Burner Maintenance

Maintaining your Stainless Steel H Burner

Many people think that stainless steel will never rust. However, rust can form on stainless steel gas grill burners for several different reasons. Because burners operate at such high temperatures (typically 300 to 650 degrees Fahrenheit) and are subject to drippings from cooking meat (corrosive due to their moisture content and acidity), they are subject to rust. Weather conditions involving large amounts of moisture, rain, or salty air can also cause rust to form. Over time, areas where grease can drip and accumulate, such as the seams that line the burner compartment, or the flame holes, may become thin and corroded. When the burner becomes significantly corroded, or ‘rusted out’, gas escapes through the corroded areas, creating ‘hot spots’ and making it difficult or impossible to cook food properly.

But you can prolong the life of your burner by following a few simple steps.

Signs that you need to clean your burner

  • Erratic flame pattern
  • The flame is low even when the burner control knob is set at HIGH
  • Flames do not run the whole length of the burner

Before you get started on cleaning your burners make sure you have the right tools. It can be a bit messy so you might want to have a pair of gloves. You should also have a wire brush, pipe cleaner or thin wire (for cleaning the flame holes), a putty knife, newspaper, and some cleaning rags or paper towels.

 

Wire Brush
A wire brush can be used to lightly brush off debris and rust from your burner
These items can be used to clean the flame ports on your burner

TIP:

While you have the bottom of the aluminum casting exposed, take the opportunity to clean it the best you can by removing any gunk out with a putty knife, garden tool, etc.

 

When do you need to replace the burner?

Not all burners that are showing some wear and tear need to be replaced. For example, surface rust alone does not require replacement. In most cases, you just need to do a little routine maintenance such as cleaning the burner with a wire brush to remove the rust.

The following images show burners that need to be CLEANED.

Burner that needs to be cleaned
Remove the rust build-up on this burner by using a wire brush
Burner Flame Port that needs to be unclogged
Unclog the flame ports with a thin wire. Ports should all be a uniform size.

The following images show burners that need to be REPLACED.

Burner needs to be replaced
Corrosion on the burner has eaten away at the stainless steel causing a hole. This burner needs to be replaced.
Burner needs to be replaced
Corrosion has also eaten away at this burner. Replacement is the only option here.
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