Caring for your barbecue is quick, easy and if carried out correctly your barbecue should last for years.
When you use your barbecue make sure that it is clear of ash. You might have to take the cooking grill and charcoal grill out and tip it up. You may have air vents at the bottom of your barbecue that let you push the ash through. It is crucial that you clean the barbecue before eash use. Don't keep the few pennies worth of charcoal left behind either. This charcoal is no good and not worth keeping. By removing the ash your barbecue is able to allow air to circulate. Air needs to be able to get to the burning charcoal in order for it to burn down correctly. Generally speaking if you barbecue has vents in the bottom open them all the way. Replace the grills if you have to take them out in the same sequence as you removed them.
Once you have added charcoal to the barbecue you can use the heat from this fire to clean the cooking grill. I don't worry about this too much and neither should you. Make sure that it gets hot, particular if the barbecue hasn't been used for sometime, and use a wire brush to remove any loose remnants of your last barbecue.
When you have finished barbecuing let the charcoal burn down. If you have a kettle barbecue leave the lid off while this happens. Once the charcoal is burnt down, replace the kettle lid, and cover with a barbecue cover. If you don't have one go and buy one. By keeping your barbecue covered it remains dry and is much less likely to rust.
If there is likely to be a long spell were the barbecue is not going to be used, clean it of ash as before. Put the cover on and either put the barbecue away somewhere dry or where it can't be blown or knocked over. When you come to use it again check how clean it is. It maybe necessary to give it a clean with some hot soapy water. If I haven't used my barbecue for some months, through Winter for example, I will use a lot more charcoal than I normally would to get the barbecue hot and to really heat the cooking grill up to burn off any residuals. Using a wire brush I will clean the grill once anything stuck to it is burning off. This only takes a few extra minutes and cleans the barbecue ready for another season.