How to Recoat a Grill Grate

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Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dishwashing soap

  • Plastic trash bag

  • Warm water

  • Steel-bristle brush or nylon grill brush

  • Steel wool pads

  • Olive oil

  • Spray bottle


Use 80-grit aluminum oxide sandpaper instead of steel wool to remove rust from metal grill grates. If you are recoating a nonstick grill grate, the best option is to replace the grate. Cooking on a nonstick surface that is peeling can be toxic.


Don't use paint on the grill grate. While high-temperature grill paint works well for the exterior, it is not food-safe.

Recoat a grill grate with oil, not paint.

When you have a crowd coming over to watch your team's home opener and enjoy a barbecue, you want your grill to shine. Special grill paint will take care of the exterior. Even if you practice consistent grill maintenance, the grate may not look its best. Now is the time to recoat a grill grate by removing the rust and restoring the shine with natural, food-safe oil.


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Step 1

Remove the grill grate from inside the grill.

Step 2

Pour liquid dishwashing soap over the grate and place it inside a plastic trash bag. Pour warm water over the grate and let it sit overnight.

Step 3

Take the grate out of the plastic bag and scrub with a steel-bristle brush. Use a nylon brush on a stainless steel grate and wipe cast iron with a soft cloth. Soaking the grate overnight in the bag of soap and water loosens any burnt food stuck to the grate.


Step 4

Rinse off the soapy grate with water and let it dry.


Step 1

Rub the steel wool pad over the metal grate to remove any rust. Rinse the grate with water and let it dry.

Step 2

Heat the grill until the coals turn to ash in a charcoal grill or to 250 degrees Fahrenheit on a gas grill. Put the grate back on the grill and heat the grate.


Step 3

Pour olive oil into a spray bottle. Spray the grate with olive oil, away from the grill. Cover every bar with the oil. Place the grate back onto the hot grill for two to three hours.

Step 4

Remove the grill grate and recoat the grate with more olive oil. Take the grate off the grill and recoat the grate with even more olive oil.

Step 5

Return the grate to the grill and heat for another two hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a grill thermometer on the outside of the grill if your grill doesn't have one installed. Home improvement and hardware stores and grill shops carry these thermometers.


references & resources

Stephanie Rempe

After attending the University of Missouri St. Louis, Stephanie Rempe worked as a documentation manager in the finance industry 10 years before turning to her first love, writing, which she's been doing professionally since 2008. She currently divides her time between Missouri and her fiance's hometown in Oregon. In addition to her freelance writing, Rempe is working on a romance novel and short stories.