The Island Gourmet is a high quality, Australian Made BBQ that's built to last. However, even the toughest of appliances need some TLC. It's important to care for your IGE and keep up regular maintenance so that it keeps cooking well into the future. Here are a few tips to ensure this...
1. Install your IGE undercover
The IGE is designed for outdoor alfresco areas, meaning an outdoor area that is protected by some sort of permanent roof, veranda or patio. It cannot be installed indoors due to AGA regulations around gas and ventilation, however. We do not recommend installing your IGE completely out in the open, or even on the edge of an undercover area, as direct harsh weather can be damaging to even the highest quality materials.
2. Keep your IGE covered
Even if you follow our installation recommendations, you can double down and keep your IGE covered with either a vinyl cover that fits over your entire outdoor kitchen (not available from Heatlie) or our stainless steel cover that is suited for non-hooded IGEs only. This will protect the important parts like the knobs, gas taps and cooking plate.
3. Season your plate
Upon using a new IGE for the first time, like any of our BBQs, it's important to season your plate first and then continue to maintain that seasoning. To clean the plate after cooking, simply scrape off loose debris and give it another coat of oil. This is all that is needed. Do not scrub it back to its original appearance as this will encourage rust. If your plate reaches a point of un-usability because of rust or flaking, you can use a heat-activated cleaner to remove a few layers of seasoning so you can start again.
4. Polish and clean the exterior trims
The exterior trims are made from 304 stainless steel, so very durable, but can degrade if neglected. Just give it a regular polish with a stainless steel care oil and make sure to clean up any splatter or stains before they get too bad. If your stainless is in a particularly bad condition, you can use a heavy-duty stainless cleaner to polish it up. Just don't use this on your plate.
5. Ensure proper installation
If an Island Gourmet is improperly installed into a built-in cabinet, problems can arise with overheating and lack of airflow. You need 400cm squared ventilation in your cabinet that connects the BBQ to open air. This allows heat to escape and also airflow to reach the burners so they can light. If you're having problems like burners not lighting properly or the surround of your cabinet is getting very hot, this may be the issue. Talk to your installer and ensure that proper installation processes were followed.
6. Get your gas lines checked and certified
This is important firstly upon initial installation, especially for natural gas installation. This is to ensure that everything is installed correctly and gas is flowing at the correct pressure, with no leaks or issues. LPG installations are a little less serious, but you still need to ensure your gas bottle is separately ventilated if it's inside a cupboard as well, and that your bottle is certified and tested within 10 years. As the BBQ ages, it is a good idea to get the gas lines checked and re-certified every 10 years for safety.
7. Empty your fat container
With your handy included plate lifting tool, you do have the ability to lift your IGE plate up to gain access to the burners, leads and ignition, fat container and the firebox base plates. Make sure you are regularly emptying your fat container to avoid overflow and spillage. This means those base plates will stay in top condition. Under no circumstances should you line the base or sides of the firebox with foil. We do not recommend playing with the burners and ignition system. These are delicate parts and their positioning is crucial to the BBQ staying functional.
8. Clean your burners
With a flat plate, your burners will not come in contact with a whole lot of fat so they will stay in good condition. However, you can periodically brush them down or use compressed air to blow out any potential blockages like insect nests or soot buildup. Try to avoid knocking the electrodes and leads out of place, as they need to stay where they are in order for the BBQ to light.
For grill-plated IGEs, the back burner will come into contact with a fair amount of splatter, so more regular cleaning of this is required.
There you have it! A few basic steps to keep your IGE running smoothly long into the future. This might sound like a lot, but when you look at the big picture, the IGE, or any Heatlie BBQ for that matter, is a very low maintenance machine that will surpass your expectations for a built in BBQ!