Season your griddle before and after cooking. This maintains a perfect coating that makes tasty food that won’t stick to the metal. But after cooking, you might have some debris stuck on. Just heat up the griddle and throw water on the stuck food. It’ll boil off easily. Got some pesky food that clings on for dear life? Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt on the debris and then throw water on the griddle while it’s hot. Use paper towels to brush off the debris, and you’re done! Store it safely and call it a day! For any other questions or tips, take a look at our How to Take Care of Your Griddle Complete Guide.
These are the workhorses of your cooker and because they come in direct contact with your food, they need to be clean. Start by removing the cool grates and wiping or brushing off as much of the big, loose debris as you can with a mesh or nylon scrub pad or a brush. In a sink or large bucket, mix up a sudsy solution of a grease-cutting dish liquid, like Dawn, and hot water and place the grates in to soak. If they don’t completely fit in, immerse one half, soak, then flip it over to get the other side. After soaking 15 to 30 minutes, put on some rubber gloves (like GH Seal holder, Playtex) and scrub the grates clean with a sturdy grill brush or scrubbing pad. Take extra care with porcelain grates, because you don't want to damage them.
To achieve a crust on the outside while keeping the interior of the steak cooked to your liking, you need to have two different temperatures set on your grill. In order to get those nice grill marks, you need to heat your grill to high heat to essentially sear the steaks. To determine the heat is hot enough, you should be able to hold your hand about an inch over the grill grate for 1 second before it feels too hot and you must pull it away.
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Re-assemble all the parts you removed, taking care to fix the burner tubes back in place in proper position with the cotter pins or screws. Rub cast-iron grill grates with a light coating of vegetable oil. Finally, re-connect your propane tank and fire up the grill; let it heat for at least 15 minutes, then turn it off again. This will help burn off any residues from cleaning, season cast-iron grill grates, and serve as a check that you re-assembled everything properly.
Try to avoid this if you can, but if you just have to take a peek, remove the steak from the grill and use the tip of a paring knife to make a cut into the center of the steak to see how things are going. Keep in mind that the steak will continue to cook as it rests after being removed from the grill. Cutting into the steak is discouraged because it will release the precious juices that help flavor and tenderize the meat.
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.
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.
From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. A professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler has written about home and garden for Gardening Know How, San Francisco Chronicle, Gardening Guide and Go Banking Rates. She earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.
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!
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.
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 bottom of the grill with a soapy sponge. Once all the chunks are gone, scrub the bottom with a sponge or scouring pad and soapy water to remove any built up grease or grime. Lots of drippings and food scraps tend to build up under the burners of the grill. Pay close attention to this area and clean it as much as possible to avoid corrosion.