Do you have a quality grill or smoker that you wan to last as long as you do or maybe even longer than you? Then you’ve got to know how to clean and maintain cast iron grill grates!
Follow along in this video tutorial as veteran Pitmaster Greg of Ballistic BBQ shares his simple and advanced methods on how to clean and maintain high quality cast iron grill grates that will last for decades…
How To Clean And Maintain Cast Iron Grill Grates
Why Use Cast Iron Grill Grates?
Cast iron is great, and everyone who has cooked using cast iron grates/skillets will confirm this. It conducts heat wonderfully and will give you a great sear, but there’s a downside: they’re very susceptible to rust. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening, and even if it does, there are ways to restore the metal to mint condition!
Maintaining Your Grill Grates
The first preventative measure you should take is keeping the grates clean. After each cook (and after you have enjoyed your delicious meal), take a few minutes to clean any leftovers using a scraping brush. Then proceed to give the cast iron a thin coating of peanut oil (vegetable oils work as well).
The next day, when all the coals have cooled down, clean the kettle of all the ashes. Ash can hold in moisture, which we definitely don’t want happening. The same happens with all the salt from sauces and rubs, so make sure to clean everything thoroughly.
Before starting a new cook, apply another thin coating of peanut/vegetable oil.
How To Clean Rusty Cast Iron
But sometimes, no matter how careful you are, the cast iron grates might rust. Do not despair! Try either a scraping brush or sanding sponge to remove the rust.
To make things (a lot) easier for you, soak the cast iron in white vinegar overnight before attempting to remove the rust.
After scraping the rust off, it’s time to re-season the grates. Light up your smoker. You don’t have to use a lot of charcoal, as long as it is spread around evenly.
Place the grates on the heated grill, and apply a coating of peanut/vegetable oil. Use a natural bristle paint brush, which will not melt like nylon brushes do. Make sure to cover everything.
Use an old cloth to wipe any excess oil off, leaving only a thin coating on the cast iron. Close the lid, and check on it 30 minutes later to apply another layer of oil. Apply an additional layer every 20-30 minutes until there is no more metal visible.