How to clean cast iron grill grates

How to clean cast iron grill grates

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Are you looking for How to clean cast iron grill grates? Then you’re in the right place. You are going to read a complete guideline on How to clean cast iron grill grates in this article. 

A cast-iron grill grate is an exact material for grilling because of its ability to heat evenly and retain heat for long periods. In general, cast iron is very hard and durable.

Cooking on the grill is a great way to enjoy summer food until your grill is cooked with burnt food and grease. Clean a cast iron grill grates is not the easy task you imagine but if you plan for summer cooking outdoors on a regular or occasional schedule’s you have to clean your grill grates after cooking. 

The general procedure of How to clean cast iron grill grates

1) Turn the gas grill on the high setting once you are done cooking. Close the lid on the grill and let it simmer for about 10 minutes so that most of the food residue is burned.

2) Close the lid on charcoal grills after you are done cooking but before you spread the coals to cool. Allow the residual heat from the coals to heat the grates for 10-15 minutes.

3) Scarab the hot grates with a brass bristle brush. Use a long-handled grill brush to avoid contact with hot grates. Loosen all food residues on the grates with the brush. Allow the grates to cool.

4) Wipe down the cool grates with water and a rag. For grassy buildup combine equal parts water and vinegar320 in a spray bottle. The vinegar320 cust through any grease.

5) Clean a grill once a year or twice a year if you use your grills year-round. Remove the grates from the grill, spray them with cleaner, and let them soak for 25 minutes to one hour. Scrub the grease thoroughly and rinse clean.

how to clean cast iron grill

Naturally, a cast iron grill should be cleaned after every use. Leaving oily and trapped food on the surface makes cleaning the surface more difficult and contributes to bacterial growth and food poisoning. 

Prepare a Cast Iron Grill Properly Before Using

Before you start to use a new cast iron grill, the components would be washed in hot, soapy water, rinsed, dried, and then seasoned. That first seasoning will ensure that food will not stick and will help prevent rusting.

After drying the cast iron, apply a thin, even coating of cooking oil shortening with a paper towel. Take care to cover every surface on every side. Don’t use too much oil or the finish will be sticky.

Heat the grill to around 410 degrees and maintain that heat for about 60 minutes. Allow the grill to cool slowly. Now your grill is ready for cooking!         



  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Warm water
  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Vegetable oil


  • Drying clothes
  • Stiff-bristled nylon brush or nylon scrubber
  • Plastic scraper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Paper towels
  • Newspaper, drop cloth, or tarp
  • Plastic buckets
  • Rubber gloves (optional) 


Preparation of   Your Space

Cleaning a cast iron grill, especially if you haven’t done it in quite some time, can be a messy job. Spread out some paper, a dropped tissue, or a tarp where you’ll be cleaning and place the grill in the center.

This will prevent having to remove stains from the patio or deck. Wearing rubber gloves will protect your hands and nails during the chore.


Mix a Cleaning Solution or Grill Cleaner

  • Fill a plastic bucket with hot water and add one teaspoon of a grease-cutting dishwashing liquid per gallon of water. Swish to mix thoroughly.
  • Fill a second bucket with clean hot water for rinsing.


Empty the Grill

  • If you have a charcoal cast iron grill, it should be completely cool and all of the charcoal embers and ashes should be safely removed.
  • For gas grills, if you are cleaning the entire grill, disconnect the gas line for safer cleaning.

Start With the Grates

  • Remove the cooking grates and place them on the tarp. Use a nylon stiff-bristled grill cleaner brush to brush away stuck-on food. If something is burned-on, use a plastic scraper to loosen the food.
  • Dip the brush or a nylon scrubber into the water and detergent solution and clean the grates. Finish by rinsing with plain hot water or grill cleaner spray and use an old cloth to dry the grates completely. Set aside.


Cleaning Inside and Out

  • Use the plastic scraper to remove any food particles, grease, or fuel residue from the inside of the grill bowl and lid.
  • Once it is scraped down, scoop out the residue or use a shop vac to suck away the mess.
  • Using the hot water and detergent mixture, scrub down the grill inside and out with the nylon scrubber or brush.

