Is Rust on a BBQ Bad for You?

It is no secret that BBQs get a lot of use during the summertime. After all, grilling is the easiest way to cook up steaks, chicken, hamburgers, and more. Unfortunately, many people have likely experienced grill rusting over time. Such a scenario can be frustrating and a hassle to clean up. More importantly, though, is it safe? And is rust on a bbq bad for you?

Ingesting rust that got stuck to the food from a BBQ grill will not negatively affect your health, but doing it continuously for a long time might eventually become a problem for your intestinal tract. It will not also give you tetanus, but to be safe, ensure that you clean off the rust from a BBQ always, especially if you keep it outdoors and use it frequently.

When your barbecue has been stored away through the winter months, it’s a good idea to give it a spring cleaning and check for any signs of rust. In most situations, your barbecue is fine to use if it has rusted, as long as all of the rust is removed before you fire it up again.

You scrape or brush away all rust from the grill before using it. You can read further on this page to learn more.

Can A Rusty BBQ Give You Tetanus?

No, you cannot get tetanus from cooking or eating food prepared with a rusty BBQ grill. Tetanus is caused by a bacterium known as Clostridium tetani, and it mostly lives on damp soil. But if it ever finds its way to your BBQ grill, know that it cannot stand the high temperature of the environment around the grill, hence it will die off.

Can A Rusty BBQ Give You Tetanus

How To Remove Rust From A BBQ?

Using a barbecue grill will always leave some food particles on the surface of the grill, and leaving these food particles uncleared will always lead to the formation of rust on the grill.

How To Remove Rust From A BBQ

Here are a few options you can choose from to clean off rust from a BBQ grill:

  • If the rust isn’t much, use soap and water to get rid of the minor rust on the barbecue grill.
  • Scrub the barbecue grill with a soft-bristled brush and coat it with baking soda, then wash off with water and rinse.
  • Rub some vinegar mixed with salt on the grill, and use a bristle brush to remove rust stains after some time.
  • Use commercial non-toxic and water-based rust removers to remove rust.
  • Use sandpaper to remove stubborn rust from the surface of the BBQ grill.

Note that this method can scratch the surface of the grill, so should be used only when all other ones did not give the desired result.

How To Prevent Rust On A BBQ?

Nobody will love to eat food that has a rusty taste, so keeping a cooking ware like a BBQ grill rust-free is advisable.

How To Prevent Rust On A BBQ

Here are some tips on how you can prevent rust on a BBQ grill:

  • Cover the BBQ grill with a fitted cover after use. You can use a grill mat or a mat that fits the grill properly. Alternatively, you can also cover it with nylon.Doing this will keep off moisture and other elements that cause rust away from having contact with the grill, thereby preventing rust.
  • Check signs of rust on your BBQ grill regularly during winter, and remove them immediately if there’s any, to avoid the grill getting damaged.
  • Cleaning food grime that is usually left on the grill after every use will reduce the risk of rust to a high extent. Doing this is not only hygienic but also helps to remove food particles that would have made the grill start rusting.
  • After cleaning the BBQ grill after every use, ensure that you coat or season it with vegetable oil using a paper towel, especially if it’s a grill that is made from cast iron which is always prone to rust.Oil is a natural water repellent and will keep rust away from the grill for as long as possible.
  • Ensure that you properly store your BBQ grill, especially if you will not use it for a long time, to avoid rust.A good way to do this is to keep it indoors, or any place where moisture cannot touch it. If you live in an area with a high humidity level and are prone to snow, you need to implement this option, to keep your BBQ grill safe from rust.
  • Also, you can get a rust-free barbecue grill that will not allow moisture to cause rust on it. Example: the porcelain-enameled grill.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Is Inhaling Rust Dust Toxic?

Inhaling rust dust from iron, steel, and cobalt for a long time will expose you to a higher risk of developing chronic lung diseases like black lung and siderosis, a medical condition where iron deposits are building up in the lungs.

Is It Safe to Cook on a Rusty Cookware?

Using cookware that is rusty or contains rust particles to cook is not advisable, especially if it is a pan or pot that you use regularly. Cooking with it might not give you tetanus or any health hazard, but it can change the taste or flavor of your food.

Can the Lungs Be Cleansed from Rust Dust?

Yes, hot water and honey are a great mixture that can help detoxify the body system and fight the effects of pollutants like rust dust.

Other things like turmeric and ginger blended drinks, green tea, cinnamon water, etc. can also help cleanse off rust dust from the lungs.

Final Words

If you must cook with a rusty BBQ grill, do that sparingly, like once in a while, and ensure that you clean it properly after use. Keeping your barbecue grill away from moisture and the weather which are major causes of corrosion will prolong its lifespan and will make it serve you for a long time without getting rusty.

Also, seasoning your BBQ grill will slow down the rust formation process. It might take more time to do, but the benefits are numerous.

And if you decide to purchase a new grill altogether, you can choose either the stainless steel grill or the porcelain-enameled type because they are more durable, and will serve you better. But remember to check the pros and cons before you go ahead to make the purchase.

Evan Cooper

Evan Cooper

Hi, I’m Evan Cooper, the founder and an editor of this site, Doesitrust. I’m a chemical engineer and working in a rust-eliminating paint manufacturing company. Besides this profession, I’m a researcher and blogger.

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