Due to being one of the most popular kinds of barbecues available on the market, gas grills are known to be much faster to start up with than charcoal grills. This is mostly thanks to the fact that the grills are manufactured to use burners, which ignite and burn the gas from the connected tanks. By using the burners, gas grills have a much higher degree of heat control that often makes different cooking types of food much easier.
Along with the ability to cook almost any kind of food on a gas grill comes the oils, fats and other juices that drip onto your burners. While the drippings frequently tend to sizzle away upon contact with the scorching metal of the burners, those juices and liquids still tend to leave some form of residue behind. Over time, that residue builds up until, eventually, you start to notice that your grill’s burners seem uneven or weak. The solution, though, is simple: cleaning your grill’s burners.
To show you how to clean BBQ burners in the most effective way that ensures that your burners and the grill last and you get many more uses, we’ve put together this article to help out. If you want to get special tools like grill brushes to help clean your burners, visit Dickson Barbeque Centre today.
How barbecue burners work
When it comes to gas grills and their burners, each one is as unique to its model and brand as the next one is. Each grill’s burners have new technology to make them both stand out from their competitors and from their previous model’s. All of these differences are added and improved on to make using the gas grill far easier to use and make the food that much more flavourful.
As a result, each grill brand might use different materials to make their gas grills’ burners. Stainless steel is, by far, the most commonly used material, since steel has been known to handle high amounts of heat and distribute it properly throughout your grill. Other grill burners can also be made out of cast iron, brass or stainless steel, all of which are heavier and thicker. This allows the metals to retain far more heat than ordinary stainless steel burners.
What you need to avoid
When it comes to cleaning your grill’s burners, the tips on what you should avoid doing are the same as when you’re cleaning your grates or the grill itself. Outright dipping the burners into water to clean them is a bad idea. More often than not, the burners will be harder to dry thoroughly and properly, leaving moisture on the surface of the metal to rust and damage them. Instead, use a stiff but somewhat soft brush to scrub off any residue. If you absolutely need to use water to help clean them, dip a stiff brush into water or a damp tissue before scrubbing at it. Once you’re done, dry the burner as soon as possible.
It’s also a good idea to avoid particularly rough wire brushes and steel scrubbers when cleaning the burners. While the grease and other drippings are likely going to require some firm scrubbing to get rid of it - especially if they aren’t cleaned quite as often as the rest of the grill - rough, scratchy brushes and scrubbers will damage the metal just as much as it removes the grime, which is why the best kind of brush to use is a more flexible but firm wire brush or something similar.
How to clean burners on BBQ
Even though people only really clean their gas grill when the grease and drippings begin to interfere with the burners’ flames and the internal temperatures, cleaning them roughly once a month or sooner can greatly help. If left dismissed for too long, the grime would start to corrode the metal and the burners’ ports, causing the grill to eventually fall apart.
The first step in how to clean BBQ burners is to get access to them and the ports to the burners are connected. This includes setting aside the grates and any trays the grill came with. If your grill’s model comes with flame tamers, check the metal for any holes or soft spots - you’ll need to replace them if there are. You can clean the grates and other parts later on before reassembling the grill.
Once you’ve separated the burners from their ports, check to see that they aren’t clogged up with any bits of food or other dirt. Grease or food bits can easily build up inside the ports and can be hard to see when you do clean. If you do want to clean them, use a thin brush or something similarly small to get inside.
From there, you can clean the burners like normal, scrubbing away the grease with a damp tissue if needed. Always keep a long enough tool on hand if you need to reach inside the burner or clean up in between holes.
Troubleshooting the cleaning process
Occasionally, there can be times where the process of how to clean your BBQ burners becomes harder due to how they’re made. You might find that, in the process of barbecuing, some of the food drippings had dropped onto one of the gaps in the burner tubes, thus causing an area of uneven flames.
Cleaning out clogs in the burner tubes, however, are quite simple. All you need is a small enough drill bit or even just a toothpick to unclog the holes. Any remaining bits of food can then be shaken out.
If after cleaning your gas burners, you still don’t get a proper even flame throughout, check to see that the orifice holes at the ends of the gas valves are clear. In some cases, grease and - occasionally - spider webs can form clogs that stop them from working.
Knowing how to clean BBQ burners the best ways can ultimately be learned from the gas grill’s own manufacturing manual. The specific instructions on the best way to keep them clean and how to keep them properly maintained will often be detailed there.
However, avoid excess water and heavy scrubbing to prevent future damage if you don't have it available. If you find any soft metal spots or holes in the burners or any other parts, always get them replaced. If you need to replace the entire grill due to age, simply unseen damage or defects, you can always get another grill from Dickson Barbeque Centre.