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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.
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.
Certain practices can help discourage deposits of dirt and grease from forming in the first place. One method is to grease the grates of your hot grill with a little cooking oil right before your start cooking. In the same vein, scrubbing your grill grates with a raw onion is another tactic you can try. If you do have a grill brush without bristles, it's a good idea to scrape your hot grates both before and after grilling.
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.
Who's right? It's not that the notion of burning pepper is complete nonsense—in theory, yes, black pepper could burn. The problem with peppering midway through cooking is that the pepper granules might not stick to the meat. You could pass a pepper grinder at the table, but if you're cooking outside and eating in an informal style, this may not be feasible.
In lieu of fully re-seasoning your grill with each use, there are simple steps you can take to maintain and care for the condition of your grates. After each use, take a moment to run the wire brush quickly over the grates to clear away any immediate drippings. The heat in this case is helpful for removal when in smaller portions and in the moment. In the same step as above, use a pair of kitchen tongs and a paper towel to coat a layer of high heat oil over the cleaned grates before closing the grill top to cool.
Prepare the corn. Trim the silk from the top of each ear to prevent it from catching fire and burning. Peel away the first layer of husks and remove the stalk end using a serrated knife to expose the bottom of the ear. This will make it easier to slide the ear of the husk, post grilling. (Optional: Peel back a 1-inch section to expose the kernels and char some of the corn.)
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.
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.
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.
Check the fuel lines for invisible openings. Create a mixture of soap and water. Make sure you stir the mixture around so it gets really sudsy. Then, use a paintbrush to brush the soapy mixture onto the fuel lines. Turn on the gas, and brush some more soapy water onto the gas lines. If any bubbles form on the gas lines, that indicates a gas leak. Immediately replace any fuel lines that exhibit signs of a gas leak.