Can You Cook On A Rusty Grill- Is It Safe?

Have you one day randomly decided to cook your favorite meat recipe on the grill after not using it for weeks or even months, only to find out it has rusted? Still, despite the rust, can you cook on a rusty grill?

Looking at the grill, you start to wonder if you should first get the rust out of the way or just use it as it is. Cooking on a rusty grill is very unappealing, and it can often cause the food to stick, but the major concern is whether it is a safe practice to observe. Does cooking on a rusty grill result in health issues?

cooking on rusty grill

Today’s article is centered around the following question, and we will be delving deeper into exploring can you cook on a rusty grill or not and if it is safe to do so.

Can You Cook On A Rusty Grill?

Theoretically, there is nothing wrong with cooking on a rusty grill because it won’t harm you, and even if something happens, at a very serious and threatening risk, the meat will taste and smell like a rusty nail. 

Rust is nothing but iron oxide, which, if consumed in a minimal quantity, can be an alternative dose for iron; however, if consumed in a large amount, rust grill must be avoided at all costs because it is potentially harmful. 

All kinds of grills, composed of stainless steel or metal, are bound to rust eventually. This primarily happens because the finishing that prevents the grill from rusting, with continuous use and passing time, begins to fade off, failing to prevent rusting. 

When a massive amount of condensation is collected on a stainless steel grill, especially at night when the temperatures cool, it, too, will rust. Though a tight-fitting cover over the grill can help reduce rust formation, but can only delay the phenomena temporarily, and rusting will occur later, if not sooner. 

Regardless, we do not advise you to cook on a rusty grill because there is always a chance for the rust to get loose and mix with your food, affecting the flavor. If you are putting so much effort into cooking on a grill, then also clean the rusty and dusty grill to make the most out of your cooking experience and to have delectable meat as a result. 

Cleaning A Rusty Grill

Even though we have confirmed and established that rust is not harmful and it is safe to cook on a rusty grill, that does not mean you must always use it.

rusty grill

Several easy and convenient ways that are not even time-consuming and can immediately make your grill clean, sparkling, and 100% safe for cooking with confidence. 

Following are some of the traditional yet most effective methods used for generations to remove rust from rusty grills. 

Baking Soda

One of the many handy and commonly available household items is baking soda. Baking soda is not only limited to baking but is also very efficient at getting rid of rust and works fairly well for stainless steel.

baking soda use on rusty grill

All that you would need is a soft-bristled brush and some baking soda. Rub as much rust as possible from the grill using a soft-bristled brush. Next, place the grill’s grates and sprinkle a general amount of baking soda over it.

Subsequently, turn on the heat under the grill, which will assist in producing the needed heat for the baking soda powder to bubble and is the primary procedure to eliminate the rust. 

Allow the grill to bubble for some time, then turn off the heat and let the grill cool down. Lastly, clean the grill and it’s grates with the soft-bristled brush to remove the residue that the baking soda has left behind. Once done, a rust-free and clean grill will be ready for your next grilling session.

Soap And Water Method

Supposedly, your grill is not heavily rust-infested and only has a few minor spots of ruts. Then, in that case, you do not have to indulge yourself in a thorough cleansing method, but using the basic soap and water cleaning method will also suffice.

However, when using this method, avoid any brass or wire brush on the grill; rather, use a nylon or any other material’s soft-bristled brush to get the rust out. Any harsh materials used on the grill can cause it to scratch, so watch out!

use the soap to clean from grill

Using A Wire Brush

Another great method we propose for cleaning a rusty grill is the wire brush method. Remove the grill grates from both sides and place them on a flat surface like a concrete patio or a driveway to fix the rust.

Then, slide the wire brush over and across the grate to remove every inch of rust. Do not forget to scrub the back side off the rust! Finally, using an old rag or a worn-out towel, wipe the grate to remove rust. 

Generally, we do not advise our readers to opt for this method as repeated wire brush use can damage the grates. Therefore, only use it when the grill is rusted beyond repair, and you have no other alternative to progress with other than using a wire brush. 

Detergent And Lemon Juice 

Lemon juice is renowned for its excellent rust removal properties as it contains citric acids. Specifically, when coupled with any dishwashing detergent, which is a powder type, the rust cleaning is even further amplified. 

Mix lemon juice and detergent in an adequate amount or at least in the quantity that would form a thick paste. Then apply the paste all over the grill and the grates and let it remain overnight. 

the pure lemon juice which be use for grill

The next day, you will observe that most of the rust has automatically been removed from the grates. To remove the one still on the grate, use warm water, a sponge, or a soft cloth to scrub the grill until it’s clean and rust-free. 

When you are done scrubbing the grates intensively, normally wash the grill with warm water and make sure to rinse off all the rust so none remains on the surface.


Addressing, can you cook on a rusty grill? Although it is safe to do so, we do not advise you to proceed with cooking on a rust-covered grill. Instead, use one of our methods to cook your favorite grill recipe!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to cook on a rusted grill?

Yes, it is safe to cook on a rusted grill, and cooking on such a grill has no severe health hazards if the grill is slightly rusted, but the food might stick.if the if the grill too rusted then cooking on a rusted grill is generally not recommended for safety and health reasons. Rust can flake off and contaminate food, which can be harmful if ingested.

Is it OK to cook on a dirt grill?

No, you should not cook on a dirty grill because it risks ingesting harmful carcinogens. this can cause firstly is the health hazard for you and if you do cooking with dirt grill you must face different type Flavor and Quality.

Should I replace a rusty grill?

At first, try removing the rust from over the grill and its grates using any of the four proposed methods. If you fail to remove the rust, then unfortunately, there is no other alternative than to replace the rusty grill.

Can you clean rust off a grill?

Whether it is rust spots or a grill entirely coated with rust, in either situation, cleaning the rust off the grill is a feasible task.