One school of thought suggests that applying the pepper before cooking can cause the pepper to burn while you cook it, imparting a bitter flavor. Followers of this school suggest grinding pepper onto the steaks after searing them, or right before serving. The other school simply seasons their steaks with freshly ground black pepper before cooking and doesn't give it a second thought.
There's another debate about seasoning steaks, and this one relates to black pepper. To begin with, let's agree that freshly ground black pepper is a must for the perfect steak. (And again, we're not talking about that preground black dust they sell at the grocery store. We mean whole black peppercorns that you grind yourself directly onto the steak.)
Too many people take their steaks directly from the chilly fridge to the hot fire. You will not get an evenly cooked steak this way—the outside of the meat will cook faster than the inside. It is best to take the steaks out of the fridge about half an hour before you plan to cook them; remove the wrapping, place on a plate, and let them come up to room temperature on the kitchen counter.
If you happen to be using an older Weber grill, or any other type of barbeque grill that wasn't coated with porcelain enamel, you'll need to season it before using it for the first time and sometimes reseason after seasonal storage. For example, when using a gas barbeque for the first time, always season it unless the directions specify not to. The procedure is the same for charcoal grills as for gas grills since it's the cast iron grates you're seasoning, not the gas or charcoal component.
There are a ton of different grill cleaning gizmos to choose from, but nothing can beat a long handled wire brush, a wire bottle-style brush, a five-gallon bucket, and some elbow grease. Avoid toxic cleaning formulas. They can impart an off taste to foods, and aren’t necessary: warm water and dish soap and a paste of vinegar and baking soda are all the cleaning power you need. If your grill has stainless steel exterior surfaces, a good stainless steel cleaner (or vinegar) imparts an extra shine. You’ll also need some durable gloves and a few disposable sponges and rags. Pick an overcast day; hot sun can make it hard to remove streaks from cleaners (plus, it’s cooler working weather).
Seasoning a grill has no relationship to seasoning the steak or eggplant you're grilling. In the latter case, you season to add flavor to the raw food item. But when you season a cast iron grill, you're not adding flavor. It actually refers to the process of coating the grill grate with oil, then heating it, to render it rustproof and create a virtually nonstick surface. Depending on the type of grill you own, you may only need to season the grill the first time you use it and occasionally after that. And with a Weber brand grill, you may not need to season it at all.
If the grates are really dirty, soak them a second time to help soften and remove more gunk without expending extra elbow grease. Or, try the new Sienna Grilltastic Grill Steam Cleaning System. Fill this electric scrubber with water, plug it in and in seconds the combination of the dishwasher-safe stainless steel brush head and hot steam will be blasting grease from your grates. (It cleaned our GH Test Kitchen grill so well, our recipe testers asked if they could keep it.) Finally, rinse the grates well and let them dry.
While the grill grates and flavorizer bars are removed and soaking, tackle the caked-on gunk in the firebox. Put another bucket underneath the firebox where the grease tray sits to collect debris. The easiest way to start is with a wet/dry shop vacuum, whether full-size or a portable, like Milwaukee’s M18 hand vacuum. Since wet/dry vacs are mostly workshop items, you won’t feel bad about using one to suck up the gunk that’s collected in your grill. You can use the grill brush to help loosen stubborn stuck-on grit. If the deposits are really caked on, dip the wire brush in the bucket of soapy water and get to work. Use a hose to rinse it out when it’s clean.
Learning how to clean your gas grill is important. Whether it’s before or after grilling out or even preparing for winter, there are a few helpful tips and tricks that can make cleaning a grill easy and efficient. The Home Depot is your source for all of your grill cleaning needs. We have grill brushes, grill cleaners, grill cleaning pads, and so much more.