How can I repair a rusted up barbeque?

After reading last week’s barbecue themed posts, Ali got in touch to ask about repairing a rusted up bbq:

The grill is rusty pretty much all over and there is a rust hole in the base too. My husband wants to throw it out and get another but I’d like to try fixing it first. Please give me some hope that the effort with a wire scrubber will be worth it!

A lot of barbecues at the cheaper end of the market have chrome-plated steel grills and once the chrome gets scratched or otherwise damaged, the exposed steel rusts really quickly. You might get all the rust off now but I’m not sure you’ll be able to keep it off in the future – anyone know any heat/food friendly way to protect it again? If it’s a cast iron grill – most expensive but not uncommon – then you should be able to de-rust it and protect it again like any cast iron pan/appliance.

As for the base, it depends on the size/location of the hole – a small one low down could be turned into a fat trap. Assuming it’s a kettle/barrel type bbq, you could strip it right back to metal (possibly worth doing all over in one go) and repaint it with a heat-proof metal paint (like stove paint) to reduce further rusting. However as someone who has spent far too long stripping metal recently, let me warn you, it’s not exactly a fun pastime.

If you don’t think it’s worth the effort to save this one, learn from this one’s untimely demise when you buy/care for your next one — look for one with a better grill or if it’s already a good one, protect it better in the first place, and don’t leave bbqs outside and uncovered in wet/moist weather.

Any further advice/suggestions?

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4 Responses to “How can I repair a rusted up barbeque?”


  1. Alexis says:

    I don’t know about repairing it but you might be able to “recycle” it by doing something like I did with our old grill – and turn it into a planter for salad leaves (lower picture in this post – http://hourofscampering.com/scampervlog/?p=755) It works great and I think I’ll get a few years out of it at least.

  2. cmdweb says:

    I like to line the inside of the firepan with tin foil to protect it from the heat and stop it holing as quickly.
    …does beg the question of what to do with the foil though…??

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