• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Rusty Grates - How to Repair?


Meat Mopper
Joined Nov 6, 2014
I have an MES 40 that I'm trying to fix up - and I've finished all the wiring, now it's time to work on the inside. I'm not going to be using the internal probe, and I've removed the chip tray so I can use a mailbox mod. However, the last thing I need to figure out is how to fix/repair the completely rusted grates. I've tried to soak in a water-vinegar mix, and it helped to remove some of the rust, but a lot of it remained, and since I haven't been able to work on it for 6+ months, the grates have all completely rusted again. Any suggestion on how to fix the rusted grates, or do I need to purchase brand new ones? I've read the MES 40 grates are chrome plated - is it even possible to fix these so I can use them again?

Steve H

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 18, 2018
If they're in that bad of shape. You could buy new grates. Or, just clean them up as best as possible. And use grill mats on them.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Dec 30, 2018
I also bought a used smoker with the same issue as your having. The plating is gone, otherwise you wouldn’t have rust. SteveH has you covered.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 20, 2013
I agree with getting new grates. But if money is tight you can always soak the rusty ones in CLR. Just make sure to wash the REALLY well afterwards. LOL. Then you'll have to keep them oiled up to prevent the rust from returning. Instead of oiling them, you can always sand them down and use a high heat paint to resurface them. If you do, you still might want to use grill mats with them--not sure about that.
I have a couple of extra grates that aren't is great shape, so I just throw a Frog Mat on them when I use them.


Smoke Blower
Joined Apr 25, 2019
The best solution to try is mixing water and toilet bowl cleaner, the one that has acid, and soaking them in there. The acid reacts with the rust, consuming it, and will remove all traces of rust. Now the craters will stay as it only reacts with the rust. Make sure you oil them up after rinsing and fire up the smoker to season them.

This is how my company removes rust from our production parts that are stored in our warehouse. We produce million and millions of specific washers. Some rust when stored for some time even with desiccant bags in the. Works great!



Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined Jun 11, 2015
New grates would be expensive check the price. Cleaning and oil is the best idea just make sure you use a food grade oil.



Joined Nov 16, 2020
I have recently dealt with this refurbishing an old grill. The grates were rusted up quite a bit. Now, they are cast iron, but should work with metals used in most grates. You will need a stiff wire brush (one that kind of looks like a tooth brush. MUST be stiff), box of brillo pads or a pack of steel wool, Ajax or Dawn dish soap, oil to season (I prefer to use lard), a bit of time and a lot of elbow grease. This does take much less time than soaking, because you will still have to scrub it. Basically you are going to clean it like you would with a new unseasoned cast iron cookware or a new wok to remove the shipping oil. It will take a bit of time and patience. It will take the rust off. you will need to wash it frequently. I recommend using a utility sink. Then, when the rust is gone, season it as you would cast iron. If you keep it seasoned after every use, you shouldn't have problems with rust OR food sticking. Because you won't know if you need to replace them unless you try to clean them first. There will be pitting, but mine are working great. For me it was worth the time and effort I put into it. Best of luck with your project:emoji_thumbsup:


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Feb 4, 2019
Pm me, I have a few New unused and we can doubtless world something out.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Feb 4, 2019
Really, if you need some mes40 grates, send me a pm. I have a bunch laying around that I’m not doing anything with, and I’d love to get you up and running.

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.