How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Grill Grates
Having bought a grilling grate for your BBQ grill, the next thing you need to think about is maintaining them. However, thanks to modern advances, you do not need to cure them or anything complicated like that. Maintaining your grate is as easy as grilling on it, and we are here to show you how.
How to Clean Grill Grates for a BBQ
- Remove the dirty grill grates
- Sweep out debris from the firebox
- Check for a clear gas connection
- Replace the barbecue elements and check gas
- Put it all back together and wipe it down
The first step to getting a squeaky clean grill is knowing which kind of grate you have. Two popular kinds of grill grates are the cast iron variety and the stainless steel kind. The stainless steel grates are a lot easier to maintain, but cast iron grates have a more heavy-duty approach to grilling and can last longer without scratches and discoloration.
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The second step to cleaning your grate is picking the right kind of brush with which you clean the grate. There are three kinds of brushes available to clean the grate with:
- The T Brush: a forked-headed wire brush
- The Grill Brush: a lean straight-headed wire brush
- Steel Wool: for more abrasive cleaning
Using these brushes will help keep your grate maintained and cleaned enough to cook on.
For a Cast Iron Grate
The main issue with the cast iron grate is rusting. There is nothing else to worry about, for a cast iron grate, as it is not easily discolored or scratched. Preventing rusting on a cast iron grate can be backbreaking work, but with a few small preventive methods, you can grill easily and without worrying about the state of the grill.
- Seasoning the Grate: Rubbing a layer of vegetable oil over the bars of the grate help prevent rusting. This is known as seasoning, and for best results, it should be repeated after every cleaning of the grill.
- Cleaning the Grate: Never use soap on a cast iron grate. A cleaning paste is used when the food particles on the grate are stuck too firmly. It is a mixture of salt with water or baking soda with water. Apply this paste using a nylon scrubbing sponge to have a greater abrasive effect on the food buildup. However, clean the grate regularly by wiping with a towel while the grill is still hot, we recommend using a top of the line propane gas grill so you can quickly turn on the heat to make this job a lot easier. You may also use a steel brush, as has been detailed above.
- Removing Rust: This is only in case the rust has not eaten away the iron of the grate. Removing rust is hard work, and needs the use of heavy-duty cleaning materials such as steel wool and wire brushes. Cleaning solutions such as vinegar, salt paste and baking soda paste can also be of help. To use vinegar, apply it on the rusted area and wait for it to disintegrate the rust, and then clean the area with steel wool or a wire brush. The instructions are the same for salt paste, which is a mixture of salt and water, and baking soda paste. The abrasive effects of the solutions are highest in the case of vinegar, and lowest in the case of baking soda solution, and so they will have to be picked according to the severity of the rust.
For a Stainless Steel Grate
Maintaining a stainless steel grate is just as essential as maintaining a cast iron grate, but for different reasons. While a cast iron grate may become rusted and corroded, a stainless steel grate may easily become discolored, damaged and scratched on misusing the grate.
One integral part of maintaining the stainless steel grill grate is preheating the grill before using it to grill food. This prevents the food from sticking to the bars of the grill and proving a nuisance. It also allows the grill to burn away minor particles of food that have been sticking to the bars from the previous usage.
To preheat, turn on all the burners on high and leave it that way for about 10 or 15 minutes until the temperature gauge of the grill reaches 500 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. When the grill is at that temperature, you may start grilling your food at an appropriate temperature.
For a stainless steel grate, you oil the food, not the grate. Oiling the food makes sure it does not stick to the grate and makes cleaning the grate much easier. However, if you oil the grates, not only will it make cooking the food outdoors much more complicated, it will also drip down the grate to the burners and leave very little oil on the grate itself. This little oil will easily be burnt off when starting the grill and will allow the food to stick to the grate and prove hell while cleaning.
Using a wire brush to clean the grate is recommended, as the stainless steel grate responds well to these brushes. If excess debris is present on the grate, one may use a mixture of soap and water and a scrubbing brush to remove this buildup from the grate.
Maintaining a grill grate is integral to the overall enjoyment of your grilled food, as a clean grill allows you to cook good food for a long time. Enjoy your newly cleaned grill!