Have you ever craved for grilled meat only to be disappointed by your rusty cast iron grill? Could be you left your grill exposed to moisture. Be thankful that you own a cast iron grill. The metal is tough and resilient. When cooking, you are not afraid of scratching it. It's able to withstand high temperature, and even grease and food splatter. If you fail to clean it regularly and also season it, your grill may get rusty. You shouldn't cook food with rusty cast iron. Regular rust ingestion may harm your digestion track.
After buying your cast iron, take the time to read the manual. Follow all the instructions concerning the maintenance of your cast iron. With proper seasoning, you cast metal becomes non-sticky. That makes it easy to clean. But if you fail to maintain it and leave it unattended for long, rust will build up. Knowing how to remove rust from cast iron grill grates is vital. It will save the replacement cost, and your grandchildren will use the cast iron. So what should you do if your cast iron grill is rusty?
1. Use Steel Wool Scrubber
The rust should not stress you anymore. Get fine steel wool and use it to scrape off the rust on your grill. Once the rust clears off, wash your cast iron grill grate with warm water, bristle brush and dish soap. Scrub your cast iron grill grates until it gets clean.
Water accelerates rust. That's the reason why you should never leave your cast iron grill grates wet. Use a clean dish towel to dry your cast iron. Proper seasoning is vital since it protects your cast iron from rust. So once your cast iron dries up, coat it using vegetable oil. Coat the bottom and the handles too.
Place your cast iron on the rack of your oven and ensure that it's upside down. Since the cast iron grill has some oil, it will drop off to the oven once you heat. To avoid that, place an aluminum foil at the bottom rack. It will catch the oil drips. Let your cast iron heat for an hour at a temperature of 350 degrees F. After an hour, let your cast iron cool. It's time to grill your meat.
2. Vinegar Soak
Vinegar soak is an alternative method. Mix some vinegar with water in the ratio of 1:1. Put the solution in the sink or a heavy-duty plastic tube and soak your iron cast grill grates in it. After an hour, use soapy water and a grill brush to scrub any remaining rust. Rinse the grill grates properly and dry it to avoid rust building up again.
If the grates are too rusty, you can add salt to your vinegar. Take a bowl and mix vinegar and salt in the ratio of 2:1 cups, respectively. You require a heavy-duty garbage sack that is large enough for your grill grates to fit it. After putting your grill grates in the bag, pour in the mix, and seal it.
Let the bag lay flat on the ground overnight. The grills will soak, making it easy to wipe the rust using an old rug.
You can also expose your rusty grill grates to the heat. Start by heating your grill up to 600 degrees F. Leave your grates on the grill for an hour and fifteen minutes. The high temperature helps to deep clean your iron cast. Let the grill grate to cool. Wash your grates using soapy water and a firm brush or even steel wool.
Another faster way to remove rust is by using sandpaper. Take a piece of sandpaper and wrap each rung of your rusty grill grates. Rub the sandpaper up and down firmly, but be careful not to scratch grates surface.
5. Commercial Rust Remover
Once you visit your repair wear store, you will see a variety of commercial rust removers. The toxic chemical in some can be harmful if it comes into contact with your food. So, purchase the one designed to clean rusty grill grates.
6. Baking Soda
Brush off the rusty grates using a soft brush. Place the grates on your grill and sprinkle baking powder. Once you turn on the grill, the baking powder will form burbles as it removes rust. After turning off your grill, allow your grates to cool before brushing them with a soft brush. You can wash the grill later with soapy water and dry.
7. Oven Cleaner
Deep cleaning cast iron grill grates with an oven cleaner is another alternative. If the methods above fail, the next option is the oven cleaner. The strong alkaline solution in the oven cleaner will help clear the rust.
Apart from the oven cleaner, you require a garbage bag, a large container, and the right protective gear. Read the instructions first before using the oven cleaner. It's caustic and causes injuries. Place your grill grates in a well-ventilated area. Remove the stubborn residue using a bristle grill brush. Spray your grates with an oven cleaner before putting the grates in a garbage bag. Seal the bag and place it in a large box/container where kids and pets can't reach.
After a few days, the rust will break down. Rinse your grill grates then wash it with warm soapy water. Season it and get back to business.
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a. Cleaning And Seasoning
After using your grill, you need to brush off all the grease and grime buildups. Clean the grill grates before seasoning.
b. Use The Right Cover
Your grill can withstand a lot of things. High temperature, leaving it out and exposing it to different weathers, grease splatter, among other things. But one thing your grill grates can't withstand is water. Water and extreme temperatures increase the chances of rusting. To avoid that, cover the grill using the right cover that fits well.
c. Avoid Procrastination
Could be you have noticed that your grill grates are beginning to get rusty. You should not ignore it. If you leave it for a long time, the rust will increase and ruin your grill grates. To avoid that, use the methods above to remove the rust before it increases.
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How Can You Clean Your Grill?
The grease and grime buildup can ruin the flavor of your food. They are also dangerous since they can result in a nasty flare-up. If allowed to remain for long, rust will occur. Your grill won't function optimally if you fail to clean and maintain your grill properly. Knowing how to clean cast iron grill grates is important since your grill will function optimally. Follow these steps
a. Open Your Grill
So, how do you remove the heavy food particles and grease below the grates? Unless you open your grill, it can be hard to remove those food particles. So, after opening it, remove various parts then set them aside.
b. Clean The Interior
You require some gloves to help you clean the mess. A spatula will help you scrap the food and grease particles off your sides of your grill.
c. Clean The Burner Tubes
Has the size of your gas burner flame reduced? The chances are high that it's clogged. Brush the tubes starting from the center moving sideways. If you move it up and down, you risk pushing the debris inside the tube.
d. Clean The Grates
You require the non-bristle metal grill brush to help your scrap the grates. It's able to clear the grime and food particles. You are not limited to a non-bristle grill brush. A nylon brush and the Sumpri grill brush are among other options to consider. If your grill grates contain some stubborn carbonized grime, consider soaking them overnight with soapy water. You can also use an aerosol grill cleaner.
e. Preventative Measures
You can prevent future buildup of grease and dirt through the following techniques.
- Before cooking, season your grill grates using cooking oil.
- Before you start cooking and after you finish, scrap your grill using a non-bristle grill brush.
- Raw onion is also important when preventing buildup. It provides moisture to your grill while at the same time, releasing an organic compound that helps to break down any stubborn grease and dust. You only require scrapping your raw onion on the grill grates.
- Do regular deep cleaning to avoid the buildup.
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If your cast iron grill grates are rusty, worry less. You can use various non-toxic methods to clean your grill grates. For instance, you can use steel wool, heat, vinegar and salt, baking soda, and even oven cleaner. You can also buy some rust removals from the local wear store. You don't have to wait until the rust builds up. You can prevent it by cleaning and seasoning the grill. Cover the grill properly to avoid exposing it to moisture and water. Don't procrastinate once you see the signs of rust. Deep cleaning your grill is also vital.