A grill that has been burned and is open.

Stainless Does Rust – Barbecue Grill Rusting


On the average, the most common comment we hear is stainless steel cannot rust.

Stainless is actually a more “rust resistant” metal, but when exposed to high temperatures over periods of time from use. This will cause the chromium to rise to the surface and forms chromium carbides or a “burn off” of the chromium protective properties. That combined with acidic or nitric foods assist in the degrading of the stainless steel properties.

There are hundreds if not thousands of stainless steel recipes used for many different applications. The most common is 304 which contains chromium (18% min content), nickel (8% min. content) and are non-iron ingredients used to create a corrosion resistant material. However, the grades of all the metal composition can vary and will still qualify as a “304” stainless but may be a weakened grade of stainless.

Stainless steel is dependent on the oxide layer formed on its surface to be considered stainless.  Stainless steel should be named rust-resistant not rustproof. If the layer is compromised or is made of a weak metallurgical formula, it will rust or corrode. The better composition will give more resistance to rusting, and maintenance of your grill is very important to longevity.


Do NOT burn off your grill, as this is an old wives tale and over time causes rust to form on the grill cooking grids, firebox and grill lid interior.

Clean the grill when possible scrape, and wash the greases off the parts when the grill has been used frequently. If cooked and used infrequently, it is still important to remove the greases, as the food acids will start to degrade the stainless.

Never put foil over the cooking grids to burn off the food on the grates, this is a big no-no for a few reasons, one the rust that will start to form as the heat has nowhere to escape except through the front panel. This will heat up the wiring harness that light the grill burners, lamp assemblies and more than anything the rubber seals for the gas control valves. In burning up, the control valve seals will cause a leak and often time a fire inside the front control panel and possible the surrounding cabinetry. It can also cause a serious burn to hands and arms.

Pool Chemicals Storage is our biggest No, No around your grill, either in the cabinetry or on the counter top area. ALL pool chemicals should be stored in an outdoor plastic storage chest away from the grill area, if you have small children a lock is a great safety addition as well. We have over the years seen gas lines corroded, leaking into the cabinet space and could have easily caused an explosion from the leaking gas when the grill is ignited.

We recommend a small investment into a gas leak tester to be placed under the grill area and checked annually with your smoke detector battery change.

A Clean Grill Is A Healthy Grilling Experience!

Barbecue Grill Rusting 

Cleaning rust off grill grates 

Removing rust from BBQ grill