Did you know Weber gas and charcoal barbecues can last a lifetime if looked after properly? Caring for your grill ensures you'll get the best results each time, and with a bit of know-how, cleanup doesn’t need to be difficult. Just ask Austrian obsessive Norbert Schmidt, who cooks at least 100 times throughout the year, using a whopping 120 kilos of charcoal in his collection of 50 Weber barbecues. Schmidt only collects Weber charcoal grills (his oldest model is from 1961) and normally has five on rotation. Who better to give us a run-down of his grill-cleaning regimen?
Here are his four tricks to keeping your grill clean and ready for the next season.
Clean the grill every time you use it
Clean after every use. Once cooled it’s very important to dump the ash right away because wet ash will ruin a barbecue. Usually the next day, I brush the inside of the bowl with soap and water and I rinse the exterior with a garden hose.
The heat can help you
I use the pyrolytic method. When I’ve finished cooking, I close the lid and open all vents to make it as hot as possible. After around 5-10 minutes any debris on the grates carbonises, then I use the Weber steel wire brush to clean it off.
Invest in a charcoal basket
When cooking, use drip pans and charcoal baskets. You can get heat damage and destroy the enamel if you bank coals in the same place without the charcoal basket. So, use baskets and rotate the position at the start of every use.
Watch out for winter
In winter, store the barbecue inside, in a garage or cellar. Use a cover and close the top and bottom vents. During a storm, store it in a safe place so that it doesn’t fall over. The porcelain-enamel coating protects from rust but you can’t fix a dent in the bowl!
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