If you want well-cooked food on a quality grill, a cast iron one can certainly do the job, as it works well with heat and works in pretty much any setup if you compare this to an open-pit style, but cleaning them is something that can put dread into anyone.

That is why you want a method that doesn’t use harsh chemicals and ensures your cooking isn’t affected in taste or texture, and for the more expensive grills, you want to get a good amount of use out of it. Here we step in and give you a complete guide on how to best clean a cast iron grill in a way that is easy and prevents it from deteriorating by exposure to the elements and residue left by food.

Get The Right Gear

When looking for the right equipment, you want to avoid wire brushes, as these can leave thistles that can get left on your frame and grates, which can end up on your food if you’re not careful.

For equipment, you should look to get the following:

  • Newspaper or cloth for work surfaces
  • Nylon brush, scrubber, and scraper, for residue
  • Drying cloths and plastic wrap to dry off your grill
  • A plastic bucket for your solution, where you can use warm water, dishwasher liquid, baking soda, or lemon juice.

Make A Workspace And Prepare Cleaning Solution

Clear your grill of any obstacles and cooking tools so you can get up close to your grill, and apply some newspaper or cloth in the area where you intend to clean your grates, as the residue on these can result in stains that are hard to remove.

Once you’ve done this, you may want to consider that your clothes might get dirty, especially when cleaning the inside of the grill, so perhaps you have some old work clothes you could wear.

With this, you can get your bucket and fill it with hot water and prepare your detergent solution, which you can use any of the cleaning solutions outlined above, so now you can move onto the shelves and grates.

Start By Cleaning Your Wire Frames And Grates

Before starting, it is a good idea to disconnect the gas line if your grill uses this and that it should be cool, and if you use charcoal, it should be swept out and removed, as this can make your cleaning harder.

You can place any shelves, grates, and wire racks you use on the newspaper or cloth, and you can begin by scraping off any bits of food that are stuck or burned on with your nylon brush and scraper if required.

Once these are removed, you can dip the brush in the cleaning solution and clean these parts, and if you’re using a scented cleaning solution, you want to make sure you rinse your grates with hot water, so the smell doesn’t pass through to your food.

Clean The Inside Of Your Grill

Clean The Inside Of Your Grill

Once you’ve finished with these, you can set them aside and get to work on the grill, so you want to clean the entirety of the grill bowl, and once this is done, you can turn your attention to the lid, which can often go neglected as grease can build up here too.

If you find there are any small bits of food or reside you missed, you can sweep these out of use a vacuum to clean out these bits, and from here, you want to clean the dials, legs, and shelves on your grill as these can get messy over time as well.

Suppose you have a considerable amount of rust on your grill instead of having the mess that comes with cleaning it. In that case, you can use lemon juice and baking soda, and use plastic wrap to cover it, then wait for a day before rinsing it off, which is a much easier way to remove it.

Reassemble And Prepare For Use

Now your grill is nice and clean, you can put everything back together, and once everything is dry, you can season each part of the grill with oil, so you have a bind once you heat the grill and the heat penetrates these parts.

After this, your grill should be ready to use. You can make your cleaning in the future easier by wiping down your grill after each use while it’s slightly warm and using some hot water for effective results.

Maintenance Is Key

After this, you can keep your grill cleaner for longer, even if it’s been a while since you’ve last used it, which is even more important as, over time, rust can become a more significant problem and may require you to replace certain parts.

That’s why using a grill cover can help with any weather damage, or you could leave it in a sheltered area like a garage, but as long as it isn’t too exposed, you shouldn’t have any issues.

It’s ideal if you keep your grill seasoned before each use as it can prevent your food from sticking to any surfaces, but it also keeps the coating of your grills and wireframes intact, so they last longer.

After cooking, it helps if you turn up the heat on your grill to the max to ensure all the internal parts are dried and you want to do a light clean after ten uses or so, but this will depend on the types of food you cook with.


This, as well as having a grill that you can use when the weather improves, is a great way to prolong the life of your grill, which you want to be as efficient and useful as possible, as well as having food that is safe to eat, so now you can enjoy the many cookouts you have.