Grilling can become a backyard tradition. After all, there are few things that say “summer” quite like the smell of food cooking on the grill. It can also make for a great time with friends and family on those long summer days.
Unfortunately, grills are prone to rusting and wearing down. When rust builds up on a grill, it is not only unsightly, but it can also damage the integrity of the grill as a whole. If enough rust builds up, the grill may become totally useless.
So, how can you keep rust from building up on a grill, preserving it for many more uses in the future? Here are a few helpful tips.
What About Grill Covers?
Grill covers make for an excellent option for protecting a grill. This is because grill covers are made of flexible, durable material that is meant to offer resistance to snow, rain, ice, and the damage that the sun can have on just about anything.
A good practice is to cover the grill after each use. This will limit the amount of exposure that the grill gets, preserving it for longer usage. There is one caveat to using a grill cover, though. In high humidity areas, moisture can still get underneath the cover. When this happens, over time, the moisture will begin to rust the grill.
So, while it is a good idea to use a grill cover, it isn’t the only thing that you should be doing to prevent rust from appearing on your grill.
How to Prevent Rust
1 – Keep it Clean
There are a few different things that should be done to preserve the life of a grill and prevent rust from building up. One of the best suggestions is to keep the grill clean after each use. A buildup of food and grease will work to not only rust the grill but eat away at the grates and internal components.
It is also a good idea to clean the entire grill from top to bottom every once in a while, both inside and out. Use some warm water, gentle soap, and a sponge to get into the tough to reach areas. Gas grills in particular have holes that can get clogged up with food remains, deteriorating and rusting the openings.
2 – Keep it Dry
Cleaning the grill is a great way to preserve it for the long run. But make sure that you are thoroughly drying the grill whenever you do clean it. Moisture is the biggest enemy to your grill and any way that it can get to the grill is a chance for damage to be done.
Make sure to dry the grill thoroughly when you clean it, especially on the interior of the grill. Water that collects inside has a high risk of potentially rusting. Make sure to get into all of the tough to reach spots and dry them using some paper towels or a soft cloth when you have finished.
For gas grills, you can warm them up after cleaning for about 10 or 15 minutes. This will help to evaporate the water in those tougher spots to ensure that there is no water left anywhere inside of the grill.
3 – Preserve the Grates
Lack of care for the grates will lead to rusting at worst. At the very best, they will become caked with old food and build a thick, black residue on all of the grates. Over time, this will break down the grates, leaving them weak and crumbling.
A good idea is to rub down the grates with oil when you’re done cooking. Even though this is a must for cast-iron grates, it’s a good idea to do the same with steel grates as well. Keep in mind that if your grates are coated in porcelain, that surface is already meant to resist corrosion so long as there is no damage done.
4 – Move the Grill to Cover
During the summer, when the grill will get the most usage, it is fine to keep it outdoors so long as a grill cover is in use. The grill cover will protect against any rainfall and debris that could fall onto the grill. Besides, it is a pain to have to bring the grill out of storage each time that it will be used.
If you live in a climate that has colder fall and winter weather, it is a good idea to not only use a grill cover, but to store it away as well. If your grill is big and difficult to transport, consider setting a yearly schedule where it will be put into storage for the winter.
Whatever you do, make sure that you do not leave the grill outside uncovered for long. No matter what the material is, if it is left outside in less-than-favorable weather conditions, it will eventually begin to rust. Save yourself the trouble by getting the grill some protection.
Use Common Sense
At the end of the day, there are multiple storage options available for a grill. Sure, it may not be optimal to have to pull the grill out each time that it is to be used, but that is often what will protect the grill and preserve it for the long-term.
Grill covers will work out pretty well, but it is a good idea to find a storage spot whenever it is out of use for long periods of time. The less exposure it gets to the elements, the better chance that you have of keeping it rust free.
Proper protection in tandem with consistent and thorough cleaning should be enough to keep your grill operating for a long time to come.
When a grill has rusting problems, they can be extremely difficult, if at all possible, to remove. That is why it is easier to take preventative measures for protecting your grill. After all, there is a good chance that you have made a decently sized investment in your grill. Why not protect it the way that it deserves to be protected?