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July 5, 2012

Cleaning the Barbecue Grate

by BBQ Insanity

In this post we discuss an important barbecue technique – How to clean the barbecue grate. This is the cooking grate that the food goes on, rather than the charcoal grate that supports the charcoal. It’s important to clean the barbecue grate before and after each cooking session.  But this does not mean you need to go to the trouble of scrubbing it in the kitchen sink!  That’s a messy job and really not necessary due to the high temperatures the cooking grate will get to anyway.  No germs will survive such high temperatures, so the aim when cleaning the grate is really only to remove loose food debris.  The only cleaning items required is a combination of high temperature and a wire brush!

Before cooking: When the charcoal has been lit, put it in the BBQ, and place the cooking grate above the coals.  Put the lid onto the BBQ and let the heat build up for around 5 minutes.  Ensure that the air vent in the lid of the BBQ is open.  Otherwise you may choke the fire.


When the cooking grate has had a chance to heat up, use a wire brush to scrape off any burnt pieces of food that may remain from the last cooking session.  I usually lift the grate (using heat proof gloves) to ensure that both sides of the grate have been cleared of food debris.


The next step is to treat the grate to stop the food from sticking to it.  Pour a little bit of olive oil into a small bowl, and then dip a folded piece of kitchen paper into it, to soak up the olive oil.  Then, using tongs, gently wipe the soaked kitchen paper along the grate.   Be careful not to use too much olive oil, or you’ll get a flare up.


After cooking:  Repeat the first step.  Cover with the lid for a few minutes to build up the temperature and ensure that any food debris gets cremated!  Then apply the wire brush again to brush off carbonized food particles.


If you have any any other tips and tricks on how best to clean the barbecue grate, then please let us know by leaving a comment.


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