Thursday 23 February 2012

BBQ maintenance & Cleaning which is often neglected!

Now that Spring and the mild weather is fast approaching lots of you guys will be taking their BBQ out of storage. So now is a good time to do a good maintenance on your BBQ before its first use for safety and health reason! 

Lots of house fire are started in Spring from dirty BBQ and this is why a good maintenance is very important to perform!  Don't worry the maintenance is quite easy to perform and will take you approximately one hour to perform. It also a good I deal to do a BBQ maintenance routine every two months!

For gas BBQ:

The first thing you want to do is give your burner and inside of your BBQ a good vacuuming and clean the access grease from the inside the BBQ!

1. "Spider and Insect Alert!

Every year we get 1 or 2 people scared to use their grills as they report fire shooting out from under the control panel. While this is a frightening situation to people as it is unnerving it can be explained. This is called a flashback fire which is caused by a blockage in the venturi tubes leaking to the burner. See image below for using a venturi brush to do regular maintenance on your venturies. Some BBQ's use an iron or bronze burner with many small holes. The Grill Pro or Grand Cafe BBQ's are one manufacturer that use these burners. Regular maintenance requires that the burners be removed and the holes cleaned out with a coat hanger or some people use a drill bit on a battery drill. Be careful not to enlarge the holes as this can cause your grill to dangerously over heat.

Consult your BBQ manual for correct maintenance procedures pertinent to the model you bought. Also make sure if you are using propane gas to turn the tank off when you are finished using the grill. On natural gas models a safety shut off valve should be shut off which is near your grill. This will prevent little fingers from playing with your BBQ and accidentally turning the gas on!

Now it's time to perform a leak test in a WELL VENTILATED AREA PREFERABLY OUTSIDE.

What you will need:

  1. A mixture of 50% liquid dish soap and 50% water
  2. A paint brush or spray bottle to apply the mixture
Test Connections

  • All propane cylinder welds, hand wheel, and connections
  • Regulator and propane cylinder connection
  • Natural Gas Hose and connections
  • All hoses and connections between the manifold, side burner and propane cylinder
Attention: Perform leak test in a well ventilated area away from any open flame, heat or ignition source.

How to Conduct a Leak Test

  1. Create a mixture of 50% water and 50% liquid dishwashing soap.
  2. Open the lid
  3. Ensure all control knobs are in the “OFF”/ closed position
  4. Open the valve on your propane cylinder 1 turn, or turn the main natural gas valve on.
  5. Apply the soap water mixture onto all test connections outlined above.
  6. Check for growing bubbles, which indicates that a leak is present
  7. If a leak is found, turn OFF the propane valve. Tighten any leaking connection and repeat test until no leaks are detected."
1. Source of spider and insect alert:

Now use a soft cloth and a gentle dish soap to wipe the exterior of your grill. A mixture of water and ammonia or vinegar can be used to clean any glass. If you must use a scrubber ensure it is made of rubber to avoid chipping and scratching the paint. After cleaning thoroughly, you must ensure you completely dry everything.

Now ensure that all screws nuts and bolts of your BBQ are still nice and tight!

Also ensure that you clean out all grease pans!!

BBQ Grills/Grates

When it comes to BBQ maintenance you really need to pay close attention to the cooking grill/grates.
The first tool you will use is a good BBQ wire brush to remove as much grime and carbon build up as possible.

The next step will be to use soap and water on your grills.

If you find the grills/grates to be too dirty to clean up then steel wool may be what you need to use.

One important key when you use soap is to make sure you have the grills completely rinsed off before you ever cook on them again. 

The last step is to use Canola oil and give your grill/grate a light coating to protect them from rust!


Baking soda is a very nice cleaning and polishing agent. Once you have removed any extra debris and buildup, lightly scrubbing your barbeque grill with baking soda will give it that extra shine, similar to the day that you brought it home from the store.

This can also be used on handles and knobs to remove any extra buildup that cannot be taken off with a wire brush.

Aluminum foil can also be used to keep your grill looking nice. Gently rub the aluminum foil on your grill, and you will notice that it removes grim and buildup.

2. "Charcoal grills. 
Check the coal grate. It often warps and corrodes. It is subjected to some serious heat after all. Don’t try to straighten it out if it is warped. It will probably crack. As long as it is not preventing airflow underneath you can keep using it. Replacements are easy to find. Also check other moving parts like vents and chimneys."

2.  Source for charcoal grills: &

Big Green Eggs and Kamado Joe Maintenance

For ceramic cookers it is very important to clean out the ashes from the fire box after every couple of cooks using the ash removal tool! I recommend to remove the firebox and fire ring ounce a month so that you can clean the ash build up in the air gap between the wall of the ceramic cooker and firebox. Also its a good ideal to brush the inside of the ceramic cooker with a pizza stone brush ounce in a while as well!

I also give a light oil coating on the top vent and all cast iron parts. Also every months check the bolts and nuts of the nest and hinge to ensure they are still nice and tight!

If the Ceramic cooker's inside is real dirty fill the firebox with large pieces of Lump charcoal and remove the cooking grates and top vent. Now light the BBQ and let it reach 800 degree F and hold that temp for 15 to 20 minutes. This is basically a self clean procedure of the inside of the cooker. P.S. don't open the lid during this process due to the dangers of backdrafts!

Now your ready to cook again on a safe and clean BBQ!!

Safety TIP: Always have a fire extinguisher by your BBQ when using your BBQ!

How to clean GRILLGRATES from:

The source for this is from:

The surfaces of GrillGrates are unbelievably easy to clean with a wire brush when hot, but the valleys tend to build up carbon which reduces their efficiency. A long bristle wire brush from the hardware store works well, but the standard wire brushes for grills do not. I’ve had good luck cleaning the valleys with a narrow scraper blade (and heavy glove) when they are hot. 

Happy Grilling!!!!


  1. After enjoying a great barbecue party, it is time to do every barbecue lover's most dreaded task: cleaning the grill. It is almost always a frustrating task especially with those hard to reach areas.If you leave the grill unclean, all those drippings can serve as breeding ground for germs and bacteria which can be very dangerous to the health.

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  2. I totally aggree with you karly! This is why I stress cleaning the grill before and after each cook!

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