How to Prevent a Gas Grill From Rusting

Even a stainless steel gas grill can rust if it's not properly cared for. Learn the simple steps to keep your grill in top shape and extend its life.

Keeping your gas grill in top shape comes down to a couple of simple tasks: regular cleaning and proper storage. While some grills are more prone to rusting than others, these two preventative measures can help extend the life of any gas grill.

Causes of Rust

Gas grills can be made of a variety of materials, from cast iron to stainless steel. Each of these materials has varying abilities to resist oxidation, or the chemical reaction that occurs when iron is exposed to oxygen and water and causes rust.

Stainless steel is resistant to rust because it is an alloy containing at least 10 percent nickel or chromium. These elements react with oxygen forming a thin protective layer over the steel. Other forms of iron and iron alloys may be coated in a thin layer of zinc or porcelain to prevent air and water from interacting with the metal. If you neglect your grill, coatings can wear or chip away, leaving the iron below exposed to the elements.

Regular Cleaning

Keeping your grill clean takes just a few minutes every time you cook. Scrape down the grates to remove bits of food that have stuck to the grill, and then lightly coat the grates with vegetable oil. Turn the burners to low and let the oil cook onto the grates for 10 minutes. This adds a layer of protection against humidity and moisture, preventing rust.

Check your drip pan regularly for accumulated water, especially after rainfall. Standing water will cause those parts to rust more quickly.

Proper Storage

Let your grill cool completely after cooking. Store it in the garage, or use a tight-fitting grill cover. This will protect your grill from the elements and keep it dry, even when it rains.


  • Never turn the grill on “high” in an attempt to “burn off” food and clean the cooking grates.  This will only oxidize the metal more.