How to keep Grill Grates From Rusting? (9 QUICK TIPS)

You may have noticed that the grill grates can become rusty if they’re not taken care of. This rust looks terrible, but it can also leave a bad taste in your food. Yuck!

how to keep grill grates from rusting
Rusted grill grate

The good news is that cleaning rusted barbecue grates is actually pretty easy.

The easiest techniques rely on non-toxic home materials that you probably already have in your cupboards or refrigerator. So, you won’t need to go out and buy any expensive or harsh chemicals.

However, prevention is always better than cure. The best strategy is to stop grill grates from rusting in the first place.

With a little bit of regular maintenance, you can keep your grill grates looking and working like new ones for years to come.

Take a look at these ideas on how to keep grill grates from rusting.

What is Rusting?

The corrosion of metal things, especially when left outside, is widespread.

The rust resistance of some high-quality grills is limited, but if not properly maintained it is possible for them to rust as well. Grill rust has a corrosive impact on metal, which is why it is so destructive.

The interaction between iron and oxygen is crucial to understanding the actual physical and chemical reactions that are taking place.

As iron oxidizes, Iron Oxide is generated.

This is the chemical name for rust. Iron, oxygen, and water are the three elements that interact in rust formation, and their presence is always a formula for disaster.

Brownish, deep red discoloration of an object’s surface indicates rust, which casts doubt on both its aesthetic worth and its usefulness that’s why you must take some steps to prevent the grill from rusting.

Why are my grill grates rusting?

A well-cared grill grate should last a long time, but rust is inevitable. Why do grill grates rust? Rust usually occurs on bbq when it hasn’t been cleaned after use and has built up on the metal.

When heated again, the excess rust can act as a corrosive agent and penetrate the metal from below.

So make sure to give the bbq grill grate a thorough cleaning to remove any residue left over from previous cooking operations.

Many people believe that stainless steel grill grates are rust-proof, regardless of the type of grill. Chromium is used in stainless steel to prevent it from staining.

However, if there is a gap between the surface and the chromium, grill rust can occur. Interaction with other rust-bearing metals causes the stainless steel to tarnish.

When iron transfers from another metal to stainless steel and combines with water and oxygen, rust is formed.

Due to the undesirable visual appearance that results, this is usually the most troublesome of all.

In spite of the fact that rust on stainless steel is largely controlled by the inner chrome, it is nevertheless an unwelcome nuisance to have rust develop on it.

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Tips On How to Keep Grill Grates From Rusting

It can be difficult for people to keep their grill grates from rusting because the high acid content from food and the climate often leads them to break down.

Then how to prevent grill grates from rusting?

Luckily, there are various methods that one can use in order to ensure bbq grates don’t rust. Follow the below tips on how to prevent rust on grill grates.

1. Avoid Pouring Liquids

If you’re a fan of BBQ sauce, apply any sauces to your food in the kitchen instead of grilling to prevent the excessive sauce from flowing into your grill’s burners, and blocking or oxidizing them is one of the best tips to prevent grill grates from rusting.

2. Keep It Clean

To prevent grills from rusting, grills should be cleaned after every usage. Remember to switch off the burners on a gas grill before clearing it, and wash the grates using a grill brush.

A bristle-free grill brush may also be an option to eliminate any loose wire hairs adhering to your no-rust grill grates.

It’s easiest to clean charcoal grills while they’re still hot, using a sponge and a splash of water.

Dispose of any ash or leftover coals in the grill after washing the grates and allowing it time to cool. Then, wash the cook box with mild washing-up liquid.

3. Give Grill A Deep Clean To Prevent From Rusting

In order to stop grill grates from rusting, do a regular thorough cleaning. Take out the grates to wash them with a mix of warm water, light washing powder, and baking soda.

After the grill grates have entirely cool, wipe down the grills with a dry paper towel to remove any pinned meat or brushing filaments.

