How To Safely Clean Grill Grates

Deep Clean The Grates Of The Grills

How to Clean Grill Grates SAFELY Without a Grill Brush | The Barbecue Lab 4K

Make a solution of vinegar and baking soda

Make a perfect solution by mixing vinegar and baking soda. The ratio should be 2:1. Put the solution into a garbage bag. Make sure you take a bag large enough to hold your grill grates. Remove the grates carefully.

Soak the grates

After that, immerse the grates in the garbage bag filled with the mixture and leave them there overnight. This is the only option for deep cleaning. Secure the bag well. You can use a rubber band to secure it.

Take out the gates and rinse

The next morning, carefully remove the grates from the bag. You should wash them thoroughly in cool water the next day. If possible, use a garden hose to remove all the buildup.

Do scrub

Afterward, scrub diagonally to remove any remaining dirt, grease, or oil. If you have porcelain grates, a nylon brush would be very useful. If you have stainless steel or cast iron grates, use a stainless steel brush. Make sure you clean them thoroughly.

Rinse out again and let the grates dry

After scrubbing the grates, rinse them out again and let them dry for a few minutes before placing them back into the grill.

How To Remove Rust From Cast Iron Grill Grates

If you need to remove rust from cast iron grill grates, here are some tips. Brush off any loose rust and then soak the grates in a pot of water with either white vinegar or lemon juice.

Let them sit overnight, scrubbing off anything that doesnt come up on its own.

This will remove all traces of rust for good.

From there, after washing away any remaining residue, sprinkle some salt onto the grate and then pour some olive oil onto the salt. The mixture will help to remove any grease or residue left over from your previous cooking session and are rust-resistant, which is great for protecting cast iron grates.

The next step is to take care of your cast iron grill grates so they don’t become rusty again!

Tips For Keeping Your Grill Clean

Outdoor cooking is one of the highlights of the summer season, right up there with long days spent at the beach. Not only is grilling perfect for entertaining and socializing, but it also provides an ideal way to get out of the kitchen during the hot summer months.

However, before you fire up the grill for the first time this season, there is some simple prep work you can do that will ensure you get the perfect sear every time.

First, if you are using a charcoal grill, be sure to empty any ash left over in the bottom from last year into a container and put it in the trash. Ash buildup can obstruct the grills vents and make it difficult to control the temperature.

Next, youll want to clean the grill grates and make sure that any rust or food residue from the last use are removed. To get your grill as clean as new, rely on a flexible, disposable cleaning pad such as . Cleaning your tools after each use will keep them in great shape for a summer full of cookouts.

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How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates

With proper care, cast iron grill grates can last a long time. Cast iron grates should be cleaned and seasoned after every use to keep them non-stick and resistant to rust. Follow these steps to clean cast iron cooking grates:

  • While the grates are warm, brush them with a bristle brush or a ball of tin foil held between tongs.
  • Scrub away any light rust or stubborn stuck-on bits using steel wool. If these spots still wont lift, you can use a solution of water and mild dish soap.
  • Once the grates have been brushed, rub them with a thin layer of vegetable oil and heat the grill for a few minutes. This will bake the oil into the cast iron and create a thin, non-stick coating for your next cookout.

    What Are Grill Grates Made Of

    How to Deep Clean Your Grill

    Grill grates can be made of many materials. The most common are stainless steel, porcelain-coated steel, and porcelain-coated cast iron. A porcelain enamel coating on grill grates protects the underlying steel or cast iron from rust and decay. In the case of cast iron grates, most manufacturers now use a matte porcelain coating, whereas in the past a glossy enamel finish was more common. Rarely will you find raw or uncoated cast iron grates being sold with a gas grill.

    Each type of material offers advantages and disadvantages with different care requirements. Keep reading to learn more.

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    Best Ways To Clean Grill Grates

    Cleaning grill grates is a nasty job, but not if you want your food to taste nasty too!

    Ive heard people say they dont mind a little leftover grime on their grates, with the claim that it adds flavor. No, this is not a thing. Only lazy people say that. Grease, oil, and marinade get caked up during grilling. After they sit there for a while, they turn rancid and will make your food taste bad. Just clean the grates, its not that hard.

    You never think of using a frying pan and want to cook something that has left-over gunk and dried sauce everywhere. Well, your grill is pretty much the same principle and should have proper hygiene you need for a fine BBQ.

    Lets talk about heavy metal for a second. Not the kind that you listen to that makes the neighbors wonder if youll ever grow-up. The kind that gets hot enough to put an excellent sear and crust on your steak. Below well cover everything you need to know about grates, DIY cleaning hacks, maintenance tips, and our top picks for the best grates and cleaning tools.

