How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates

How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates
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As I went to fire up my grill for some mouth-watering filets, I suddenly stopped and took a step back from my grill. The grates were disgusting. I got a little lazy the past few times when it came to cleaning grill grates evidently. There may be a lot of reasons why you choose to own an iron grill grate instead of a traditional stainless grill. For me, one reason is that stainless grills are easily damaged or scratched when used with an abrasive grill brush. Or maybe you want a cast iron grill grate because of how it retains heat. And let’s face it, maintaining heat will make for easier grilling.

Whatever the reason is, let’s take a look at some ideas so you make an informed decision. However, with a good grill comes the responsibility of cleaning and maintaining it.

If you are not new to the world of grilling, then you already know the importance of seasoning the grill before using it. If you are new, let me explain the fundamentals of seasoning the grills.

Contrary to what the name “seasoning” suggests, “seasoning the grill” does not pertain to or include any food in the process. “Seasoning the grill” is the process of heating up the grates and adding oil so that your grill can perform at its best. This process can also prevent rust and it makes grill-cleaning much easier.

Now, if you’ve only found out about seasoning the grill, that’s fine – it’s not too late. You’re probably here wondering how to how to clean cast iron grill grates. If this is the case, please read on.

Three Ingredients That Serve As the Best Cleaning Solutions

Cleaning Grill Grates with Salt Paste – How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates

Let’s start with the most abrasive way to remove the rust from your cast iron grill grates – salt paste. To do this, you should make a thick paste from combining kosher salt and water. Now with a wire brush (most commonly known as steel wool), scrub away the rust while gently applying the mixture of kosher salt and water. Repeat the process until the result is satisfactory. I found some other uses for salt paste (here) when I was researching this.

Baking Soda Paste

Another way to clean rust off your cast iron grill grates is through baking soda paste. Apply the baking soda paste to the area where rust is present and let sit for a few hours. Once done, start scrubbing away at the rust.


There are so many benefits that vinegar can bring. Why not use it to clean your cast iron grill too? In this procedure, take your vinegar and lightly rub or spray it on the rust-covered area of your grill. Let it sit for a few minutes, and once the vinegar starts to dissolve, get your wire brush and go at it until it’s completely removed.

Some Other Helpful Steps in Cleaning Grill Grates

Cast iron grill 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. While cast iron grill grates can withstand a lot of things, one thing it doesn’t like is water. Water creates rust, and rust destroys iron.

When thinking of cleaning your cast iron grill grates, be sure to keep in mind a few things. 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 solution 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 in order to ensure that it will be at its best when used for grilling. Porcelain-enameled cast iron grates can be very beneficial 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 cleaning that cast iron grill gates will be a breeze. It just takes a bit of practice to get into the swing of it.

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