Cleaning Stainless Grates

johnMay 22, 2001

I have the Bakers&Chefs/Member's Mark grill from Sam's.

A great grill, hands down the best I could find for the money and I looked extensively.

Anyway, the first meal was just plain old chicken with BBQ sauce and it was good. Having never used stainless grates before, I find them difficult to scrape clean with a stainless grate brush and having brushed canola oil lightly on the grates before putting the chicken on.

What chemicals can be uses on stainless? Can you put the stainless grates in your self-cleaning oven?

Does anyone have any tips for getting these stainless grates reasonably clean? Please feel free to email me and advise!

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I have owned a couple gas grill in my time,I own a small pressure washer. i pressure wash my whole grill twice a summer. some times i heat it up first and use oven cleaner.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 8:14PM
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If you want them to remain shiny after cleaning then don't put them in the self-cleaning oven. This will discolour them. On the other hand they will be very clean. I clean mine two ways. Turn the heat to high on both sides of your grill and place a double thickness of foil over the surface of the grids and close the cover. Leave for about 15 to 20 minutes and turn off. When cooled just brush away the white ash that forms. Another way is to place the grills in a plastic garbage bag and pour amonia in to the bag and seal. I usually do this in the bathtub. Leave overnite and in the morning the grease and build up will wipe right off. Wash with soapy water and dry. This will also maintain the shine on the grates. I also do this with the grids in my oven.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 2:58PM
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Lightly coat grate with veg. oil prior to cooking will help.
Turn on high for 10 mins. after cooking is done.
Let grill cool, then use wire brush.
If you use straight bbq sauce during cook, then the sugar will be a tough one to clean up, as it will caramelize and burn.
Try adding 1 cup beer and 1 cup vinegar to 1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce to make a "mop".
No need to put "mop" on chicken halves or qtrs. until it has been on for 45 minutes.
Then every 10-15 mins. til done.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2002 at 3:02PM
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I use the pressure washer on mine as well but if I don't feel like dragging the pressure washer out just take to the local do-it-yourself car wash for a $1.50 it will be spotless, or I have read that you can put them in a plastic trash bag with ammonia soaked paper towles let soak overnight and they will come clean also good luck.......

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 8:10PM
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Today I put my grids in the self cleaning oven. Everything came off and was turned to ash.
However, they did loose the original shine.
They still worked fine. Right after the oven cleaning I rinsed them off, Oiled them and made my first grilled pizza. The dough didn't stick at all.
I hope I can still use this procedure and not ruin them.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2002 at 9:29PM
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My grates on my new Virco are trashed! Completely filthy with stuff that will not brush off easily. I cranked the grill and do not get the debris turning to ash. Perhaps I didn't leave it on long enough but I thought I did.

Can I use oven cleaner to get this back to normal?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2002 at 6:46PM
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Oven cleaner should not hurt anything except maybe make them a little dull. I have had good success just using a wire brush before I cook each time. I just turn the burners on high 5-10 minutes then brush them down. They are still a little black, but they are smooth and the big chunks are off. If you would like to see a picture of my grates go to and navigate to "My Virco" and you will see the pics. I have also heard that dipping your wire or scrub brush in water while the grates are hot also helps because of the steam. I have yet to try that though. Good luck. Let me know what works.


Here is a link that might be useful: More Virco Stuff

    Bookmark   June 14, 2002 at 7:14PM
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Alright Meagain,

You need a stainless bristle brush. There are some options here: Home Depot sells them with a 3M Scotcbrite pad thing on one side and the stainless bristles on the other. About $7 or so. Or, you can look in the paint dept. for a stainless bristled scraper type brush.

You need to get that Virco up to it's hottest tempature and keep it there for a few minutes. Take a small pail of water and dip the brush in it and scrub your grates. This will "steam" much of the crud away and your scrubbing will get most of the rest of it. Let the grill stay on high to burn the residual.

When it cools, "paint" a light coat of corn, peanut or canola oil on the grates and another light coat just before you put meat, fish etc... on it. Do NOT be tempted by the ease of spraying Pam or similar. The lecithin in the Pam will brown your stainless to the point where you will never get it out.

lpsage(aka dipsage)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2002 at 3:25PM
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Yup - I just did this before you posted. You're right - it works. It's pretty darn clean now. I think I didn't 'cook' it enough before because I was not wanting to waste propane before we got the 2nd tank (just purchased it).

Going to do ribs tonight. That's what messed it up in the first place. Still don't know if I should cook them on the grill or in the oven - then finish them on the grill.

Might put them on a sheet pan & simulate the oven. I need a certified grill expert!!!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2002 at 6:12PM
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A lazy cleaning method that works for me.

You can buy grill cleaner for $1.50 a bottle at Walmart. It is in the section with their gas bbqs. This is nothing special, just lye based product like Easy-off, but Easy-off is about $4 a bottle. Spray your rack and flame tamers, leave it for about 10 minutes and everything comes off with very little scrubbing except the worst crud. Repeat, and the worst crud comes off. No discoloration that I noticed. There is also an orange-based/citric degreaser in the cleaning sections of most stores. This works almost as well and is not as caustic. Good for quick cleanup if you don't need it sparkling new. I just do a cursory cleanup everytime I grill, and when people start compaining about too many onions on their burgers (when I have not used any) then I figure its time for a deep clean ( ha ;-)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 1:21PM
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I posted this in the Member's Mark area Part 2 (last entry) and thought it might be helpful here.

In short, I got the stainless steel grills absolutely looking like new with about 30 minutes of work.

I'm writing to share a cleaning tip. I looked at my grill the other day and decided to do a thorough cleaning. The outside on the top had lots small spots where grease particles and dust had burned onto the stainless steel. Also I had earlier found that when I scrubbed a couple of spots where tree sap had stuck, I left marks on the stainless. Solution: I happened to have a flat nylon scrubbing pad with a handle and a plastic back. The scrubbing material is pretty heavy duty. I sprayed the back of the top with WD-40 and then carefully, where no one would see it, scrubbed in the direction of the grain (across) with the pad. Voila! It came clean and looked beautiful. Then I did the entire top and it looks better than new. Even the earlier marks I had made were eliminated. I was surprised that it didn't mark the stainless and pleased with how it looked.

For the inside grills, I soaked them in water and soap and used the same pad for scrubbing them. It did not get them clean so I resorted to a stainless steel scrub pad. (I know, the advise is not to use these but it was the only thing that worked.) They came sparkling clean. I oiled them with vegetable oil and put them back on. In the meantime I cleaned the ceramic flame blockers and looked at the burners. No real rust problems at all. But then I live in a dry climate in Tucson, with a normal of 15% humidity.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 2:39PM
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I tried the suggestion about using the aluminum foil and it made clean up a breeze.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 8:32PM
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My grates aren't stainless, but I used bealcathy's method: Covered them with ammonia-soaked paper towels, wrapped them in plastic, let them sit overnight. They were heavily, heavily coated and they cleaned up well. A pumice stone stick also was good for scrubbing, worth the $3 purchase.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 9:40AM
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