    Cleaning Tools & Grate Upgrades, Reviewed & Ranked

    Kettle Grate

    Grill Grate Cleaning Method: Aluminum Foil

    • Total time: 15 minutes
    • Rating: 1

    The method: Crumple up a ball of aluminum foil, then use the ball to scrape warm-but-not-hot grates clean.

    How it went: I found this method to be an excellent way to get down into the grooves and knock big chunks and flakes off your grates before using one of the other methods. I loved it because I was able to mold the foil to the shape of the grates to get down in between each one. It didnt do a great job at removing grease which wasnt surprising, and why I like this method in tandem with another method. Just keep in mind that using excessive force can strip away the enamel, so proceed with caution!

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    Getting Ready For A Cookout But Don’t Have That Grill Brush On Hand Clean The Grill With Ease Using This Clever Trick Before Cooking Up Those Burgers


    Theres nothing more satisfying than a clean grill. Clean grills mean its officially time to break out the charcoal, grab the hot dogs and burgers, and have the first cookout of the year. But in order to do so, you need a clean grill first. But if you dont have a brush, dont sweat it, theres an easy solution to getting your grill cleaned in a pinch.

    This trick doesnt require any fancy sprays or tools. All you need is aluminum foil. Yes, thats really it. Aluminum foil will help to clean up that grill faster than you can say fire up the grill.

    On This Page

    Best Cleaning Device: Wagner Spraytech

    How to Safely Clean your Grill Grates in 2020

    The caked-on residue that seems would never come off is no match for this Wagner steamer model. The plus side is you can use this steamer for all sorts of cleaning on your grill aside from the grates. The upper lids or the inside parts that are hard to reach wont be a hassle anymore to clean. This portable steam cleaner makes cleaning your grill a lot more fun!

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    Wipe The Grates And Racks

    Wipe the grates and racks with a damp rag to remove loosened bits, and make sure there are no loose brush bristles left on the grate .

    If you have a cast-iron grate, clean it completely, then brush on some vegetable oil with a paper towel to keep your grate in proper shape. Bare cast iron needs to be inspected regularly, because it is more likely to rust.

    Diy Grate Scraping Tool

    Your kitchen holds a wealth of items and materials perfect for DIY projects. If you canât find a soft bristle brush, clean your stainless steel grill grates or those made from porcelain using a different tool.

    • Any cleaning solution from this article

    Aluminum foil can scrape off gunk and grease from your grill. Simply roll the aluminum into a ball large enough to grip without touching the grates.

    Make sure that there is plenty of aluminum foil between your hand and the grill to avoid burns. To ensure your safety, use tongs to hold the aluminum or use this method only after the grill has completely cooled down.

    Applying a cleaning solution to the grates adds extra cleaning power to your DIY grill scraper. If you chose to use a cleaning solution, be sure to rinse off the remaining solution to avoid contaminating your future cookout food.

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    How To Clean Porcelain Grates Quick Tips

    Porcelain grill grates are popular because they insulate heat well and theyre resistant to rust.

    But, you still need to periodically clean them to keep them in great condition.

    Watch out for chips and scratches in the porcelain finish. If water comes into contact with the metal under the finish, this may cause rust.

    So take extra caution when cooking with metal spatulas or other metal tools.

    Make sure to use a nylon brush which has soft bristles rather than a metal brush to keep the porcelain scratch-free.

    How To Clean Grill Racks: Outdoor Grills

    How to Clean Grill Grates

    Learning how to clean grill racks keeps your BBQ grill in proper working order. If you start with a clean BBQ each time you fire up the grill, your meals taste better. Clean the grill after cooking or eating for the best results.

    How you clean the grill, however, varies. Outdoor grills come in gas or charcoal. They also include porcelain, cast iron, or stainless steel grates.

    Each option requires different care, but they all have the same deep-cleaning method. Follow the owners manual instructions for cleaning grill racks, or you may void the warranty.

    Gas Grill Rack Cleaning

    Most gas grills have a clean setting, but fancy equipment cant accomplish what vegetable oil can. Set the flame to low and scrub the racks with a grill brush.

    Turn off the burners and spray on the vegetable oil. Vegetable oil loosens food particles, allowing them to drip down and burn the next time your grill is on.

    Soak Charcoal Grill Racks

    The easiest way to clean charcoal grills is to brush the slightly warm grates with a grill brush after cooking. Then, soak them in hot water with dish soap.

    If your sink isnt large, turn the grates periodically when cleaning a charcoal grill rack. Allow them to sit for an hour in the soapy water, then scrub the racks with a scouring pad. Rinse and repeat if needed.

    Cleaning Propane Grills

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    My Favorite Rust Cleaning Methods

    You can use these methods on most common grill grate materials. After theyre applied, let them sit for the recommended amount of time and then clean them off with a rag or sponge.

    Finding the most effective method for how to clean rusty grill grates that work best for you will vary based on how much rust and time you have.

