How To Spring Clean Your BBQ Grill

For the vast majority of you, the BBQ season ended as the leaves fell from the trees and the daylight hours got shorter.


So, as the days get longer and signs of spring fill the air, it’s time to dust off that neglected BBQ grill and prepare it for a season of fire fuelled feasts! From essential maintenance tricks to easy cleaning hacks, now is the time to dust off your grills and get them ready for the warmer, longer days ahead. You’ll find tips on cleaning all types of fire cookery equipment, including fire pits, kettle BBQs, asado grills, Big Green Eggs and pizza ovens!


Read on to explore our guide to spring cleaning your BBQ grill. 

spring cleaning your grill


The best way we find to clean a grill is to just place it over a hot fire and burn off all of the residue, brushing it every now and again with a wire grill brush. This is the most efficient way of cleaning and means you can just quickly do this as the fire gets up to cooking temperature before every cook (as opposed to at the end of your cook). However, if you have lots of very dirty grills to clean then the below method is really effective.


For a deep clean, get a large box or container and place all of your grills inside, shake over a tub of bicarbonate of soda and pour over enough white distilled vinegar to cover. This mix will foam up and bubble away, lifting all of grease and dirt. Leave the grills for 30 minutes, remove and rinse, giving them a light brush if needed with a wire brush. Air dry and store somewhere dry until your next cook.


Tools and Cookware

We are firm believers that your utensils and cookware should be utilised indoors and outdoors, and that it’s not necessary to have an ‘outdoor set’ – providing you choose the right equipment!  These days lots of skillets can be used on most heat elements, so why not use them every time you cook? Here are our top tips on spring cleaning your cookware:


  • Clean your skillets, dry them well and give them an ever so light rub with oil to stop any rust forming, whilst they’re being stored. We choose not to season pans religiously, finding that with plenty of use and as long as they are stored properly, they will remain non-stick.
  • Spend some time sharpening your tools – knives and axes. Your axe should get just as much love as your knives, dull blades are far more dangerous and painful than a sharp edge.
  • If you have one, your fire rake and blower should be wiped of any ash and the metal should be lightly oiled to stop any rusting. If you own one of our original wooden handled fire blowers and rakes then make sure you give the wood a nourishing feed to stop it from splitting, using boiled linseed oil or beeswax.


For The Fire Pit Masters

  • You may have been tempted to use your fire pit as a bonfire over winter and it has thus slowly accumulated water, so now is the time to scrape out all of those burnt dog ends and drain away all the water. A wet fire bowl will just add moisture to your fuel – so try to get it to dry off in some sunshine.
  • Check the fire bowl for any holes and assess its life expectancy for the year ahead, it’s not unusual for the base to just fall out of the bottom with some of the cheaper fire bowls. If there are any larger holes it may be time to retire your fire bowl but don’t throw it away, you could turn it into a herb planter. Nestle it onto the ground and fill with a few spades of gravel and then fill with compost and your favourite herbs plants. Just remember you won’t be able to move it (because of the holes) so make sure it is exactly where you want it before you fill it.
  • We like to cover the base of our fire bowls with a little sand or layer fire beads, which helps with a couple of things. Firstly, it protects the metal of your fire bowl and helps to extend its life. It levels off the round base (if your fire pit is quite deep), giving more scope to move your fire to the edge of the bowl and create better zones of heat. It also helps with the circulation of air around the base of your fire, helping it to burn more efficiently and also absorbs heat which will give you a more consistent heat using a little less fuel. 
  • After you have finished cooking and your fire pit is cold, make sure to cover it with either a lid or fitted cover to protect it from the elements.
  • Don’t worry about any rust or patina on the outside of your fire pit, it’s all part of the charm. If you really don’t like it you can give it a going over with some sand paper and a light oil.


For The Kettle BBQ’ers

  • Tighten things up, take some time to go round your kettle BBQ and make sure that nothing is loose, tighten any screws or bolts as needed, being careful not to over tighten any.
  • Check your charcoal baskets are in good condition and replace them if you need to. 
  • Wash the outside of your kettle with a mild soap and non abrasive sponge or cloth, you will probably just need to use warm water and elbow grease. If you bought all the specific cleaning products from every brand of every BBQ you own then you are probably halfway to buying a new BBQ! Save your money and spend it on accessories and more fun things, would be our advice.
  • Calibrate the thermometer (if it’s removable) – if you can’t remove it then I would urge you to purchase an air temperature probe so that you can monitor the internal air temperature of your kettle BBQ.


