Does your grill grates look like this?

How well do you know how to cook on the grill? I am not a pro and every year I want to learn how to become a better griller. So this year I have made a decision that I am going to try to become the best I can be. 
To start off the grilling season I would recommend giving your grill a good cleaning. Most grills over some time in their life will develop some rust on their grates. Especially if they are out in the elements. You don’t want your food tasting like rust. 
About a year ago I noticed rust starting to form on the sides of our grill grates that was hardly used. I did not know how to solve the problem at that time. So I put it out of sight and out of mind. When I cooked on the grill I used reyonolds wrap or a grill plate and I never worried about the outer edge. Over the winter our grill got used a few times. Here we are grilling fish in a snow / ice storm.  I think what caused  most of the  damage is when the grill grates became wet and left in sub zero temps

Then when I opened the grill for the first time this spring I noticed that our grates did not look their best, rust was starting to form and there was a charcoal marinade clumped all over. I am embrassed to even show the below picture. I knew we had to do something or we would lose our grill. The picture looks bad, huh? 

I looked at purchasing some new grill grates. But for the price of just buying grates, I could almost buy a new smaller grill. I thought to myself, there has to be a way, to save our grill. 
So where do you go if you need help? Pinterest!!! I just love Pinterest. You can find anything and everything there. Just like this article you are reading. I searched ways to clean cast iron grill grates. And yes there is many ways to clean them. I wished I would have known about this sooner. 

You will need the following items:
Garbage bag(s)

A metal grill brush and some type of oil (vegetable, olive or coconut oil).

Place the grill grates in garbage bags add vinegar and salt. Some people say to use 2 cups of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt. I just put enough vinegar in the bag to reach the bottom of the grates and I sprinkled salt all over the grates. If I had to guess it was probably about 2 tbs of salt and 2 cups of vinegar. Leave the bag(s) with the grate and mixture set over night. I suggest placing the bag(s) in the yard. I layed mine on the concrete and I noticed the mixture had ran out leaving a white trail.  Some people heat up their grates on the grill before they place them in the bag. I did not do this. But I think the next time I cook on the grill I might let the grates cool just enough that I could handle them and I will redo the cleaning method. My grates were so bad they need several cleanings. 
While the grates are soaking use this time to clean out the grill around the burners and the drip pan. 
When you remove your grates from the bag use the grill brush to remove everything and then spray them off.  To finish up the grates you will need to oil the grates. Oiling the grates will help season the cast iron and help prevent rust from coming back. Also oil the grates before winter comes. It will be an added protector. 
Now your grill should be in top notch condition to grill on.  You will be amazed at the grime and grease that will be removed. The next step is to start making delicious recipes. Check back next Thursday for another session of learning to grill.  I plan to be showing how to cook Chicken Kabobs with Coconut Oil.
 If you would love to share a grill recipe or anything about grilling I would love to have you as a guest blogger during this series. Just comment or email me. 

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