Cleaning your grill grates will help reduce rust buildup and ensure tasty food when you grill. You want to scrape your grates after each use, but you should also do a deep cleanse at least once a year.
Cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore, but depending on what type of grill grates you’re using you want to be careful how you clean them.
Clean Porcelain Grates
Porcelain grill grates hold heat well and are rust-resistant, but you want to keep them cleaned and cared for. Any chips or scrapes in the porcelain will expose the metal underneath and allow water to seep in, which can create rust. So when cooking with metal tools be careful not to scrape or nick the grates.
When cleaning porcelain grill grates, don’t use metal or wire brushes. Use a soft bristle or a nylon grill brush. Burn off any food leftover on the grates. Then let the grates cool and scrub them with the nylon cleaning brush.
Clean Cast Iron Grates
Cast iron grill grates are very durable, tolerate high temperatures and create an even cooking surface. They are tough and can withstand just about anything except water — iron is prone to rusting.
When cleaning cast iron grates, burn off any food left over on the grates. Then let the grates cool and scrub them with the nylon cleaning brush. After cleaning the grates, dry and saturate the grates with vegetable oil to prevent rust from forming.
Clean Stainless Steel Grates
Stainless steel grill grates tolerate intense heat and are fairly rust resistant. It typically only takes a quick brush to keep them clean.
When cleaning stainless steel grates, many grillers cover the top of the grates with tough aluminium foil and heat the grates on high for 10 to 15 minutes. The aluminium foil will concentrate the heat on the grates to burn off the leftover food. Let the grates cool and scrub them with a nylon cleaning brush.
A Deep Cleanse for Stuck-On Food
Whether you have food that won’t come off with a grill brush or you’re doing your annual deep cleanse, soak the grates in a mix of vinegar and baking soda. The vinegar and baking soda will work together to break apart burnt-on food.
Mix 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda in a garbage bag.
Seal the grates in the garbage bag with a rubber band.
Soak the grates overnight.
Remove the grates and rinse them off with water. The food that was originally stuck on the grates should fall off, but if there’s anything still stuck on you should be able to easily scrub off the rest.
Rinse with cool water and pat dry.