A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning and Maintaining Stainless Steel Grates

Written by Samara Davis
3 mins, 23 secs Read
Updated On September 13, 2023


  • Using stainless steel grates is in demand because it is easy to clean and rust-resistant. 
  • Regular brushing and cleaning of the grates should be done with the right cleaning solution and gentle scrubbing. 
  • Regular inspection, oiling, seasoning, and covering will prolong the longevity of the grates. 

Stainless steel grates are often found in BBQ arrangements, appreciated for their sturdiness, stylish look, and heat retention properties. Nonetheless, like any other part of your grill, these grates need regular upkeep to guarantee optimal performance and longevity. 

This article will explore the vital steps for cleaning and maintaining stainless steel grates to prolong their lifespan and improve your BBQ experience.

The Appeal of Stainless Steel Grates 

Benefits of Stainless Steel Grill Grates

People select stainless steel grates for their resilience against corrosion, high heat, and even heat distribution abilities. Even with these advantages, they are still prone to wear and tear. 

Factors such as grease, leftover food particles, and the extreme heat of cooking can result in the buildup of carbonized debris on them, impacting both their function and design appeal.

Regular Brushing

After every grilling session, give your stainless steel grates a thorough brushing. Use a grill brush with stainless steel bristles to remove any remaining food particles, grease, and debris. 

This routine maintenance step prevents the buildup of grime that can become harder to remove over time.

Warming Up for Effortless Cleaning 

Prior to each barbecue session, set your grill to high and preheat it for approximately 10-15 minutes. This will remove leftover food particles from the previous grilling, simplifying the removal of any remaining debris. 

4 Best Ways to Clean Grill Grates

Thorough Cleaning

Based on how frequently you use the grill, carry out deep cleaning of the metal grills every couple of weeks or when required. 

Detach them from the grill and immerse them in warm, soapy water for around 15-20 minutes to help break down stubborn dirt. 

Below you can see the different types of grills that can be used according to your requirements. 

6 Different Types of Grills

Gentle Scrubbing

Once they have soaked, gently clean away the loosened residue using a soft-bristle brush or non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Refrain from using harsh tools that could damage the surface. 

For more difficult stains, create a mixture of baking soda and water to form a paste, apply it to the grills, and then scrub cautiously. 

Scrubbing of grates may be tough if the design is unique. Specialized services are available that can clean any type of griller like the few mentioned below. 

Different Designs of BBQ Grate Grills

Rinse and Dry

Thoroughly rinse the grates with clean water to remove any soap or residue. Pat them dry with a clean towel to prevent water spots and promote the longevity of the steel.

Oil the Grates

To prevent food from sticking and to maintain the grates’ natural non-stick properties, lightly oil them before each grilling session. Use a high-heat cooking oil and apply it using a paper towel held with tongs.


Like cast iron, stainless steel grills can benefit from seasoning. After cleaning and oiling, heat the grill to a high temperature and let the oil burn off, creating a protective layer on it. This enhances their non-stick properties and helps prevent rust.

Rust Prevention

Despite its name, stainless steel can still develop rust under certain conditions. To prevent rust, avoid using coarse cleaners or steel wool, as these can scratch the surface and expose the steel to moisture. 

If you notice any rust spots, gently remove them using a mixture of baking soda and water. 

Never use bleach to clean stainless steel grates. Sodium Hypochlorite, the active ingredient, will pit the metal and is not a good degreaser.

Cover Protection

Invest in a high-quality grill cover to protect your grill and its grates from the elements. Covers shield the entire griller from rain, dust, and other environmental factors that could lead to corrosion.

Regular Inspection

While cleaning, take the opportunity to inspect your grates for signs of wear, rust, or damage. Address any issues promptly to prevent them from worsening.

By following these steps, you can ensure they remain in optimal condition for years to come. Proper maintenance not only prolongs the life of the grates but also enhances your grilling experience. 

Clean and well-maintained grills contribute to even cooking, better grill marks, and the prevention of unwanted flavors imparted to your food. 

Remember that routine maintenance is key to avoiding the need for more intensive cleaning in the future, BBQ cleaning services may be useful for those who have less time to deal with the intricacies of routine maintenance. 

With regular brushing, preheating, and periodic deep cleaning, you can keep the steel grates performing at their best and maintain that impressive appearance that complements your BBQ setup.

In conclusion, stainless steel grates offer durability and even cooking, but they require proper care to retain these benefits. By including regular cleaning, preheating, and seasoning into your grilling routine, you can enjoy delicious meals with perfectly cooked results while extending the life of your stainless steel grates.

Author: Samara Davis