a couple of minutes on the grates before scrubbing using an abrasive brush or tough sponge. Once done you just need to rinse off with water and paper dry. For inside and outside of your BBQs body give it a careful but thorough clean using either hot soapy water or cleaning solution. Dry with paper towel like with the grate and reassemble and connect to the gas only when fully dry.

Charcoal BBQ 

The first time you set your coals alight should be when giving your charcoal BBQ a clean. Fill the drum with coals and heat it as you usually would this makes cleaning the grate easier. Once hot enough old burnt food should start to soften and fall off. Like with a gas BBQ using a paste of bicarbonate of soda and hot water to clean the grate once removed from the BBQ works well. Rinse off with clean water and dry with paper towels. With charcoal BBQs you also need to remember to remove the coal (once cooled down) and any ash. Don't leave it too long as ash can moisten and harden into difficult to remove clumps once too cold. A brush is ideal for removing the last layer from the drum. Follow the same steps for cleaning and drying the inside and outside of drum like you would a gas BBQ (mentioned above).

I thought I'd also share some tips below to protect your BBQ so it's easier next time. 

- Coating the grill with oil to prevent food from sticking works well.

- Wipe off any food and, with charcoal  BBQs, ensure you brush out the coal and ash as the BBQ cools after you cook and eat. Doing this after each time you have a BBQ makes it easier for you at a later date.

- Keep it under a protective cover when you’re not using it, especially during the winter month's.Better yet,  if you have space put it into storage to stop the weather from ruining it.

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