Clean Rusty Grill Grates The Easy Way
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Dont spoil your appetite with rusty grill grates. Heres how to clean them the easy way and prevent future problems. There are many all-natural options for getting your grill sparkling clean and keeping it that way.
Whether your grill grating is made of stainless steel, cast iron, or is porcelain-coated, maintaining them should be a priority. Many commercial rust removal products are available, but there are several natural cleaners, as well as a few unexpected ways to remove rust and keep your grill rust-free.
Warmer weather means one thing: Its time for a cookout! Ensure that your barbecue grill is clean and ready when you are with these easy methods of restoring the shine on those neglected grates and put an end to the disappointment and hassle of having to clean your grill before you can start cooking.
No matter if youre grilling steaks or putting a few shrimp on the Barbie, youll want to start clean. The best way to achieve this, of course, is to clean after each use.
You wouldnt put your dishes and pans away dirty, so dont put your grill away until youve removed the grease and gunk that leads to rust and deterioration of the grill material.
How To Clean Stainless Steel Gas Grill
For those of you wondering how to clean stainless steel gas grill, heres what to do:
Using Steel Wool And Soap
One of the handy options for many households is the pair of steel wool and soap. Its the best way to clean a gas grill grate mired with rust. Also, this is an ideal way to clean a propane gas grill grate that is in use every day.
This is perfect for grates with a moderate amount of rust. Mix water and dish soap on a bucket and start washing the grates. When the iron is soaked in soapy water, you can now start scrubbing it with steel wool.
For tough rust stains, you can use sandpaper in place of steel wool.
Take note that the soap will remove the seasoning of your grate. Anyway, re-seasoning it should be easy with the steps weve discussed below.
Also, to make sure that no moisture is left on the iron grate, its best to dry it inside a hot oven. You can also dry it inside the grill after re-seasoning.
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Change The Grease Drip Pan And Wipe Outside
There will probably be a lot of gunk inside the aluminum grease pan. Slide the drip pan holder out, discard the old pan, and insert a new one.
Weber aluminum drip pans are inexpensive and make cleaning easy.
When you are grilling, remember to regularly check the grease pan so it doesnt overflow.
TIP: If you put an empty aluminum drip pan in the grill, it might fly away when it gets windy. You can place a few small stones inside the pan to prevent this.
Finally, you can wipe the outside surfaces of the grill clean with a damp cloth and some dishwashing soap.
The whole process will take only about 20 minutes so do it often enough. Enjoy your grilling!
About the Author
Hi, Im Joonas!
As soon as I learned to walk, I started to assist my dad and uncles with grilling and smoking. I always loved helping them and later took over the role of the grill master in my family.
My goal is to cook tasty barbecue food, enjoy it with family & friends, and help others do the same!
How To Prevent Rust From Cast Iron Gates
It is important that we clean the grates after use. How are we cleaning your cast iron grill grates?
To clean rust off the grates after use:
- Simply allow the heat left inside the grill to burn off the excess food and sauces that are stuck in the grate
- Use a wire grill brush to scrape and clean the grates
Use The Secret Weapon
- Apply a thin coat of vegetable oil or cooking oil.
If the grill is still hot after cleaning, drop some vegetable oil on a clean cloth and wipe the grill with itnot too heavy, just enough to thinly coat it.
If the grill is already cooled-off after cleaning, turn it on and run it until the temperature reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
It needs to reach high heat for the oil to polymerize into the cast iron.
Applying vegetable oil to the grill is called seasoning. It is a process where the oil is used to bake the pores of the cast iron, therefore preventing it from rusting.
So, now that we have learned that prevention is better than the cure, lets get back to our main problem: how to remove the rust from our cast iron grates.
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Removing Rust With Sandpaper:
Sounds pretty shocking, right? While unconventional, the method definitely works. Wrap a sheet of sandpaper around the rung of the rusty grill grate, rub the sandpaper along the length of the grate.
While this will remove the rust effectively, it can also scratch the surface of the grate, so keep track of how much you are sanding off.
How To Clean Stainless Steel Grill
If you love to cook outside on the grill when the weather gets warm, youre not alone. Everyone loves a summer barbecue and there are few things more delicious than a burger or hot dog cooked on a stainless steel grill. To keep your grill looking and performing its best, general maintenance and cleaning are necessary. Thats why its very important to know how to clean stainless steel grill properly.
