It's no secret that in order to give your Heatlie BBQ a long and plentiful life, cleaning and maintenance is key. Heatlie BBQs are built to last and can withstand a lot, but they still need to be cared for appropriately.
Whether you have stainless steel or a powder-coated finish, the same rules apply. Let's go through the do's and dont's of taking care of your BBQ.
1. Keep it covered!
No BBQ will ever last long if it is left open to the elements for long periods of time. Australia has a harsh climate and environment. Whether you're in the cold, wet and damp in Tasmania, the hot and humid up north, the dry and dusty outback or one of the millions of people that live along Australia's abundant coastline, all these conditions are out to get your BBQ.
Whether it's a heavy-duty vinyl cover, a tarp or anything waterproof, it will help to keep all these climate extremes from damaging your BBQ.
2. For built-in models, install undercover
We can't stress this enough. If you are purchasing an Island Gourmet Elite or a BBQ without legs for build-in purposes, the situation it's installed into must be an undercover alfresco outdoor kitchen. While still abiding by the open area rules and regulations, you need to ensure that a permanent roof is over your BBQ. This will add decades of life to your BBQ and keep it protected from all the bad things that fall from the sky (rain).
3. Keep it clean
Another one that sounds simple and commonsensical, but gets forgotten. We've detailed before how to care for your cooking plate - but this applies more to the outer trim and body of the BBQ. If fat, water, food scraps, dust and grime begin to settle in and around the trim and its internals, they can wreak havoc. Keep the exterior wiped clean regularly especially after use and keep it covered in between uses.
For stainless steel, use a stainless steel care oil to polish and clean the surface. This will keep it in good knick. Remember always rub with the grain to avoid scratching. The Super Contact Cleaner is also good for cleaning hard to remove stains and marks from stainless steel exterior surfaces.
The powder coat can be cleaned with a cloth, slightly damp if needed.
One thing is for sure - never ever leave pools of water sitting on the stainless. Stainless steel is not stain-free and invincible like everyone expects it to be. it needs to be kept and dry at all times. This still applies to 316 marine grade.
4. Avoid letting foreign substances and creatures inside
This all comes back to keeping a cover on your BBQ, but it is imperative to not let pests like ants, cockroaches, mice and spiders anywhere near your BBQ. You can avoid this by plugging up gaping holes that would allow them inside, and storing your BBQ inside and out of harm's way when not in use for long periods of time.
5. Use it frequently
BBQs like being used often. Just like how a car won't run too well, or at all, if it isn't turned on for long periods of time, a BBQ can experience problems if it is left dormant for months on end. There is no guarantee you will have problems, but it is something to keep an eye out for. This is another reason that Heatlie likes to make BBQs to order, rather than leaving stock sitting dormant in a warehouse for months.
The purpose of this is not to scare you or make you think that a Heatlie BBQ is a snowflake that will break apart if a drop of rain hits it. That's far from the truth. It's more about protecting your investment to get the very best out of your quality, Australian Made BBQ.
Happy barbecuing this summer, and remember to take care of your Heatlie!