Best BBQ cleaners for an effective clean-up

Everything you need to know to help you clean up your BBQ.

A man is cleaning a BBQ with a wire brush.

by Piper Huxley |

If you’re enjoying the sun, why not get that BBQ on? BBQs are the chance to show off your alfresco cooking skills and spend time with your loved ones. With a hybrid BBQ or a charcoal grill, comes sizzling pieces of meat and refreshing homemade salads – with plenty to drink, too. Then, comes the clean-up – and it can be a bit tough. So, Modern Gardens have rounded up the best BBQ cleaners that will help you out this summer.

Why use a BBQ cleaner?

Food from a dirty, greasy, burnt-in BBQ does not sound appealing in the slightest. When you find the right cleaner for your BBQ, you can clean it up until it's sparkling – and then, start cooking.

Why not get ahead before the family BBQ?

Though it may not be the ideal solution for your grill racks, a heavy-duty cleaner will sort out a years-worth of burnt-in food, grease and bacteria. If you don’t fancy risking the non-stick on your grill racks, then something plant-based, naturally sourced and less harsh could be the ticket. Though these eco-friendly alternatives are better on the planet, they may not be for your BBQ.

Further, there's a range of the best BBQ cleaners, all designed with different purposes and specialisms. Plus, they’re at different price points. We’ve got some great cleaning tips for your outdoor kitchen, too. So get those tongs at the ready.

The best BBQ cleaners for your garden cookout - UK 2022

Multi-purpose, this tough cleaner removes caked-on and burnt-in grease from ovens, grills, barbeques and baking trays. Not only that, but it is quick and thorough. Plus, it's tough on muck and gentle on surfaces: suitable for cast iron and ceramic. Easy to use with a simple spray, you'll be saying goodbye to all that mucky grease in no time.

Suitability: Ovens, Grills and BBQs (Gas or Charcoal)

Pros: All-in-One, Degreaser, Easy to Use

Cons: Not Too Powerful

Review: "Bought to clean my Gas BBQ. The flat plate and grill cleaned up well, so thought I would try on the inside of the lid which had never been cleaned - four years of baked-on grease. I was really surprised that it cleaned it, 75 per cent on the first application, and the remainder came off in a second. Foam ran a little as was upside down but stayed on when rubbed very lightly with a J cloth."

Get rid of those stubborn stains with this budget-friendly solution: Barbecue & Oven Cleaner by Bar-Be-Quick. Perfect for any tough after-cookout cleaning, on any barbecue, or even to clean your inside oven. Spray away!

Suitability: Ovens and Any BBQ

Pros: Budget-Friendly, Easy to Use

Cons: Not Harsh, Heavy-Duty

Review: "I didn't expect much, to be honest. Had a very skanky bbq that was left out from last year uncovered. Being lazy my partner and I even considered chucking the bbq. Used some of this and it come up like new! Cleaned in half the time expected."

This Jeyes BBQ and Oven Cleaner Trigger Spray is a powerful BBQ cleaner that comes in a handy trigger spray bottle, making cleaning quick, easy and effective. We love the dual action trigger as it offers targeted foam and a quick, easy clean fine spray. As well as being tough on grease, it's a multi-surface cleaner with anti-bacterial properties.

Suitability: BBQs and Ovens

Pros: Tough on Grease and Bacteria, Long-Lasting Fragrance, Fast Action

Cons: Isn't As Effective on Burnt-In Residue

Review: "Amazing stuff. It works 100 per cent!"

The EcoGurus natural, all-purpose cleaner promotes an eco-friendly clean, extensively tested to outperform other eco household cleaning products. Made from the highest quality plant-based ingredients, this product delivers a great clean - no matter the surface. Safe on the skin and on the planet, this could be a great addition to your cleaning cupboard.

Suitability: All BBQs and Ovens

Pros: Multi-Surface Cleaner, Gentle, Plant-Based

Cons: Pricey

Review: "I’m happy with this product, it’s great for everyday cleaning. It includes a non-abrasive sponge, which makes it ideal for all types of surfaces. It has a pleasant smell, and leaves everything looking and smelling fresh. It’s also gentle to the skin since I have very sensitive skin. I would recommend it!"

Suitable for all barbeques, the high-efficiency Grate Cleaner is a fine mist spray that makes cleaning your grates and interior cook-box components a breeze. Biodegradeable and with no hazardous ingredients, spray and let sit for 30 seconds to loosen grease & food residue and wipe clean.

Suitability: All BBQs

Pros: Easy to Use, High-Efficiency, Biodegradable

Cons: None.

Review: "Excellent stuff, my bbq was splattered with fat after doing a pork joint on it. Used this with the Weber sponges and the grates and inside of the cook box came up a treat, just wait for it to cool down, spray on, leave for 30 seconds then wire brush, and finally wipe with the wet sponge."

