How to Clean a Cast-iron Grilling Grate
by Staff Writer
A cast-iron grilling grate is the perfect material for grilling because of cast iron's ability to heat evenly and retain heat for long periods of time, and cast iron is extremely tough and durable. Although cast iron can withstand all kinds of punishment, it cannot withstand water, the natural enemy of cast iron because it causes rust and deterioration. This guide will help you care for your cast-iron outdoor grill while preventing rust.
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Stiff wire brush
Spray bottle with solution of
four parts water to one part
apple cider vinegar
Vegetable oil or shortening
- It is best to clean your cast-iron grilling grates directly after you finish grilling.
Allow the grates to cool down a little but make sure they are still warm.
- Use a wire brush to scrape all food particles off the grate.
Spray the grate down with a solution of four parts water to one part apple cider vinegar to sanitize it; then wipe it off with a paper towel. You may need to repeat this process several times until you can get most of the food residue off the grate.
- Apply a mild soap to a sponge and wash the grate to remove excess grease.
Rinse the grate well with warm water to completely remove all the soap.
- Dry the grate completely with a clean cloth.
Cast iron can withstand nearly anything except water. Water will cause your cast iron grilling grates to rust.
- Season the grill.
Use a paper towel or clean cloth to lightly coat the grate with vegetable oil, olive oil or vegetable shortening.
- You want the oil to saturate every pore of the cast iron to protect it from rust.
Heating the grate after applying the oil is the best way to make sure that the grate is fully covered. Once each grate is clean and oiled, wrap them with aluminum foil and place them on the grill. Fire up your grill on high, close the lid and leave it for about 10 minutes. Turn off the grill and repeat step 5 while the grates are still hot. Make sure to wear protective gloves, so you don't burn your hands.
- If you are cleaning the grate so you can use it,
you are now ready to fire up the grill and start your barbecue.
- If you are cleaning the grate for storage after using it,
perform steps 1-6 above and make sure the grates are completely dry and well-oiled before storing them in a dry place.