If you've purchased a new Weber grill, the company says that seasoning the cast iron grates isn't necessary. A porcelain enamel coating is already added to the cast iron so you don't need to season it at all. Instead, they recommend that when using a grill for the first time, you turn up the heat for about 15 minutes, then brush it clean with a stainless steel bristle brush.
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.
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.)
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.
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).
If scrubbing isn’t your thing, there's Carbona’s 2-in-1 Oven Rack and Grill Cleaner. This kit contains a large zip-top bag and a 16 oz. bottle of cleaner. Simply place your grates in the bag, pour in the liquid, seal the bag and shake gently so the cleaner coats the racks. Let it sit (away from children and pets) eight hours, or even overnight. Afterward, remove the racks from the bag, lightly scrub away any stubborn residue and rinse them well. In our GH Institute Cleaning Lab tests, even grates from a charcoal smoker came out clean with virtually no effort, thanks to this product.
Outdoor grilling is a great way to get together with family and friends and enjoy tasty food. However, the outdoor fun is only possible with a grill that is cleaned and maintained throughout the year. There are a few simple cleaning steps that you can do after every time you grill, along with deeper, semi-annual cleaning steps to keep your grill working its best for years to come. An outdoor grill that is kept clean and maintained will stay in good working order and will ensure that the food you cook on it always tastes great.