Containing white mineral oils, this Weber Stainless Steel Cleaner will bring out the best in your barbecue whether it’s raining, snowing or the sun is shining. Designed to protect and clean the external stainless steel parts of your barbecue, this easy-to-use spray makes your barbecue shine - and keeps you smiling.

Suitability: Outside of Stainless Steel BBQs

Pros: Restores Shine, Gentle

Cons: Oily, Outside of the BBQ

Review: "I tried several types of stainless steel cleaners from the supermarket and am only super satisfied with the original from Weber. Somehow they always manage to develop the perfect product for cleaning and care of the grills. Absolutely recommended, I will use the Weber product in the future."

Why not check out our review of the Weber Genesis EPX-335?

FAQs

How do I clean up my BBQ?

Charcoal and gas barbeques have different cleaning processes. Even so, some manufacturers may have special recommendations or special cleaning instructions for their range of BBQs. Our advice is: to make sure to check the instructions manual or refer to the manufacturer's website before purchasing a BBQ cleaner.

Gas

Gas BBQs are ideal for cooking your food this summer. They, with their open cooking areas - offer the convenience of quick cooking while still giving that authentic grilled flavour to your meal.

Before you start the cleaning, it is recommended to do some preparation. It’s best to start this whilst the BBQ is still hot. Generally, keep that BBQ on after your cookout with the lid down – for around half an hour. Why? This will char any food stuck anywhere – as a pyrolytic oven would.

Now, onto the cleaning. Turn off the BBQ and let it cool down a little. We don't want to burn ourselves. Then, grab a pair of waterproof and heat-resistant gloves - preferably ones that go up to your elbow. With your trusty wire brush, you should be able to brush any charred debris from the grill and inside. Disconnect the gas once you're happy.

Hopefully, by now, your BBQ is a little cooler. With this, why not remove some components if they need a bit of extra care? For the inside, get a tool (whether scraper, wool pad or wire brush) and get rid of the rest of the debris. If you're still not satisfied, this is where the cleaner could come in. Ensure the BBQ is dry before reassembly.

Tip: BBQ-friendly wire brushes should be regularly inspected and inspected. Why? This is because the bristles can become loose after a cleaning. Then, possibly, these bristles find their way into a burger and make someone ill.

Charcoal

Charcoal BBQs come with the skill to hold plenty of fuel for large amounts of food. Perfect for a larger party. From hog roasts to slow-cooking a joint of beef, a charcoal BBQ is a traditional way to prepare food outdoors.

1. Firstly – you should start with the base. For this, you need to brush out any remaining ash or debris from inside the base. Then, wash the inside of the base with some soap and a steel wood pad. If you’re struggling with grease, try a plant-based cleaner alongside a cookbox scraper. That should do it.
2. Next, you can tackle the outside with a microfibre cloth – with some soap. Rinse with water.
3. Once clean as can be, make sure there is no more soap on the BBQ and leave it to air dry.
4. Repeat this process with the lid.

Grill

Lastly, the grills and racks - for gas, charcoal or hybrid. Just go easy on the chemicals - unless necessary - and you should be fine. Don't risk your non-stick for the sake of a clean grill. Here are our steps to cleaning your BBQ grill:

Firstly, brush any charred, left-over food with a wire brush. Next, you should be able to wipe off as much grease as you can with a microfibre cloth. Some people even recommend using sheets of old newspaper. But, it's up to you.

If the racks still are not budging, we recommend using the Weber Grate Cleaner. Alternatively, Oven Pride can be used sparingly for a deep clean – and if you’re able to take the grill racks out from the BBQ. Only apply for how long the product tells you to. Just make sure not to overdo it because the metal surfaces can lose their non-stick properties.

After this, you may still have some tough bits left. So, go in with your brush or a steel wood pad. You may want to do a second clean if necessary. But, don't overdo it. Rinse with mild soap and water.

Tip: You can't go wrong with using traditional ingredients like bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.

Can I use oven cleaner on a BBQ?

The last thing you want to do is damage your BBQ. So, you need to be careful what chemicals you put on it.

Generally, most cleaning products are fine to use on materials such as stainless steel. But, some specialist barbecues could have parts that are made from cast iron or enamel. This is where you could run into an issue.

Most BBQ brands make their own cleaner. For example, Weber makes their own enamel-friendly cleaner.

Oven cleaners can be quite abrasive – especially the ones with chemicals. As previously mentioned, these harsh chemicals could take the non-stick properties from the BBQ grill racks. And that’s not what you want.

You could, in theory, use your regular oven cleaner. However, make sure to check the cleaning instructions provided by your BBQ manufacturer, as well as the cleaning product itself. But, we don't really recommend them.

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