Do Stainless Steel Grills Rust?

This article discusses if stainless steel grills rust. Outdoor stainless steel grills are exposed to harsh conditions that include heat and the weather, which makes them vulnerable to corrosion and damages. Depending on the strength, type, and surface of the stainless steel, it can develop discoloration, rust, and damages over time.

Do stainless steel grills rust? While stainless steel grills are less prone to rusting, prolonged use and exposure to harsh conditions will eventually make them rust. However, as compared to other regular steel, stainless steel is more rust-resistant because they are made of 12 to 30% chromium. Chromium is the one responsible for making stainless steel rust-resistant.

How do you keep the stainless steel grill from rusting? What are the reasons why stainless steel grills rust? How long do stainless steel grills last? These are some of the questions that we will discuss. Read the rest of the article below for more tips and information.

Do stainless steel grills rust
Image by RitaE from Pixabay

Why Do Stainless Steel Grills Rust?

Many factors cause stainless steel grills to rust, including superficial rust, extremely high temperatures, and insufficient chromium concentration. Let us find out more about these factors and how they can make stainless steel grill rust below.

Inadequate Chromium Concentration

When washing the surface of the stainless steel, you might have accidentally scratched it by using a harsh cleaning tool or applying too much pressure while scrubbing. As a result, there could be spots where small fragments of wire or steel wool are lodged. The chromium concentration in these spots is less than 12% and has failed to protect the stainless steel. To avoid this problem, do not use harsh cleaning tools when cleaning the grill. If your grill is already scratched, scrub off all the rust and use a solvent for cleaning the rust that remains.

Superficial Rust

This refers to the rust that has settled on the stainless steel externally. This can likely occur if you are using cleaning tools or utensils that are not made of stainless steel. You will notice that when water runs over the rusted items, it creates a reddish-brown deposit of rust on the stainless steel. To get rid of superficial rusts, wipe them off with a solvent. Solvents can prevent the rust from lodging into the steel and causing more damage.

High Temperatures

Another reason why a stainless steel grill can rust is because of high temperature. This is especially true if you have a super-powered grill. As the temperature of stainless steel reaches 750-1550°F, the carbon and chromium in the stainless steel will bond together and lessen the percentage of chromium molecules in the steel. As a result, the stainless steel will lose its rust resistance and can lead to corrosion.

How to Keep Stainless Steel Grill from Rusting?

Keep your stainless steel grill from rusting by keeping it clean and drying it thoroughly. You can also invest in a grill cover or you can store your grill in your garage to protect it from harsh weather conditions.

Clean the Grill

After every use, clean the grill with the use of a brush to remove any grease, ash, and food residue that gets stuck into the grill. Moreover, you need to clean the inside and outside of the grill thoroughly once a month depending on how often you use the grill. When cleaning, use warm water, a soft sponge, and soap or dishwashing liquid. If you have gas grills that are designed with burners with holes that can easily get clogged with food residue, make sure to clean the burners as well. You can check out this article that we have shared that discusses if you should clean the grill after every use. We have shared cleaning tips that you can refer to.

Dry the Grill Thoroughly

After cleaning the grill, make sure that it is thoroughly dry. Take note that the water that gets collected inside the grill can cause rust. Do not forget to check out all the areas of the grill where water might stick in. Wipe the grill dry using a soft cloth or paper towels. If you have a gas grill, warm them up over ten to fifteen minutes so you can guarantee that there is no water left in the grill.

Season the Grates

Depending on the type of grate that you have, you can rub oil into the grill after every cooking. This will help preserve the cast-iron grates. You can also rub steel grates with oil. If your grill grate is coated with porcelain, there is no need to rub oil into them after every use. This is because their surface effectively protects from corrosion provided that it is not damaged.

Invest in a Grill Cover

Do not leave your grill exposed to harsh weather conditions. Bear in mind that humidity is the enemy of your grill. Invest in a grill cover if you want to prolong your grill’s life and make sure that it will not get affected by rust. A grill cover will protect the grill from harsh weather conditions like rain and snow. Make sure to keep the grill under a cover when you are not using it. You can find a wide array of grill covers to choose from.

Store the Grill Indoors

If you have a small or portable grill, it is best to keep it in your garage or an indoor place that is safe from humidity or weather conditions. If you live near the ocean or in an area with heavy rainfall, you should use a grill cover or keep the grill in your garage. No matter what material the grill is made of, it will get damaged and rust when you leave it exposed to unfavorable conditions.

✅ Video – How to Protect Stainless Steel Grill from Rusting

9mmsteve shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses how to protect a stainless steel grill from rusting. In the video below, how to prevent the stainless steel grill from the elements is discussed. He also provided tips on how to choose the best stainless steel grill. Watch the video for more information.

What is the Best Stainless Steel Grill?

The most durable models on the market are considered the best stainless steel grills. These grills are ideal because they are not prone to rusting no matter how much you use them. While stainless steel grills are not that good in heat generation, they are excellent when it comes to heat retention. Moreover, the best stainless steel grills can withstand different weather conditions. As compared to cast iron gills, they barely require oiling. They are made from high-quality materials and are also durable.

How Long Will a Stainless Steel Grill Last?

A high-quality stainless steel grill can last for about 5 to 15 years. How long they will last usually depends on how often they are used and the care and maintenance that you provide. If you dedicate regular maintenance and cleaning to your stainless steel grills, they can last even longer than the allotted time. Furthermore, Stainless steel grills are durable as compared to other models on the market. They can endure harsh conditions and are also good at retaining impressive amounts of heat.

Should I Season a Stainless Steel Grill?

Make sure to season the stainless steel grill from time to time so that they continue to operate in their best condition. Regardless of how often you are using the grill, you need to maintain it so that it can last a long time. Bear in mind that seasoning the grill is part of the maintenance that will prolong its life. Seasoning also makes sure that any grease or food residue will not stick into the grill which helps prevent rusting. We have also shared this article that discusses if porcelain grill grates rust. You can check out the article and compare the difference between stainless steel and porcelain grills.

Can I Leave Stainless Steel Grill Outside?

You can leave the stainless steel outside as long as it is protected from harsh conditions. It is recommended that you use a grill cover for outdoor grills. Expensive and higher-end grills are made of good quality 300 series, non-magnetic stainless steel which is very durable. Stainless steel is rust-resistant and it will take a particularly acidic environment or extreme heat before it will start to corrode.  Furthermore, stainless steel grills can withstand any weather without an issue. If you use a grill cover, see to it that you constantly check the grill and air it out to ensure no moisture is trapped inside. You can also check out this article titled, can I leave my gas or charcoal grill outside? We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Do Grill Covers Prevent Rust?

Grill covers can protect the grill from outdoor conditions but they will not completely prevent rust. This is because moisture can still get underneath the grill cover. Over time, the moisture accumulates and will begin to rust the grill. It is considered a good idea to use a grill cover, but it is not the only thing that you should do to prevent rust from appearing. You can also check out this article that discusses what kind of grill does not rust. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.


In this article, we have discussed if stainless steel grills rust. We have found out that while stainless steel grills are more rust-resistant as compared to other types of grills, they are still vulnerable to rust. No matter what type of grill you have, it is considered an investment that you want to last for many years. How long a grill lasts will have to depend on the material that it is made of and how it was built. Clean your grill after every use and do regular checkups, so that in case rust appears, you can quickly fix it. Thank you for reading!

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