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Thanks Chasedev. Definitely looks like rust, but it's seen plenty of action in the short time I've had it, so maybe it's grease/smoke. I'll try the vinegar and brush like you say. I guess it wouldn't hurt to give it a light coat of oil after cooks also.  

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thats a great question, instinctivly i want to say yes because i find i tap it with a knuckle to slightly open and close once up to temp but would have to touch it with a sense of determination to tell for sure as its not something i think about. Just figure if i am doing it via knuckle method must be for a reason :)

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