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Get your barbecue ready for summer

Get your barbecue ready for summer
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Prepare for the British summer by cleaning off your barbecue

Eating outdoors on a warm summer evening is one of life’s great joys. But because British weather is so uncertain, it’s often an impromptu pleasure! That’s why it pays to have your outdoor cooking equipment, whether it’s a pizza oven or a barbecue, ready to go as soon as the evenings begin to lengthen.

Inspecting your barbecue after winter

When you haven’t used your barbecue for a while, give it a thorough inspection for rust, damage and loose parts. Give screws and nuts a tighten and replace anything broken or lost.

How to clean a barbecue

Maybe you put your barbecue away clean, and now it just needs a quick dust down and it’s ready to go. Keeping your cleaned barbecue over winter in a self-storage unit is a great way to make sure it’s ready to go when summer comes around. Like all your domestic goods in storage, your barbecue will be covered by your self-storage insurance policy with Store and Insure.

But maybe there’s a distinct greasy feel to your grills after storage. If your barbecue has a manual, follow the cleaning instructions.

With a gas barbecue, you can heat the grill to high for 15 minutes to burn off residue and then give it a scrub with a wire brush. Otherwise, scrape off any large lumps of ash and grease and wash the grill in hot soapy water. Baking soda paste can also be used to clean a barbecue.

Check your barbecue fuel supplies

Whether you use gas or charcoal, you’ll want to have fuel for your barbecue.

Check your propane tanks, and swap out the empties. Also take the time to look over hoses for cracks and wear.

Inform yourself about sustainable charcoal, and stock up. British lumpwood charcoal from managed woodland is a good choice.

What other supplies do you need for barbecuing?

Check your barbecue supplies – do you need an accelerant to get your charcoal barbecue going? Are your tongs, spatulas and gauntlets still in good order, or is it time for an upgrade?

If you have cast-iron grates, take the time now to season them to create a non-stick surface and prevent rust. Wash and towel dry your grates, then oil them with vegetable oil. Get your barbecue going at a medium-low heat and then put the grates on for 30 minutes. This will polymerise the oil, creating the layer of seasoning that will help cooked food slip off your grates. You can re-oil your grates and repeat the heating for a thicker layer of seasoning if needed.

Where can I get inspiration for my barbecue?

Check out some recipes for inspiration – there are plenty of great recipe sites for barbecue meals, including BBC Good Food. Or try your local library for a glossy barbecue cookbook. There is so much more to barbecuing than burgers and sausages.

Testing your barbecue

Don’t wait for a big event to start your barbecue up for the first time! Grill a few sausages, or even just some bacon to check that everything is working as it should.

March is still quite early for meals outdoors – but we do get the occasional warm evening, so it’s worth having the barbecue ready to go so you can make the very best of the British spring and summer.


Question and Answer


Are items in a shed or outbuilding covered by my home insurance?

If you plan to move domestic items into a shed or outbuilding, check with your contents insurer to make sure they are covered by your home insurance policy. For maximum peace of mind, why not use a storage unit, rather than a draughty, damp, insecure shed?


What are some examples of seasonal possessions?

Seasonal possessions are domestic goods that you don’t use all year round. An example might be warm winter clothing and thermal bedding, which you will not use during the summer months. Another example might be a barbecue and garden furniture that you only use during the summer but not so much in the winter. During the off-season you can put these things into storage so they are not cluttering up your home.