Corrosion or rust build up on barbecue grill grates is very frequent. There is a popular way to prevent corrosion and that is to “season” your grill grate. But it got us to think! Why does rust builds up so fast on grates and what real tips are out there to prevent your grill grates from rusting?
Why do grill grates rust?
The grates on most barbecues are made with Stainless Steel or Cast Iron.
When these metals are in the presence of oxygen and water they start to corrode or “rust” like many of us name it. Rust is a combustion reaction between metals and oxygen similar to fire, although this reaction doesn’t create flames.
Grill grates rust with time because they’re not only in contact with oxygen but they also see a lot of water and salts and these can considerably speed up the corrosion process.
#1 Tip to prevents your grill grates from rusting
You just bought a brand new BBQ and you’re ready to start the party, but wait! You first need to season your grills.
No, seasoning in this case does not mean to put spices on them. In this case we are talking about the process of applying oil on on your grill grates to create a protective layer around them to prevent rust.
- Step 1: Use a high heat oil such as canola to coat all the surface of the grates and wipe off the excess.
- Step 2: Ignite the grill and set it to medium heat. Keep the lid closed.
- Step 3: Turn off the grill and open the lid. You should see a shiny brown or copper finish.
- Step 4: After each use, wait for the grates to cool down and apply a thin coat of oil to maintain that protective layer and protect those grill grates from rust.
You now know why barbecue grates rust and the best way to protect them but you love your BBQ and you want to take more precautions? Don’t worry, we got you!
9 additional tips to prevent grill grates from rusting
- When you grill meats or veggies, don’t pour the sauce directly on them while they are on the grates. Instead, do that in your kitchen and then put them on the grill. The reason being that the excess of sauces and spices will stick to the grates and burners, helping them to rust faster.
- Do not try to burn off the left over piece of food or sauces stuck to the grill grates. This method will not prevent your grill grates from rusting.
- To clean the grates, brush the with a soft-medium brush and then wipe them. Do this while the grates are still hot but not burning hot.
- You should brush the grates and not SCRAP the grates and always use a suitable brush. By scrapping them you are removing the protective coating around them, therefore not preventing them from rusting.
- If you use soap to clean the grills, use a soap free of any citrus because it accelerates oxidation.
- The cleaning is not over until the grates are dry. Leaving the grates wet will again help the rust.
- Seasoning your grates when you buy a new BBQ is great, but every so often you should repeat the process from the start to prevent grates from rust.
- You should store your barbecue in a dry place. If you can’t, try to at least to keep the grates in a cool and dry place. (your garage)
- Buy a good quality BBQ, their grates usually have a good layer of protection and are made from better quality materials.
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