Why Does the Bottom of My Grill Rust Out? (Easy Fixes)

Do you love grilling up juicy burgers, succulent chicken, and savory steaks? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us relish cooking outside. But what happens when your trusty grill shows signs of wear and tear? Specifically, what do you do when the bottom of your grill starts to rust?

If you’re like most grill enthusiasts, the thought of rust can be downright alarming. But fear not! This article will show you how to fix a rusted grill bottom and get your grill back in tip-top shape. I’ll walk you through the entire process, step by step, so you can get back to grilling up your favorite dishes without any worries.

So, don’t let a rusted grill bottom get in the way of your love for outdoor cooking. Keep reading to find out how to fix the problem and enjoy delicious meals all season long!

Why Does the Bottom of My Grill Rust Out?

Your grill bottom can rust out for several reasons. One of the main culprits is exposure to moisture. If your grill is left outside and not covered, rain or dew can settle on the metal and cause it to rust. Additionally, high humidity levels can also contribute to rust formation.

Another factor that can lead to rust is heat exposure. The high heat can cause the metal to expand and contract, leading to cracking and weakening over time.

This can then create small openings in the metal where moisture can enter, accelerating the rusting process.

Additionally, food particles, grease, and other debris can build up on the metal if you don’t properly clean your grill after each use. This buildup can trap moisture and create an ideal environment for rust to form.

Besides, the type of material your grill is made of can also play a role in rust formation. Some metals are more resistant to corrosion than others.

Read more: Grill, Don’t Rust! 5 Best Anti-Corrosion Grills for Coastal Areas

Assessing the Damage

Before fixing a rusted grill bottom, assessing the damage is important to determine the best course of action.

1. The first step is to identify the extent of the rust damage. This can be done by inspecting the grill for any signs of rust, such as discoloration, pitting, or holes.

Use a wire brush or sandpaper to lightly scrape the affected areas to get a better idea of the extent of the damage.

2. Once you have identified the damage, the next step is determining if the grill can be fixed or needs replacing. If the rust damage is minimal and the grill is still structurally sound, it may be possible to repair the rusted areas and continue using the grill.

However, if the rust damage is extensive and has weakened the metal to the point where it is no longer safe to use, it may be time to consider replacing the grill.

Remember that using a grill with a rusted-out bottom can be dangerous, as it may not support the weight of the grill and the food being cooked (depending on your grill design). Additionally, rusted metal can break down and contaminate food.

Moreover, according to a study by the New Jersey Department, exposure to iron oxide fumes can cause metal fume fever, a flu-like illness, and other health hazards over time.

Therefore, if the rust damage on your grill bottom is significant, it’s best to take caution and replace the grill rather than attempting to repair it.

How to Fix Your Rusted Grill Bottom

If your grill’s bottom is rusted out and still fixable, here are the steps to follow:

1. Dissemble the Grill

The first step is to remove the detachable parts to make handling the next steps easier. This disassembly will depend on your grill design. If you haven’t taken it off before, see the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Removing Any Leftovers

The second step is to remove any remaining food particles, grease, and debris that may have accumulated on the grill. This is because any leftover residue can affect the effectiveness of the repair and may cause the rust to spread further.

Use a scraper or spatula to remove any larger pieces of debris on the grate. Be careful when cleaning porcelain-coated or stainless grates, use a soft brush to avoid damaging their surfaces. And then wipe the surface of the grill with a damp cloth to remove any smaller particles.

3. Cleaning the Grill Bottom

Deep cleaning the grill bottom is a crucial step in the repair process. It removes any rust, dirt, or debris that can interfere with the next steps and prevents new rust from developing in the future.

Use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove as much rust as possible from the grill bottom.

4. Removing Rust from the Grill Bottom

There are two ways to effectively clean rust off the grill bottom. Choose the method that best suits the grill’s condition and design.

Method 1: Using a Rust Converter

A rust converter is a chemical solution that transforms rust into a more stable compound, making it easier to remove. Begin by applying the rust converter to the surface of the grill bottom with a roller or sprayer.

Then, allow the rust converter to dry completely before moving on to the next step. This method is suitable for non-removable parts.

