How to rust proof cast iron grill

In this blog post we will answer the question, “How to rust proof cast iron grill”. We are going to cover different ways of rust proofing a cast iron grill and the benefits of rust proofing.

How to rust proof a cast iron grill

You can rust proof a cast iron grill by following the guidance below,

  1. Store the cast iron grills in a warm, dry place
  2. Clean the grill often 
  3. Drying the grill completely after washing
  4. Applying moisture resistant coating
  5. Covering up your cast iron grill
  6. Coat the clean and dry grate with cooking oil 

Cleaning the cast iron grill oftenly

After each cooking session, it’s a good idea to clean your grill grates. Food residues, such as sauces and marinades, are renowned for rusting if not properly cleaned. 

Also, make sure to clean the grill from the inside as well as the outside. If you have burners, make sure you clean them as well because food particles can become stuck inside.

Drying the grill completely after washing

If you don’t dry the grill after washing it, your efforts to remove the filth may be useless. The grill’s moist surfaces are prone to rust, so make sure they’re dry (especially the corners and crevices).

Applying a moisture resistant coating

Before storing your grill, rub it down with a little oil or wax if it isn’t porcelain-enamel coated or constructed of stainless steel. Even if your grill is rust-resistant, using oil or wax is a good idea. Even rust-resistant grills succumb to rust after a period of time.

Materials needed


  1. Rub oil or wax on the grill before storing it.

Covering up your cast iron grill

If you don’t cover your grill, it will be exposed to the weather. This implies that your grill will require more cleaning and maintenance in the long run. Protecting your grill with a grill cover goes a long way.

If you have a garage, you might want to think about storing your barbecue there. The garage will shield your grill from inclement weather, and the humidity in your garage is usually lower than in your backyard. 

Due to watering plants and having a swimming pool, your backyard may have a high level of humidity.

Coat the clean and dry grills with cooking oil

Coating the grills with oil adds an extra layer of protection from rusting

Materials needed
Paper Towel
Vegetable oil
  1. Rinse the grate in hot water and use a paper towel to dry them completely.
  2. Use vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, canola oil, etc, shortening or lard for seasoning your cast iron.
  3. Spread a very thin coating of it over the entire surface of the grate including the corners and the bottom using a paper towel.
  4. While applying oil to the grates, preheat the grill to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  5. Place your grates in the grill for one to one and a half hours to allow the oil to completely dry.
  6. Turn off the heat and allow the grill to cool down to the normal temperature.
  7. Repeat the process (2-3 times) for a stronger seasoning bond

Removing rust from a cast iron grill

When attempting to remove rust from any form of metal, it is preferable to begin with an abrasive cleaning tool. Cast iron may be cleaned with wire brushes and steel wool. 

You can use an abrasive surface and your own physical force to tackle the rust buildup, or you can use a cleaning solution to help you clean your grill.

Cleaning solutions can also be used such as,

  • Baking soda paste

You can use a thick paste made from baking soda and water to remove rust from cast iron grills and other metal surfaces. 


  1. Mix baking soda and water
  2. Allow the paste to sit for a few hours after applying it to the rust build-up. 
  3. Scrub the paste away with an abrasive surface, then repeat as needed.
  • Vinegar
Materials neededTools needed
VinegarWire brush


  1. Allow to sit for a few minutes after rubbing the rusty surface with full strength white vinegar. 
  2. Once the vinegar has started to dissolve the rust, start cleaning the afflicted area with your wire brush or steel wool. 
  3. Repeat till the rust has disappeared.
  • Salt paste
Materials neededTools needed
Kosher Salt and WaterWire brush or steel wool


  1. Make a thick mixture of kosher salt and water if you need something more abrasive than baking soda or vinegar to remove the rust from your cast iron grill. 
  2. Apply it to the rusted spot, then scrub it away using steel wool or a wire brush. 
  3. As needed, repeat the process. 

If you have especially obstinate rust, you may need to start with a salt paste, but once the first few layers of rust have been removed, you may be able to switch to the less abrasive baking soda paste.

One aspect of rust proofing the cast iron grills also includes rust proofing and cleaning cast iron grill grates.

Cleaning Cast Iron Grates

Cleaning and seasoning the grates of your cast iron grill after each usage is critical. 

Materials NeededTools needed
Paper/Dish TowelWire brush/ Nylon sponge


  1. Wipe the grill grates clean with paper towels or a dish towel while they are still heated but after the fire is completely out. 
  2. If there are any food particles stuck on the grill grates, scrub them away with a wire brush or a nylon sponge, then wipe the grill grates clean and free of food buildup. 

Create a cleaning paste by mixing kosher salt or baking soda with water if the cooked-on food is too obstinate to come off readily when you scrub the grates. Scrub the area with the paste and a nylon sponge until it is free of tenacious buildup.

How Do You Remove Rust From Cast Iron Grill Grates?

Materials NeededTools Needed
Baking SodaWire brush/Steel wool
White vinegar

Step 1: Get a container big enough to fit your cast iron grates in. Fill it with 1 cup baking soda and a bottle of white vinegar. Check to see if the grates are completely buried. Leave it alone for the night. Leave it for a few days if the rust is extreme.

Step 2: The grates should be removed from the container. It will now appear considerably nicer than before. Scrubbing any remaining rust with steel wool or a brush is a good idea.

If you have a drill with several wire brushes, that’s even better. With a power tool, this shouldn’t take long. It can also be used to remove rust before immersing it in the vinegar and baking soda solution.

After all of the scouring, your grates will be bare metal.

Step 3: Rinse the grates to remove any remaining rusty dust. After that, set your oven to a low temperature and let the grates dry out slowly.

You can also use a towel to dry it. Just make sure there’s no more water. 

If you’re not careful, rust can return very quickly.

Step 4: The final step is to use your grill to re-season the grates.

Raise the temperature of your grill, whether it’s charcoal or gas, to around 350°F to 400°F and keep it there. It’s also acceptable to go a little higher.

Apply numerous applications of oil to the grates after that. Bake them with the cover closed. Return every 20 to 30 minutes to see what’s new. Rep until the grates are completely black, gleaming, and smooth. It should just take you a few hours to complete this task.

Causes of rust in cast iron grills

  • Food residue that has been left over
  • Chemicals in your backyard
  • Leaving your grill exposed in the winters
  • Saltwater


Do grill covers prevent rust?

Most grills nowadays come with a cover that keeps the majority of the debris and damage away. The grill lid, on the other hand, does not prevent your grill from rusting. With a plastic or water-resistant cloth cover, a grill cover effectively covers every part of your barbecue.

Why do cast iron grills rust?

If a cast iron grate is not properly cleaned and stored with moisture inside, it will rust. So, the best way to avoid the forming of rust is to prevent it.

Is it safe to grill on a rusty cast iron grill?

A grill with loose rust is dangerous because it can attach to the food; however, a grate with little surface rust can be cleaned and treated to be used again. While swallowing rust in one meal is unlikely to cause harm, repeated intake may be harmful to the intestinal tract.

Is it better to cover a grill or not?

Although a grill cover is suggested, it is not required to keep your barbecue covered at all times. Just remember to clean your grill once a month and cover it as needed.

Why do grill burners rust out?

Moisture that collects in a grill during and after cooking can rust the burners, reducing their efficiency and diminishing their lifespan. The materials used in the burners, the temperature where you live, and how often you use your grill all have an impact on how rapidly it rusts.

How do you get rust off gas grill burners?

Start with a cup of baking soda and gradually add vinegar until you have a consistent paste. Using a sponge, apply the paste to the grill and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Clean it with a soft cloth or sponge and warm water. Rinse well with warm water.


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