How To Clean Rusty Grill Grates
By: Author Lindsay Reed
The burgers and hot dogs are ready, but your grill grate is rusty. Not sure how to get that rust off so you can showcase your grill-master prowess and keep your food delicious?
Thankfully, its pretty simple to learn how to clean rusty grill grates using ingredients you probably have around the house. Ive outlined a few of my favorite ways so you can find the one that works for your grill and your timeframe.
Steer Clear Of Steel Wool
Heres the thing. Steel wool is an excellent grate cleaning tool for cast iron grill grates. Its pretty effective in getting all that nasty grime off. However, it may not be safe to use on stainless steel grates, and heres why.
Stainless steel has a fine finish. Steel wool leaves fine scratches that ruin this pristine finish which, after a while, makes it harder to clean the grates. Food particles and grease become wedged into those minute crevices, making it virtually impossible to get rid of. Ensure that the clean tool you choose keeps your stainless steel grill grates in mint condition.
Nothing But Elbow Grease The Best Way To Clean All Grill Grates
Without a grill brush, you are going to have to use some elbow grease. Get ready to scrub down those grill grates!
You can do a good number on your grill grates with just plain water, and something to scrub them with.
The most important thing is to know what your grill grates are made out of.
Some things you can scrub your grill grates with are:
- Paper Towels
- Steel wool
Simply fill up a bin or your kitchen sink and go to town. For really bad grates, you may want to add a tiny bit of liquid dish soap.
While we are on the topic of dish soap there is only one kind I ever buy.
Blue Dawn. The kind with the animals on it.
It has to be the one with the animals on it!
This is what they use to clean the poor animals that get covered in oil during an oil spill.
It works on everything. Im notorious for getting grease on my clothes while cooking. I put a few drops of this on immediately, throw it in the washer, and my clothes are saved.
It is powerful, yet gentile, and perfect for getting caked on grease off of your grill grates.
If you do use soap, remember to rinse them thoroughly. You can even send them through the dish washer on a rinse cycle without soap to ensure they are squeaky clean.
If your grill grates are made out of cast iron, do not forget to season them after cleaning, or they may rust.
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How To Clean Weber Q Grill Burner Tubes
How to remove weber grill burner tubes? Slowly. Clean your burner tubes ideally after five or six times of using it. You take your grill out and then brush the burner tube with a clean dry grill brush. Prepare a safety pin that you can use in dislodging any debris that is stuck in each hole.
If you want more assistance in cleaning, you can avail of the weber cleaning kit named Weber Q Grill Maintenance Kit. It has everything you need to keep your grill as shiny as the day you bought it on the inside and out. Kit includes: Grate Grill Cleaner, Grate Scrubber with three scrubbing pads, Grill Brush, Cookbox Scraper, and Stubborn Stain Remover.
Conventional Maintenance Tips After Cleaning
1. While the meat is at rest, turn your grill on its uppermost temperature. Now cover and let the warmth clean your grates. Eat your mealtime and end your clean up when it’s suitable. Your grates cannot be over bare to heat.
2. Do not use oven cleaner or other elements on your grates. The chemicals can never be removed entirely from the grates. This is due to the tiny pits that occur on any grate shell. No matter what element it’s made of. Leftover ingredients can be damaging and do nothing to help create that wonderful Smokey barbeque flavor you’re seeking for.
3. To shield your grates and your entire barbeque, devote in an excellent quality vinyl cover. The cover must be made of heavy duty vinyl. Also, it must cover the hole of the grill. This will guard the outside of your grill, averting dirt and grime build up on outside shells. This would keep leaves and dirt from blowing into the interior. This is one financing that you merely should not scrimp on. And as soon as you have your cover, use it! Keep your grill enclosed at all times when not in use.
4. When all is over, it’s time to reinstall your new Weber grill. To make sure that it is scorched, switch it on one last time for about forty minutes. Use a thin film of cooking oil in misting the metal segments of the grill as further security from the build-up of moisture during winter storing. Now you can save the grill with relief after you are finished with cleaning it.
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The Virtual Weber Gas Grill
In a post last year, I said I was a clean freak when it comes to my grill. But sometimes I get busy and/or lazy and I let my Weber Summit 450 go too long between cleanings. I know its starting to get bad when I have a hard time lighting the grill because the ignitors are clogged with debris. I know its getting even worse when the burners are burning unevenly and with yellow flames because some of the burner holes are clogged. Thats when I know its time to break down and do a deep cleaning of my grill.
Heres how I do it.
