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.
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.
If the grates are really dirty, soak them a second time to help soften and remove more gunk without expending extra elbow grease. Or, try the new Sienna Grilltastic Grill Steam Cleaning System. Fill this electric scrubber with water, plug it in and in seconds the combination of the dishwasher-safe stainless steel brush head and hot steam will be blasting grease from your grates. (It cleaned our GH Test Kitchen grill so well, our recipe testers asked if they could keep it.) Finally, rinse the grates well and let them dry.
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.
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.
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!
Check the fuel lines for visible defects. If any fuel lines have unmistakable damage (like rips, holes, cracks), replace the parts immediately before your next use of the grill. Also be sure that any fuel lines have a smooth trail. You don’t want any of your fuel lines to be bent, because that will prevent the gas from flowing correctly. Check the exterior of the gas tank for any damage as well; things like dents, erosion, punctures, or any evident signs of damage. If you find areas that have obvious damage, you could potentially have a gas leak.