Of all the grills that you can get for your outdoor cooking needs, those made of cast iron are some of the best that you can get. Cast iron is a very strong and durable material. You will be able to use it for a very long time and probably pass it down to the coming generations.
It absorbs heat properly so you will be able to cook your meals effectively and produced those professional-grade sear marks that you love on your dishes.
However, you have to know how to season cast iron grill grates so you will have them clean, rust-free, and serve delicious food.
Should cast iron grill grates be seasoned?
Most people imagine that seasoning of grill grates has something to do with adding some flavor to them but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is the art of coating them with oil and then baking them afterward to seal the pores within the grates.
Seasoning of the cast iron grates is very important since once the oil settles in and the pores sealed, it prevents them from catching rust and this enhances their durability and longevity. It also makes the surface of the grill non-stick to ensure that your steaks don’t get to stick to the grates when cooking.
Now you know why the seasoning of your grill grates is an important aspect of your outdoor meal preparation adventures. Let us now go through the steps so your grill will be ready for cooking.
What do you need for seasoning?
Here are some of the things that you will need for seasoning your cast iron grill grates.
- Mild washing detergent
- Scrubbing pad
- A clean sponge
- A dry towel or paper towels
- Unflavored vegetable oil
- Clean water
How do you care for cast iron grill grates?
Taking care of the cast iron grill grates will enable you to store the grill properly for the next cooking season. Follow these steps for the effective seasoning.
Clean grill grates
The grates have to be clean before you season them and this makes cleaning them the first thing that you have to do in this regard. For this, you will need clean running water, dishwashing soap, and a scrub.
Scrub the grates thoroughly using the scrub dipped in the detergent to clean it properly. It will remove the dust and dirt particles on the grates as well as the paraffin coating that manufacturers use for waxing the surface.
Rinse the grates with running water
After cleaning the grates with detergent, rinse them thoroughly with running water to wash off the soap. While rinsing, rub them gently using the scrub to remove any residue from the grates.
You should make sure that you rinse off all the soap from the grates as the soapy water might collect within the pores of the grates and interfere with the seasoning process.
Dry the grates
The next thing that you have to do is to dry the grates completely. To do this, you can use paper towels or a dry piece of cloth. Wipe all the moisture from the grates to ensure the proper seasoning.
Apply oil on the grates
The next thing is to season them with vegetable oil. Pour some oil on your paper towels and rub it gently on the grill grates. Apply the oil on every part of them. Turn them over and do exactly the same thing on the surface underneath.
One alternative to vegetable oil is a non-stick spray but you should be careful with the product if you want to do it right. Some sprays cause a sticky build up on the grates. To prevent this from happening, you should only get a non-stick spray that does not contain lecithin.
What is the best oil to season a grill with?
You can use any cooking oil to season it however, it is best to use high-heat oil (that withstands 450F). Put ordinary vegetable oil on them or use canola, peanut, corn, grapeseed, or coconut oil.
Can you use olive oil to season a grill?
I don’t recommend it since it doesn’t perform well on heat. Rather use vegetable, peanut, coconut, canola, corn, or grapeseed oil on the grates for seasoning.
Can you use coconut oil to season a grill?
Yes, you can use coconut oil to do that since it takes high temperatures well.
Pre-heat your grill
You will have to bake the oil-coated grates to get the seasoning to settle in and for this, you will need to pre-heat your grill slightly. Turn on your burner to medium and let it pre-heat for about 15 minutes.
Close the lid during this time to create the perfect condition for seasoning the grates. Then you run it on a low temperature so they can season for 2 hours.
Turn the grill off and let the grates to cool off
Two hours is enough for the grates to season properly. Then turn off the grill and let it cool off. Leave the lid closed during this time to ensure that the grates cool off slowly.
Your grates are now properly seasoned and ready for the next barbeque. To maintain the grill in the best condition, clean the grates after every cookout to ensure that food particles and grease don’t accumulate at them. It is recommended that you re-season the grates after every 4-5 cookouts to boost the durability and the longevity of the cooking device.
How often should you season your grill?
Cast iron grill grates should be taking care of after each use to keep it clean and rust-free for the next cookout. Take the time and season it properly by considering my 6 steps.
If it happens that you didn’t do it after each use it is good that you do it at least after each cooking season, let’s say at the end of the summer when the outdoor grilling is over.
Are stainless steel grates better than porcelain?
Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Stainless steel grates must be seasoned and taking care of after each use. This way you won’t have issues when cooking.
Porcelain-enameled steel iron grates are great as they retain the heat for a longer time. They are also easier to clean.
Why is cast iron so popular?
Cast iron heats fast and stays hot for a long time for you to cook your dishes. This is the main reason why so many grillers buy cooking devices with cast iron.
Seasoning your grates is very important if you want to grill your meals effectively. It makes the grates non-stick and durable and this will make sure that you are able to enjoy your dishes for a long period of time.
Consider the 6 steps on how to season cast iron grill grates so your guests will enjoy in seared stakes with lots of flavor.