How to Clean BBQ Grill?

If you’re preparing to use last year’s barbecue for a garden party or if you’ve just finished a day and night of grilling (and rustling up some tasty BBQ lamb burgers with beetroot relish). But the evening is finished, and all that’s left is a filthy grill.

Whatever situation you’re in, we’d like to know the best way to clean a barbecue and eliminate all the grease and grime. Fortunately, many items in your kitchen and around the house can be used as effective cleaning agents (including onion and coffee). Following these clever cleaning hacks from Garden Buildings Direct and Buster, you’ll have a sparkling grill and clean BBQ in no time, whether you have a freestanding BBQ or a mini portable one.

Here are Some Ways to Clean your Barbecue Grill

Begin by Inspecting All of the Components

If your BBQ is portable, remove it from the shed or garage, uncover it if it stays outside, and inspect it for any damage or rust. Check that no knobs have been knocked off, that the hinges are still in good working order, and that all of the grills and grates have been properly replaced. Brush away any cobwebs or spiders that may have made home during the winter, and then wipe everything down with a damp cloth.

Remove Any Remaining Ash from the Grill’s Base

Remove and set aside the upper and lower grill grates. Using a small grill shovel or a hand-held brush and dustpan, remove the ash and burned-out charcoal from the grill’s base. Please put it in the trash in a non-combustible container. If your charcoal is made entirely of hardwood, you can re-use it in your garden, as hardwood ash can help improve the quality of your soil. Cooled ash can be spread directly throughout your yard, dissolved in a bucket of water and poured over your garden, or added to the compost pile.

Scrub the Grill and Heat it

The heat will loosen the clinging dirt particles and, in some cases, char them into easily removed ash. Get your grill going—cover your gas grill to concentrate the heat, or use a chimney to get things going if you’re using charcoal. Then scrub the grates vigorously with a wire grill brush. This is where you might need a little extra strength and determination—and a good pair of heat-resistant gloves wouldn’t hurt—but once you get past this point, it’s all downhill.

Grease the Grill Grates

Take a cloth kitchen towel (one set aside for this purpose—and here’s Epi’s favorite) and dip it in vegetable oil until it’s just coated but not dripping. Rub the oil all over the grill grates while holding the towel with tongs. “If you’re cooking steak, your grill is now primed and ready,” says Joe Carroll, chef of Fette Sau and co-author of Feeding the Fire. However, if you’re cooking something more delicate, such as skinless chicken or meat coated in a sticky sauce, he recommends “waiting 5 minutes and then oiling the grates again.” He recommends oiling your grill three to four times and up to ten times for fish.

Using Newspaper and Steam, Clean the BBQ Grill

We can use a newspaper trick to clean a caked-on BBQ grill. Allow your barbecue to cool slightly before laying a sheet of old newspaper across the top and generously spritzing with water. Close the lid for 30 minutes to allow the steam to clean it.

Grab one sheet of newspaper and place it on the BBQ you’ve been using, then spray the newspaper with water. Replace the lid, and we will thoroughly clean your BBQ with steam. It will begin to extract the grease, fat, and bits from the food. Put the newspaper away because it will be greasy and dirty when you remove it (in the bin). And you’ll discover that the newspaper has done most of the legwork for you.

Clean the Grill

To remove any remaining food particles, use a grill brush with wire bristles. To avoid damaging your porcelain-coated rack, use a grill brush with brass bristles. Is there no grill brush? Instead, roll aluminum foil into a ball and scrub the grill with it. Then, using a dishcloth and hot soapy water, clean the grill.

If that doesn’t work, you could try using a household cleaner. Some, however, can be abrasive and toxic for a barbecue, so choose a cleaner designed specifically for the job, such as Jeyes barbecue cleaner, £3.50 for 750ml, B&Q. (opens in new tab).

Clean with an Onion

A brilliant BBQ hack is to clean your grill with an onion. ‘An onion attached to a fork is an unlikely cleaning savior,’ says the experts. ‘While the grill is still hot, attach half an onion to the end of a fork and rub it over the hot bars. The water in the onion steams away any stuck-on food and removes impurities with its natural antibacterial properties.’

Onions have natural antibacterial properties, and if you’re grilling with charcoal, you can toss the used onion right into the coals to add flavor to whatever you’re grilling.

Clean the Grill with White Vinegar

White vinegar, a household favorite for cleaning, is an excellent substitute for stainless steel cleaners. Fill a spray bottle halfway with white vinegar and half with water. Spray it on the grill and let it sit for five minutes before wiping it away with a clean, dry cloth.

Cooking Oil should be Used to Coat the Grill

This method may appear counter-productive to cleaning, but it will help prevent food from sticking and your grill from rusting. Give the grill a good coat of sunflower oil each time you use it, and then rub it down once you’re done. Your grill will be grateful.

Attempt to Clean the BBQ Base

If you leave the ash on the grill after it has cooled, it will collect moisture and become more difficult to clean later. To pick up the last bits, use a damp kitchen roll; alternatively, an outdoor vacuum is an easy way to collect any remaining bits. Then, using warm water and dishwashing liquid, thoroughly clean the base.

To Remove Rust, Add Ketchup

Tomato ketchup isn’t just for smothering burgers and bangers! Lynsey Crombie, the Queen of Clean, is to thank for this clever condiment cleaning hack! ‘Ketchup is an amazing cleaner for removing rust!’ she says, referring to the BBQs left outside in the elements last summer. Apply a small amount to rusty areas, wait a few minutes, and then watch it work its magic.

