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How to winterise your BBQ

It doesn’t take a genius to work out Winter is nearly here: the days are shorter, its getting colder, rain and even snow in some places too. However, for many Kiwis, it’s also the time when eating alfresco and cooking on the BBQ becomes a thing of the past and the BBQ is put in hibernation. Lucky for us Kiwis the cold harsh winters are never lengthy and before long you can drag the trusty BBQ out and, tentatively lift the lid up and discover creepy crawlies, rust and, even worse did it just not start-up, so you had to buy a new one?

If you answered, yes –then it is time to put some elbow grease into cleaning your BBQ using the following method.

Cook Off the Excess

Fire up the BBQ (don’t be tempted to put food on it). Pre-heating the BBQ will make it much easier to scrap off any excess char or food left over from previous flame ups. After 10 to 15 minutes turn the gas off either by turning the valve on either propane tank or gas line. Now it’s time to get your back into it, and start cleaning from the inside out.

Clean the inside of the BBQ

While it’s still warm, get your wire brush and dip it into the hot soapy water in the bucket or simply use a non-toxic BBQ degreaser. Once the BBQ has cooled down wipe the grills down with a damp cloth. Make sure to rinse it thoroughly as you don’t want any suds to stick. Then go in deep, remove the grates and clean deflectors and clean with hot soapy water.

Cleaning the valves will help to prevent weak or uneven burning when you fire it up later in the year. Additionally, use this as an opportunity to clean the base and underside of the lid. You want to ensure no scrap of food is left, as you may have some unwelcome visitors when you next open the BBQ.

Here’s an extra-tidbit for ya: use cooking oil to coat the burners and grill as it will help to repel moisture - in turn preventing rust.

Clean the outside of the BBQ

The state of the outside of the BBQ matters just as much as on the inside – as looks matter. To prevent scratches on the surface use a cloth and warm water, you may want to fill your bucket up again. Once all the outside grease is off, it may be good just to wipe the BBQ off with an old towel or give it a buff to give your old friend that good as new look. It’s also a good idea to get a cover for your BBQ as it will help to keep it looking shiny and bright.

Store it inside

This is probably the most important piece of advice for keeping your BBQ looking spick and span, as well as protected, keep it inside – a garage and/or garden shed will do. If you don’t have one of them as you cook from the balcony of your Central City Apartment, then try to keep it under as much shelter as possible. You don’t want all your hard work ruined as you’ve probably spent about half an hour emptying and filling countless buckets as well as scrubbing to your heart’s content.

While you're at it, it's a good time to make sure all of your stuff is protected from the unpredictable kiwi winter. AMI offers contents insurance for all your stuff and you can get a quote and buy online.