Grill Cleaning Tools & Supplies Needed
To deep clean your grill youll need the following tools and supplies:
- Grill brush
- Narrow and wide putty knives
- Stainless steel bristle brush
- Eyeglass screwdriver or paper clip
- Disposable latex/nitrile gloves
- Windex, Simple Green or similar cleaner
- Stainless steel cleaner
- Garbage bag
During some of the steps shown below, you may want to wear disposable gloves to keep your hands clean.
Brush The Grates
Turn all burners to HIGH and burn-off the grates for 10-15 minutes. Use a grill brush to clean the top side of the grates. Let the grates cool enough so you can handle them safely with grilling gloves then flip them over and brush the back side. Remove the grates and set them aside.
Scrape The Flavorizer Bars
See All About Flavorizer Bars to learn more.
Scrape The Upper Firebox
Clean-Out The Ignitor Boxes
Clean The Burners & Crossover Tubes
Scrape The Lower Firebox
Brush Inside The Lid
Deep Cleaning And Maintenance
After youve cooked the last burger of the season, thoroughly clean your grill before storing it for the winter. Remove the grates, burner hoods, and grease pan, and scrub them with hot, soapy water and a plastic scour pad. Do the same inside the firebox and lid. Thoroughly rinse and dry all parts before reassembling. Also, remove the battery from the igniter before storing your grill long-term so it doesnt corrode.
Even if you follow the strictest cleaning and maintenance schedule, you will have to replace some parts on your grill as it ages. The burner hoods and cooking grates in particular take a lot of abuse and arent meant to last forever. My dad replaced these parts on his 17-year-old Weber Genesis four to five times over the years.
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Cleaning The Cast Iron Grill Grates
- Burn off all the food particles on the grills after cooking. This will lead to easy cleaning of your grill grates in further process
- A wire brush having wire bristles made up of steel is useful. It acts as abrasive equipment for scrapping off rust or any burnt food particles from the cast iron grill grates.
- Several rust removers are available in the market, they are the chemical-based solutions which when applied on rust, react to form a barrier.
Caution: Rust removers involve the use of acids and salts that act as abrasive materials. Acids are corrosive in nature as they can cause burns and damage when coming in contact with the skin and can cause skin corrosion. Always use safety gloves to protect your hands while cleaning.
They may also cause damage to the eyes due to their acidic nature and hence protective goggles should be used and careful handling must be practiced.
- Apply the solution of rust remover over the cast iron grill grates. Leave it for 5 minutes as it is and then brush the grills with a wire brush, until the grill grates appear to be clean and the cast iron becomes visible. Rinse the grates with water and tap dry. Season the grills with vegetable or some organic oil and store to be used in the next season.
Vinegar And Baking Soda
If you need your grill ready for cooking quickly, you might want to try this solution. Slowly add baking soda to vinegar until you have a thick paste.
When your paste is ready spread it on the rusty spots of your grill grate. Wait 30 minutes, then use a clean rag or hardy sponge to scrub the rust and paste away.
The acidity of the vinegar and the cleaning properties of the baking soda should help the rust come off. Wipe down your grill to remove any last bits of paste and youre ready to cook.
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Unicook Outdoor Grill Brush
Wherever the barbeque is happening, this grill brush is ready to help you clean up whatever mess you make on your grill.
It has thick nylon bristles which makes it safe to clean weber porcelain grills.
The bristles are stiff and thick making them effective and easy to use.
It comes with an ergonomic grip so your hand wont hurt with extended use.
Choose The Right Tools To Clean Grill Grates
While some grillers opt for a traditional grill brush, many do not know wire grill brushes can be slightly dangerous. Wire bristles are notorious for breaking off and falling into your food. Without even realizing it, many people have accidentally ingested these bristles, too. If you feel like swapping in a safer tool, weve got plenty of other grill cleaning ideas you can start using today.
Aluminum Foil: Grab a handful of aluminum foil, ball it up and use grill tongs to hold it while you scrub away. You can even re-use the same aluminum foil from cooking your favorite foil packet recipes.
Nylon Scouring Pad: Grab a scouring pad from your kitchen and take it to the grill for fast and easy cleanup.
Grill Stone: Gently rub this pumice-like grill stone back and forth across your grill grates. Then, finish it off by wiping the area clean with a soft cloth or water. Its that easy.
Onion: It might seem a little strange, but you can use half an onion to clean your grill. Just spear the onion on a barbecue fork, and use the cut side to scrub grates clean. The acidic enzymes will break down grease without being overly abrasive. And if youre cooking with charcoal, the onion can simply be thrown into the coals to discard.
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Before You Start Cleaning Grill Grates
Determine whether your grill grates are made of porcelain, cast iron or stainless steel. How you clean your grill grates and what products you use depends on what material the grates are made of. Keep these tips in mind before you start scrubbing.
