As for seasoning, most foods will taste great if you add just a little salt, pepper, and olive oil beforehand. That's the beauty of grilling: it's a fuss-free cooking method meant to  elevate an ingredient's natural flavor without much elbow grease. That being said, if you want even more flavor, there are endless mouthwatering marinades you can add to your meat or veggies before they're barbecued. And if you're hosting a barbecue and need some simple summer sides, we've got tons here. Don't forget the rosé!

Grilling season is upon us, which means summer cookouts, burgers and barbecue, and long, warm nights in the yard. It also means it’s time to clean your grill. The same cooking process that makes those Instagram-perfect, flavorful char marks on your food produces carbon deposits on virtually every interior surface of your grill: the grates, flavorizing bars and burner tubes (on gas grills), and the firebox itself. Those carbon deposits aren’t just ugly; grease can stick to them and harbor bacteria, and carbon buildup can cause your grill to heat unevenly or prevent it from reaching full operating temperature, and burner tubes to fail.
Cast iron grill grates conduct heat quickly and evenly, cooking and searing meat for that distinctive charbroiled flavor. But to achieve those delicious results, cast iron grill grates need proper seasoning and regular care. Seasoning cast iron grill grates when they're new keeps your food from sticking and can prevent rust to make the grates last longer. Cooking on cast iron helps to create a smooth, non-stick surface to minimize seasoning needs in the future. Cast iron is porous, and as meat cooks, fats and oils soak into the pores where they harden.
New grills oftentimes come with pre-seasoned grates, however, for those looking to care for an old favorite or cast-iron grates with build-up of cooked-on drippings, follow these simple steps to completely re-season or maintain the regular care of your BBQ grill. Seasoning grill grates is not only a good way to care for and prolong the life your your grill, but ensures the food you’re cooking is free from carcinogens and at its tastiest every single time.
Brush your grill grates after every use (inspect for wire brush bristles before cooking), and thoroughly clean them every couple of months, depending on grill usage. And twice a year, you should give your grill a thorough cleaning, which helps it cook better and last longer. The basic process is the same for gas or charcoal grills; charcoal grills just have fewer parts.

The trick with seafood is to make sure it doesn’t stick. So coat it lightly with oil and check that the grate is clean and very hot. For fillets and whole fish, you can also try this foolproof (albeit more time-consuming) method: Place the fish on a soaked cedar plank or a lightly oiled piece of heavy-duty foil, then grill (covered), over medium indirect heat.
Like a boxing ring, it’s hard to knock out your opponent in the first round. Same goes for the Blackstone and the tension between the oil and steel. One round ain’t gonna cut it. To make the best non-sticking and tasty surface your meals deserve, you’re gonna have to repeat the seasoning. So be patient and make it count. Grab your oil again, dab it on the griddle, and watch the heated smoke-fest again. You should stop when the griddle plate is dark brown, and that takes around 2 to 3 times.
If you're salting right before cooking: Again, let the steaks sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, sprinkle both sides (and the edges) generously with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Press the salt crystals and pepper granules into the meat. We like to brush our steaks with a little bit of clarified butter right before we grill them. You could use a refined high-heat oil or a mixture of oil and clarified butter.
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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.

After about 30 minutes, turn the heat off and let the grill cool down.  Wipe things down to remove any lingering residue and you should be good to go.  The grill grates should have turned a bronze or dark brown color if they are metal or a darker brown/black color if they are cast iron.  For cast iron grates, the oil will have penetrated the pores of the metal and created a smooth non-stick surface that will be perfect to cook on.
After about 30 minutes, turn the heat off and let the grill cool down.  Wipe things down to remove any lingering residue and you should be good to go.  The grill grates should have turned a bronze or dark brown color if they are metal or a darker brown/black color if they are cast iron.  For cast iron grates, the oil will have penetrated the pores of the metal and created a smooth non-stick surface that will be perfect to cook on.
Using interviews with specialists, online reviews and personal experience, TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! TODAY does have affiliate relationships with various online retailers. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.
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