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Steel Wool & Soapy Water
I think I should begin by saying this: Do not wash your cast iron with soap and water unless you want to strip your seasoning and then re-season it again.
In the below video, we see how Lodge Manufacturing, one of the oldest cookware companies in the United States and one of the largest manufacturers of cast iron cookware in the world, gives recommendations on how to clean cast iron that has become rusty. The same advice applies to grates.
So long as your spouse will allow it, bring your grill grates inside the house and wash them in the sink with hot soapy water and steel wool or a stiff brush. This will remove any seasoning youve built up, but will also remove any surface rust, bringing your grate back to bare metal.
Once cleaned you will need to give your grates a good rinse before drying them very thoroughly. You dont want any moisture left behind because that will cause rust to come back again very quickly, even as quick as overnight.
The best way to dry them is a few minutes sitting in a very low oven, to completely make sure theres no water left in any pores.
Remove Rust From Grill Grates With Baking Soda
Using baking soda to remove rust from grill grates is not only easy to do but cost-efficient as well. Its one of the best household products to remove rust from many surfaces, including the grill. It is a mild abrasive that not only scrubs away the rust but absorbs grease and grime.
- Large bucket
Fill a large bin or bucket with hot water and add the dish detergent and baking soda. Remove the grate from the grill and scrub away any loose debris with a grill brush before placing the grate into the soapy solution.
Allow it to soak for one hour and use the brush to scrub away the loosened rust. Remove the grate and spray away residue with a garden hose before replacing it on the grill.
Use this recipe for cleaning galvanized metal, too, but skip the wire brush as it will penetrate the coating. Wipe with an old rag or a nylon sponge instead.
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What We Need To Know About Cast Iron Grates
Cast iron grills are known for their durability, and when properly cared for, they can even outlive most of the other sturdy appliances we have.
When used continually, they can become non-stick like our cast iron pans.
They leave beautiful grill marks on our meat, and they can retain high heat.
Unlike stainless steel, cast iron grates are very resilient.
We can brush, scrape, and also use different chemical substances, and it wont even budge.
However, they require regular cleaning, oiling, and general maintenance so that they can retain their quality.
If a cast iron grate is not properly cleaned and stored with moisture inside, it will rust.
So, the best way to avoid the forming of rust is to prevent it.
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No Scrub Baking Soda And Vinegar Grate Cleaning
If you have an extremely dirty grill with stubborn, caked-on grease or grime that doesnt loosen right away soaking the grimy grates overnight in baking soda and white vinegar can save the labor of scrubbing.
Try this method to deep clean your grates at the beginning of grilling season or use it after a cookout, especially if you cant scrub the grates right away.
- Once your grates are completely cool, remove from the grill.
- In a large garbage bag , combine 2 cups of white vinegar and one cup of ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda. The mixture will begin foaming right away.
- Place all the grates into the trash bag and seal it with a tight rubber band or knotted string. Place the bag with the grates and the solution in a cool, out-of-the-way place and wait 8-12 hours or overnight.
- Remove the grates from the bag and rinse in a large sink or with a hose. Most, if not all of the grime should fall away from the grates. Rub any stubborn residue away with a ball of aluminum foil or sponge it will be much easier and looser than before soaking.
- Seal the garbage bag and discard it and any remaining solution.
- Return your grates to your grill.
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Vinegar And Salt Rust Remover
White vinegar is a very versatile natural cleaning product and can be used to clean just about anything, including rust. Combine 2 parts vinegar to 1-part salt into a spray bottle. Thoroughly cover the grates in the vinegar solution and store in an old plastic bag overnight. Once the grill grates have soaked overnight, wipe the grates with an old cloth to remove all the rust residue.
Is Rust On A Bbq Grill Safe
A barbecue grill is subject to all sorts of abuse: high temperatures and grease splatters while cooking, and constant exposure to the elements if left outdoors, unprotected. As such, a grill may rust. A grill with loose rust is not safe, as rust may stick to the food a grate with minor surface rust can be cleaned and treated to continue using it. While ingesting rust may not likely cause harm from one meal, continuous ingestion may be problematic for the intestinal tract.