For The Big Green Egg-ers

  • Tighten things up, take some time to go around all of the bolts holding the Egg and the nest together, making sure nothing is loose. Tighten them up as necessary – but don’t over tighten them.
  • Check the gasket which makes sure there is a good seal between the dome of the Egg and the base. If anything needs replacing at this point Big Green Egg sells maintenance kits and any replacement parts you may need. 
  • Remove all of the internal ceramics and give everything a good brush to remove any ash and sweep any remaining fuel out through the draft door into an ash pan.  Carefully put all of the ceramic parts back into the Big Green Egg. At this point I like to brush or hoover away any ash or debris from around the draft door so that it can open and close nice and smoothly.
  • Carefully remove the dome vent cap from your Big Green Egg and wash well in as hot as you can handle and soapy water. I find that this vent likes to harbour fat from low and slow smoking and cement itself shut over time. Dry it well and replace it after cleaning the Egg.
  • Wash the outside of your Big Green Egg with a mild soap and non abrasive sponge or cloth, you will probably just need to use warm water and elbow grease. Bear in mind – that if you bought all the specific cleaning products from every brand of every BBQ you own then you are probably halfway to buying a new BBQ! We’re firm believers that you should save your money and spend it on accessories and more fun things.
  • Heat things up! The best way to clean the inside of your Big Green Egg of any food debris on the grill or Conveggtor is to heat the egg up to 300℃ and let it carbon clean for 30 minutes or so depending on how burnt on it is. Your Convegtor plate will come out looking brand new!
  • Calibrate your temperature gauge, critical to making sure your Big Green Egg is running at the correct temperature. Check out this video from Big Green Egg to see how it’s done.
  • Once cool, keep your Big Green Egg covered with a well fitting cover.


For The Pizzaiolos

  • Wash the outside of your pizza oven with a mild soap and non abrasive sponge or cloth, you will probably just need to use warm water if you have a silicone cased oven, as the silicone case is super easy to clean.
  • If your pizza oven has been in storage for a few months and is gas powered, now (before you light it) is a good time to make sure that the pipes are leak free. Visually check along the gas hose to look for any cracks. To check the connections, it’s always wise to lay a bead of soapy water around where the hose meets any connections, turn on the gas but not the flame and see if any bubbles form. If it does bubble, turn off the gas and check the tightness of the clips holding the hose on.
  • Heat things up! Getting the pizza oven hot and letting it run for 30-45 minutes will burn off any food residue from mishaps during your last cook – and your stone will look almost as good as new after this. Another bonus is that if you have multiple gas canisters like us, it’s also great to use up the last bits of gas in an almost empty tank to really get your money’s worth!
  • Be sure to store your pizza oven in a dry place between using.


For The Asadors 

  • We always start by separating all of the pieces of our Fire Made Portico and giving them a good brush with a soft wire brush. Clean the pieces well with a damp cloth and allow to dry.
  • Our Porticos have adjustable legs which we remove, clean and dry well. Give them a light spray of WD40 so that they move nice and smoothly when trying to level your frame. Ours get full of mud and grit from the woods so we do this twice a year to keep them in good working order as we move the pits often.
  • Once all of the pieces are cleaned and dry, we will paint each piece with heat resistant spray paint, mainly to smarten it up but this also helps with rust prevention too.
  • All of the bolt holes get sprayed with WD40, as do the threads of the bolts too, this allows us to remove the bolts with ease when we need to. Even if you don’t ever intend to collapse or move the frame you’ll kick yourself if you finally decide to and the bolts stick.
  • Brush the chappas and grill racks really well, do this over a fire to help really move any baked on bits. Using a fire glove and kitchen roll or an old tea towel you don’t mind losing, dab it in vegetable oil and rub all over the chappas and grills, getting into every nook and cranny. You can also lightly oil any hooks and chains you have too to stop them from rusting.
  • Put all of the parts of your Portico back together and place any fire bricks back in, if you have them. Keep your Portico covered if possible as wet fire bricks really suck the heat out of your fire and make the process of getting going on a whim a bit of a tedious process! 


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