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Gas grills don’t come cheap, they are an investment, to say the least so you need to take good care of them and avoid rusting. The last thing you would want to see on your gas grills is rust, but it’s unfortunate that they are prone to rust.
The gas grills can be either fueled by natural gas or propane, while there are a few models that can be switched between the two options. If you use a basic gas grill then bear in mind that it requires frequent cleaning and proper maintenance to keep it working in a healthy condition.
So, why do gas grills rust out? As they are used for outdoor cooking, leaving them outside after use without cleaning can cause a lot of harm including rusting. This mostly happens when you leave the grills outside all the year-long thinking it can’t go bad because after all, it’s made of sturdy material.
Well, let’s break the bubble and inform you that no matter how expensive or cheap your grill is, it is prone to rusting if you don’t care for it properly. Cooking your food on grills that have even the slightest rust is not safe as it can cause a lot of health complications.
In this post, we will look deeper into why the BBQ grills rust out, reasons that cause rusting, and ways to prevent them. Before, we get into that let’s look a bit into the technicalities that cause rusting.
Rust Formation On Gas Grills
In most gas grills, stainless steel is used because it is less prone to rusting compared to iron or regular steel. It contains 12-30% of chromium that makes the material more rust-resistant. Nevertheless, when chromium reacts with oxygen, you can see a layer of chromium oxide.
Some grills may be made of material that has a chromium concentration of less than 12 percent, hence it fails to provide resistance like stainless steel. Using an abrasive cleaning agent can also cause scratches that cause rusting in localized spots.
Exposing your gas grill to a very high temperature 750-1550°F, the chromium and carbon molecules bond with each other, thereby reducing the percentage of chromium molecules. This may also cause the stainless steel to lose its rust-resistant capacity.
Reasons That Causes Rusting
To prevent rusting, you need to familiarize yourself with the possible reasons that cause rusting in the first place. Below, we have put together a few for you:
Leftover food residue
A good outdoor barbeque with lots of food means there will also be too much of food residue and leftovers stuck on the grills. If the acidic items like marinades and causes sit on the grills for too long, this can cause the grills to rust. We can’t emphasize enough the need to clean up after every outdoor cookout.
Exposure to chemicals
If you use your gas grill near a swimming pool then the chemicals like chlorine and bromine used in the water can cause rusting. Over time, these chemicals escape as vapor from the pool and have the potential to damage even the highest quality grills. Also, the fertilizers and pesticides you use in your backyard can cause the grill to rust.
Leaving your grills exposed to extreme temperatures outdoors is a bad idea. If you must leave the grill outdoors, cover it up with a nice grill cover. Sometimes owners need to use a chemical agent to get rid of the ice and this chemical can cause rusting.
Beware of saltwater
Using salt to melt snow is a common practice but you need to think twice before using this method. Salt can be the reason for corrosion to the metal. Also, if you live near the ocean then the high level of humidity and salt in the air can cause rust.
Five Ways To Prevent Rusting Directly To Your Gas Grills
When you marinade, apply it directly to the food and keep it thicker. Avoid running sauce as it cause can the grill burners to clog and even rust eventually.
Clean the grills thoroughly with a good quality grill brush (see Amazon) to get rid of any food particles that may be stuck to the grates. You may look for the bristle-free grill brush to prevent the wire bristles from coming loose and sticking to the grates.
For a more intense deep clean, remove the grates and clean with a solution of ¼ cup baking powder, 1 cup mild dishwasher, and hot water. Soak for an hour and then rub gently with a brush or soft cloth. Also, remember to clean the burners with a non-abrasive cleaner.
The drip trays should also be cleaned and dried as they tend to build up moisture. The burner holes and inlet holes should also be cleaned using a pipe brush.
Outside of the grill should also be kept clean by washing it with mild dish soap. Please note that stains and rusting in the stainless steel exterior depend on the grade and thickness of the metal.
Is it safe to cook on rusted grills
Not at all, as this can cause serious health hazards for you. So, if you find any signs of rusting then clean the grate immediately and treat it well to prevent further corrosion.
Why is oiling grills important
When you oil the grill grates (see my reviews), it prevents the food from sticking to it. This practice also repels moisture; hence the grill becomes less prone to rusting. However, you should never use aerosol cans near a grill as they are known to explode when kept close to flames.