Last updated: August 11, 2021

Welcome to our big barbecue cleaner test 2021. Here we present all the barbecue cleaners we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best barbecue cleaner for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a barbecue cleaner.




The most important information in a nutshell

  • ou should never grill on a grate that still has the remnants of the last barbecue. A barbecue cleaner can easily remedy this.
  • The right barbecue cleaner enables you to clean your barbecue perfectly without a lot of time and physical effort.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between grill cleaner spray, grill cleaner paste and grill cleaner gel.

Grill Cleaner: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a barbecue cleaner

Is every grill cleaner suitable for my grill?

In order to be able to use your barbecue perfectly in the future, you should clean it thoroughly after every use so that you can enjoy the next barbecue evenings in the best possible way.

However, since no one wants to scrub intensively and the use of aggressive household products can be harmful to health, special barbecue cleaners have been developed over time that not only save you a lot of work but are also environmentally friendly.

But be careful, before you buy, you should find out which materials your barbecue cleaner is suitable for, as the wrong barbecue cleaner can damage the surface of your barbecue.

Basically, you can remember that barbecue cleaner should not be applied to paint, plastic or aluminium. In addition, barbecue cleaners must dissolve the most intensive soiling in the most unfavourable places.

Residues of leftover meat, fish and vegetables, as well as marinade, ash and grease, crust on the grill grate, causing not only bacteria to accumulate but also undesirable aromas when reused. (Image source: unsplash.com / Andrik Langfield)

In order to develop its solvent effect, your grill cleaner should therefore adhere to the surface for as long as possible. That's why you should use barbecue cleaner sprays, gels or pastes.

What do grill cleaners cost?

The different types of barbecue cleaners are pretty much in the same price range (10-20 €). Extreme price differences, such as with the barbecue cleaner spray (€60), always correlate with the filling quantity or pack size. The standard sizes are between 500ml and 1 litre, although 5-litre canisters are sometimes offered for catering businesses. The total price increases accordingly, although the price per litre is still in the same price segment of approx. 10€ per litre. Depending on how often you want to use and clean your barbecue for private use, it may be worthwhile to purchase larger quantities.
Type Price range
Grill Cleaner Spray ca. 5-60 €
Grill Cleaner Gel ca. 10-20 €
Grill Cleaner Paste ca. 10-25€

What alternatives are there for a barbecue cleaner?

Basically, we have to tell you that there are no really useful alternatives if you don't want to invest a lot of time and effort in cleaning. Furthermore, you should urgently avoid treating the barbecue with chemical household products, as ingredients of the treated material can dissolve and be absorbed by food when the barbecue is reused. Nevertheless, we can recommend a few small tips on how to clean your barbecue with common household products if you want to avoid buying a barbecue cleaner at all costs:

  • Rub the grill grate with oil before use.
  • Wrap the grill grate in dampened newspaper immediately after grilling.
  • Soak the grill grate in water with a dash of vinegar for several hours before cleaning.
  • Rub the grill grate with a halved lemon, leave to soak overnight and rinse with warm water the next day.
  • Rub the grill grate with cold coffee grounds, leave to soak for a short time and then rinse with warm water.

Decision: What types of barbecue cleaners are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a barbecue cleaner, there are basically three alternatives you can choose between:

  • Grill Cleaner Spray
  • Grill Cleaner Gel
  • Barbecue cleaner paste

Due to the large and sometimes confusing range of products, we would like to help you find the perfect grill cleaner for your needs in the following section by giving you the advantages and disadvantages of the different grill cleaners.

What distinguishes a barbecue cleaner spray and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The spray is the best-known and most popular model among the grill cleaners. It is available in either a spray or pump bottle and is characterised by its ease of use. Because it can be applied quickly and over a large area, it is also the number 1 cleaning method in the catering industry. However, it should be noted that due to the low viscosity, very heavy soiling often remains.

