It's Not Paint Chips - It's Creosote

Paint Flaking On Inside of Barbecue Lid - It's not paint! At the end of every barbecue season, we get phone calls from people worried about the "paint flaking off the inside of their barbecue lid." It's not paint. It's a natural build up of grease, smoke, and soot that you can clean off using a grill cleaner, a scrubber and some good old fashioned elbow grease. 

The Science Behind It

The residue from the oil, grease, and smoke your barbecue generates settles on the inside of your lid creating a build up called creosote. Creosote is produced by the distillation of wood or fossil fuels from the heating of hydrocarbons within the source. In short - it's carbon. It's also commonly seen in your fireplace, if you have one.

Side Note: We offer fireplaces services and repairs

Flaking Paint in BBQ is Actually Creosote

After a while the creosote build up will get flakey and fall down to your burgers. This is no good. 

Cleaning Creosote Off Your Barbecue Lid

Some Brander Cleaner and Degreaser and elbow grease will make it go away. 


Side Note: At Barbecues Galore we do not sell any barbecues that have paint on the inside of the lid. So, if you got your barbecue from us, it can't be paint! The lids on the barbecues we have often use a baked on enamel the inside coating that will not be damaged by using your barbecue.

Preventing Creosote Build Up

To prevent the creosote build up from happening, use heat resistant gloves for protection and wipe the inside of the lid with a damp rag or paper towel after every second or third cook.

Big Boy Guardian Grilling Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves Lifestyle Photo

Are there benefits of creosote build up on your barbecue?

Ablutomania BBQ Grill Brush

Don't worry, it's not absolutely necessary to have your barbecue creosote-free - it's harmless in small quantities. In fact, it actually can be beneficial. Let us explain. Whatever amount of creosote you have on your barbecue lid before it falls off onto your food is safe. Basically, it's not a problem until it's on your food. That's because it shouldn't be eaten, which means bugs also don't like it either. So having a bit of creosote in your barbecue, especially after it's become nice and warm, will actually help to not have bugs use your grill like a sauna.

Like we said above, a quick wipe of your lid every second or third cook is just fine. However, it'd be wise to clean your grill grates before every use so that there's never any creosote build up on your cooking surface that will get on your food. Just use a sturdy grill brush on those grill grates and you're good to go.

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Barbecues Galore has the best selection of barbecues, patio furniture, and outdoor heating supplies. We sell barbecues, accessories, and everything else you need for exceptional grilling and backyard experiences. With locations in Calgary and the GTA, you can visit us in store or shop online. North Calgary Store: (403) 250-1558 | South Calgary Store: (403) 258-4440 | Burlington Store: (905) 639-5952 | Oakville Store: (905) 844-3224 | Etobicoke Store: (416) 546-3266

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