When buying a new grill, many people tend to go for the pricy ones available because they believe that the higher the price, the better the quality; that is not wrong, as grills tend to be pricy because they’re made with high-quality items that are meant to last for a long time.
Because of that, many people neglect, or simply don’t know, that if you don’t keep up with a maintenance routine, the grill’s #1 enemy will start to form: RUST
Rust is a common occurrence on all grills, no matter how high the price was or how much of a new addition it is to your home. There are many reasons rust can start to form on your grill, from being left dirty for a while to leaving it uncovered throughout the rainy days. We’ll talk about what causes your brand-new grill to rust, how to prevent it from happening, and how to get rid of the rust that’s already there.
Don’t put liquids directly on top
One might think that where you apply your marinade and spices on top of your steak doesn’t matter- in the end, it’s going to get grilled whether it’s done on a plate or on top of the grill.
Well, let me tell you: applying liquids on top of your grill is one of the many causes that can lead to rust! When you apply the sauce on top of the grill, the sauce seeps into your grill’s burners, which can cause rusting and clogging.
A very easy way to prevent those two problems from happening is to add the sauces to your food before it’s about to be put on the grill. Two birds with one stone!
Keep your grill clean at all times
It can never be stressed enough: clean your grill after every use.
Yes, it might not be what we want to hear, but it is what we need to know; letting yesterday’s BBQ residue sit to dry and crust on your grill is something some people do as a ‘hack’: it supposedly keeps the grill seasoned. But in reality, the longer you let your grill go without at least a quick wipe down, the faster rust will start forming- especially if you’re using a gas grill since leftover food and sauce can get stuck in the burners and as mentioned before, clog them.
After every use, simply do a quick wipe with a brush to get rid of any leftovers (make sure that the burners are off if your grill is a gas grill); if your grill is a charcoal grill, it’s recommended by some that you clean it while it’s still hot by using a brush and some water to clean the grates, then throw away any ashes leftover once the grill has cooled down enough.
You might be too tired to do it today, but your grill’s lifespan depends on how much you clean it.
Let your grill dry well from the inside
While we’re on the topic of cleaning: it’s important that you thoroughly clean your grill at least once during BBQ season. As we’ve already mentioned, leftover sauces, food residue, etc. can lead to clogging and rusting, and will only leave you looking for a new grill only after a couple of years of buying your current one.
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned your grill, it’s important that you remember to dry it very well, especially the inside. Why? Because leaving your grill wet from the inside can lead to rusting.
Make sure to check all parts of your grill where water could’ve collected or gotten stuck, and for extra measure: use a dry and soft cloth or tissue and wipe all parts dry. If you’re using a gas grill, you can also turn it on for up to 15 minutes to make sure all water is dry. Keep this up, and you won’t have much to worry about!
Re-oil your grill
As we mentioned before, some people like to leave leftover food, sauce, and spices on top of their grill as a way to have their grill seasoned- however, as explained, this can lead to rust.
Seasoning your grill before using it is a great way to prevent food from sticking onto your grill and repel moisture (which also leads to rust), and the safest (and easiest) way to do it is to oil your grill grates again after doing a deep- clean.
Simply dip a handful of paper towels or coat a rag with the oil of your choosing (canola oil, vegetable oil, whichever you have in your kitchen!), and rub it on the grill grates.
*Be careful not to use vegetable oil from an aerosol can because it is prone to exploding.
Keep your grill covered
There is a myth that says that covering your grill traps in moisture and can lead to mold- and it is just that, a myth.
In reality, it does the exact opposite of what the myth says: covering your grill with a grill cover protects it from moisture, which is one of the main reasons behind rust. Invest in a plastic or a vinyl cover with cloth lining, or a custom-sized cover that will keep a tight seal on your grill when it is not in use.
Grill covers can be found anywhere- from your local barbeque store to for cheap on amazon they can be found in varying sizes, colors, and prices that can go as low as $15.Talk about prolonging the life of your grill for a good price, am I right?
Put it away!
Maybe grilling season is over, or the area you live in is going through a period of humid weather- whichever it is, it doesn’t matter whether the grill is made up of the greatest materials in the world, or if you keep it covered 24/7 with a tightly- sealed grill cover: leave it under the rain, snow, or humid weather and it is guaranteed to start rusting.
Instead, move your grill from the backyard to the garage (or any other place you find suitable for your grill that’s completely safe from humidity), and bring it back out once BBQ season is back in action!
If your grill already has rust that you want to get rid of, we recommend doing the following:
- Put baking soda into a cup, and slowly add vinegar while mixing until a paste is formed.
- Apply the paste to the grill using a sponge.
- Allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
- Scrub clean with warm water and a sponge.
- Rinse with warm water, then dry.
The lifespan of your grill doesn’t just depend on what it’s made of, but also on the choices you make when it comes to taking care of it and how often you take care of it to prevent its’ biggest enemy: rusting. Now that you’ve become well- acquainted with how to prevent rust, put it to use and prolong the life of your grill!