Season the Cast Iron

  • Once every component of the grill is clean and completely dry, give all the surfaces a light coating of vegetable oil. Use a tissue to spread the oil evenly.


Reassemble for Use

  • Reassemble the grill and, if possible, heat the grill to help the oil penetrate and bind to the cast iron surfaces. 

how to clean rust off cast iron grill grates

As long as the rust has not been allowed to build-up to the point that it has eaten through the iron, you can probably remove it and extend the useful life of the grill. You can clean rust from cast iron in several ways.

It’s best to start with some type of abrasive cleaning tool when you are trying to get the rust off any type of metal. Brushes are good choices for cast iron. You can attack the rust build-up with just an abrasive surface and your muscle power or you can opt to utilize a cleaning solution to aid in your grill cleaning efforts.

If you want to use a cleaning solution, try one of these options: 

Vinegar– best grill cleaner

how to clean grill grates with vinegar:

  • Combine 2 cups of vinegar 320 and one cup of baking soda in the bag.
  • Place the grates in the bag and seal it.
  • Let the mixture of soak overnight.
  • Remove the grates and rinse with cool water. Wipe off any r food from the racks.
  • Pat the racks dry and put them back in your grill. 

Baking Soda Paste

As an alternative to using vinegar, you can attempt to clean rust off cast iron grills and other metal surfaces using a thick paste made from baking soda and water. Now the paste to the rust build-up and allow to sit for a few hours. Then, wash away the paste using an abrasive surface, repeating as necessary

Salt Paste

If you need something more abrasive than baking soda or vinegar to remove the rust from your cast iron grill grate, make a thick paste of kosher salt and water. Apply it to the dirty area, then use a wire brush to scrub away the rust. Repeat as necessary.

For particularly stubborn rust, you may need to begin your cleaning efforts with a salt paste but may find that you can switch to the less abrasive baking soda once the first few layers of rust have been washed. 

Some other helpful steps of cast iron grill grates cleaning

Round Cast iron grill grates and general cast iron grates are very durable and have a high tolerance when it comes to heat. If you own one then you know that heat is applied evenly to the cooking surface of the grill. The cast iron grill grates don’t like is water. Water creates rust, and rust destroys iron.

Below, you’ll see a detailed process on how to properly clean them:

1) Make sure to burn off any leftover food before cleaning your cast iron grill grates

2) After burning the food left on the grates, make sure to let the grates cool off

3) Make sure to use a nylon cleaning brush when cleaning your cast iron grill grates (In this step, you can use any of the cleaning solutions mentioned above)

4) After cleaning the grates, let them dry

5) Once dry, you can spray vegetable oil on the surface of your cast iron grill grates (this will help prevent rust from forming) When it comes to using cooking grates, it is important to know how to maintain them to ensure that they will be at its best when used for grilling.

Porcelain-coated cast-iron grates can be very useful but it takes a bit of effort to get the hang of how to clean cast iron grill grates. but no worries! With the above-mentioned tips and tricks, we bet that how to clean grill grates will be a breeze. It just takes a bit of practice to get into the swing of it.

6) The Best way to clean grill grates is stainless steel grates to clean them after each use. Scrub your stainless steel cooking grids with your stainless steel grill brush, or our bristle free grill

7) Most grills are either cast iron or stainless steel, so you can use any brush on them. But if your grate is coated with r porcelain then go for a gentle bristle-free brush to avoid scratching or chipping of the grate. so the best grill brush for cast iron grates is Big Sky grillers grill brush, Elite cookery BBQ Grill Brush, Kona Safe brush, etc. 

Grill Maintenance

Now that your grill is freshly cleaned, take a little time after every use to clean the grill is still slightly warm using hot, soapy water. Grease and food will come right off. Finish by wiping down with a sponge dipped in plain hot water to rinse away any sudsy residue. Re-season as needed if food begins to stick to the grill. 

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