    Three Signs Its Time To Replace Your Grill Grates

    There are three undeniable signs its time to replace your grill grates:

    1. Rust

    All grill grate materials are susceptible to rust without regular cleaning. Rust doesnt exactly add an appetizing flavour, and it can actually pose a health risk if the metals flake off into your food.

    Surface rust can often be scraped away with steel wool or other abrasive materials like a wire brush, but deep rust cannot be cleaned. If the rust doesnt disappear with a cleaning and has penetrated deep into the metal, its time to replace your grill grates.


    2. Chips

    Glossy porcelain-enameled grill grates are susceptible to chipping. A chipping finish poses a health risk if any porcelain chips end up in your food. It also creates an uneven cooking surface that will make it harder to grill and opens up an entry point for moisture, increasing the likelihood of rust. If you notice your grates finish is significantly chipped, its time to replace your grill grate.

    3. It just wont clean

    If there are seriously stuck-on bits of food and built-up debris and grease that simply wont clean away no matter how hard you try, its time to replace your grill grate.

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    Tools You Need For Regular Cleaning

    Wire Brush

    You’ll need a sturdy brush with a long handle for cleaning grill grates without overheating your hands . This option from Kona is a new favorite among barbecue and grilling fanatics, and the circular triple layered wires are bristle free and perfect for stainless steel grates on charcoal or gas grills, as well as porcelain and cast iron. If you don’t have a brush, you can also use a ball of aluminum foil and tongs to do the scraping.

    Kona Bristle Free BBQ Grill Brush, $22 at

    Nylon Grill Brush

    For ceramic, porcelain, and cast iron grates, a nylon grill brush is a more gentle option that won’t crack or scrape the surfaces, or leave any metal bristles behind. Use it on cooled grates to get off any excess food or residue. This one from Char Broil is one of the best on the market.

    Char-Broil Grill Cleaner, $8 at

    Wood Scraper

    Another tool to avoid the problem of wire bristles, a hardwood scraper is a durable option that will go easy on the surfaces inside the grill while still scraping the excess residue. The wooden paddle will also gradually sear to create grooves that fit your grill exactly, making cleanup even faster and easier.

    Woody Nub Grill Scraper, from $25 at


    You likely have tongs on hand already if you’re a regular griller, but just in case: the stainless steel option is always best. Nylon tipped versions won’t hold up in high heat situations, and that especially applies for cleaning. We love OXO’s classic locking set.

    Specialized Grill Scrapers

    What Is The Easiest Way To Clean Grill Grates

    How to Clean Your Grill Grates | Char-Broil

    We don’t like using harsh chemicals that are toxic for the environment and tough on skin. There are plenty of products out there that are probably safe, but you can use some common household products to clean grill grates without harming the environment. While it can be tempting to use chemicals, wire brushes or scrubbing pads, or steel wool to clean your grill grates, you stand a good chance of damaging the surface and causing bigger problems in the future.

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    How To Clean Your Grill

    I like to do get the grill grate out of the pit so I can clean both sides. The first thing I do is grab an old pair of gloves so I dont get the grease on my hands. As you can see, these have been well used for the same purpose over many months. Its just going to go ahead and get it out of there and were just going to throw it right here on the ground. So now that we have it out, you know were just going to go ahead.

    I can get a little bit more leverage and pressure this way and I like to do just a really thorough job end to end. Just start at one side like this just works my way all the way down, trying to get in those little nooks and crannies. In this case, this folds up right here. This is an aftermarket grill grate. Can get the bottom over here as well. Nobody wants the leftovers of last weeks cook on todays food, so its really important you get this clean, otherwise, you can buy great steaks and theyre going to end up with crispy burnt bits on them from again, last weeks cook.

    Best Scraper: Chargon Ultimate

    Its the perfect alternative to using a wire brush. Its also handy to hang up with your other BBQ cooking tools. This design comes with a leather strap for hanging on your grill when you need to use it. It has an angled blade design that wraps around of the grate for better coverage on your grates.

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    Brushes For Cleaning Porcelain Grill Grates

    You must treat porcelain grates with great care. Chipping the porcelain enamel causes the cast iron beneath to rust. Never use a wire brush or scraper tool and avoid steel wool.

    Companies often market brushes with stainless steel bristles as porcelain safe, but keep in mind the delicate nature of porcelain. The abrasive nature of these tools causes cracks in the enamel and lead to rusting.

    Ways to clean porcelain coated cast iron grill grates differ from those for other grill grates because even small chips can ruin the grate forever. A grill brush with nylon bristles is always the best tool to use for scrubbing porcelain grill grates.

    If you do not have one a brush with brass bristles will work. Brass brushes are softer than wire and are less likely to damage the porcelain.

    Different types of grill grate, such as stainless steel grates, have different care instructions, but these recipes work for most other types of grates.

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