April 25, 2012
By Samantha Mazzotta
Cleaning a Rusty Grill
Q: I left my propane grill out on the back deck over the winter. We didn’t get much snow or rain, and actually used it from time to time, so I didn’t cover it. Now I notice some rust on the underside of the grill. What’s the best way to clean it and prevent it from happening again? — Janice B., Columbia, Md.
A: You can buy a cleaner that removes rust stains at your local hardware or home-improvement store, or if the rust is mostly surface-based, try wiping the area first with a damp cloth. If not all the rust is removed, try scrubbing the area with a steel-wire brush or steel wool.
If the interior of the grill or the grates are rusty or caked with old charcoal and burnt-on food, use the same cleaning methods to scrub them off. Then, clean the interior well (for readers who use charcoal grills, remove the old ashes and charcoal and then clean).
Once clean, you’ll want to seal the rust-damaged areas. On the outside of your grill, a high-temperature paint will keep air and moisture away from the metal and won’t flake away quickly. The interior should be cleaned between each grilling session and closed to prevent rain from entering. Grill racks should be washed after cleaning and each use, and a thin coat of cooking oil sprayed or rubbed on them so they stay rust-free between uses.
If you’re not going to use the grill for a long time, say several weeks, regardless of the season it should be cleaned, covered with a grill cover and moved out of direct rain and sunlight. Some owners coat the exterior of the grill with a thin coat of cooking oil if they plan to store it for some time.
HOME TIP: Got a tough cleanup of grill racks? Make a foamy vinegar-baking soda paste and apply to the racks, let them sit for a few minutes, then scrub away burnt-on food and grease.
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(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.