Outdoor grilling can be a messy job. Even the cleanest grills will have some areas of sticky, black grease that accumulated on the interior of the grill after cooking steaks, ribs or burgers for example. Since your grill is usually stored outside in the elements, most likely there are also areas on the outside of your grill that may be dirty, grimy or rusty. The act of grilling food causes grease splatters, barbecue sauce splashes or meat juice drips which all will end up on your clothing if you don’t invest in a good barbecue apron that will protect you and your clothing from outdoor cooking stains.
Barbecue apron features
There are many styles, fabrics and sizes of barbecue aprons that you can buy, but probably the best one for most people is the standard butcher apron that goes from high on the chest down to one’s mid-thigh depending upon your height. Be sure to purchase an apron that has wide, adjustable neck ties, usually attached to a D-ring, and waist ties that are long enough to comfortably tie in the back.
The ultimate pit master’s apron is made from a heavy-weight, rugged, cotton canvas because a thin apron will not protect your clothing if the grease splatters are able to soak through the apron’s fabric and onto your clothes. Also, look for an apron that has ample pockets for storing grill tools, condiments like salt and pepper and other grill gear.
Although aprons with sports logos, cute sayings and amusing artwork can look good when new, they will soon be covered in smears of grease and food stains. A white apron is a no-no because it will look very dirty very quickly. Instead choose a solid color like a dark green, or a deep brown which will disguise many of your stains and keep your barbecue apron looking as good as possible.
Cleaning your barbecue apron
Keep in mind, your barbecue apron is just part of your grilling gear and not a fashion statement. It’s okay to have some stains since that’s the purpose of the apron in the first place. Its job is to keep you and your clothing clean, not to stay clean during your barbecuing or grilling. However, you will want to wash your apron after each use to keep it looking as clean as possible.
First, gently brush any area of the apron that has food particles clinging to the fabric. Next, before you put your apron into the washer, pretreat any stains with a degreaser, and let the stain remover soak into the fabric for at least two or three hours.
Then soak the apron in warm water with your regular detergent. After it soaks for about an hour, spin out the dirty water. Complete a full, heavy-duty cycle, and before you place the apron into the dryer, examine the apron to see if you need to reapply more degreaser. Drying the apron will set in any stains, so try to eliminate any stains prior to drying.
A barbecue apron is the grill master’s best friend. It protects clothing and skin from food and grease splatters, and it holds the barbecue tools you need for grilling. Therefore it’s important to buy a quality, thick, cotton canvas apron for long lasting protection and convenience when you’re cooking outdoors.
Note: For safety when cooking outdoors, it’s advisable to wear a full-coverage shoe and not wear flip-flops or be shoeless while you are grilling. Hot grease can drip down onto your feet and cause burns.