There is nothing more devastating than opening your grill at the start of spring to fire up your first bbq of the season and you discover that the interior is covered in white fuzz. Well, there are far more devastating things happening in the world, however, in the bbq world grill mold is pretty bad.
Mold does not discriminate, it doesn’t care if you have a charcoal grill, a pellet smoker, or a custom rig. If there is a nice moist spot, it will invite itself over. So then, what is the best way to kill mold? Do you just throw away the grill? Put the cover back on and hope it will go away? Sadly none of these options are going to cut it. Before we decide what to do in this situation, we need to find out how we got ourselves into this situation.
What is mold?
Mold is a term used for fungi that grow in the form of a multicellular almost thread-like structure called ‘hyphae’. There are lots and lots of different types of mold, some can cause disease and can be very harmful to the human body.
Mold is found in damp areas which have poor ventilation and/or high humidity levels. There are lots of different types of mold and they come in various different colours, textures and smells. Sometimes you can not see the mold but you can smell a damp and almost thick smell, this is an indication that mold has started to grow but is not yet visible to the human eye. If this is the case the best thing to do is to get rid of your barbeque/ smoker cover and continue with the cleaning steps below.
How to prevent mold
One of the best ways to prevent mold is to superheat your cooker after you have finished cooking. If you need to add fresh coals to get the temperature back up do it! It will save you in the long run. You want to get a good high temperature back, then burn off all the food residue that has built up throughout the cook.
Once all the food residue has been burnt off, its time to work on the interior. With a plastic putty knife, you want to scrape away any grease build-up, food and excess charcoal. This can be a breeding ground for mold.
After everything is cleaned you want to dry the interior as much as possible and pop the cover on. Make sure before you put the cover on that you open all vents or take away any side piece that can expose the interior, this will allow any additional moisture to escape.
Another major cause of mold is your cover. It traps moisture and creates the perfect conditions for mold and rust. Try and avoid using a cover/lid if you can, your pride and joy will not fall to pieces! If you can store it in the shed or under a covered area.
At What Temperature Does Mold Die?
One of the best ways to kill mold is to burn it. Most mold types die at a temperature of 140°F. This is perfect for our situation, it doesn’t matter what type of heat source is heating your grill, your pride and joy will always burn above 140°F!
How To Kill Mold
If you do find yourself taking the cover off your grill at the start of summer and finding mold, don’t stress, its not the end of the world. I have some very easy to follow, simple instructions to kill grill mold. What I like to do is get the kids involved, make it a learning experience for everyone!
1. Take away any charcoal, ceramic briquettes, lava rocks or other porous materials from the grill.
2. Fire up the grill! Make sure it is as hot as possible, this will kill the mold and burn off the mold and any grease that has built up. Use a decent amount of fuel for the fire, you want to get as much burnt off as possible. Do not try to scrape or power wash the mold off. You might inhale spores and could possibly have a reaction. You could also spread the mold.
3. After the fire has burnt down, let it cool and then scrub and scrape everything you can get your hands on! For best results use a pressure washer or a wire brush. If you don’t have a pressure washer you are going to need a lot of elbow grease.
4. Once everything has been scraped off, give everything a good wash down with hot soapy water. Making sure to give everything a good rinse down afterwards.
5. Finally, fire up the bbq one more time. This will ensure that any soap residue, moisture, grease and mold has been totally eradicated.
Voila, you now have a mould free grill ready for your next cookout, and the kids have learnt about mold and how to kill it!
Opening your grill after summer and finding mold is a real event killer. The last thing you want is your guests to see you cleaning your moldy gril once they start arriving, especially when you have gone through the hard yards of preparing all the food and working out how much food to cook.
Its not hard to take the necessary steps to prevent mold build-up and keep your grill working and looking good! I often get the kids to help me, its a good opportunity to teach them a good life lesson about maintaining & looking after your belongings.
Cleaning is something that many of us don’t like to do, however, its something that does need to be done. Do you have a good way of leaning/ a cleaning ritual that makes the job not so bad? Comment below and let me know, I am always after new ways to make my life more fun!