How To Clean a Cast Iron Grill(9 Simple Tips)


Having trouble getting food off your grill? Here are nine simple steps to help you make the repair easier. How to clean a cast iron grill easily.

If you’re looking to upgrade your grill  , then investing in cast iron grates is a great place to start.

While many modern stainless steel grills are coated with porcelain, which serves to prevent rusting, this is not the case with robust cast iron grills.

Your grates are the most affected on your grill. From high temperatures to cooked meat to smoke and the humidity that comes with it. No wonder an untreated grille quickly wears out and rusts.

Grilled dishes on grills

Cast iron grates conduct, distribute and retain heat effectively, making your grill quick and easy to use.

They’re also fantastic for giving you that iconic grilled roast we all love.

And let’s face it, keeping that thrall is what we all want.

How to clean a cast iron grill

But when it comes to cleaning cast iron, the work can add up. Look, while cast iron is incredibly durable and strong, it’s also prone to rusting. This makes cleaning a challenge as you have to be very careful how you apply water to it.

For if you cannot put water on it, how will you clean it?

With these nine simple steps, YOU have come to the right place. Here’s how to clean your cast iron grill and turn it from a rusty mess to pristine condition in no time.

Clean the grill immediately

Often the key to cleaning a cooktop is getting to work right away. The same goes for cleaning a flat top grill, and it’s no different with outdoor grills.

When you are finished grilling, allow the grates to cool for about ten minutes. This will ensure they’re still warm but won’t burn your hands.

This means that leftover food or grease has not cooled and settled on the cooking grates or in the cooking chamber.

Set up a cleaning station

I understand you are lazy. But you’re in good company: me too.

Let’s make things a little more efficient by setting up a cleaning hub.

And by efficient I mean you have to set it up so you don’t have to go anywhere or reach too far.

This will also help reduce clutter. Let’s set up a safe area to work by laying several sheets of newspaper on the ground(even if you’re doing it on grass), whatever surface you’re using.

So, the most important thing is to wear gloves.

Want need

  • Gloves
  • Wire brush
  • Wash Solution(made from one part apple cider vinegar, four parts water)
  • Paper towels
  • Warms soapy water
Clean smoking grates with a brush

Start scratching

Start with a wire brush by scraping off any excess food, grease, or dirt on the grill surface or inside the chamber.

Pour the apple cider vinegar solution onto a paper towel and wipe down all grill surfaces. Repeat this process until most of the food debris has been removed from the grill.

To be brushed

Wire brush for cleaning the grill

Prepare a bucket of warm, soapy water and use it with a brush to clean the grills. If you don’t have a brush, a sponge will do.

A steel wool or wire brush can help remove grease or burnt-on food.

After brushing, wash the ridge with the soap to remove excess grease or stubborn food residue. After that, rinse off all the soap with lukewarm water.

Dry weather

Wipe the grill with a clean cloth. Be as careful as possible when cleaning and make sure the rack is completely dry.

Rub with some vegetable or peanut oil before putting the grates back on the grill.


While it’s extremely durable, tough, and will stand up to just about anything, water is definitely cast iron’s weakness. Any residual water leaves your ridge vulnerable to rust, resulting in a slippery slope toward rot. Be as thorough as possible to get the cooking grates completely dry.

How to season your cast iron grill

Clean outside grill

After cleaning, we need to ensure that the grill is well protected from future wear and tear or rust.

The best way to do this is with  seasoning  .

This can be a confusing term as it can easily be confused with food seasonings, but in the context of grills or smokers, it’s a preventative measure we use to protect grilling surfaces from the ill effects of heat and moisture.

In this process, a protective layer of oil is applied to surfaces and then heated to harden.

This effectively creates a protective shield that can withstand high heat for months and years and protects your cast iron grill from rust and damage. It’s also very easy to do.

Just put some vegetable oil(olive oil works too) on a paper towel. Rub the towel over the rack to give it a very light coat of oil.

Place the grates back on the grill, heat the grill to medium-high, cover and let sit for ten minutes.

Some people cover the shelves with aluminum foil here, but I personally haven’t found it to make a real difference.

Heating the grill allows the oil to spread while also opening up the pores of the grill to spread.

Remove the grill from the heat and foil and( with gloves! ) apply more vegetable oil to the grilling surface.

You can find a full guide to the process here reading with our guide  to seasoning your grates  .

Clean regularly

hard brush for cleaning cast iron grates with soapy water

I know, I know This may sound like a parent nagging you to submit, but regular cleaning is the best way to prevent rust or wear.

Because when you take care of your grill, it takes care of you.

If you wash them as often as possible(ie  within reasonable limits ) after each use, your grill WILL reward you with repeated use without rusting.

Rust word sick

Cleaning Large Black Cast Iron Grills

Despite all the care and cleaning we do, rust can appear on the grates.

Luckily, there are a few ways we can get rid of it.

Soak your grids in white vinegar overnight. The next day, use a heavy-duty scraper brush or abrasive sponge to scrub the grates. The vinegar will make removing rust a lot easier for you.

When you’ve done that, rinse the racks and let them dry. When the grates are dry, use a cloth and some vegetable oil to cover the grates.

Heat the grill with the seasoned grates and let them cook for an hour or until the oil has settled. Wipe off excess oil with a cloth.

Save is

We don’t want to undo all of our hard work here, so be as careful as possible. Make sure all traces of water and oil have been removed from the grill surface to prevent rusting. Then store the rack in a cool, dry place.

Leave a Comment