For those who cook on a cast iron stove, there is an inherent challenge to keeping the stove top grates clean. They seem to be the most difficult part of a cast iron cooktop to clean, but there are many ways to keep your cast iron stove grates clean. Let’s look at a few ways we can get our stove top back into cooking condition by keeping it looking great and at its best.
Best way to clean cast iron stove grates
The warm soapy water method
The easiest way to clean cast iron stove grates is while they’re still warm after cooking. Leftover food will come off easily with a non-scratch scrubbing pad.
If the grates are already cool, remove them from the stove. Then, soak them in warm soapy water.
It’s important that you do not submerge your grill grate in water or let it get wet for an extended period of time as this can lead to rusting.
Next, scrub them with a stiff brush to loosen any caked-on food or grease. It’s okay to use soap here because you’ll be reseasoning the grates after they’re clean.
Once all of the gunk has been removed, dry the grates with a towel and place them back on the stove over medium heat for 10 minutes. This will ensure that they’re completely dry and ready for seasoning.
Next, use a clean cloth to coat each grate in a thin layer of vegetable oil – plain old canola oil from your pantry will work just fine. Place another towel over the grates and wipe off as much excess oil as possible. Allow the grates to cool completely before replacing them on your stovetop.
The baking soda method
Start by removing the grates from your stove and placing them in a large trash bag. Sprinkle some baking soda on both sides of the grates, then pour white vinegar over the baking soda. The mixture will bubble up as it cleans. (You can use this same technique to clean other items in your kitchen like pots and pans.)
Place the grate back in the bag, seal it up, and let it sit for a few hours or overnight.
After soaking, rinse the grate off but don’t wash with soap. Wipe off any extra residue with a paper towel or rag, then place the grate on a paper towel on top of your stove and turn it on low to dry completely. Doing this will help prevent rusting.
Use a wire brush to scrub off any remaining residue.
Do you need to season cast iron stove grates?
All new cast iron cookware comes with a protective layer of oil baked into the surface. This layer protects the metal from rust, but over time it can wear off. So when you get a new cast iron stove, it’s a good idea to season — or re-oil — the grates right away.
Once you’ve cleaned and dried them, apply a thin coating of vegetable oil and place them in the oven set to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours. After two hours turn off the oven and let them cool in there before removing. If they’ve stuck to the bottom of the oven, loosen them with a spatula and carefully pull them out.
Can you put cast iron grates in the dishwasher?
No. In fact, no metal grate can go in the dishwasher as the high heat and harsh detergents will damage it. The same goes for plastic parts and anything else that isn’t designated as dishwasher-safe by the manufacturer.
The best way to clean stove grates is to scrub them with warm, soapy water using an all-purpose cleaner or a degreaser like Dawn, and then rinse them off with a hose or in your sink.
If you have stubborn stuck on food and grease, soak your stove grates in warm, soapy water for 15 minutes and then use a sponge to scrub off any remaining residue. If necessary, repeat this process until there are no more streaks of burned on food left on your grates.
Once you’ve cleaned your grates, allow them to dry completely before placing them back onto your stove top.
How do you get rust off of cast iron grill grates?
You can use white vinegar to remove rust from your cast iron grates. Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz the entire grate with vinegar. You should notice the rust begin to bubble up as it begins to dissolve away. Let the grate rest for about 10 minutes or so, then scrub away the loosened rust using a grill brush. Rinse the grate with water and dry it off with a towel once you’ve gotten rid of all of the rust.
The vinegar treatment has removed the iron oxide from the surface of your cast iron, but without coating it with oil, you have left a new surface ripe for oxidation.
So next step is to heat your clean cast-iron, remove from the heat and coat it lightly with oil.