So, you bought a new shiny stainless steel grill because it looked great and because you figured that it was, well, stainless. Guess again. Not all stainless steel is created equally and just because they call it stainless doesn't mean it won’t stain, discolor or even rust. You need to use some prevention, cleaners and elbow grease if you're going to keep that stainless steel grill shiny and new looking.
Clean Your Grill: Even if you have a cover, you will still need to keep you grill clean. Grease and food particles will corrode even the highest quality stainless steel given enough time. This is particularly a problem as we tend to use more acidic marinades and sauces on the grill. These will kill your grill no matter how much money you spent on it. Now, nothing I say can get you to clean you grill on a regular basis, but think about how much you spent on that grill of yours. Now, divide that number by five. If your grill lasts five years (slightly more than average) this is the amount of money you spent on your grill per year. If you can increase the lifespan of your grill by only one year, you just cut the cost per year by 20 percent. Get the most out of your investment by cleaning your grill.
Cleaning Stainless Steel: When it comes to cleaning stainless steel you will need to remember that this material will scratch easily and when it does you’re either facing a power buffer or just living with it. So, never use steel wool or metal brushes or go against the grain when cleaning your grill. You also need to avoid using abrasive cleaning agents. Try kitchen appliance cleaners or stainless steel cleaners that you can buy in most stores. You can try appliance stores because they tend to know a little more about what they are selling. One cleaner we've tried is BullFrog Rust Remover. This stuff works as a cleaner and a protectant so it not only cleans your stainless steel, but helps keep it that way. Other than that, you should clean your grill with a soft cloth and a good quality non-abrasive cleaner. This really is about all you’ll need. There are stainless steel polishes, but remember than anything that leaves behind a film or finish will be subjected to the heat of your grill. Stainless steel polishes can discolor under intense heat and make your grill look worse, not better.
Now, stainless steel presents some additional challenges. The number one issue people have with stainless steel is that it discolors from heat. After a while you will notice a change in the color of some parts of the stainless steel, particularly in the lid. This discoloration is not something you can stop. You can minimize it by not over heating your grill or by letting it preheat for too long. Also, when you are done grilling leave the lid up for a few minutes to let the heat out of the cooking chamber. Other than that, it's something you'll have to live with whether you spent $500 or $5,000 on your grill.