Monday , October 2 2023
How to Make Sure Your Grill Grate is Clean Before You Cook

How to Make Sure Your Grill Grate is Clean Before You Cook

Grilling is one of the most common outdoor activities, especially in many cities across Canada and the United States. Well-loved for the ability to make deliciously smoky and charred food whenever it’s wanted, many Canadians have long since started to fire up their barbecues well into the snowy months of winter and even further into the next summer. Barbeque has become so popular that one of the many things a new homeowner can do to celebrate a new move is to get a brand new barbecue grill to go with it.

However, one main factor frequently comes into play, whether you buy a brand new grill, want to fire up your existing one or get a used grill from a friend or family member. Regardless of where you got it, you want to make sure that the grill’s grate is clean before you actually start to use it for barbecuing. Many grills – whether newly bought straight from a manufacturer or simply one that you’ve left outside during the summer for a few days – can have a layer of varnish, grime or dust coating its grates that make it dangerous to cook on.

So, to help and provide a few different ways you can make sure that the grill’s grates are properly clean before you actually use them to cook. We’ve gathered a few of them in this article. There are many different places where you can get the tools and accessories you need to clean your grill’s grates and ensure that it stays rust-free and food safe, like this BBQ store in Vaughan.

Clean the grill’s grates with soap

One of the best ways you can make sure that your barbecue’s grates are properly clean and safe to cook food on it is by using the tried and true method of using soap and warm water. Much like with washing your hands or dirty dishes after cooking, using warm water and soap makes sure that any bad bacteria are either killed or washed away.

Soap and warm water are also a great combination to remove any grime and residues that might linger on the grate or have formed during the manufacturing process. When used together, the grime and other residue becomes much easier to lift off before the water washes it all away. The warmth of the water is also enough to ensure that any condensed oils and coatings are heated enough to become liquid. It’s one of the many reasons that using soap and water to clean surfaces and objects is far more preferred today.

If you do choose to clean your grill’s grate with soap and water, make sure to properly dry the grates before you put it away for later use. Water often causes the metal underneath to oxidise, creating rust that can easily become rust and is incredibly unhealthy if eaten in larger quantities. So, after you’ve washed the grate with soap and water – as well as any other parts you want to clean – dry them thoroughly with a few pieces of tissue paper.

Clean the grates well with different methods

Vinegar mixtures and similar sprays

One of the most common products that are often used for cleaning both indoors and outdoors is simply vinegar. Due to its higher acidic content, vinegar is often used to scour away everything from kitchen sink clogs to stubborn rust on your grill’s lids and grates. All you need to do is to mix two cups of vinegar with the same amount of water in a spray bottle. Spray it onto the grates and let it sit for 10 minutes before using a grill brush to brush the grates. The vinegar is entirely safe but also effective.

Steaming off buildup

Another great way to get rid of any residue is to basically use steam to loosen any residue. Using this method does require you to turn the grill on to a high heat and use a can or a similar metal container that won’t burn. Simply fire up the grill and set it to 600 degrees Fahrenheit before filling the metal container with water. Once the grill’s temperature has reached 600 Fahrenheit, set the can onto the grates and close the grill’s lid. The water should boil quickly and steam the inside of the grill and its grates. After waiting for 30 minutes, turn the grill off and use a pair of heat protective gloves to scrub off and loosen any buildup with a silicone sponge.

Season your grates to prevent rust

If you want to ensure that your grate stays rust-free for a long time after you first take it out of its packaging or even after its first few uses, one of the best ways to do so is to season it.

Seasoning your grills grates involves smoking off oil and embedding it into the grate, effectively making them far more resistant to rusting than they were before the seasoning process. Simply put, the oil’s applied to the grate while it’s hot before the heat builds until the oil smokes and gets absorbed into the grate. The entire process gets repeated at least a minimum of three more times to be properly seasoned.

There are also many different commercial seasoning products that you can buy that can be used in much of the same ways as oils. The only main difference between the two kinds of products are that these commercial products act more as a protective layer as opposed to oils. Oils have the added benefit of adding the oil’s unique flavour to the grate and any food that’s cooked on it.


These are some of the best ways to guarantee that the grate is clean for the next time you cook. If you already own a grill and want to make sure that it’s clean, be sure to clean it off and scrape off any dried food bits after each barbecuing session. You can also do a much deeper soak and use soap and water to clean the grease off. At the end of the day, using the above tips will always ensure that the grate is clean, rust-free and safe to use with food.

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