BBQ troubleshooting

With summer soon to be upon us it won’t be long before our BBQs are re-discovered and the first grills are sparked into life. However, the return of sunshine often indicates the return of some common BBQ problems too so we’ve narrowed down some of the most common troubles faced by barbecuers in the UK, and asked our Calor BBQ experts to provide some solutions...

Q: “Why does my food keep sticking to the grill?”

A: Preventing foods (especially meat) from getting stuck to our grills has a simple solution, starting with making sure that your BBQ, and in particular the grill plate, is cleaned thoroughly after each use. Brushing it with oil before barbecuing will also help you to easily move and flip your food, guaranteeing less mess and less waste.

Q: “I always find that my meat is cooked on the outside but raw inside”

A: This is not only a common problem that’s highly frustrating but also presents lots of health risks if accidentally eaten by hungry guests! The best way to make sure your meat cooks right through is to place more heat at one end of your BBQ than the other; creating hot and warm zones. This is easy to achieve on a gas BBQ by turning up your burners to a lower heat on one side, but can also be achieved on charcoal by stacking more coal at one end than the other. By doing this you will be able to sear your meat on the hotter side before placing it in the warm area to cook thoroughly without burning.

Q: “Food keeps falling through my grill”

A: Having spent both time and money picking out your favourite BBQ treats, it is understandable that the last thing you want is to watch it fall through the grill into the flames below, proceeding to burn to a crisp and be lost forever! The best way to stop this from happening to you is to invest in some BBQ accessories - there are plenty available on the market including vegetable baskets, griddles, pans and woks, which will all stop any food falling through your grill from now on. 

Q: “My gas BBQ isn’t getting hot enough & the flames look yellow”

A: Finding that your BBQ only reaches low temperatures, especially when the flames from your burners look yellow rather than blue can indicate a few issues. The first problem that this could be is your regulator sticking. This is a common problem that can usually be resolved by a few simple steps; start by turning off the gas at the tank and disconnecting the hose, then open the lid of your grill, turn all control valves to high and wait for a few minutes. Next, turn all the control valves back off, reconnect the gas hose to the tank and slowly turn the gas back on at the tank before lighting the grill. If, following these steps the problem persists, you may find that you need to replace the regulator. 

The alternative issue in this scenario may be that you have a leak in your fuel supply. To work out whether this is the case, coat your gas hose in a layer of soapy water before watching for any bubbles to appear - this will indicate any leaks and where they are coming from. If you have found a leak, you must ensure that your hose is repaired or replaced ahead of your BBQ’s next use. 

Q: “The heat of my BBQ seems patchy” 

A: This is actually often not a problem at all! Whether charcoal or gas, your BBQ will never heat completely evenly, but if you experience extreme losses of heat over parts of your BBQ you may have blocked burners. Burners commonly become blocked from dirt, spider webs or other debris that’s been lodged within them, often during storage. This issue can usually be overcome simply by cleaning out each burner using a cocktail stick or something similarly small, scraping out anything found inside. Always ensure that your BBQ is switched off, completely cool and disconnected from its gas supply when doing so.

Q: “My BBQ will not ignite”

A: If your gas BBQ won’t ignite, this could be due to a problem with the ignition on the BBQ itself - this can be down to issues such as moisture seeping into the end of the probe, an ignitor switch that has become misaligned or simply that the electrodes have become dirty and require a clean. However, due to the number of different ignitor switches used within the various BBQs on the market it is always advisable to seek professional help to make sure that any issues are fixed safely and correctly.

Alternatively, ignition problems could be because of a reduced gas blow. This problem can arise from a blockage or leak in gas supply, so ensuring everything is off and disconnected, use the techniques mentioned above to see if this reveals an issue. If you find that following these steps doesn’t resolve the problem, we would recommend that you seek the advice of a professional in order to maintain the correct safety precautions.