As the aroma of grilled food fills the air and friends gather around your backyard, there’s nothing worse than having your food stick to the grill.
It’s a common problem that both novice and experienced grillers face: you’re ready to flip that perfectly seared steak or hamburger patty, only to find it stubbornly stuck against the grates.
If you often find yourself in this situation, you’ve come to the perfect place. This article is here to guide you through the easy and effective ways to stop food from sticking to the BBQ grill.
Why Does Food Stick to the BBQ Grill?
So, why does food stick to your BBQ? There are many reasons that it could be happening, such as:
Your cooking grids aren’t clean
If the surface you’re cooking on isn’t clean, food will have difficulty releasing when it comes time to flip.
Dirty cooking grids and grates are a leading cause of stuck-on foods because you have residue from previous grilling sessions, stuck-on and burnt sauce, bits of old food and everything in between.
Therefore, cleaning your BBQ every time you use it will ensure that all your food ends up on your plate.
You haven’t preheated your grill
Are you ensuring your grill reaches the right temperature before you start cooking food?
If your BBQ isn’t hot enough, the food will stick because there isn’t enough conductive heat in the metal, resulting in a chemical bond between the food and cooking grids.
To prevent this from happening, preheat your grill and scrub it with your grill brush before adjusting the grill to the temperature you want to cook at.
You’re not using the right oil
Adding oil to the mix when you’re grilling can ensure a seamless grilling experience or a nightmare, depending on the type of oil you use.
When preheating your grill, if you use an oil with a low smoke point, the oil will break, carbonising and smoking almost immediately. Not only does this make your food taste bad, but it also makes the grilling surface sticky, making it hard to remove the food.
There are two things solutions on how to stop food from sticking to the BBQ grill. First, you can use an oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado, canola or sunflower oil. These oils are ideal for grilling.
Or, if you don’t want to oil your BBQ, why not try oiling the food? Pat your food dry with paper towels, cover it with your seasoning and then brush it with oil before placing it on the grill.
Ways to Prevent Food From Sticking to the Grill
If you’re tired of your food constantly sticking to your BBQ grill, here are a few ways to prevent it from happening in the future.
Keep your grill clean
As mentioned earlier, keeping your grill clean is one of the most important ways on how to stop food from sticking to your BBQ grill.
So, how should you clean your BBQ grill? Before cooking your food, clean your grates and grill plates with a brush after preheating them. It’s also best practice to clean your BBQ after every use as well.
Keep your grill lubricated
Adding high-smoke oil, such as avocado, sunflower or canola oil, to your BBQ before cooking will help season the food and aid in lifting it off the grill when it’s cooked.
If you don’t have high-smoke oil, the best thing to do is to oil your food.
Make sure your grill is hot before cooking
When cooking anything on the BBQ, ensure the grill is at the right temperature for your specific meat.
For example, grilling something like chicken at too high a temperature can cause it to stick to the grates.
Check the temperature your grill needs to be for the food you’re cooking and ensure it hits that before you start cooking. When the grill is at the right temperature, it will sear the food easier, allowing you to take it off the grill without any issues.
General Maintenance Tips for Better BBQing
Now that you know all of the ways to keep your grill non-stick, what are some general maintenance tips for better barbecuing?
Every time you use the barbecue
- Preheat your grill completely every time you turn it on. This both cleans and disinfects your grill.
- Use a grill brush to clean the grates and remove residue, giving yourself a clean cooking surface.
- When you have finished cooking, turn the heat to maximum to burn off all the drippings and grease.
Every 10th time you use the barbecue
- Remove the cooking grates and clean them on both sides.
- Brush out the inside of your grill into the drip pan.
- Clean out or replace the grease drip pan.
Once a year
When you use your barbecue for the last time in summer before packing it away for winter, there are a few maintenance jobs to do to ensure its longevity.
- Remove the cooking grates and soak them in hot, soapy water.
- Do the same to the barrier.
- Use your grill brush to clean out the interior of the grill.
- While the grates and barrier are soaking in the soapy water, close your barbecue and clean the exterior.
- Once the grates and barrier have been thoroughly soaked, put your grill back together, fire it up and allow it to heat up, which will dry all the internal parts.
- If you don’t plan on using your barbecue at all during the winter, close and disconnect the gas supply (if you have a gas barbecue). Remove the gas tank from the grill and store it in a safe, ventilated area.
Here are some other easy ways to clean your barbecue
Use an onion to clear away the grease
While it may seem counterintuitive to use an onion to clean your barbecue, it actually works! Onion juice can break down fat and oil compounds, making it easier to clean your grill.
Here’s how to use onion to clean your barbecue:
- Heat up your BBQ to around 175-190°C.
- Cut an onion in half and pierce it with a fork.
- Rub the onion over the grill bars and grates.
When paired with the heat of the BBQ, the onion will release a juice that turns into steam and makes your grill super clean!
Use lemon juice to clean your BBQ
Lemon juice is an underrated cleaning solution that works wonders. Citric acid is full of cleansing and antibacterial properties, and when you pair it with salt, it becomes an effective and affordable way to clean your BBQ.
Here is how to use lemon juice to clean your BBQ:
- Cut a couple of lemons in half.
- Dip each half of the lemon in salt.
- Preheat your BBQ to 175-190°C.
- Rub the salty sides of the lemons all over the hot grill.
With enough rubbing, the lemon and salt mixture will remove grease and grime, leaving your BBQ sparkling clean.
Buy a New BBQ at Home Fires
With summer now in full swing, it’s time to get the BBQ fired up and invite friends and family over for a delicious grilled meal.
Don’t have a barbecue? At Home Fires, we have a range of BBQs to suit everyone’s needs. Whether you’re after a gas, electric or charcoal grill, we have them all.
Not sure which BBQ is right for you? Contact the team today or visit us in-store. We’re happy to provide you with advice and help you choose the right BBQ to suit your preferences and budget.