I cleaned and painted the BBQ this weekend and replaced the burner. (Burners seem to last me about three years.)
I scrubbed the grate, but it still looked rough, so I threw it in the oven and ran the self-cleaning cycle. It came out looking terrific.
- Do a basic cleaning first. During the self-cleaning cycle my freshly-scrubbed grate smoked enough to set off the fire alarm. It was no big deal – I just needed to open a few windows and turn on the exhaust vent – but a really muck-encrusted grate might catch fire.
- Line the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil to catch all of the debris. When I removed the grate there was a shower of ash and rust flakes.
- After the self-clean I scrubbed the grate outside with the wire brush I always use to clean it. That got rid of the leftover ash and loose rust.
P.S. This also works for cast iron cookware, steel baking sheets, and pretty much anything else made of iron or steel. I haven’t tried it with aluminum and I wouldn’t try it with any kind of non-stick coating like Teflon.