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How to Clean Rust Off Of Grill Grates

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Would You Want to Learn How to Clean a Cast-Iron Grill?

One of the primary reasons to purchase a cast iron grill is its durability. However, just like any other type of grill, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to keep your outdoor cooking equipment looking good and functioning properly.

Understanding How To Clean A Cast Iron Grill

Cast iron grills are incredibly durable and resilient, unlike stainless steel grills, which may be easily damaged and discolored if an abrasive cleaning solution or surface is used on them. Rather than trying to minimize scratches, the key issue in caring for a cast iron grill is preventing rust.

When purchasing a new cast iron grill, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for seasoning it. The first step in preventing rust on your cast iron grill, like with cast iron pots and pans, is to season it thoroughly before using it.

If you purchased your grill secondhand, merely checking it will tell you if it was well-maintained by the previous owner. If the grill has significant rust development, it is likely that it was not adequately seasoned before use or that it was not properly maintained on a regular basis. However, repairing a corroded cast iron grill to full operational condition is simple.

Removing Rust From a Cast Iron Grill

As long as the rust has not eaten through the iron, you should be able to remove it and prolong the grill’s useable life. There are several ways to remove rust from cast iron.

When attempting to remove rust from any type of metal, it is best to start with an abrasive cleaning tool. Wire brushes and steel wool can be used to clean cast iron. You can use an abrasive surface and your own muscular power to remove the rust accumulation, or you can use a cleaning solution to assist with your grill cleaning efforts.

If you like the idea of using a cleaning solution, consider one of the following.

Use Vinegar

After wiping the rusted surface with full-strength white vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes. Once the vinegar has begun to remove the rust, proceed to clean the affected area with a wire brush or steel wool. Repeat until the rust has vanished.

Paste Of Baking Soda

Instead of vinegar, use a thick mixture of baking soda and water to remove rust off cast iron grills and other metal surfaces. Allow the paste to sit for a few hours on the rust build-up. Scrape away the paste with an abrasive surface, repeating as needed.

Paste Of salt

If you need something more abrasive than baking soda or vinegar to remove rust from your cast iron grill, use a thick combination of kosher salt and water. Apply it to the corroded area and scrub it clean with steel wool or a wire brush. Repeat as necessary. For really stubborn rust, you may need to start your cleaning efforts with a salt paste, but once the first few layers of rust have been removed, you may be able to switch to the less abrasive baking soda paste.

Cleaning Cast Iron Grates

It is vital to clean and season the grates of your cast iron grill after each use. While the grill grates are still warm, but after the fire has been completely extinguished, wipe them clean with a paper towel or a dish towel.

Scrape away any food particles stuck on the grates using a wire brush or a nylon sponge, then wipe the grill grates clean and free of food accumulation. If the cooked-on food is recalcitrant and will not simply come off while scraping the grates, produce a cleaning paste by mixing kosher salt or baking soda with water.

Apply the paste with a nylon sponge and clean the area until it is free of any stubborn residue.

How to Prevent Grill from Rusting

The best way to get rid of rust is to avoid it building up in the first place.

There are a couple of easy steps you can take to make sure that your gill does not oxidize when it’s not being used.

Clean the Grill Directly After Every Use

It is indeed a pain or rather better to say the siren call of beer and hot dogs, but if you clean the grill of grease and burnt-on food directly after you use it is both hygienic as well as a good way to stop the grill from rusting.

If you have a stainless steel grill, avoid using a wire brush to clean it as this will strip the coating of the steel and leave it vulnerable to corrosion.

Protect the Grill With a Waterproof Cover

Keeping the water off your grill or smoker is paramount to avoiding rust and investing in a waterproof cover now is going to save you a lot of time, money, and scrubbing later.

Buy ceramic to Coat the Grill

Not only are ceramic coated grill grates non-stick, but the coating also stops water from getting to the metal underneath, preventing it from rusting.

We have an article that explains the pros and cons of each grill type if you would like to learn more.

Oil your cast iron grill grates

Your cast iron grill grates need oiling just like your cast iron pans do. Oil will protect your grill from getting rusted. If you will coat the grill using oil, it will be beneficial for you and also help to save a lot of time to clean the rust.

To Wrap it Up

Once the rust has been removed from your cast iron grill, season it by rubbing it with a thin coating of vegetable oil. It’s also important to keep your grill grates seasoned by oiling them after each cleaning.

Repeat the seasoning process on a regular basis to avoid rust development. If you follow these cleaning and maintenance requirements for a cast-iron grill, you can expect many years of usage from this inexpensive outdoor cooking equipment.

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