How to Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates and Removing Rust [2022 Guide]

Juicy and flavorful barbecue is sure to be a treat! More than learning the right techniques and using the proper meat, there is one more thing that largely impacts the outcomes – the grill that you are using. You do not necessarily need the most expensive. The more important thing is that it is clean.

If you want to learn how to clean cast iron grill grates like a pro, read on. We’ll share some tips to make grill care and maintenance easy!

How to Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates

Ready for general cleaning? Remove soot and dirt on your cast iron grate grill. This section lists down the most important things to do.

General Cleaning of Cast Iron Grates

Cast iron is a good material because of its longevity. While it is durable and can tolerate extreme temperatures, that does not mean that it won’t require cleaning. Right after every use, clean the grill by doing the steps below.

  1. Turn off the heat from the grill. Wait a few minutes or until the surface has cooled down before you start cleaning.
  2. If possible, remove the grate from the grill. This will make the cleanup easier, since you can scour even the corners without the entire grill limiting your movement.
  3. In a bowl, mix warm water and soap. Use mild soap, preferably one with biodegrade chemicals. Using one with harsh ingredients and a strong scent will leave remnants on the grill, which can transfer to your food.
  4. Pour water on the grate if it is out of the grill. Otherwise, use a clean cloth, dip in water, and wipe the grill. This will soften the dirt and soot on the surface. Once ready, use the mixture of soap and water. Brush hard to force the dirt out of the grate. After brushing, rinse and dry the grill.
  5. The last step is one thing you should not do after every use, but should be part of regular maintenance. Once the grill is dry, it is time for re-seasoning. This is important to preserve its natural properties. This will also prevent rust and repel water, guaranteeing the peak functionality. One way to do this is to coat the grates with cooking oil, making sure that you cover all areas. Wipe any excess with a clean towel, then heat the grill for up to 20 minutes or until the grates look darker.

Removing Rust in a Cast Iron Grill

When cleaning your grill, rust is one of the problems that need attention. Luckily, you can use different materials, including those mentioned below.

Use Baking Soda

If you are into DIY cleaning at home, then you will know how baking soda can be your savior. You can use it as well in removing rust in your cast iron grill. Grime and grease are easy to eliminate with the latter, even if you do not use toxic chemicals.

Stary by mixing baking soda and water in a bowl until you make a consistent paste. Use a sponge or brush to scoop from the mixture and spread on the grill. Leave it for a few minutes. Next, tear aluminum foil and crumble until you have a small ball. Use this to scrub the baking soda off the surface, including the rust. Finish by rinsing the grate.

Use Vinegar

Like baking soda, vinegar is another common household item that you can use when cleaning cast iron grill grates. All that you need to do is put equal parts of water and vinegar in a container big enough to accommodate the grill. Soak the grill for a few hours. This will help soften deposits and remove the rust. Use a scrubber or brush to remove the rust that still lingers on the grate. Rinse and dry.

Use a Grill Cleaner

You will also find a selection of commercially available grill cleaners. Most of them are in the form of sprays. Religiously follow the instructions from the manufacturer. In most cases, however, you will need to cover the grate with the spray mixture, let it sit for a while, and brush. The spray acts by softening rust, making them easy to remove when it is time for brushing or scraping. As usual, finish by rinsing and drying the cast iron grates.

Why You Should Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates

The grill grate is one of the dirtiest parts of the grill. Imagine when the meat or fish is raw. It touches the grates. To add, this is also where charcoal deposits and soot accumulate when you are grilling. Without proper cleaning, they will all get in your food. It is not just unhygienic, but this can also result in changes on the original flavor.

Food contamination is a problem when you are using dirty cast iron grills, giving you another good reason to keep them clean. Bacteria and germs will linger on the surface and will transfer on food if you are not careful.

Eliminating carcinogens is another good reason why you should clean grill grates. They accumulate on the surface, posing serious health risks. During grilling, these carcinogens will transfer to food, and in turn, will reach your body. Scrubbing the grate is one of the simplest ways to make grilling healthier.

More so, cleaning the cast iron grill grates will extend its longevity. Routine cleaning will ensure its tip-top shape and peak performance, even after years of use. Meanwhile, the failure to keep in clean can result in premature wear.

Safety is another issue that regular grill cleaning can address. The more deposits or dirt there are on the surface, the higher is the chance of flare-ups. This can lead in an increased presence of grease, which can flare.

Lastly, grill cleaning is also important for heat efficiency. The cleaner it is, the quicker it will heat, which means that you can cook using less fuel. If there are sauces, food particles, and dirt on the surface, heating will be slower.

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