Advantages
  • Easy to use
  • No accessories needed
  • Wide range of options
  • Extremely time-saving
  • Short reaction time
Disadvantages
  • Heavy soiling cannot always be removed perfectly
  • No optimal adhesion due to very liquid consistency

What are the characteristics of a grill cleaner gel and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

To remove particularly stubborn stains, you should therefore use a grill cleaner gel or paste. You will need either a sponge or a small brush to apply the gel. This also makes the application somewhat more time-consuming.

Advantages
  • Ideal for heavy soiling
  • Optimal adhesion due to viscosity
  • Short application time
Disadvantages
  • Accessories needed
  • Time-consuming

What distinguishes a barbecue cleaner paste and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The use of a barbecue cleaner paste is very similar to that of a gel. The only difference is that the consistency is somewhat thicker, which creates a better adhesion. In addition, there is a small negative aftertaste: the small selection of product alternatives.

Advantages
  • Ideal for heavy soiling
  • Optimal adhesion due to viscosity
  • Short application time
Disadvantages
  • Accessories needed
  • Somewhat time-consuming
  • Limited choice of products

Buying criteria: Use these criteria to compare and rate barbecue cleaners

The criteria you can use to compare barbecue cleaners include:

  • Effectiveness
  • Ingredients
  • Filling quantity
  • Duration of action
  • AccessoriesF

In the following paragraphs we will explain what the criteria are.

Efficiency

The effectiveness of the grill cleaner is a decisive purchase criterion. After all, who wants to spend a few extra euros to buy an expensive barbecue cleaner that ultimately removes no more dirt than the usual household products?

The essential factor for effective cleaning, apart from the ingredients, is the viscosity of the grill cleaner.

Due to a particularly viscous consistency, the cleaner remains on the surfaces to be treated for longer, whereby clearly better results can be achieved than with particularly liquid grill cleaners.

Ingredients

The strong cleaning power of most grill cleaners is generated by the surfactants they contain. In order for the surfactants to reach their full potential, it is essential to adhere to the specified exposure time of the respective grill cleaner. In addition to the surfactants, alkaline active substances are also frequently contained. Therefore, grill cleaners should always be used with gloves and not in closed rooms. Even if toxic and environmentally harmful ingredients are avoided in the latest productions, you should inform yourself before your purchase decision whether the respective ingredients are still contained. You should also bear in mind that not every grill cleaner is suitable for every surface. Painted surfaces in particular can become porous if strong grill cleaners are used.

Filling quantity

The ideal filling quantity depends on your personal needs. The standard quantity is approx. 500 ml, although there are of course also barbecue cleaners with a smaller filling quantity, as well as canisters with up to 6 litres.

When using grill cleaners, you should make sure to use them sparingly so as not to put too much strain on the grill grate. (Image source: unspalsh.com / Danny de Jong)

While barbecue cleaner canisters are widely used in the catering industry, a standard size of 500 ml to one litre should actually be sufficient for the average hobby barbecue griller.

Basically, especially when using barbecue cleaners, the principle of "less is more!" almost always applies

Duration of exposure

The duration of the exposure time depends on the individual barbecue cleaner. Nevertheless, it should be noted that especially with good cleaning products, usually only a few minutes are needed. Nevertheless, you should inform yourself about the required exposure time and at the same time adhere to it in order to achieve a perfect cleaning of your barbecue.

Accessories

The accessories required vary depending on the type or consistency of your barbecue cleaner. While you need a brush for the application of a gel or paste, you can also apply the barbecue cleaner spray directly without special accessories. On the other hand, when using a spray, you may have to buy an extra brush to remove particularly stubborn dirt. In addition, as already mentioned, the use of gloves can be advantageous depending on the ingredients contained.

Trivia: Interesting facts about barbecue cleaners

Use of barbecue brushes

If, despite intensive treatment with the recommended barbecue cleaners, unappetising residues remain, you can of course also use the well-known barbecue brush. Furthermore, you should not use random brushes, but commercially available brushes made of stainless steel with brass bristles, which have been specially manufactured for cleaning stubborn dirt on the barbecue grill.

Picture source: pexels.com / Malte Lu

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