How Do You Clean Porcelain Grill Grates? (Step by Step)

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Despite what the name may lead you to believe, porcelain grill grates are not made entirely from porcelain. They have a core commonly made from cast iron or steel which is then plated in porcelain. This is done to protect the metal, make the grill grates easier to clean and ensure fast and efficient heating.

It is important to clean your grill grates regularly to prevent them from becoming dirty or damaged. You should take care when cleaning them as the porcelain is prone to chipping. This can expose the metal underneath leading to rusting and eventual breakage. If you take proper care of your grill grates, they can last and perform for many years.

Spot Cleaning

You do not always need to clean the entirety of the grill grates. If you have only used one area, we recommend performing a spot clean.

Grab a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small bottle of white vinegar. Spray the vinegar all over the area that you are cleaning and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Once this time has passed, go in with the toothbrush and scrub vigorously until all of the dirt has been removed.

Alternatively, you can use dish soap and water to perform a spot clean. Make up a small bowl of this solution and grab a toothbrush. Dip it into your cleaning liquid and use it to gently scrub the dirty area of your grill grates.

Soaking

This method takes a little while to complete but is one of the lower-effort methods. You will need a large plastic box that can comfortably fit your grill grates in. You will also need some warm water, dish soap, a soft scrubber, and an old towel. You could opt to use a specially designed porcelain grill cleaning brush too.

Before you use this method, you should turn your grill grates up to the highest heat setting. Leave them like this for 10 minutes to burn any residue that has accumulated on the surface. Allow the grill grates to cool completely before moving on to the next step.

Fill the bottom of your plastic box with warm water and dish soap. Mix well to combine. Add the grill gates to the solution and leave them here to soak for an hour. If your container cannot submerge the grates, you will need to flip them over at the halfway point.

Once this time has passed, remove the grill grates from the plastic box and use a garden hose to rinse off any loose debris. Lie your old towel on the ground and place the grill grates on top. Use your soft scrubbing brush to dislodge and remove any residue remnants.

Use your hose to rinse off the grill grates once again and then set the grates aside to dry.

Scrubbing

This is the classic cleaning method and requires a significant amount of elbow grease. You will need a clean surface to work on. If you do not have this, we recommend laying a sheet of tarpaulin out to act as a workstation.

You will also need a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush, dish soap, warm water, a 2-gallon bucket, and some old rags.

You will need to fill the bucket with water and dish soap. Take the grates off of your grill and give them a thorough rinse with a garden hose to remove any loose debris. Lie it flat on your workstation.

Grab one of your rags and soak it in the dish soap solution. Use this to scrub the entire surface of the grill grates, trying to get it into all of the nooks and crannies. If you come across any areas that are difficult to clean, switch to using your scrubbing brush.

As you are scrubbing the grates, we recommend using a diagonal motion rather than going from the top to the bottom. This helps to dislodge dirt more easily from the surface.

You should rinse off your grill grates with fresh water once you are satisfied with the clean. Allow it to air dry completely before you place it back onto your grill. This prevents rust damage from being incurred.

If you do not have a grill brush, you can use some crumpled up aluminum foil. Compress it into a ball and use this to run across the surface of the grill grates. This should help to dislodge dirt with ease while remaining gentle enough to not damage the porcelain.

Baking Soda

You can use a baking soda paste to remove stubborn dirt and grime. Mix ½ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of warm water to make a thick paste.

Apply this liberally to the grates of your grill using a soft-bristled grill brush or pastry brush.

Allow the paste to sit on the surface for 20 minutes to loosen the grime. Clean off any baking soda residue using a clean brush or rag. Rinse well and allow the grates to dry before the next use.

General Notes

Note – we have a guide on how to clean cast iron grates which you should check out if you are unsure of the type of grate on your grill.

You should never use scrapers to clean a porcelain-plated grill. This will damage the delicate porcelain coating and can cause chips, cracks, and splits to appear.

This will then allow moisture and food particles to permeate through the porcelain and come into contact with the metal. This can lead to rust or mold, neither of which you want for your smoker.

You should clean your grill grates after every use. This prevents food and grease particles from building up on the surface and creating an unhygienic cooking platform.

Take great care not to drop or bang your porcelain grill grates. This can cause damage to the delicate porcelain coating in the same way as a scraper. Try to avoid using metal utensils on the porcelain surface for the same reason.

We advise adding a light coating of cooking oil to the porcelain grill grates after each clean. This will help to protect the grates from further damage and will mean that the grill is ready to use next time you turn it on.