GrillInsider is reader supported by any commissions it may make through affiliate links.

a man cleaning a grill outside

Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Grill Grates

Updated On August 20, 2021

If you are a grilling enthusiast and love to cook delicious meals regularly, one thing you need to know is how to keep your grill grates cleaned and well-maintained. 

Apart from the fact that cleaning your stainless steel grill grates will ensure that whatever you cook is healthy and free from bacteria, it will also save your time, the next time you use your grill, and turn an otherwise painstaking process into an effortless and uncomplicated cleaning session.


Simple Step by Step Cleaning Instructions

1. Incinerate the food remnants

The key to getting rid of the unnecessary and burnt up leftovers of whatever you have cooked is to ignite your grill to the highest possible temperature and let all the residues be burnt away. If your grill is powered by charcoal, make sure to keep all the vents open to have some kind of control over the regulation of heat.

2. Sanitize the grills

Make a mixture of baking soda and water in a container large enough to accommodate your grill grates. Lay them off from the grill and if you have just completed step one, let them cool down before placing them in the mixture. For the most effective results, leave them overnight and brush the grates again the next day.

3. Remove the excess grease

Having completed the sanitation process, make a solution of water with mild soap (pH 5.5 - 7), thoroughly mix it, and use a cleaning cloth to wipe off any grease which may still have survived. Once done, rinse the grates in warm water and leave them to dry.

4. (Optional) Season the grates

Unlike the iron ones, stainless steel grates are much more resilient to rusting. In fact, it is only under extreme conditions or purposely-created environment in which you'd find such a grate to start rusting. As a preventative measure, however, you can coat them up with a thin layer of oil (any is fine, vegetable is popular), just enough to cover all its parts. Do not bathe them with oil.

5. Use them or store them

The cleaning process is now complete. You can either go ahead and use your grates or store them somewhere. If you happen to choose the latter, make sure the grates are stored in a dry place.

Preventing Discoloration

While it is certainly true that you cannot always keep your grates in brand new conditions, it is still possible to slow their aging process and have them nice and shiny looking.

The process of seasoning has been going around for many centuries now and it is not just to give your cookware a temporary glossy look. In fact, it is a proven fact that your appliances are guaranteed to last longer if they are coated with a dense oil after every use. The discoloration we see in our grates is a natural phenomenon and it develops due to increased exposures to high temperatures of heat. However, if you have noticed, even this faded layer of your grates may seem shiny, to some extent. This is because of a build up of oil that has dried itself deep inside the grates' structure. Primarily, this prevents corrosion and ensures that the surface remains non-sticking for easy cooking.

If you want to achieve such results more naturally and without having to see your grill ugly up, it is highly recommended to use something like lard, palm or coconut oils.

Importance of Cleaning Immediately

For many people, BBQ itself is tiring and exhausting. Having to stand in front of a smoking hot grill for hours and keeping constant eye on the food. Sure, it can be frustrating, especially when you are hungry. But what if you hadn't even started your vacation and had found your grill in an unbearably disgusting state!

It is much more overwhelming if you have to clean your grill before you can even begin enjoying the holidays. This is why, not only for the sake of saving your own time and breathing a sigh of relief the next time you open your grill, it is essential to clean it right after every usage. In fact, adhering to this rule is also guaranteed to make the overall process effortless as the food remnants, grease and leftovers are still warm and easy to scrape off.

Therefore, the next time you use your grill, shine it up immediately afterwards to ensure it remains healthy and durable.


Keeping your stainless steel grill clean and sanitized is the best possible way of ensuring that whatever you cook is healthy and clean. We hope that our guide has helped you in understanding the basics of cleaning stainless steel grates, the importance of regular maintenance and the causes of discoloration.

Here's also a guide on the best way to clean cast iron grill grates. Happy cleaning!

How helpful was this post?

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

About the author 

Albert Thompson

Albert hails from Kentucky where grilling is a lifestyle. He brings with him his years of experience in the cooking sector and the product sector, but dont let that fool you, he practices what he preaches and enjoys a big rack of ribs every weekend.