Add a Splash of Beer

BBQs and beers go together, so if you have a leftover beer after a barbecue, pour it over the grill while it’s still warm. Then scrub it with a wire brush to get it sparkling. Don’t worry; it’s not a waste of good beer; it’s a clever way to get the grill gleaming. ‘Use beer to clean your grill,’ Lynsey suggests. ‘With your scrubbing brush, pop beer onto the end,’ she demonstrates on This Morning. ‘The acid in the beer will aid in cleaning it (your grill).’

Soak Grilling Tools in Coffee

‘Believe it or not, coffee can be used as a cleaner,’ says the Home Essentials team (opens in new tab).

‘To remove stubborn stains, soak your grill and utensils in coffee (boiling water and grains). Coffee’s acidity will dissolve any dirt.’

To Clean, Use Tin Foil

While a specialist BBQ cleaning pumice stone can be used, you can do just as well with the leftover tin foil from your cooking. ‘If you’ve been using tin foil on your grill, roll it up and scrub away,’ says Lynsey Crombie. ‘That will begin to lift the food.’ We appreciate a good low-cost alternative to purchasing a cleaning tool!

Wipe the Outside Down

Wipe the exterior with fresh warm water and dishwashing liquid, then buff the metal shell with a dry cloth. Use a specialized polishing spray on your stainless steel barbecue. To protect your BBQ from the elements, apply a light coating of mineral or baby oil. This is especially important if you intend to leave your barbecue outside all summer, as it will give it a lovely shine. According to Dan, Weber has a great selection of enamel and stainless steel cleaners that will leave your barbecue gleaming. ‘I buff with a microfiber cloth for the best shine.’ Once you’ve completed all of this, you’re ready to go!’

Always Wear a Mask

To keep grime and dirt at bay all summer. It may appear a hassle, but covering your grill to protect it from the elements will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run. Most barbecue brands have covers available, and you’ll usually have to pay more for them, but they’ll keep rust at bay and extra dirt out between cookouts.

Keep an Eye on Things

Now that your barbecue is spotless keep it that way by cleaning it after each use with a barbecue cleaning product. The HG Grill and Barbeque Cleaner, which costs £5.47 for 500ml on Amazon (opens in a new tab), will do the job perfectly.

If you’re Short on Time, Use a Shortcut to Clean a BBQ

Try some antibacterial wipes that dry quickly. Land Mann Barbecue Cleaning Wipes, £17.99 for 40 at Amazon, are a favorite (opens in new tab). Alternatively, you can skip the scrubbing and hose down the grill with a pressure washer or, if it fits, place it in the dishwasher.

How do you Clean a BBQ After it has been Used?

Your barbecue, like everything else, requires regular maintenance, and using the right products can extend the life of your barbecue and keep it looking new all year.

‘Once your barbecue has cooled down, remove all the grates and internal components and clean everything with a T brush and scraper. An initial burn-off should have loosened the carbon deposits in the cook box, ensuring that all grease channels are clear. I would strongly advise using rubber gloves for this step! Once finished, replace all clean parts in the barbecues. Make sure not to jet wash or put components in the dishwasher, which can cause rusting.

Please wait for your BBQ to cool slightly before beginning to clean it with your chosen cleaning product. It may appear to be a tedious task to complete right away, but your future self will be grateful, and it means you’re ready to go the next time you have friends over. You’re lucky if you have a charcoal grill because a little cleaning goes a long way. Begin by softening the debris on the gates with a grill brush and a bucket of soapy water, then wipe it down to remove any stubborn grease.

How do you Clean the Inside of a Gas Grill?

It likely needs a thorough spring cleaning if you haven’t used your barbecue in a while. Barbecues generally tend to collect all kinds of dirt and grime if not regularly maintained, especially if left outside for an extended period. Cleaning methods for charcoal, pellet, electric, and gas barbecues vary depending on the components.

To begin, it is critical to have the proper tools. Weber(opens in new tab) sells various cleaning utensils and products, as well as a variety of full cleaning kits. We can include a T brush, barbecue cook box scraper, microfiber cloth, rubber or latex gloves, enamel and stainless-steel cleaner sprays, and, finally, an onion.

Whatever type of barbecue you have, we recommend doing a deep clean at least once a year. You will have a season of trouble-free grilling when you do this as needed.

If you want to stay on top of things and clean your bbq after winter, tackling the very inside of a BBQ is a great practice to maintain.

Much grease and food particles end up inside the grill’s interior, also known as the “grill box.” Empty the container and wash it with a mild detergent and warm water. If the debris has hardened from the previous season, scrape the sides of the grill chamber with an old metal or plastic knife or an old spatula.

Is it Necessary to Clean a BBQ Grill?

If you grill frequently, say once a week, clean the grates thoroughly every two months. And, twice a grilling season, give your grill a thorough cleaning to help it cook better and last longer.

How does One Clean a Barbecue with Vinegar?

Vinegar, particularly white table vinegar, is essential for cleaning your grill. Shake two cups of water and two cups of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the grills and other grease-covered areas. Allow the solution to sit for ten minutes.


This isn’t just a step-by-step guide to cleaning a BBQ; we’ve also included a few hacks to keep your grill clean all summer. Don’t forget to stock up on gas, coal, and firelighters so you can start grilling as soon as the weather warms up. Even if you’re looking for a new BBQ this summer, it’s always a good idea to clean it thoroughly before you begin cooking!