What Causes Grills to Rust?

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Barbeques are a family affair, and it can be extra fun to whip out your grill on a summer day and make some burgers for your kids. Grilling is one of the best ways you can cook meat. Meat involves a high fat and protein content, and grilling helps render the fat so that the meat is much healthier. While barbeques and grilling can be fun, they require you to invest in grills and maintain them.

Grill maintenance involves ensuring that your grill doesn’t rust. Barbeque grills have a fair bit of metal components that may rust when exposed to the elements. However, this is precisely the kind of situation you wish to avoid. Don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry. We will tell you why your grill may rust and how to avoid this!

What Causes Grills to Rust?

Grills can rust because they have metal components in them. Even stainless-steel components can sometimes rust. However, if you know why the grill is rusting, you can work around the causes. We have listed some of the primary reasons your grills may be rusting below:

1. Material

If the grill you own is not made from a suitable material, it may have the propensity to rust more quickly. One of the significant factors you should keep in mind when buying a grill is to opt for an appliance that is resistant and durable. The material should not be cheap as it can sometimes cause extreme rusting or mold formation.

2. Leftover Food Residue

It is one of the major reasons that you may have rust on your grill. You want to buy a grill that can cook different kinds of meats and foods. However, the residue from some of these foods can be highly acidic or corrosive.

If you let the residue stay on the grill for too long, bacteria might attack the food and release chemicals that cause the grill to rust. Thus, you want to ensure that you clean up the grill the night you’re done with your barbeque or the next day. Leftover food can harden to the point that cleaning it can remove the paint from your grill. Rusting is much more likely in areas without paint.

3. Variety of Chemicals

Chemicals are likely to cause your grill to rust. If you’ve situated your grill near the swimming pool filled with chlorine and other chemicals, these chemicals will likely waft over and cause damage to your grill.

Rusting is oxidization, and these chemicals are potent enough to react with your grill. If you’ve placed your grill near a lawn, the chemicals from the pesticides and herbicides you apply here are also strong enough to create rust.

You should also ensure that you don’t use concentrates like bleach when cleaning the grill, as that can wear away at the grill and cause it to rust.

4. Water, Moisture, or Rain

Water is one of the most significant proponents of rusting. Exposure to water can cause the metals in your grill to oxidize and create rust. The issue with water is that it’s extremely common, and your grill is exposed to it every time you use it.

The simplest way to protect your grill from water is to use a grill cover or some nylon tarp that prevents moisture from accumulating. Moisture is also harmful as it can condense into water that will find its way into the crevices of your grill and rust them over time. Rain often involves the elements of wind and water, so you must offer a significant amount of protection against it.

5. Salt Water

Salt can be highly corrosive to metals, so you should keep salt away from your grill. If you live near the ocean or where the salt index is high, you may need to find ways to protect your grill from this. If you’re using salt to get rid of your snow, you may have to avoid so if the grill you own is close to your driveway or any place that snow might accumulate.

6. Snow Solution

Any chemicals you may use to get rid of snow can negatively impact your grill. The chemicals can make your grill more prone to rust, so any degree of moisture may harm the grill. You should also ensure that you don’t leave the grill cover open so the snow doesn’t settle on your grill.

7. High Temperature

If you have a stainless-steel grill, then charging up your grill to an extreme temperature may cause the carbon and chromium present in the grill to react together. When the chromium percentage drops, a grill is likely to rust. If you don’t want your grill to rust quickly, you may want to reduce the heat applied.

Tips to Prevent the Grill from Rusting

Once you know what may be causing the rust formation, you must take some steps to prevent such an occurrence. Here are a few tips to prevent oxidation on your grill:

1. Avoid Pouring Liquids on the Grill

You shouldn’t apply liquids directly on the grill as liquids increase the pace of rusting. You should avoid cleaning the grill with soap and water and ensure you’re not adding sauce to the grill while cooking meat. Additionally, make that you keep the marinade to a minimum so it doesn’t stick and cause issues later.

2. Get Comfortable Cleaning

Clean your grill as often as you can. You want to dedicate some time to cleaning your grill after each use, as this helps eliminate any residue within a short period. You don’t want grease or food accumulating on your grill, making cleaning more difficult. It also reduces the life of your grill.

3. Save it From the Elements

After you finish grilling, you may want to move it inside a shed or enclosed space. Doing so will protect it from the elements and especially air. Rusting occurs because your grill was exposed to rain or air for an extended period. Moving it indoors means you’re reducing the effect of elements on it. We also recommend using a grill cover or a tarp to ensure no dirt or vapor can enter the grill.

4. Cover with Oil or Wax

Oiling or waxing your grill is a great way to protect it, as it creates a seal between the metal and the rest of the elements. Water and oil are immiscible, so having oil or wax as a protectant from water is one of the easiest methods for rust protection. You will also grease your grill the next time while at it.

Final Thoughts

The major causes of grill rusting are external elements like water and air. Other chemicals can also cause grills to rust. However, they’re all carried by air or water, so you must take measures to avoid external elements from making their way into your grill!

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