Every other year it seems like my charcoal/ash tray rusts and creates holes in it to where I can't put charcoal on it because of the rotted holes. Is there anyway I can prevent this from happening? I'm getting tired of buying a grill every 2 - 3 years because the ash tray is rusted through. And it's cheaper to buy a new charcoal grill than to just buy a new charcoal/ash tray.

Help! Thanks.

  • How and where is it stored/kept? Mar 26, 2018 at 20:53
  • 3
    Maybe purchase a higher quality grill to begin with...and cover it when it is not in use?
    – moscafj
    Mar 26, 2018 at 21:31
  • 1
    I always clean my ash tray and grills with light soap, dry them quickly and then oil them up with vegetable oil. Have to yet find a spot of rust after 2 years. Mar 27, 2018 at 13:02
  • That's a great idea. I will try that as well. Thanks for your time and input. Mar 28, 2018 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


Make sure you clean it after each use to remove any tar residues, and store the grid in a dry place. The tar and ashes can contain chemicals that attack the iron, and any moisture is only going to accelerate that. Galvanised iron won't fare much better, as the zinc used is even more susceptible to attack by some of those chemicals (e.g. acetic acid).


What are you cooking with? Just charcoal, or do you add hardwood? Do you have a picture of it? I'm trying to visualize if you are talking about the bottom of your grill or if you are talking about the little grease trap ashtray under it.

If you leave your charcoal grill out in the elements chances are the rain water is mixing with the ash and creating lye, a caustic chemical that does a great job of cleaning cast iron, but will obliterate aluminum. Is your ashtray aluminum?

If so I would wrap your ashtray in aluminum foil as a protective barrier and replace it when you empty out your ashtray.

If the problem is with an iron grill, you might not have good quality cast iron, in which case rust will wreck havoc with your grill if you don't clean it out and keep it dry (remember cheap hibachi grills?).

  • I use charcoal and put wood chips in an aluminum box for smoking. It's the charcoal/ashtray that is rotted through. Yes, I am the world's worst when it comes to cleaning the ash tray....so maybe I just need to be more diligent in cleaning of the ash! ha Mar 28, 2018 at 14:00
  • But I will utilize foil for the ashtray because that has to help. Thank you all for comments and advice. Mar 28, 2018 at 14:00

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