Summer is here, which means it’s time for all the best backyard BBQs and family gatherings. In saying that, it’s also time to season your grill to ensure it’s ready for all the meats and veggies you’re about to cook up. Whether you’ve got a brand new grill set up on your patio or last year’s grates need a little TLC, your grill needs a proper cleaning.
And if you’re unsure about what tools you need, when you need to season the grill, and how exactly to get the job done, this guide is here to help. From the best tips and tricks to a step-by-step guide on how to clean your grill, you’ll be ready to face all those summer BBQs head-on.
Tools You’ll Need for Seasoning a Grill
While you may want to start cooking right away, you shouldn’t skip the seasoning step. It will effectively burn any debris or chemicals you don’t want to cook into your food. But before you learn when and how to season, you’ll need to prepare your tool belt. Here’s what you’ll need for seasoning a grill:
- Basting brush
- High-heat cooking oil
- Paper towel
When to Season a Grill
If you’ve added a new grill to your cooking arsenal, chances are it hasn’t yet been seasoned. And that means it’s still covered in the oils and chemicals from the factory, which isn’t something you want to cook into your first dinner of the summer. And if you’ve got an old grill that needs a little attention, it’s time to remove all that sticky residue that will ruin your well-seasoned steak.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to tell when it’s time to season the grill. Of course, you should always season it when you cook for the first time of the season or if it’s a brand new grill. It’s important to season your grill to repel rust and seal the pores, ensuring your food doesn’t stick.
Also, some cooks prefer to season before (or after) every use. This will make it easier to clean your grill in general and be easier to season in the future. Others prefer to only season the grill when necessary, but in the end, it’s up to you!
How to Season a Grill
Step 1: Apply Oil to the Grate
The first step to cleaning your grill is incredibly easy. Start by properly cleaning the grill with water and dry thoroughly with a towel.
After you’ve cleaned the grill, all you’ll need is a basting brush and some high-heat cooking oil. Vegetable oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, canola oil, as well as spray oils should work just fine. Simply apply the oil to the grates, evenly coating them to ensure the grill is properly seasoned.
Step 2: Wipe Oil Away
Once you’ve applied the oil, it’s important to wipe any excess away using a paper towel. Ensure the entire grill is coated, including the inside of the lid, by going over it with a paper towel. This is crucial for creating a coating on the cast iron: the oil will seep into the pores and bake in, hardening to create a smooth, non-stick surface.
Step 3: Ignite the Grill
Once you’ve wiped away the oil, it’s time to turn on your grill. Either light the charcoal or turn on the gas, allowing the oil to burn and smoke as it works its way into the pores of the iron. Allow it to sit on high for 20-35 minutes.
The grates will turn from shiny stainless steel to a darker black sheen, which is a good thing. This means that the grill has been properly seasoned. Every time you season the grill the coating will become stronger, improving with every cook.
As it turns out, seasoning your grill is an incredibly simple process, but it’s also necessary to ensure your food cooks and tastes as it should. If you don’t intend to season your grill after every use, it’s still important to keep it clean. This means allowing your grill to cool and brushing food and debris off the grates. Of course, a light layer of high-heat cooking oil won’t hurt!
Now that you’ve read up on how to season your grill, you may be interested in a few easy recipes to kick the summer season off on the right foot. Fortunately, we’ve got a list of the 23 best foil meals for your grill to start things off.