How to Clean a Cast-Iron Grill With Stainless or Brass Brush

Properly treated and cured cast-iron grill grates offer an efficient cooking surface because the material retains heat for longer periods of time than nickel-plated or stainless steel grates. Over time, however, cast-iron grates begin to show wear as protective grease-based coatings wear away and rust begins to show. Using brass or stainless steel wire grilling brushes in conjunction with proper cast-iron curing techniques restores cast-iron grates to their original nonstick luster.

Regular Cleaning Following Most Grill Sessions

Cast-iron grilling grates need proper care.

Close the grill's lid tightly following cooking sessions to keep the cast-iron grates warm while you enjoy your meal.

Open the grill's lid and use a long-handled wire grill brush to scour away any food particles, char and excess grease from the cast-iron grate. Use long, scrubbing motions in the direction of the grill bars.

Turn over the cast-iron grate using manufacturer-provided grate turners or long-handled pliers.

Use the long-handled brush to scrub the bottom of the grate. Turn the grate right-side up.

Use a small sheet of wax paper to smear a thin layer of vegetable shortening on the grate's cooking surface, which will keep the grate lubricated and rust-resistant between uses. Wear heat-resistant gloves if the grate is still hot.

Things You Will Need

  • Stiff wire brass or stainless steel grilling brush
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Wax paper
  • Heat-resistant grilling mitt or glove


  • Preheat the grate for 10 to 15 minutes prior to the next cooking session to allow excess shortening to burn off. Some of the shortening will harden, providing a protective, nonstick coating on the cast-iron grate.
  • Keep the grill covered between uses to inhibit rust and other weather damage.


  • To avoid burns, always handle hot grill lids and grates with protective grilling mitts or gloves and use long-handled grilling tongs or spatulas when removing or moving food.

About the Author

Marc Chase is a veteran investigative newspaper reporter and editor of 12 years. Specializing in computer-assisted reporting, he holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Arts in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois.

Photo Credits