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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Grill Grates



Keeping your grill clean with the products below is the best way to prolong the life of your grill.
Keeping your grill clean with the products below is the best way to prolong the life of your grill.

There is no doubt that stainless steel is quality cookware. It is tough and durable, and will long outlast its users with minimal care. High quality stainless steel retains heat more effectively than cast iron. It won’t rust or corrode nearly as readily as cast iron. It will not leach its flavor into the food it cooks, nor does it contain any coating, which can chip or peel away into food.

Stainless steel grills: an industry standard

Generally acknowledged to be the leading example of a quality grill grate, stainless steel grill grates are the most widely available grates on the market. Their durability, ability to retain heat, and ease in maintenance makes opting for stainless steel grill grates an obvious choice. Naturally, any quality stainless steel grate will not be cheap, but with proper maintenance, these grates can last a lifetime and then some.

Although stainless steel can withstand a great deal of abuse, proper treatment and maintenance of stainless steel is paramount to a long life of consistent, high-quality use. The hard nature of stainless steel means that basic steel wool and soapy water will work in a pinch, but with so much innovation going into grilling technology, it wouldn’t hurt to consider using some of the specialized options available.

Cleaning steel with steel

Especially during busy grilling seasons, it’s important to keep your grill clean and relatively grime-free. The industry standard for regular, simple maintenance is the steel brush. We also looked at top notch brushes.

Using heat in conjunction with your steel or brass wire brush is important. Avoid any brushes that advise against this practice—it may be an indicator of inferior quality. Broken bristles can end up in the food being grilled and can land the consumers of this food in the emergency room. Nothing puts a damper on a holiday cookout like a swallowed steel wire.

dirty grill grates
Stainless steel grill grates are durable and perfect for the perfect bbq. Keep them in tip top condition!

GRILLART BBQ Grill Brush and Scraper

The GRILLART BBQ Grill Brush and Scraper is a great option in steel wire brush grill cleaners. Its 18-inch handle keeps the cleaning hand away from the hot grilling surface. The tough woven steel wire won’t snap or crack off, avoiding potentially hazardous situations with errant bristles. See this brush at Amazon.

Kona Bristle Free Barbecue Grill Brush

Kona Safe/Clean Grill Brush - Bristle Free BBQ Grill Brush - 100% Rust Resistant Stainless Steel Barbecue Cleaner - Safe For Porcelain, Ceramic, Steel, Cast Iron - Great Grilling Accessories Gift

For those unconvinced by any wires, but still looking for an effective tool to clean their stainless steel, look no further than the Kona Bristle Free Barbecue Grill Brush. A sturdy steel wire design facilitates deep cleaning of stainless steel and other grill grates, without risking unwanted deposits of metal wires in your food. It has 3 tightly wound ‘brushes’ made of dense coils of tightly wound steel that deliver a powerful cleaning of even the most obstinate gunk and grime. Find it at Amazon.

Better cleaning through chemistry

Sometimes, all the steel scrubbers and elbow grease in the world just aren’t sufficient for more collaborative and diligent efforts in grill grime. Enter the vast array of grill cleaning products, in liquid form.

Weber Grill Cleaner Spray

Weber 8027 Grill Grate Cleaner, Black

Weber, the manufacturers of some of the world’s most respected grills, offers their Grill Cleaner Spray as the ultimate grill-cleaning product. In conjunction with one of the aforementioned pieces of hardware, the resultant combination will provide a formidable cleaning combination suited to tackle even the toughest grill grime.

This non-toxic, citrus-derived spray cleaner will eliminate the need for extra fuel use for cleaning stainless steel grill grates with heat, as it can be used on a cool grill grate. Find it at Amazon.

Bryson Industries’ CitruSafe Grill Cleaning Spray

CitruSafe 16 Fl Oz BBQ Grill Cleaner - Cleans Burnt Food and Grease from Grill Grates - Great for Gas and Charcoal Grills

For the more ecologically minded grillers, Bryson Industries’ CitruSafe Grill Cleaning Spray offers a less noxious fluid grill-cleaning product. Like the Weber fluid, this product will save money by not requiring fuel to heat the grill prior to cleaning—a technique understood as mandatory for proper brush cleaning. This spray works just like the Weber spray, but is completely non-flammable, non-toxic, non-corrosive, biodegradable, and phosphate free. See this spray at Amazon.

Stainless steel goes the distance

With so many options for grill grates available, it can be hard to make a choice. In this instance, let history make the call for you. The overwhelming majority of professional grill grates are made of stainless steel. If that system works for the pros, it will work for you! Once you select your personal favorite stainless steel grill grate, use the above products to maintain the quality and efficiency of your high quality grilling equipment. Do you have porcelain coated cast iron grill grates instead? Find out how to clean those.

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Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: David McLemore

David learned to cook at an early age after his mother told him that he couldn't live on pizza forever, Dave uses his modest kitchen skills to recreate sorely-missed recipes from home and to occasionally make new favorite ones from places he is visiting.

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