If you want to get the best results out of your BBQ it is very important to take care of your grill. By keeping your grill in good condition you are not only going to ensure that your cooking recipes tastes better, but you are also going to extend the life of your barbecue grate. We have already talked about choosing the best BBQ grill brush for the job, but when is the best time to actually do the cleaning? Well there are two schools of thought here, both with their pros and cons. What they share in common is that they are both times when the cooking grid is hot which makes the job much easier.
CLEANING BEFORE COOKING
Most people probably think that the best time to clean is after those great recipes has been prepared, but there are some great advantages to doing it beforehand too. Get the grill heated up first, then give it a quick clean before you put any food on. The first advantage of doing things this way is that food is going to be cooked on a totally clean grate. Bits of crud can sometimes find their way in there if you have not grilled for a while, and you don't want these messing up the flavor of your dinner! Another advantage is that by by cleaning before, and leaving the grill dirty afterwards, you are leaving a layer of burnt on food/grease on the bars that will protect them from corrosion until you next get the BBQ out. This is particularly important if you have cast iron grills, as they are the most prone to rusting. One last advantage, and this is a big one for me, is simply that you are getting the cleaning out the way as soon as possible; I can never be bothered to get up and clean once I have a belly full of food!
CLEANING AFTER COOKING
The is perhaps the more traditional way of doing things. The first advantage here is that the grill is already going to be hot, and all the food and grease are fresh and therefore easier to brush off. But as we said before, by cleaning after the meal, you are leaving the cooking grill more exposed to the elements and at a higher risk of rusting. This can issue can be worked around by ensuring you oil the grate once you have finished cleaning as the oil will prevent any moisture corroding the metal. Remember, this is especially important if your grate is cast iron.