How To Pressure Wash A Barbecue Grill

Barbeques are a great way to entertain guests during the summer months. Everyone enjoys barbequed food while sitting in the garden on a warm summer’s evening. But nobody enjoys cleaning the barbeque grill after the evening’s over. 

Burnt on food, grease, soot, oily residue and more all stuck to the barbeque grill. Clean it, no one wants to look at it let alone touch it. Purely for health and safety issues it needs to be done.

What Problems Can Using A Dirty Barbeque Cause?

There are many risks and potential illnesses that can be caught by using a dirty barbeque. The health risks include

  • Salmonella poisoning
    Dirty, greasy conditions are perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that causes salmonella.
  • E. coli
    Flies can spread the e. Coli germ, and dirty barbeques are like a free lunch to flies.
  • Campylobacter
    This bacteria causes gastroenteritis and diarrhoea and is easily caught from using a dirty barbeque.
  • Sickness and stomach cramps
    Mild stomach upsets can cause sickness and stomach cramps, which if left untreated can turn into more serious illness.
  • Burning
    If there is a build up of grease and fat on the grill, fat can spit from the grill while cooking.

Arguments For And Against Pressure Washing A Barbeque Grill

As with all things in life there are 2 schools of thought when it comes to pressure washing barbeques. 

The Pros And Cons Of Pressure Washing A Barbeque Grill

QuickerCan clog up gas burners
EasierSpray can spread ash around the yard
More effectively remove grease and grimeSpray can spread grease around the yard
Able to reach all areasEncourages rodents

So there are perfectly sound reasons for and against using a pressure washer to clean the barbeque. If you do decide to use the pressure washer follow our 9 step guide to clean your barbeque quickly, efficiently and safely. 

This guide is based on a gas-powered barbeque.

9 Step Plan To Clean The Barbeque Using A Pressure Washer

Barbeque Grill
  1. Remove all power
    Disconnect the gas bottle, any electrical starters etc.
  2. Remove Grates
    Grates should be cleaned separately.
  3. Wash with detergent
    Apply pressure washer degreaser detergent (be sure it’s recommended for your pressure washer), using the black detergent nozzle, work from the bottom up. Take care around the heating elements and move back to decrease water pressure where necessary.
  4. Allow to soak
    Leave degreaser to soak in for around 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Clean the grates
    While the degreaser is doing it’s thing, clean the grates using the same process.
  6. Rinse off
    Change to the white nozzle and rinse all the detergent, grease and grime away. If needed you can upgrade to the green nozzle for more a powerful spray. Don’t forget the grates.
  7. Leave to dry
    Once the rinsing is done leave the barbeque to dry out completely.
  8. Coat with oil
    Apply non-stick oil to the barbeque to prevent grease build-up in the future.
  9. Reconnect gas
    After everything is done, reconnect the gas and electrical connections ready for your next barbeque.

Pressure Washing A Charcoal Barbeque

Charcoal barbeques with no external power source are even easier to clean, here’s a step by step guide for dealing with a dirty charcoal barbeque.

  1. Empty the barbeque
    Remove any charcoal or ash from the fire pit.
  2. Remove grate
    Remove the grate and deal with it separately.
  3. Apply detergent
    Add degreasing detergent to the pressure washer and using the detergent (black) nozzle start from the bottom of the barbeque and work up to the top.
  4. Let it soak
    Give the detergent 5 to 10 minutes to really get to work on that grease.
  5. Clean the grate
    Give the grill grate a thorough spraying with the degreasing detergent and allow to soak.
  6. Change nozzle
    Replace the black nozzle with the white nozzle and rinse the detergent off. Work from the top down and concentrate on all the corners to be sure to remove all of that sticky grease. Remember to do the grill grate too.
  7. Allow to dry
    Leave the barbeque to dry out, tip any excess water from the charcoal pit.
  8. Reassemble
    Put the grill grate back in place.
  9. Add oil
    Coat in non-stick oil to minimise grease build up next time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you pressure wash a BBQ Grill?

You can pressure wash a barbeque grill as long as your pressure washer has at least 2000 PSi.

Should I clean my grill after every use?

You should clean your grill after evey use to prevent the build up of nasty germs and bacteria.

What happens if you don’t clean a grill?

If you don’t clean the grill germs and bacteria can build up and the fresh meat can pick up old meat flavours from previous barbeques.

Should I oil my grill grates?

You should oil your grill grates after cleaning to prevent meat from sticking to the grate when cooking.

Can you get sick from a dirty BBQ Grill?

You can get sick from a dirty BBQ grill, diarrhea and sickness are common illnesses that can be contracted from using a dirty BBQ grill.

Can you get food poisoning from BBQ?

You can get food poisoning from a BBQ, due to cross contamination from raw meat.

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