How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates - Backyard Boss
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How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates

If you’ve ever grilled before, then you know that one of the most valuable things is a decent set of grill grates. If you have cast iron grill grates, then you know that they require a bit more TLC than your average grate.

But don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it seems! Here are some simple steps for how to clean cast iron grill grates so that they’re looking and tasting their best.

Let’s get started!

What You’ll Need

  • Wire grill brush
  • Soap and water
  • Vinegar
  • Cooking Oil
  • Paper towels
  • Clean cloth

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates

man grilling in backyard
Image credit: RossHelen via Canva

Cast iron grill grates are renowned for their ability to hold heat, which makes them ideal for searing meat. However, if they are not properly cleaned, this same property can cause a buildup of grease and dirt to become cooked onto the grate overtime.

This can lead to an unpleasant taste in your food and makes it more difficult to clean the grill.

So, what can you do to avoid this problem?

Step One- Clean Immediately After Each Use

Chef hand holding the lid closed grill
Image credits: Icealien via Canva

If you’re a fan of cooking with a cast iron grill, then you know one of the most important things you can do to keep your grill in good condition is clean the grates after each use. It’s as simple as burning off any remaining food.

Not only does this method help keep your grates clean, but it also helps prevent rust and corrosion. If you’re looking for a way to keep your cast iron grill in top condition, then be sure to give this method a try.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Preheat your grill on high heat.
  • Once the grill is hot, close the lid.
  • Allow the grates to heat for about 10 minutes or until any remaining food is burned off.
  • Turn off your grill.

Step Two- Break Out The BBQ Wire Brush

Male hand with gloves cleans round grill with stiff brush
Image credit: Mabeline72 via shutterstock

A wire grill brush is a perfect tool for giving your cast iron grill grates a good cleaning.

After you’ve burnt off any remaining food, use the brush to scrub away as much residue as possible. If there was quite a bit of caked-on food this might take some elbow grease. But it’s important to keep your grill grates clean! By doing this your grill will last longer and cooking food will be easier.

Step Three- Washing Your Cast Iron Grill Grates

The male hand cleans the black grill with a soft brush
Image credits: Sergei Telenkov via Canva

Fortunately, washing your cast iron grill grates with soap and water is a simple and effective way to keep them clean. After you have scrubbed the grates well with a wire brush and they have cooled down, simply wash the grates with hot, soapy water. Make sure to dry them thoroughly before moving onto the following step.

Step Four- Oiling Your Grill Grates

hand wiping
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Oiling your cast iron grates after you wash them will help prevent rust and make cleanup easier the next time you use them.

To oil your cast iron grates, you will need:

  • A clean, dry cloth
  • Cooking oil (vegetable, canola, or olive oil are all good choices)
  • A paper towel

Start by completely drying off the grill grates. If they are even slightly damp, the oil will not adhere properly and could cause rusting. Once they are dry, rub a generous amount of oil onto the grates with a clean cloth. You want there to be a good amount of oil but you don’t want it to be dripping.

Once the grates are coated in oil, use a paper towel to wipe off the excess. You don’t want there to be any oil pooling on the surface, as this can cause food to stick to the grates when cooking.

Getting Rid Of Rust On Your Cast Iron Grill Grates

Grilling Meat Patty
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If your cast iron grates are starting to look a bit rusty, don’t worry! Here’s an easy fix!

Vinegar is a natural rust remover, and it’s also inexpensive and eco-friendly.

To clean your grates with vinegar, simply soak them in a solution of equal parts water and vinegar for 30 minutes. Then, scrub off the rust with a stiff brush.

If necessary, you can repeat the process until all of the rust is gone. Once your grates are clean and rust-free, be sure to dry them thoroughly and oil them once again.

In Summary

Cast iron grill grates are a great investment for any griller. Not only do they last longer than your average grate, but they also give your food that delicious smoky flavor.

However, these bad boys can be a little tricky to clean if you’re not used to them. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Follow these simple steps, and your cast iron grill grates will be good as new in no time.

Have you ever cleaned cast iron grill grates before? Do you have any tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments below!