Emptying the burned coals from your Weber barbecue and finding a small amount of rust can be a little cause for concern. If the rust manages to eat its way all the way through the metal of the barbecue body, however, then vital cooking heat is going to escape out of this space. When rust is discovered, it is important you deal with it quickly so it doesn't become a problem too big to deal with.
If the rust you have found is only on the surface of the barbecue body, then you can try the ammonia rust removal method. You know it is surface rust if you run your finger across it and it feels smooth and flush with the rest of the body. If the rust has started to eat into the metal, you will feel the difference in levels as you run your finger across it.
Light a fire in the barbecue and allow it to burn for 30 minutes. This will allow the kettle body to heat up. Put the fire out and then let the barbecue cool. You want the barbecue to be warm rather than too hot to touch.
Combine four litres of warm water with one cup of ammonia in a bucket. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and then scrub the rust spot with the ammonia water and a scrubbing brush. Rinse off the area with cold water after the rust has come away, and give it plenty of time to air dry before using again. The combination of heat and ammonia changes the composition of the rust so it can be scrubbed away from the metal. Don't forget to make sure you always work in a well-ventilated area when working with ammonia.
The rust occurred because of moisture being left to sit on the inside of your Weber barbecue. There are a couple of ways you can prevent rust from happening again in the future:
- Remove the charcoal ashes regularly from the pit of the barbecue. The ashes can absorb excess moisture, and this moisture can lead to hidden rust growth beneath the ash.
- Apply a layer of vegetable oil or grease over the base of the Weber kettle each time you clean it. The oil gives a moisture-repellent layer of protection to the barbecue.
Quick removal of rust from your barbecue is the best way to ensure you will get years of quality cooking out of your Weber. A little time and effort now make for a very happy chef in the years ahead. For more tips, contact a local barbecue supplier like Outdoor Living.