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Cast iron grills are great for cooking because they heat evenly and retain heat well. The downside is that they get very hot and can become rusty, so cleaning them regularly is important.

Grill grates tend to collect food debris over time, especially if you don’t wash them after every use. This can cause buildup that makes the surface less effective at heating food.

In this article, we will discuss the various methods that you may want to try to clean your cast iron grill grates.


Cleaning Your Cast Iron Grill Gates Steps

  • Step 1: Wipe off any grease or oil from the outside of the grill. You can also wipe down the inside with a damp cloth.
  • Step 2: Remove the grill grate and scrub it thoroughly with soap and water. Use a brush or sponge to remove all the dirt and grime.
  • Step 3: Rinse the grate under running water until no more soap comes out when you squeeze it between your fingers.
  • Step 4: Dry the grill grate with paper towels, and apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the grates. This will act as a protective barrier to prevent any rust from forming.
  • Step 5: Put the grate back on the grill and replace the lid.
  • Step 6: Repeat this process once per week.

Removing Rust From Your Grill Grates

If you notice rust building up in your grill grates, there are several things you can do to help prevent further damage.

You want to make sure that if you do notice rust on grates, then you need to clean them a lot more regularly. Otherwise, the rust will only get worse over time.

Below we have put together a couple of methods that you can try to clean the rust of your cast iron steel grates

Soap And Steel Wool

Try cleaning your grates in a sink full of hot soapy water and use either a stiff wire brush or steel wool.

However, it should be noted that with this method, you will strip all the seasoning from your grill grates. Although, it will take all the rust off the greatest, which is much more important.

You will want to soak the grates and brush off the rust. Then once all the rust is gone, rinse the grates, and dry them with a clean towel.

You need to make sure that there is no moisture left on the grates or the rust will begin to form on the grates once again.

There is a way to make sure the grates are absolutely dry, by leaving the grill grates in the oven set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for around 10 minutes.


This method only really works if you have a large sink, to let the grill grates to lie completely flat in.

Then you need to make a solution using one part of warm water with one part of distilled white vinegar. With this solution, fill your sink with this mixture and soak your grates in this solution.

You should soak the grates for around an hour, and then scrub the grates using a wire brush or pad.

The solution should naturally loosen the rust on the grates and ten when you scrub them it should naturally come off easily.

Once they are clean, rinse the grates under some clean water and dry them in a low oven for 10 minutes.

Using A High Temperature

Using A High Temperature

If the rust is bad on your grill grates, then we would suggest that you heat the grates to their highest temperature.

The grill should be around 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and then leave the grates in that boiling hot girl for around 2 hours.

Then you should wait for them to be cool enough to handle, as you can then rinse the grates using hot soapy water.

After that, rinse them again with clean water and allow them to completely dry before placing them back into the grill.

Oven Cleaner

You can use an oven cleaner, as they contain an alkaline solution which can remove severe rust build-ups on your cast iron grill grates.

You need to be careful when using an oven cleaner, thus you will need to wear protective gloves so that the cleaning agent doesn’t get onto your skin.

For this method, place the grill grates in a garbage bag and completely coat the grates with the oven cleaner. Then seal the bags and place the bags in a safe container.

This helps to make sure none of the oven cleaner seeps out and makes the bags easier to handle. After this, place the bags in a warm place for up to 2 days.

After this time period, you can remove the grill grates and with hot soapy water rinse the oven cleaner off the grates.

Season Your Grates After Cleaning

No matter how you clean your grates, you will need to re-season them before you use them again.

Sending your grates is really easy, it is an oil or fat that is baked at a high heat into the grates that forms a coating which produces a non-stick coating and prevents rust from forming.

Cooking oil is a popular choice when it comes to seasoning your cast iron grill grates. One coat of oil should be enough, but you can apply two thin layers if needed.

Final Thoughts

It is important that you clean your cast iron grill grates, as it helps to remove any food debris or rust that has built up over extended use.

We have described various methods above, which you can use to clean your grates properly. As methods take a lot more effort and time than others, but it is important to keep your grates clean.

Once your grates are clean, don’t forget to re-season them, before you use them next time!

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