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How can I clean up some filthy Cast Aluminum GrillGrates (TM), the brand name aluminum cooking godsends?? HELP PLEASE!!

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    How can I clean up some filthy Cast Aluminum GrillGrates (TM), the brand name aluminum cooking godsends?? HELP PLEASE!!

    I bought my son-in-law a set of Cast Aluminum GrillGrates (TM) a number of years ago. He never quite understood what they did and wouldn't listen or take any suggestions. He just got a new generic grill and threw out the grill grates that I gave him for his "old Weber" He never cleaned the grates, never covered his grill, barely scraped the old food off the grill before he put new stuff on. I said he could clean those Cast Aluminum GrillGrates (TM) up and use them on his new grill. He said he doesn't want those old dirty things on his new grill, so I grabbed them.

    I tried to clean them up and they are filthy after 5 years of gathering everything in the slots. I've tried scraping the slots with a chisel but that is a long and tedious job. What can I do to clean these or get them back to something I would be glad to use cooking and eating from?

    Please help! I've soaked them in water and it did loosen up some of it and scraped that off, but these are pretty caked and it's pretty thick!! PLEASE, PLEASE!

    Soak, scrape, scrub, heat, repeat.


      Soak in Simple Green. Use the heavy mix instructions. let them soak for many hours. Then scrub them. Might need a second soak, but this really works well on GGs.


        I’d soak them overnight in Simple Green or Dawn Dishwashing soap. If you have a pressure washer use that the next day.


          What others are saying above and add some elbow grease.


            Heat, Brush, Heat... Done. I do not understand the need to spit shine grill grates.


            • Stuey1515
              Stuey1515 commented
              Editing a comment
              100% agree mate, the only part of my gasser that gets cleaned is the outside. Heat 'em up, knock off the dags and grill away

            Don't use Easy-Off Oven Cleaner it will make the PBR taste bad.
            Last edited by bbqLuv; January 27, 2021, 05:16 PM.


            • ComfortablyNumb
              ComfortablyNumb commented
              Editing a comment
              Not recommended. Unscented or otherwise.

            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              Do NOT do this. It will eat up the anodizing and possibly pit the aluminum.
              Also, do NOT drink PBR!

            • bbqLuv
              bbqLuv commented
              Editing a comment
              When you clean them, leave the patina, the seasoning, the non-stick coating that develops.
              Black is beautiful.

            Welcome to The Pit.


              I assume we are talking about the Grillgrates from grillgrate.com? If so, they are not cast, but extruded. I will assume that is what we are talking about. If it is something cast, then ignore everything else I say.

              Going on the assumption these are the Grillgrates from GrillGrate.com, personally I would avoid an actual chisel - you don't want to dig below the anodizing. The suggestions of long soaks in heavy duty cleaners is pretty good. I would find a plastic tub or something big enough to put them down in.

              I've got sets that are 5+ years old in some cases, and find that they stay "clean enough" if I use the Grillgrate "grate tool" spatula thing to shovel out burned stuff from the last cook from the valleys during the preheat of each cook. Alternative you can do a burn off at the end of your cook, and clean it at the end. Usually I am eating by then, and I just turn the grill off.

              For routine maintenance of them, i.e. every cook, my process is:
              1. Preheat grill for 15 minutes on high heat (gas or charcoal) with the lid closed, to burn off leftovers on the Grillgrates.
              2. Use a scraper to scrape the tops of the rails after the preheat. I use the "detailing" tool Grillgrate.com sells, but it looks just like a metal paint scraper with a longer wooden handle.
              3. If super dirty, I use a brush (the "Grate valley" brush) to brush the valleys. I am not a huge fan of that brush, as it wears out after a year or two.
              4. Use the grate tool to shovel out the burned crap in the valleys, and throw it out into the yard for the dogs to sniff at.
              5. Wipe the rails with an oiled wad of paper towels before tossing my meat down. This also serves to wipe off any remaining debris.
              6. After cook, I just turn the grill off and go inside, and repeat the steps above on the nexts cook.

              My "in depth" cleaning of them involves:
              1. Periodically remove from the grill, scrape both sides with a scraper (the "detailing" tool), brush the valley, under running water.
              2. Use a scraper or the detailing tool to clean out the groove where the panels engage with each other.
              3. Use the scraper on the sides of the rails, to get crap that the brush didn't get where the valley meets the rail.
              4. Rinse off.
              5. Put back on grill, and let drip dry, or heat the grill up to dry.

              That's about it. For what you are seeing, I think the long soaks are warranted, as they were neglected. If you scrape the rails and shovel out the valleys before/after each cook, they won't build up like you are seeing again. I would call/email Grillgrate.com support before using oven cleaner. Not sure it is safe on aluminum.


              ***DO NOT USE OVEN CLEANER*** Go read more info on cleaning here:


              Also they recommend NOT doing burn off after each cook. That is probably why I don't, and my Grillgrates are still in good shape. I just clean them during preheat. If storing off the grill for a while, I scrape/brush/soap/rinse while they are cold.
              Last edited by jfmorris; January 27, 2021, 01:48 PM.


              • Stuey1515
                Stuey1515 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks John, it was annoying me why these are referred to as cast. Even the local BBQ shop owner said this and it was clear as a bell that they are extruded.

              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Stuey1515 I don't think I've ever seen GrillGrate.com refer to them as cast - only the article about them here on the free side of AR says that. We really ought to get that corrected.

              So I got to wondering about a self cleaning oven. I went to GG website, and here is their recommendations.

              How To Clean, Care for & Season Your GrillGrates

              BTW, I'm not one to offer recommendations. I keep mine about as clean as your son, difference is that I would go ahead and use them on a new grill. (Go ahead Panhead John and say it, "CN is cheap and dirty.")


              • Panhead John
                Panhead John commented
                Editing a comment
                ComfortablyNumb is a cheap and dirty ........

              • FireMan
                FireMan commented
                Editing a comment
                I second that emotion!
                BTW, it’s called piling on. 👍
                Last edited by FireMan; January 27, 2021, 02:53 PM.



                Soaking then power washing sounds like it would work.

                PS I had a set and really really hated cleaning them
                Last edited by Old Glory; January 27, 2021, 04:17 PM.


                  Simple Green can cause embrittlement in aluminum. Use with caution.


                  • FireMan
                    FireMan commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Embrittlement, wow! Sent me to my dictionary. 👀

                  IFindZeroBadCooks posted about this cleaning tool . Sounded so good, I ordered one and will try it on my GrillGrates, along with the other suggestions in this thread.


                    The tool works, and is a lot of work. The best way I’ve found to use it is to scrape down one side and then pull on the handle to lever it to across the bottom. Very tedious and you have to go all the way from one side to the other the spin the grate 180 and go back. That’s for the carbon that won’t come off after soaking and brushing and power washing.

                    Once they are clean the tool really works best for spots. The majority of the time I keep my grates flipped upside down and use the as a flat surface and the tool makes quick work of cleaning that side of them.



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