In addition to washing the stoves of the grill using a mild cleaning product and a towel, it’s crucial that you keep the dripping trays dried and cleaned since they are especially prone to moisture buildup.

Using a pipe brush, it’s vital to clean the burners and intake ports completely.

With a light cleaning detergent and/or a varnish that is suited for your grill grate exterior, you should also wipe outsides your grill.

Because of the grade and thickness of the material used in its manufacturing, even stainless steel is susceptible to stains and rust.

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4. SeasonGrill Grates

After washing, apply a small layer of vegetable oil to both the gas and charcoal grates to keep food from spoiling for days.

This will also help to keep moisture out of the system as well as prevent rust on grill grates.

An inexpensive dish napkin sprayed with oil is a wiser alternative for covering the BBQ.

5. Cover With Grill Cover To Prevent Grill Grates From Rusting

Water is the leading cause of corrosion and wears on grills. Cover up your grill after cooking with a durable, weather-tight covering before storage for the winter.

In rainy or cold climates, it’s best to bring a grill inside a basement or a building that’s shielded from the elements.

If you live near a beach, you need to be particularly careful when cleaning and concealing your grill because of the high salt content in the air.

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6. Brush the Grates

If you want your grill grates to last as long as humanly possible, brush them after every usage.

After 15 minutes on high with the lid closed, scrub the grates with a Weber Stainless Steel Grill Brush to remove any residue.

Cleaning cooking grates is demonstrated in this video. For PECI (porcelain enameled cast iron) grates, cleaning instructions are identical to stopping rust on grill grates.

Brush the grates

7. Don’t Use soaps with citrus

Scrubbing PECI(porcelain enameled cast iron) grates in a basin isn’t required very often, but if you must, avoid using soaps that contain citrus cleaning products.

They have the potential to corrode metals. Grates can be cleaned with hot water and a moderate cleaning detergent, followed by nylon or soft abrasive pads or brushes.

8. Consider the Environment

As a rule of thumb, grills should be covered when they are located near seawater or pools to stop grill grates from rusting.

More frequent cleaning of your grill and cooking grates is also advised. A grill can be corroded by salt water and pool pollutants.

This also applies to PECI cooking grates. As long as you take care of your PECI grill grates, they’ll last you a long time and let you grill wonderful food!

9. Apply a Moisture-Resistant Coating to Keep Grill Grates From Rusting

It’s important to clean your grill to stop rust on grill grates if it’s not porcelain-enamel plated or constructed of stainless steel when putting it down.

If your grill grates are rust-resistant, it’s still a good idea to apply oil or wax. Even rust proof grill grate can rust over time.

The ceramic covering will not chip off or the stainless steel will not get damaged if you regularly oil your bbq grill grates.

10. Paint the grill grates

Rusted grill grates can be painted, but it’s crucial to use a high temperature paint made specifically for barbecues grill grates.

This kind of paint is designed to endure grill heat and to be resistant to flaking and chipping.

But, you must properly clean the grates to get rid of any loose rust or other dirt before painting them. A grill cleaning solution or a wire brush can be used for this.

Here is a guide to paint for grill grates (5 FOOD SAFE PAINT FOR GRILL GRATES)

How to keep cast iron grill grates from rusting?

A barbecue grill grate is typically made from metals like:

-Stainless steal

-Cast iron

-Porcelain-coated cast iron


Metal and the material you choose are up to your personal preference. The differences in their coatings, such as porcelain coating and ceramics, determine their unique characteristics.

If rust appears on cast iron grill grates, it is likely that they weren’t properly seasoned. To keep the cast iron grill grates from rusting, clean them with a stainless steel grill brush or sandpaper.

Don’t use a brass brush.

Wash the grates with soap and warm water and dry them with a paper towel or clean cloth following the above steps.

Now you are all set for the next step of seasoning. You can use any vegetable oil like canola, sunflower, or Crisco.

