How To Maintain And Clean Your BBQ

With more time spent at home, now is the perfect time to seize the everyday by trying fun spins on made-at-home meals and kicking back with those closest to you in your own space. From tasty family-ready meals to the best way to clean and care for your grill, Canadian Tire and Yahoo Canada are proud to help Canadians get there by bringing you everything you need for the season

Photo via Canadian Tire

Patio season is upon us and with the warmer weather comes the season of outdoor entertaining with family. And with more time spent at home, it’s easier than ever to kick back and relax in your own outdoor space with those who matter most to you — and for many, that means BBQing.

But before tossing your steaks, burgers and skewers on to the grill, it’s important to take a few minutes to inspect your BBQ to ensure it works like new. After all, when it comes to food, maintenance and performance of your appliances go hand-in-hand.

According to Kevin McNamara, Brand Manager, Vermont Castings and MASTER Chef, Canadian Tire Retail, the main culprit to look out for is food residue. 

“Any sign of visible food residue on your internal components is a clear sign that you need to clean your grill,” explains McNamara. “If you don’t, the food residue compounds and becomes a much more difficult task to tackle.”

Rust is a form of corrosion often characterized by its reddish-brown colour and flaking or pitting of the metal, primarily caused by contact acids and salts often from the foods and marinates that we cook with. With that said, don’t be fooled by an orange or brown discolouration on stainless steel components as this is a normal result of exposure to high heat.

When it comes to prevention, there’s no better solution than regular cleaning. Below, we’ve rounded up up some expert maintenance tips and hacks to help you get the most out of your BBQ and to provide the best quality food for your loved ones to enjoy. 

Clean Cooking Grates Regularly 

Cooking grates and internal components, as this is where food residue is likely to build, should be scrubbed with a brush.

“A grill brush is an absolute essential, however, beware of steel bristle brushes which have been known to break off onto the grates and ultimately could end up lodged in your food. Instead, I recommend a grill brush with natural palmyra bristles like the  Vermont Castings Premium BBQ Grill Brush,” suggests  McNamara.

Made with natural palmyra bristle, this particular brush from Canadian Tire’s Smart Certified Program is designed to reduce the risk of accidental ingestion. 

For hardened residue, use a wooden grill scraper. The Vermont Castings Wood BBQ Grill Scraper Paddle safely and effectively removes hard-to-remove residue — this solution will help ensure your grill stays clean and in better condition. 

Re-Season Cooking Grates

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Prolong the life of cooking grates by re-seasoning with high-temperature cooking oil, as needed, even if they are porcelain-coated and pre-seasoned.  

Stainless steel cooking grates should also be seasoned with oil before each use to add non-stick qualities that will improve your cooking experience and protect your grates from the buildup of food residue.

Don’t Forget The Exterior 

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Use a cleaning spray and a cloth, this is especially for those with stainless steel exteriors where the appearance of rust, pollen dust and any results of weather is much more visible. The Vermont Castings BBQ Cleaning Kit is safe to use on internal and external stainless steel or porcelain-coated surfaces. It features an exterior surface barbecue cleaner, internal components and cooking utensils cleaner, and a microfibre cloth. 

Alternatively, use soap and water. Just make sure to dry when finished (if you live by a pool or a large body of water you may have to clean it more often) and protect it with a grill cover. 

For more tips on how to clean your BBQ’s exterior, click here.

Store During Off-Seasons 

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

If your BBQ is expected to go unused for extended periods of time, it’s expected to clean it and store in a dry place. This will help further protect the functional components. 

For more tips on how to store your BBQ, check out this video.

Canadian Tire and Yahoo Canada are helping Canadians seize the everyday this summer, with tips, tricks and everything you need for the season. Click here for more!