Seasoning & Maintaining Your Grill

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 10:05 AM

The trick to a great grilling season is to make sure you have a properly seasoned and maintained grill. Whether you have a Brinkmann charcoal grill, a propane cajun grill, or even an electric grill, getting it seasoned  from the moment it is assembled and then proper maintenance is key to a long life & many grilling sessions to come.

The first thing you want to do is season your grate. This can be done by first washing it in warm soapy water. This should be done with all grates…cast iron or stainless steel.( Youdon’t need to season porcelain.) Dry with paper towels. Apply olive oil liberally to the grate. Add some fine sea salt & black pepper.( This can be done by hand or sprinkled on while over the heat…just hold your breath, black pepper doesn’t feel so good in your sinuses.)

Now you are going to “bake” your grate. This can be done by placing in a 275-300 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 30 mins, by turning your gas Brinkmann grill up to 400-500 degrees, placing the grates back in, turn down heat to medium & cook for 35-45 mins, or lighting self starting charcoal in your charcoal grill & when you no longer smell the lighter fluid, placing the grate on the heat & closing the lid. Now you will leave the grate where it is. Turn off the heat & it will continue to bake the oil on as it cools. Now, some people feel that this is enough & your grill is seasoned. You can still always oil the grill up before each cooking session & pre-heat with the lid down & this will keep the grates seasoned. Or just do a touch up on areas that seem dry, with some olive oil non-stick cooking spray. Some people seem to think that for proper seasoning, you should repeat the seasoning process more than once from the beginning. This is all just preference & patience. A novice barbequer will already have a preference.

Now comes the maintenance. Properly clean your grill after each use. I like to just heat it up, let any residue burn off, shut the flame off & while the grate is still hot, take a wire brush(you can use the specially designed ones with brush on one side & scrubby pad on the other or just a wire brush.) or wad up some foil & with a pot holder on your hand, rub down the grates. This will get off any carbon residue. As I said before, you can re-oil your grates before every session if you wish, or do touch ups as needed. Clean out your charcoal debris after every use, or empty your grease catcher after 3-4 uses.

The outside of your grill can be cleaned with a biodegradable food friendly orange cleaner.

Keep your grill covered if possible. This will help keep out moisture, animals & hopefully bugs & spiders.

When you store your grill for the winter (if you don’t use it all winter long), make sure that it is properly cleaned before you cover it for it’s long & lonely winter hibernation.

Always remember to never leave your grill unattended & make sure you have a hose or fire extinguisher at all times.

Have fun grilling!

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