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.
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.
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.
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.
Inspect your burners for signs of corrosion or anything blocking the row of flame holes. Burner tubes are inviting spots for spiders to lay eggs if your grill goes unused for a while. Use a wire brush and clean them by brushing back and forth over the holes, not down the length of the tube. The wire bottle brush can clean out the inside of each tube.
Clean the cook box. Remove the cooking grates and use a stainless steel cook brush to brush all the excess grease and debris from inside of the grill into the collecting bottom tray. Then, remove the bottom tray and throw out the collected grease and debris. Some of the debris will be loose and easily disposable, whereas other debris will be caked on. You might need to use a scouring pad or a sharp putty knife to remove the stuck on debris.