Cleaning Coated Cast Iron Grill Grates

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
Thread starter
First of all, I no longer have a gas grill … but the grates I have on my wood pit appear the same. I have been cooking bbq with them a long time … and it became really hard to remove meat residue with just my normal overnight soak in Dawn. (I pre coat with Pam for grilling) Closer inspection with a bright light showed crusty carbon had completely covered the smooth coating. I found oven cleaner to constantly remove the black crud … but I'm $20 deep buying that and new grills are $80 Brushes don't do anything and I don't want power tools to damage the coating I don't have the ability to apply super heat … this stuff is baked on pretty hard. The el cheapo cleaner was doing Ok, then I buy one made for gas grills (costly) … but like something on a boar hog. At 75% clean would you stay the course or know a real good spray ?
 

CT8

Messages
15,408
Location
Idaho
Heat is your friend. Build a big fire and get the' hopefully" cast iron grate red hot . Let cool then go from there.
 
Messages
396
Location
Peace valley, Missouri
Take a plastic trash bag put grills in bag pour in 1/2 gallon household ammonia to wet all surfaces let sit a day. All the burnt on stuff will fall off. Works on oven grates also. Just do this outside.
 

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
Thread starter
Will do … I have a gallon jug that's been looking bored on the shop shelf … Thanks !
 

CT8

Messages
15,408
Location
Idaho
Originally Posted by Fitter30
Take a plastic trash bag put grills in bag pour in 1/2 gallon household ammonia to wet all surfaces let sit a day. All the burnt on stuff will fall off. Works on oven grates also. Just do this outside.
I have to give the ammonia a go thanks for the tip!
 

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
Thread starter
Originally Posted by CT8
Heat is your friend. Build a big fire and get the cast iron grate red hot . Let cool then go from there.
I should probably do that for the whole pit. It's done way too many hours at only 200F-225F and the whole inside has CBU I have so much wood that I sat by the fire pit on a 55F night, LoL Thanks …
 

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Fitter30
Take a plastic trash bag put grills in bag pour in 1/2 gallon household ammonia to wet all surfaces let sit a day. All the burnt on stuff will fall off. Works on oven grates also. Just do this outside.
Took the whole gallon to submerge them in the same sink under the cook shed … but it's just a few feet from the water heater and main water line … so the rinse hose is hot and has great pressure on the wand
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,787
Location
The Motor City
How would any coating survive red hot temperatures? On another note, every time I have the power washer out, I include the barbecue with the cleaning.
 

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
Thread starter
I can't get grates red hot … but they are already in vinegar If that works … I'll probably just heat the pit to 450F (no grates) to sanitize and then take a stiff tire brush and some Greased Lightning to it a couple rounds so the carbon does not fall from the lid onto the meat. Going forward I can do the vinegar ahead of the Dawn soak to get the grates more in PM mode. BTW: anyone ever see the Tonight Show spoof where they went around inspecting BBQ pits. I could not find the video.
 
Messages
3,271
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Submerged in vinegar and baking soda is my go to. Also, when firing up the grill, when thd grates are hot, use bbq brush with a good amount of snow on it, run on the grills and they steam clean. Finish cleaning with a lightly canola oiled pad of paper towels.
 
Messages
3,165
Location
Cali
Originally Posted by CT8
Heat is your friend. Build a big fire and get the' hopefully" cast iron grate red hot . Let cool then go from there.
Yup! you need to burn it all off.
 
Messages
1,728
Location
Cincinnati, USA
I suspect you are just using the wrong brush. I've used the same coated grates about 20 years and just soak them in hot detergent solution then a steel wire brush, then if I want them spotless I soak again a bit longer and use steel wool. Since you have a large buildup, it will be much easier to do next time, going forward with less to remove. If you get pretty much all the crud off, it doesn't soak up protein juice or grease and oil that varnishes each time you cook to turn into such a stubborn mess.
 
Last edited:

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Danno
Submerged in vinegar and baking soda is my go to. Also, when firing up the grill, when thd grates are hot, use bbq brush with a good amount of snow on it, run on the grills and they steam clean. Finish cleaning with a lightly canola oiled pad of paper towels.
I'd have to maybe get a Slushy for the snow ? Or come up with steam production ?
 

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
Thread starter
I will not use a wire brush … guy at work went to ER over that … very hard night for him and the family …
 
Messages
3,271
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by 4WD
Originally Posted by Danno
Submerged in vinegar and baking soda is my go to. Also, when firing up the grill, when thd grates are hot, use bbq brush with a good amount of snow on it, run on the grills and they steam clean. Finish cleaning with a lightly canola oiled pad of paper towels.
I'd have to maybe get a Slushy for the snow ? Or come up with steam production ?
We have lots, I'll send some your way. Or a pad of paper towels soaked with water works in a pinch.
 
After they're clean (or if you buy new ones) why wouldn't you try seasoning them just like you would a cast iron pan? I'm asking because I don't know if it will work forever, but should work <span style="font-style: italic">longer</span> than just regular usage? Get them clean as you can, coat all surfaces with olive oil or similar, and then stick them in your oven at around 400* I think (IIRC that's what Lodge said they do) and let the heat do the rest. Then, every couple uses just soak them in hot water and clean with a soft-bristled brush or one of those stoneware scrapers. Blot dry, and carry on!
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,787
Location
The Motor City
Seasoning works with material that has nooks and crannies on the surface, such as gray cast iron. The OPs grill is coated and likely has a smooth surface. You wouldn't season a stainless steel or aluminum pan, not that anybody uses them anymore.
 

4WD

Messages
13,507
Location
Texas
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Kestas
Seasoning works with material that has nooks and crannies on the surface, such as gray cast iron. The OPs grill is coated and likely has a smooth surface. You wouldn't season a stainless steel or aluminum pan, not that anybody uses them anymore.
Correct … the smooth and shiny showing again is what I meant by percent complete. And being I think replacement is over priced, I prefer to not damage the coating … So, after CBU is gone … deep clean them once in a while in between the Dawn soaks.
 
Top