Porcelain grates: Porcelain grates are rust-resistant as long as the finish is intact. To clean, use a soft-bristled or nylon brush in lieu of rougher metal or wire brushes.
Cast-iron grates: Cast-iron is tough so they can handle those stiff, wire brushes. However, they do rust easily, so we recommend rubbing the grates down with either vegetable or canola oil after cleaning.
Stainless Steel grates: These grates are durable and dont require as much special care as porcelain or cast-iron grates. But, that doesnt mean they arent subject to rusting. To prevent rust, be sure to dry the grates completely before cleaning.
The Lazy Approach: Burning
The idea behind this method is simple, get the grate super hot until all the caked on grease burns up. You can throw the grates in a self-cleaning oven or simply place some aluminum foil down on top of the grate, close the lid and light up the grill. After about 10-15 minutes all of the grease should be a white powder, simply brush it off and youre done.
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Routine Maintenance For Charcoal Grills
Use a grass wire grill brush to remove smoke buildup from the inside of the kettle. Smoke and grease buildup resembles flaking paint. If needed, wash the inside of the kettle using warm soapy water.
Wash the outside surface of the kettle with warm soapy water. Rinse soap residue from the grill with water after washing.
How To Keep Rust From Coming Back
After any good cleaning coat your grill surface with vegetable oil on both sides. The oil can keep moisture from attacking the metal. If you want to store your grill for long-term over the winter, put your grill grate inside a plastic bag. When youre ready to use the BBQ again, take them out of the bag and give them a good wipe down with paper towels. Youre then ready to fire-up the barbecue again and start cooking.
Since you dont have to put them in a bag all the time, always wipe the grill down before cooking on them. Vegetable oil also attracts little bugs, dust, and debris. Clean surfaces work better if they dont have any kind of build-up. The oil just helps you keep rust from ruining an afternoon BBQ.
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How To Clean Grill Grates
Cleaning your grill grates will help reduce rust buildup and ensure tasty food when you grill. You want to scrape your grates after each use, but you should also do a deep cleanse at least once a year. Cleaning doesnt have to be a chore, but depending on what type of grill grates youre using you want to be careful how you clean them.
Porcelain grill grates hold heat well and are rust-resistant, but you want to keep them cleaned and cared for. Any chips or scrapes in the porcelain will expose the metal underneath and allow water to seep in, which can create rust. So when cooking with metal tools be careful not to scrape or nick the grates. When cleaning porcelain grill grates, dont use metal or wire brushes. Use a soft bristle or a nylon grill brush. Burn off any food leftover on the grates. Then let the grates cool and scrub them with the nylon cleaning brush.
Cast iron grill grates are very durable, tolerate high temperatures and create an even cooking surface. They are tough and can withstand just about anything except water iron is prone to rusting. When cleaning cast iron grates, burn off any food left over on the grates. Then let the grates cool and scrub them with the nylon cleaning brush. After cleaning the grates, dry and saturate the grates with vegetable oil to prevent rust from forming.
How To Clean Weber Grill Grates
Is your Weber ready for cooking when you want it to? If your answer is No, then we have a range of different tips coming your way. You dont have to do much when it comes to cleaning the grates of your Weber grill. The only trick is to be consistent at it.
The question of how to clean Weber grill grates is a common issue that most BBQ lovers have to deal with. There are just a few simple steps that you need to follow and your grill will look as good as new. If you properly maintain your Weber grill you will be able to enjoy countless BBQ dishes for a long time to come.
Some of you might think that cleaning or maintain a grill is messy work but its a general misconception. It doesnt matter what model of Weber grill you own, they all need the same kind of maintenance. The grill grates need to be clean at all times because this is where you will place your food for cooking.
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Grill Brushes And Grill Cleaning Tools That Work
Having a quality grill scraper or brush handy is essential to avoiding food build up on your grill. Theres nothing worse than having your chicken breast taste like last weeks salmon.
Simply scrape and brush your grill grates after each use as part of an upkeep and maintenance routine, preferably while the grill is still hot and the remnants of food are at their easiest to remove. It becomes a lot harder once fully cooled.
Some manufacturers have scrapers designed to fit their grill grates, so there is no chance of finding a stray wire in your food. Alternatives to wire grill brushes include:
- Metal scrapers
- A block of wood that has matching grooves for your grill
- stiff nylon brushes molded into the head.
- A wad of heavy duty aluminum foil
- Heavy duty abrasive grill pads Your grill shop or restaurant supply store has them.
Rule of thumb Whatever you use to clean your steel wok or cast iron skillet is also safe enough for a stainless-steel grill.
Two other methods related to soaking and rinsing are steam cleaning and pressure washing.
If you happen to own these tools, go for it, they work well. But, you dont need them, so dont spend the money just to clean your grills.