Rinse the surface thoroughly with a water hose and dry with paper towels before replacing the grate. Allow it to sit overnight while the cleaner works on loosening the rust. If you use excessive amounts of liquid or barbeque sauce too early when grilling, the result will be sticky, burnt sugar caked on the grates. Cast iron grates are phenomenal – but they need some maintenance to keep the rust away. Many oven cleaners use lye, which is great for breaking down that stuck-on-crud, but it will also strip your cast iron down to the bare metal. Use a basting brush to apply the solution to the rusted surface and place plastic wrap over the grate. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and dry with a towel before applying a layer of cooking oil. Flip the grating over and repeat it on the backside. The rust is bad. As one of the best ways to clean a charcoal grill grate, remove the grate from the grill and spray oven cleaner liberally on both sides, making sure that you are in a well-ventilated area – outdoors is preferable. Discovering rust on your grill is not only annoying but means that you have a lot of work to do before grilling your favorite food. After tackling all parts of the grate with steel wool or sandpaper, spray the grating with cold water and dry with paper towels before setting it back into the grill to remove debris. But why? Vinegar and baking soda will work together to break apart any food particles and strip off any rust. #4) Consider the environment. Here is how to keep a grill from rusting by following a few routine steps. When properly seasoned, cast iron is naturally nonstick. Always keep your grill covered when not in use to prevent any moisture from sneaking inside and starting to rust. Once all of the food debris is gone and the grates are clear, apply a thin layer of your favorite cooking oil. Allow the grill to sit for about 24 hours. I clean BBQ grills and come across many types of barbecue grill grates, stainless steel, porcelain coated, porcelain-coated cast iron and cast iron. Generally, you scrape the grill grates to remove old gunk by applying high heat and a scraper. Just like fine wine or whiskey, cast iron is something that simply gets better with age. Click here for a video on how to clean cooking grates. Depending on how bad the rust is, here is the step-by-step process on how to remove it. This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised. Grilling your food on a rusty surface is ill-advised. Not only because of the cheap price but also the layers of seasoning that have built up over time and use. When possible, use aluminum foil to protect the BBQ grates from food spills. Once those bits have burned off, let your grill cool to a point that you feel comfortable sticking your hand inside. We hope that you enjoyed learning how to clean rusty grill grates using everyday household items and that you’ll share our grill cleaning tips and recipes with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest. Anything that is still attached to the grates will scrub off easily when rinsed. Soap is highly effective at removing oil, and oil happens to be the most essential part of seasoning. Just preheat the grill on high for 15 minutes with the lid closed and then brush the grates clean with a Weber Stainless Steel Grill Brush. Why? However, that statement is only true if you properly maintain your cast iron cooking tools, including your grill grates. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. To ensure that there isn’t any moisture left in the pores of the cast iron, dry your grates in a hot oven or inside the grill once they are cleaned and re-seasoned. Rust happens, whether by accident or neglect. After you clean rusty grill grates, there are a few easy things to do to prevent rusting in the future. So grab your best grill brush, and let’s get started. Some people recommend to season the grates after every use, but others will use them a few more times before re-seasoning. Rinse it thoroughly with cold water and dry it completely before replacing it in the grill. Letting them air-dry can also promote corrosion. Make sure you use a soft cloth or paper towel to thoroughly dry the grates when you’re done. This is great for pregnant moms, someone with anemia, or anyone just looking to increase his/her iron intake. This can be used to remove the residue and some of the rust without damaging the cast iron or stainless steel grill grates. Wipe with an old rag or a nylon sponge instead. The oil protects the grill from damage while scrubbing away rust. Once you’ve burned of… A good technique before using the grill brush is to heat up the grill on a medium heat for 15 minutes to loosen the residue and weaken the rust. Let us start by accepting that even with the best of intentions and resolve, you might end up rusty grill grates. When seasoning after each future use, you will only need to apply a single layer of oil. The juice of a lemon is a mild acidic and dissolves rust from metal surfaces with ease. Wrap medium grit sandpaper around each rung of the cast iron grate and carefully rub the metal using an up and down action. You can soak the grates in hot water to remove stubborn particles and then use a mild dishwashing liquid and nylon/soft abrasive pads or brushes. Unfortunately, the soap is going to strip your grates of their seasoning, but this may be necessary depending on the amount of rust on your grates. This is also a process that will help prevent your grates from rusting. Place a large, heavy duty garbage bag on the ground and place the grill grate inside the bag. Scrub thoroughly with the steel wool and soap until you have removed all of the rust. We've done this with an … This is not a task that you want to put off or avoid entirely, or you will run the risk of ruining the grates. Seasoned dish washer = Bad. Steel Wool Soap. Professional and home chefs alike have sung the praises of cast iron for years. This process will protect the grates from rusting again. If your sink is large enough, rest the grates in the sink and allow them to soak overnight. PREVENTING RUST. Cast iron has an incredible number of advantages over other kinds of cookware. We find that the easiest and most readily available product is oven cleaner and is useful for cleaning grates on a gas grill or charcoal grill. Vinegar. How to clean cast iron grill grates. Use a good grill brush to scrape off anything that is left behind. Remove Rust and Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates with Sandpaper. It will last far longer than any of the aluminum or stainless steel parts of your grill, as long as it is properly maintained. That’s enough to make anyone consider cooking solely with cast iron. One of the simplest ways to clean a rusted BBQ grill without using harsh cleaners is to use a wire brush and a little bit of vegetable oil. Spray the entire surface with a water hose to flush away rust debris and wipe it down with paper towels. Remove the grate and spray away residue with a garden hose before replacing it on the grill. See? Scrape away as much of the rust and grilled-on gunk as possible using a grill-scraping tool or paint … You can expect foods cooked with cast iron to contain an average of five times the amount of iron as those cooked with other materials. 2. When adding a marinade or sauce, apply it to your food before placing it on the grill to prevent clogging and rusting. Remove the grate from the bag and wipe away the softened bits of rust material. If you prefer using a commercial rust remover rather than a homemade solution, there are a variety of cleaners on the market. The loose rust particles stick to your cooked food and not only hinder the overall taste, but continual ingestion of rust is problematic to your health. If you have a moderate amount of rust, you can use steel wool and soap to remove it. If you do not have any sandpaper, steel wool is an excellent substitute for scrubbing away grime. Use a grill brush to scrub away the loosened rust and spray the grate thoroughly with clean water. The process of how to clean cast iron grill grates may seem like a lot of work. How frequently you re-season is up to you. How to Season your Cast Iron Grill Grates, How to Remove Rust from your Cast Iron Grill Grates, Best Chicken and Turkey Injection Recipes. To clean cast iron grill grates, first, remove the grate from the grill and prop it against a sturdy surface. While proper cleaning and seasoning are essential to your grill maintenance, there are a few other tips to keep in mind.