Hate cleaning the braai grid? Hacks to get it done quickly and easily

Which tips are worth trying, and which are best avoided

10 September 2020 - 00:00
By Hilary Biller
If you use water to clean your braai grid, remember to dry it well afterwards so it doesn't rust. You can rub it with a little cooking oil to help prevent this from happening.
Image: 123RF/Anastasy Yarmolovich If you use water to clean your braai grid, remember to dry it well afterwards so it doesn't rust. You can rub it with a little cooking oil to help prevent this from happening.

When it comes to cleaning the braai grid,  memories of the mouth-watering aromas and grilled meat straight off the fire soon fade. The internet abounds with hacks that are meant to take the hard work out this hated chore.

Here’s which ones are worth trying, and which are best avoided:

HACK 1: NEWSPAPER

How to do it: Heat up the grid when you next braai and rub the grid with newspaper. It’s easier to remove the grid if it is warmed and not so hot that the paper starts to burn.

Does it work? To a point. With a good rub the newspaper will soak up the grease on the grid, but it leaves nasty sticky bits behind. You may need to do a few takes with clean newspaper.

HACK 2: ONIONS

How to do it: Preheat the grid to burn off some of the grease and sticky bits. Cut a large onion in half and, using a braai fork, rub the onion over the grid, replacing with the other half as needed.

Does it work? A simple method using something natural and non-toxic. The onion juices are  antibacterial and the moisture helps to break down the grease and clean the grid.

HACK 3: FISH POND

How to do it: Submerge the grid in a fish pond.

Does it work? A definite “no”. It is harmful to the fish as the greasy residue will contaminate the pond, and the braai grid will rust.

HACK 4: BEER

How to do it: Warm the dirty grid and pour over the beer.

Does it work? Yes, but if you made a paste of beer and bicarbonate of soda it will be way more effective. To do so, preheat the grid to remove some of the grease, then spread over the paste with a brush and leave to stand, unheated, for at least 30 minutes before rinsing well and drying. If you think this is a waste of good beer, make a paste of bicarbonate of soda with lemon juice or vinegar instead.

HACK 5: WASHING POWDER

How to do it: Half fill a sink or large plastic container with cold water and add 30ml (2 tbsp) Omo washing powder, swishing it around until it has dissolved. Place the grid in the water, ensuring it is covered, and leave for an hour to soak. Clean the grid before rinsing it well, then dry it and rub it with cooking oil to prevent it rusting.

Does it work? Very effective. It requires little elbow grease as the washing powder does all the hard work removing the grease and those sticky bits.