Can you clean a BBQ with beer? We ask the experts if the common hack really works

The common BBQ cleaning hack claims to remove grease and grime effectively - but is it too good to be true?

clean barbecue with beer
(Image credit: Getty / Stephen Ashton / EyeEm)

BBQ season is officially here, but before you slap the burgers and sausages on your best BBQ make sure you've given it a good clean. 

One of the most common BBQ cleaning hacks out there is splashing a bit of bear over your grill to remove any grime. Some claim that about half a bottle of beer poured over greasy grates of a warm grill will loosen dirt.

But is leftover beer really the wonder BBQ cleaning ingredients it claims to sounds almost too good to be true. So we decided to ask the experts if this common hack really works. After all, no one wants to spend hours scrubbing, whether it's your best portable BBQ or bigger gas BBQ

Take notes and bring your BBQ out of its winter hibernation mode with minimal elbow grease. Save yourself the hassle this weekend and check out our guide on how to light a BBQ and keep guests happy.

clean barbecue with beer

(Image credit: Getty / villagemoon)

So, why do people pour beer on their BBQs in the first place? 'Most lagers are carbonated, which may help to dissolve dirt and grease,' says Mike Hardman from Alliance Online. 'However, it’s probably not going to be powerful enough to clean a very dirty grill.' 

'Plus, unless you rinse your barbeque thoroughly with water afterward, it would end up feeling quite sticky. So, I wouldn't recommend wasting a beer on your BBQ.' Instead, the Marketing Manager at catering equipment supplier Alliance Online recommends using an oven cleaner to leave your BBQ sparkling.

'If you don't have any oven cleaner handy, you can also try coating the surface in a paste made up of bicarbonate of soda and a few teaspoons of water,' Mike adds. 

'Leave the mixture to do its thing for at least twenty minutes and then wipe clean and rinse thoroughly. Don't forget to dry your barbeque so it doesn't get rusty.' We're all for natural cleaning methods, so don't forget the cleaning power of bicarbonate of soda.

clean barbecue with beer

(Image credit: Getty / Barcu Atalay Tankut)

Bar-Be-Quick, on the other hand, advises washing your grill at the end of your next BBQ while it's still warm. The heat will have loosened any grime and it should be easier to wash off. 

'If you’re still entertaining and don’t fancy this,' a Bar-Be-Quick spokesperson says, 'place a hot water-soaked newspaper onto your dirty grill or bowl and leave for half an hour. This should soak into the grime so you will be able to gently clean it off afterward.'

clean barbecue with beer

(Image credit: Getty / Patrick Palej / EyeEm)
  • How to BBQ – our guide to help you get it right and enjoy delicious barbecued food every time

For more inspiration, take a look at our garden ideas page. If you want to get your BBQ in top shape before inviting friends over, it's clear beer isn't the best option. Heating it up beforehand and trying the newspaper hack will help things along. Then you can go in with oven cleaner or bicarb and it'll be gleaming in no time.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.