Method 2: Using Baking Soda or a Rust Remover

To use baking soda, mix one cup of dish soap with 1/4 cup of baking soda in a large container or sink. Fill the container or sink with hot water, enough to submerge the grill bottom.

Soak the grill bottom in the solution for several hours or overnight. Alternatively, you can use a rust remover product designed to dissolve rust. This method is suitable for removable parts.

After soaking or applying the rust converter, sand the rusted areas to create a smooth surface. Rinse the grill bottom thoroughly with water and dry it completely.

5. Paint the Surface

Apply heat-resistant paint or enamel to the rusted bottom. The paint will protect it from rust and corrosion and make it look like new.

How to Fix a Hole in The Rusted Grill Bottom

If the bottom of your grill is badly damaged, it’s best to replace it. However, if it’s just a small hole or, for some reason, you don’t want to replace it, here’s how to patch the hole so you can continue using your grill for a while longer.

1. Clean the Grill

Before you start repairing, remove any debris, grease, food particles, and rust from the grill, around the hole, with the steps above, except for applying anti-rust paint.

2. Cut a Metal Piece

Use a metal cutter to cut a piece slightly larger than the hole. This will ensure the metal piece can cover the hole entirely, preventing heat and smoke from escaping.

Make sure to use a metal cutter appropriate for the thickness of the metal piece you’re cutting. Once you have the metal piece, ensure it’s the right size. If the metal piece is too big, trim it down.

3. Sand the Metal Piece

Use coarse grit sandpaper to remove rough edges, then switch to finer grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface. This step is crucial to ensure that the metal piece fits perfectly over the hole without causing any damage to the grill.

Once the edges of the metal piece are smooth, wipe it down with a clean cloth to remove any debris or dust.

4. Drill Holes in the Metal Piece and The Grill

Using a drill, make two or three holes in the metal piece and the grill bottom. The holes should be smaller than the sheet metal screw you’ll be using.

5. Secure the Metal Piece

Insert the sheet metal screw into one of the holes and tighten it until the metal piece is secured to the grill. Repeat this process for the other holes.

6. Check for Stability

Make sure the metal piece is securely attached to the grill by gently pushing on it. If it moves or wobbles, tighten the screws until it’s stable.

7. Applying Anti-Rust Paint

After the metal piece is secured, use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the area around the repaired hole. Then apply anti-rust paint.

You can watch the video below with similar steps.

How to Prevent the Bottom Of the Grill from Rusting

The bottom of the grill is susceptible to rusting due to exposure to moisture and high heat. Here are some tips on how to prevent it from rusting:

1. Clean The Grill Regularly

One of the most essential steps in preventing rust on the grill is to clean it regularly, after each use. Food particles and grease can accumulate on the grill and promote rust.

Use a grill brush or scraper to remove any debris and then clean with vinegar and baking soda.

2. Keep The Grill Dry

After cleaning the grill, dry it thoroughly before storing it. Moisture can accelerate rust formation, so it’s essential to keep the grill as dry as possible.

3. Use a Grill Cover

Covering your grill when it’s not in use can help protect it from the elements, including rain and humidity. Choose a cover that’s made from waterproof material and fits the grill properly.

4. Apply a Rust-Resistant Coating

A rust-resistant coating can help prevent rust from forming on the grill’s surface. Apply rust-resistant spray paint or enamel to the bottom of the grill, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Use a Drip Tray

Using a drip tray can help collect any excess grease or drippings from your food, preventing them from accumulating on the grill’s surface and causing rust.

6. Store the Grill in a Dry Place

When you’re not using the grill, store it in a dry place, such as a garage or shed. Avoid leaving it outside in the rain or snow, as this can promote rust formation.


Taking care of your grill is essential for both its performance and your safety. Proper maintenance, regular cleaning, and rust prevention techniques can extend the life of your grill and help you avoid costly repairs or replacements.

In case of a hole in the grill bottom, fixing it with a metal piece is a simple and cost-effective solution. However, replacing it with a new one is advisable if it is badly damaged.

And remember, before starting any repair, make sure to remove any debris or rust from the grill’s surface. So, get grilling and happy barbecuing!

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