Imagine you wish to use your gas grill to cook a hamburger, chicken wings, or any barbecue dish and you see rust on the grates of your grill! That must be annoying and irritating. So you must separate some time to clean the rust from your daily routine once in a while so that you don’t have to take the burden of spending time cleaning the grates when you instead want to prepare and eat the meal ASAP.
There are two things you should take care of – maintaining the grill from time to time and cleaning the grates once in a while for a longer life of your grill.
Let’s look into the details of the same.
How to Maintain Your Gas Grill
Maintaining your gas grill will not only keep your grill in solid condition but will also minimize the rust formation on the grates of the grill. Below are the methods how you can maintain your grill:
- Clean the grill right after the use – Clean all the grease and leftover food immediately after the cooking is done. It’s the best way you can avoid rust formation. It will also keep your grill hygienic.
Must Read: How to Clean a Gas Grill?
- Oil the grill grates – Just like we oil any other metal-made substance for avoiding rust, do this with grates.
- Coat the grates with ceramic – Ceramic will stop the grates from exposure to water. Another benefit of adding a ceramic layer is that it is non-stick.
- Buy a weatherproof cover – Weatherproof cover will protect your grill from moisture and hence will avoid rust formation. Investing in a weatherproof cover will also save your time, money, and scrubbing later.
Maintaining is not enough; you need to make some extra time to clean the grates separately because some amount of rust formation is inevitable.
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How to Clean Rusty Gas Grill Grates
There are several methods for how you can clean the grates. We’ll discuss five of them so that you can pick one according to your convenience.
Since we’re discussing 5 different methods to clean the grates you may jot down the required equipment involved in the method that is suitable to you.
Here are the 5 methods –
1. Using sponge and soap – If the grates are not much damaged by the rust and if the rust is only formed on the surface, using sponge and soap is the best option to be considered. Using a sponge and soap is easier than other methods and is also safer as it does not leave any harmful residue on the grates. You can also use a nylon brush as an alternative to the sponge. Start by mixing soap with warm water in a bucket. Make the sponge wet by dipping it into the solution and start rubbing the grills. If the rust doesn’t go away directly from the grates, use the rough side of the sponge to remove the rust.
2. Baking Soda and Vinegar – Since vinegar and baking soda are edible substances; they are also fit for a harmless cleaning of the grates. The vinegar reacts with the rust and dissolves it from the metal. Make a paste by combining baking soda and vinegar. For every two spoons of baking soda take one spoon of vinegar. Apply the paste to the grates with the help of a scouring pad or an old toothbrush. Now you have two options, keeping the grates with the paste for a minimum of half an hour or just leaving it overnight. Keeping the paste overnight will let the grates absorb the mixture to some extent. Next, scrub the mixture off by using a tough-bristled brush, a rag, or some rolled aluminum foil will also get the job done. Lastly, rinse the whole grate with water to remove all the residue of the paste.
3. Using a commercial rust remover – If the grates have formed some serious rust on them, homemade solutions will not do any good. You’ll need a rust remover spray to clean stubborn rust. This will save you time but make sure you buy a product that is free from any toxic chemicals. It is highly recommended to buy sprays or cleaners which are specially made for cleaning grates because for example most oven cleaners are made up of Iye which will strip down your grates to mere metal sticks. Leave the cleaner on the grate’s surface for 2 days and then clean It off by using dish soap and rinse the grates with water so that it will remove all the residue of the cleaner.
4. Kosher salt paste – Using kosher salt for cleaning the rust is a strong method. It is stronger than baking soda and is equally safe as it is a salt and perfectly edible. You can repeat the same procedure that we carried out while using the baking soda and vinegar paste. Dissolve the salt in the water so as it becomes a paste. Now take an old toothbrush and rub the grates. Rub the solution with wool or aluminum foil roll. Take a note that you remove the paste immediately and rinse the grate with water frequently because residues of kosher salt will help in the formation of new rust!
5. Steel wool and soap – This is the most convenient option to deal with a moderate amount of rust. It is also best for the grills that are used daily. Follow the basic methods as discussed earlier, mix soap with water, wash the grates with the solution and then scrub the rust with the steel wool.
Most of these methods make use of water. So to avoid any further rust formation, dry the grill by heating it in a dry oven. Cleaning the grills will also remove the seasoning of the grates so make sure you re-season your grates after cleaning.
Seasoning involves 2 basic steps after the cleaning – One, applying the oil, and second, exposing the grates for a few minutes.