How to Keep your Grill from Rusting

Grilling is a popular pastime enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Nothing beats the taste of freshly grilled food, but maintaining your grill can be a challenge. One of the biggest problems faced by grill owners is rust, a type of corrosion that occurs to steel in the presence of moisture and oxygen. Rust has an appearance of brown or goldish in color, and its texture can be flaky or rough. Rust not only ruins the appearance of your grill but can also affect its performance and longevity.  

Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent your grill from rusting, and in this blog, we’ll discuss some effective techniques to keep your grill looking and functioning like new. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a beginner, these tips will help you maintain your grill and enjoy delicious grilled meals for years to come. So, let’s dive in and explore the best ways to prevent your grill from rusting. 

How to keep a grill from rusting 

New steel grill grates are uncoated like cast iron grill grates. Steel grates must be seasoned with oil to prevent rust. Seasoning your grate creates a physical barrier against both oxygen and moisture. The most effective and protective seasoning method is to use melted animal fat trimmings. Buy an untrimmed cut and use the trimmings to your benefit. Drop the trimmings on the center of the hot grate and let the fire soften them. Use tongs to rub the entire grate with the ball of melting fat. This is the best protection you can offer your steel grill grates or cast iron grate. Seasoning should be done regularly, ideally before and after your cooking. If you do not have animal fat to use each time, then use olive oil as a substitute once you have a good base season on your grate. 

After your cooking is finished, use a grill brush, wet rag, or grill pumice to remove any food particles, but do not aim to scrub off all the oil each time you cook. Luckily, a little rust on your steel grate is not a health concern if the particles are not chipping off into your food.  

How to store a grill to prevent rust

Exposure to moisture can also be mitigated by using a grill cover or storing your grill under an overhang when not in use. If your grill is small, then an oversized gas grill cover is the most economical choice. Gas grill covers are readily available on Amazon or at your local hardware store. If your grill is large or uniquely shaped, consider a custom canvas cover to protect it. Our customers have had great luck with and If your grill is filling up with water inside the firebox that can also lead to a rusty grill if the wet ash sits long enough. Wet ash is very caustic and can eat holes through steel. Drilling a hole and adding a Ball valve drain kit will let out the water so that your firebox does not have a chance to fill up. Removing ash after each cook is also a good practice.  

How to get rid of rust on your grill? 

If your charcoal or Traeger grill already has rusty grill grates, do not give up hope just yet. Depending on the extent of the rust, it may be possible to remove rust and re-paint or re-season the area to keep the grill from rusting. This polycarbide abrasive wheel or other paint and rust remover disc on an angle grinder makes quick work of stripping rust and paint down to bare steel. When stripping you should know pretty quickly if you’ll be able to clean rusty grill grates or if they need replacing. If you see shiny steel underneath, then you are in luck. You can use a wire wheel brush to remove rust from the nooks and crannies. If there are holes in your grill or if the material left is too thin or rusted all the way through, then it is time for a replacement.  

If you do not mind the upkeep, then a steel or cast iron grate is a functional, economical option. If you prefer material that is least prone to rust, stainless steel is the winning ticket. With naturally rust resistant properties, stainless steel grills outlast their steel counterparts tenfold. Check out our website, or give us a call at (805) 637-6700 to discuss all our stainless and steel grill replacement grate options. We specialize in heirloom quality wood and charcoal grills, Santa Maria grills, Argentine grills, and gas grills!  

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