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Removing Rust With A Wire Brush
The quickest method for removing rust from charcoal grill grates is by using a wire brush. Remove the grate from the grill and place it on a flat surface, such as the driveway or patio. Brush the rust off the grates with the wire brush, making sure you get in between each grate. Wipe away the dislodged rust and grime with an old cloth and place the grate back onto the BBQ.
How To Clean A Rusty Bbq Plate
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We all love to grill on the barbecue but not many people love cleaning it. However, a clean barbecue can really improve your grilling game. If your BBQ plate is rusty, it surely will ruin your food. Through time rust inevitably starts to develop, especially if you store your BBQ hot plate in a humid place or just leave it outside in the garden. Fear not, though, because we have a solution for you. In this guide, you will learn how to clean a rusty BBQ plate easy and effectively.
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How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates
This is going to sound obvious, but cannot be overstated: The best way to keep your grill clean and rust-free is to give it a good cleaning immediately after every use.
Once youve finished cooking and removed your food, open all vents if using charcoal, or turn up your grill to high if using gas and then close the lid to allow the grill to get hot.
This way youre able to burn off much of your stuck on food and barbecue sauce.
Once youve burned off your food, you can either close your vents to extinguish your charcoal or turn off your gas to allow the grill to cool to a point where its comfortable to put your hand in to clean.
While your grill is still warm, scrape the grates with a good grill brush.
A brush with a scraper is excellent here as youre able to scrape any remaining food off your grates easily.
After cleaning your cast iron grates and making sure theyre dry, you now want to apply a very thin coating of vegetable oil to help prevent rust from forming.
Just a wipe with a cloth or piece of kitchen towel lightly dabbed in oil is sufficient. Youre looking to apply a thin film, not coat your grates heavily.
Clean Rusty Grill Grates With Soap And Water
For a few spots of rust on your grill grates, soap and water is the way to go. Simply mix warm water and some regular dish soap. You can soak your grates in the water for a while, or you can use a sponge to scrub away the rust on your grates with the help of the soapy water. If the rust doesnt come off quickly with a sponge, try using steel wool dipped in the water.
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Wash The Grates In Warm Soapy Water
Washing them before soaking them in a solution helps remove excess food and dirt from the grates, therefore making the vinegar/baking soda solution more effective.
Use a steel brush to remove dirt that is stuck in between grates, or we can also use crumpled aluminum foil if we dont have a steel brush.
How To Season Your Grill Grate
Conditioning your grate first before using it for cooking is important to maintain its quality. Its also a good way to prevent rusting.
Every new grate needs seasoning. The same goes for rusty grates cleaned using abrasive chemicals. You can skip the seasoning part but it will impact the lifespan of your grill grates. Besides, conditioning the iron is very easy using these three simple steps:
- Wash it well
Always begin by washing your grates first. Use warm water for barbecue cleaning and make sure that you wipe off any muck and dust. You can use soap if youre planning to strip off the previous seasoning of your grates. For newly bought grates, soap washing should be fine.
After washing the grates thoroughly, dry it off using a clean towel.
- Apply oil
At this point, you will cover the grates with a layer of oil. This will provide a non-stick characteristic which will make it easy to clean after cooking. Also, this will prevent rust from forming.
You can use any cooking oil that you want. It can be the typical vegetable oil, olive oil, peanut oil, and more. Use a clean bristle paintbrush to apply the oil in several coats. Let the first coat sit for a few minutes before applying another coat. You can do this multiple times.
For future use, youll only need to apply one layer of oil before cooking. This is unless you scrape off the seasoning layer all over again.
- Expose it to heat
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How To Clean Rusty Grill Grates Using White Vinegar
One of the best benefits of cleaning with vinegar is its ability to dissolve grease and loosen rust with its natural properties. Adding salt to the cleaning solution provides extra abrasion to improve the cleaning action.
- Garden hose
Pour the vinegar and salt into a bowl and stir to dissolve the salt. Place a large, heavy duty garbage bag on the ground and place the grill grate inside the bag. To get the rust off a grill, pour the vinegar mixture over the surface of the grating and tie the bag shut.
Allow it to sit overnight while the cleaner works on loosening the rust. Remove the grate from the bag and wipe away the softened bits of rust material. Rinse it thoroughly with cold water and dry it completely before replacing it in the grill.