Whether you're an avid griller or just try your hand at it every now and then, it is important to ensure that your barbecue is completely clean before using it.

This means giving it a good clean when you get it out of storage, as well as once you've finished cooking with it.

Unfortunately, this can be a tough job, especially if you have previously neglected your grill.

Let it cool

Start off by allowing your barbecue to cool slightly. You don't want to clean it when it is piping hot, as this could result in burns. However, it still needs to be slightly warm as this will make dirt and grease easier to wipe away.

If your barbecue has a lid, it is a good idea to make use of the residual heat while it is cooling by laying wet newspaper over the grill and closing it up for around half an hour, as this will make things even easier.

You might find that you can simply wipe everything away with some soap, water, and a cloth after this. However, you may also have to follow the rest of the steps.

Spray cleaner

Spray your barbecue - grill, underneath and inside the lid - liberally with a strong kitchen cleaner. This will help to cut through the grease and loosen any burned-on bits. Leave it to soak for at least ten minutes - longer if your grill is particularly dirty.

Wipe down

Wipe down the barbecue with a standard, clean cloth. You can use added soap and water if you think it needs a bit more power, as this will help to get rid of any tough grease.

You should also rinse out the cloth regularly to stop it from simply spreading dirt around the grill.

Scrubbers and scrapers

If there are any areas that are particularly cooked on and are proving hard to clean, you might want to try using a scrubbing brush or scourer. These will help you scrape away cooked-on dirt, allowing you to then wipe it away with your cloth.

Brushes also help you clean a grill more thoroughly, ensuring it is fully clean for the next time round.

Wipe down the outside

It isn't just inside the barbecue that will need a clean. Having a quick wipe down of the outside of your grill will help remove grease or black marks left by smoke while you were cooking.

This makes it easier and cleaner to handle your grill and can help it to function better in the long run.

Let it dry

Once you're sure your barbecue is completely clean, leave it to dry thoroughly before packing it away. This helps to avoid mould and keeps it in good condition, as well as ready to use again.

© Axonn 2015