After a couple of years of use, I’ve recently found my Weber grill grates rusting, and was curious to find out whether I need to replace them with new ones or if there’s any way (s) to prevent and maintain them for future use.
Rusting of your Weber grill grates isn’t appealing, nor is it appetizing, but the good news is that cleaning rusty grill grates is fairly easy with the right tools.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Do You Recognize Rusting on Weber Grill Grates?
- 2 How Do I Get Rust off My Weber Grill?
- 3 What Leads to Rusting of Weber Grill Grates?
- 4 Are Weber Grills Rust Proof?
- 5 How to Maintain Weber Grills to Prevent Rusting?
- 6 Is it OK to Grill on Rusted Grates?
- 7 What is the Best Rust Remover for Metal?
How Do You Recognize Rusting on Weber Grill Grates?
The first signs of rust are tiny specks or spots both on the bottom and top of your grill grates. These spots can range in color, from orange, rusty-brown, brownish-yellow, to purple, red, and yellow.
How Do I Get Rust off My Weber Grill?
Whether you have cast iron grill grates or porcelain-enameled grates, the methods to clean them remains the same.
1. Using Vinegar and Baking Soda
Things you will need:
- Soapy water
- Baking soda
- Scraper, steel brush, steel wool, or crumpled aluminum foil
- Vegetable oil
Weber recommends using the 3-sided grill brush to clean grill grates and other grill surfaces efficiently and quickly.
- Now that you have the things to clean your grill grates, remove the grates from the grill and set them flat on the floor.
- Next, wash the grates in warm soapy water to get rid of food, dirt, and debris that may be stuck on them.
- Use the grill brush to scrape off any leftover food stuck on the grates. Make sure to get in between the grates, because great chances are food and oil may have settled there.
- Grab a large tub or bucket, and combine the bottle of vinegar and a cup of baking soda. Soak the grates in this solution for roughly an hour or preferably overnight for better results.
Soaking the grill grates in this solution penetrates and softens the rust, so you can remove it easily. Lastly, use the grill brush to remove the rust.
2. Using Oven Cleaner
If the above method didn’t work, because the rust is really bad, you can use an oven cleaner to remove rust from grill grates.
There are many different oven cleaners available, but the Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven and Grill Cleaner is my preferred choice for several reasons.
It features an advanced, fast-acting formula to remove rust and baked-on-grease from grills and ovens.
- Wipe the grill grates down with a soft, damp clean cloth, and dry them thoroughly. Spray the rust spots with the oven cleaner in an open well-ventilated area.
- After spraying the grates, place them in a large plastic bag, and seal the bag tightly. Let them sit in the bag for 24 to 48 hours before opening it.
- If there are any more rust spots remaining after applying the oven cleaner, use kosher salt along with a cut potato to get rid of the rust.
3. Using Rust Remover
If you weren’t able to remove the rust from the grates with the two aforementioned solutions, your next best bet is using a professional-grade rust remover such as the CLR the Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover.
This industrial-strength rust remover is non-toxic, and can clean and shine your grill grates.
Wear gloves, and apply the rust remover on rust spots, wait two minutes, and rinse thoroughly with cold clean water.
What Leads to Rusting of Weber Grill Grates?
Rust is formed through a process called oxidation, and usually causes flaking or pitting in the areas where it appears.
Your BBQ grill is exposed to all sorts of abuse, starting with high temperatures and grease splatters to exposure to the elements when left outside—as a result rusting occurs on the grill grates as well as other parts of the grill.
Grease also causes the rusting of your grill grates, for which you need to oil your grates often.
The high heat of the grates also causes them to rust, because the metal is exposed to the air. When exposed to the air, and the speed at which the grates rust depends on heat (and moisture).
As the heat increases, the rate of oxidation increases significantly. Moisture in the air also causes the cast iron grill grates to rust more quickly.
Are Weber Grills Rust Proof?
Weber does provide a rust warranty that guarantees against corrosion, but the warranty doesn’t cover surface rust.
Surface rust often occurs on welded joints, and can be easily removed with the solution I’ve mentioned on the list or with Weber’s cleaning products or non-acidic oil.
However, regardless of the brand of grill you own, rusting is common on all metal objects, especially those that are left outside.
How to Maintain Weber Grills to Prevent Rusting?
Even though porcelain-enameled grill grates prevent rusting, the coating does chip away, which exposes the metal underneath to moisture, resulting in rusting.
- Clean your grill grates and oil often.
- Keep your grill covered with a grill cover that fits well. The more you expose your grill to water and extreme temperatures, the greater the potential for rust.
- If you notice any rust, don’t procrastinate, but use the above-mentioned solutions to get rid of it.
Is it OK to Grill on Rusted Grates?
The short answer is a big “NO”. A grill with rust isn’t safe, because the rust may stick to the food.
While ingesting rust may not cause any harm from one or two meals, continuous ingestion may cause harm to your intestinal tract.
What is the Best Rust Remover for Metal?
Evapo-Rust is billed as the best rust remover for metal, and is an environmentally safe product.
You do not have to wear gloves or eyewear when working with Evapo-Rust, and is safe to use on your grill grates, cast iron cookware, and much more.
One gallon of Evapo-Rust de-rusts up to 300 lbs of steel, so you can use it for many years—of course depending on the amount of rust on your things.