Barbecue season is here, which means easy-to-make meals, outdoor dining, and—perhaps best of all—fewer dishes to wash. Unfortunately, you can’t ditch cleaning altogether. Your grill deserves just as much attention as the top of your kitchen stove or cooktop frying pans, which means an annual spring cleaning simply isn’t enough. Otherwise, you could face cross-contamination, mould, carbon build-up, and—if you select the wrong cleaning tool—maybe even injury. Even if you diligently clean your BBQ grill grates after every meal, you might be doing it improperly. Here’s what you might be doing wrong while cleaning your beloved grill.
The wire brush method
Nothing could be more satisfying than scouring the grates of your barbecue with a steel wire brush, but those wire bristles can pose a huge safety hazard. In recent years, we’ve seen numerous incidents involving the bristles getting stuck in food and being accidentally ingested, damaging the person’s throat or epiglottis or leading to choking. There are even reports of people swallowing the bristles without noticing and needing surgery to remove them afterwards. The government has recently taken steps towards developing national standards around manufacturing of these brushes. But for now, we recommend you ditch that old wire brush—it’s probably filthy and dangerous.
The wood scraper method
Because of the dangers associated with wire brushes, some have tried using a wood scraper, but even this method has its drawbacks. For one, it’s simply not as effective. Typically, the paddle will begin to conform to the profile of the grates as the wood is worn down. But even then, these scrapers will only catch big pieces of food, leaving behind much of the residual char, grease, and built-up bacteria. They’re also harder to clean properly, which means if you’re using this method, you’re probably reusing a dirty scraper to clean a dirty grill. For some reason, we treat our grill different than indoor cooking surfaces—you wouldn’t clean a frying pan with a filthy cloth.
The tinfoil method
One wire-brush alternative we’ve seen recommended is using a balled-up piece of tinfoil to scrape a hot grill, but the results are lackluster, and there’s still a risk of leaving behind tiny shards of tinfoil, which can find their way onto food.
Another old method for cleaning a dirty gas grills involves covering the grates with tinfoil and turning it on high for 20 minutes. Then, after letting it cool, you brush off the fine, dry ash that’s leftover. But modern manufacturers like Weber and Char-Broil have actually issued statements warning people to avoid this cleaning practice due to safety concerns and potential damage to grills.
The “burn it off” after you cook method
Just jacking up the heat to high for 10 to 15 minutes to clean your barbecue grill might make you feel good about “killing” everything, but it can still leave food behind, not mention cost you a lot in propane or gas. That won’t just alter the taste of your next meal; it could also have more serious consequences like attracting pests (including raccoons, squirrels, and if you’re in bear country, even a few bruins).
So what is the solution?
Try cleaning before you fire up your grill by using the new Q-Swiper BBQ Grill Cleaner on a cool grill. It’s a new bristle-free way to safely and effectively provide a clean & healthy grill every time your barbecue.
The Q-Swiper has a stainless steel grill scraper that helps remove all the tough burnt-on food attached to the grill grates. Then, to clean the remaining grease and grime, there are attachable moist grill cleaning wipes that are safe for all grill surfaces. They’re tough and moistened using recognized food-contact safe cleaning agents to remove the grease and risk of harmful bacteria build-up on your grill. And because you’re using a fresh, new wipe each time you clean, you don’t need to worry about using an already contaminated cleaning tool over and over again. You’ll enjoy better tasting food, you’ll stop wasting propane or gas, and you’ll feel good knowing you’re using something that works and is safe.