Spread a very thin layer of oil over the entire grate, including corners, edges, and every other part. Preheat your grill to 450-500 F and place the grate in it for about 1 1/2 hours.

Allow the oil to soak in and dry off, turn the heat off, and give it a few more minutes before repeating this process 3-4 times.

This will strengthen the grill grate’s seasoning, which will make it rust-proof and last longer.

How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates?

This step-by-step guide on How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates depends on the amount of rust formation. The more rust there is, the more steps you’ll need to go through.

Step 1: Scrub rust with a grill brush

Step 2: Detach the grill grates

Step 3: Combine hot water, 1 cup dish soap, and 1/4 cup baking soda. A few drops of vinegar, though, can give a stronger cleaning solution that can get the job done and act as a grill rust remover without any hazardous chemicals.

Step 4: Soak rusty grill grates for 1 hour and scrub clean.

Step 5: Rinse with cool water and dry.

Step 6: Since our grill is now clean and without rust, the next step to getting it back to its original state is reseasoning.

To do so, we need to get our grill working at 350 or 400 Fahrenheit. Ordinary vegetable oil can be applied thinly in the grates using a cloth. Once this is done, you’re all set to put them inside the grill!

You can also spray some vinegar on grill grates. Vinegar, as you surely know, is a miracle worker when it comes to stopping rust on grill grates.

Your grill grate should be sprayed with vinegar, and covered with a piece of plastic or a waste disposal bag. Leave it at night, and then rinse it off with a soft stiff brush.

You’re not the only one if you don’t feel confident using chemicals on your barbecue to stop grill grates from rusting. Sandpaper could be used to remove obstinate rust.

Although sandpaper is an effective approach to removing rust, it will leave behind scratches.

Only use sandpaper in the toughest instances. Apply pressure while using the sandpaper on the damaged area. To protect the damaged area, use moisture-resistant oil or wax once you’ve finished sanding.


Are rusty grill grates safe to use?

No, rusted grill grates are not safe. Cooking on the rusty grill grates with loose rust can be dangerous because the rust will not just stay on the grates, but also stick to the food when it is cooked.

The dark brown rust on the grill grate can stain your food and give it a weird taste. It can also make food browner.

Thankfully, this type of problem is easy to fix with a good deal of effort. A grate that has little surface rust can easily be wiped clean and fixed.

Is it normal for a grill to rust?

Metallic things, particularly when left outside, are prone to rust. Some high-quality grills are rust-resistant to some extent, although they can rust if not properly cared for.

The question of whether or not it is normal for a grill to rust is not an easy one. There are many factors that can lead to corrosion, and each situation will be different.

One thing that you should never do is store your grill out in the rain or winter months. This will lead to rusting of the metal and overall deterioration of the hardware.

Most grills will have a coating of enamel paint on the exterior of the body that protects it from rusting.

The amount of time that this coating lasts differs from grill to grill. However, if you find your grill rusting there are a few steps you can take to remedy the situation.

Can you burn off rust?

Cast iron is an alloy of low-carbon steel and iron ore, so you can’t burn rust off because rust is a metal that has already been oxidized.

Take an example of a a fire pit. It is rusty, even under these extreme temperatures. This is proof that you can’t burn rust, which means that even if you have a cast iron pan or grill, you can’t use heat to clean the rust.

Why does lemon juice remove rust?

“Stains” such as lime scale, that chalky white residue typically found on water faucets and in basins and wash basins, can also be removed with lemon juice.

Limescale (calcium carbonate) and rust are softened and dissolved by the acid of the lemon juice. So we can say that if you are looking for tips to stop grill grates from rusting then you must try it.

Why does the bottom of my grill rust out?

Stainless steel is the most popular material for grills, and this means that they should not rust.

However, all of the meat fluids and debris will accumulate on the bottom of the grill in a concentrated fashion. This makes it more likely to be rusted than other parts of a grill.

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