Gas barbecue owners definitely have an advantage here. Once the last piece of meat has been barbecued, they just turn the heat knob up to the maximum. At 350 degrees even the stickiest remains burn away from the grate leaving only ash which can be easily wiped away with a damp cloth. This is similar to the way a self-cleaning oven works. Cleaning charcoal barbecues on the other hand has the advantage of bringing you closer to your ancestors because ultimately soap has been made from barbecue ash for millennia. Simply dip a damp sponge into the ash and clean the grate. The ash slurry cleans away any incrustations. Then simply rinse the grate with water – preferably in the garden as the rinsed ash mixture acts as fertiliser. If even this doesn’t help, then you can always use oven cleaner. Spray the grate with the oven cleaner and leave it in a big plastic bag for several hours to take effect. Then wash off any stubborn residues with washing-up liquid and a sponge. And what always works is simple scrubbing with a steel sponge, water and washing up liquid. If you rub a little oil onto the grate before starting the barbecuing process, you’ll save yourself a lot of work because this makes it harder for any residues to stick to the grate. Pleasant side effect: the meat does not stick and is easier to turn.