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.
After your new griddle is squeaky clean, it’s time to darken it up! This is where we transform the griddle top into a blackened, non-stick perfect cooking surface. So, turn on the burners to the max and let the heat do its thing. After 10-15 minutes, you’ll notice the griddle top will start to brown. Once you see the color change, move on to the next step.
When the grill is cool, remove the grates and flavorizer bars and put them into a full bucket of soapy water. Let them soak for at least 15 minutes. Remove anything else from the grill that you can take off without tools, like burner control knobs and the grease tray. This will make it easier to clean. Most gas grill burner tubes are removable as well (look for simple cotter pins on one end, although some models use screws).
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.

Yes, you should touch the steaks to test for doneness, but that doesn't mean that you should be flipping and moving and poking a lot. Steaks should only be flipped once, and only moved once from a higher to a lower heat. And don't poke them with anything but your finger! Put the meat on a hot grill—they should sizzle immediately—and leave them there until they release on their own accord. If you're pulling or struggling with them, they are not seared and not ready to flip.


All products and services featured are selected by our editors. Real Simple may receive compensation for some links to products and services in this email on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Real Simple is part of the Meredith Home Group. © Copyright 2019 Meredith Corporationthis link opens in a new tab. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited | Privacy policythis link opens in a new tab | Terms of Servicethis link opens in a new tab | Ad Choicesthis link opens in a new tab | Your California Privacy Rightsthis link opens in a new tab | EU Data Subject Requeststhis link opens in a new tab
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.
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.
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.)
One school of thought suggests that applying the pepper before cooking can cause the pepper to burn while you cook it, imparting a bitter flavor. Followers of this school suggest grinding pepper onto the steaks after searing them, or right before serving. The other school simply seasons their steaks with freshly ground black pepper before cooking and doesn't give it a second thought.
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.
To season the grill, rinse the grill grate with plain water, then dry it thoroughly. The next step is to apply a fat – either vegetable oil or shortening – to the grates, coating all of the cast iron with it. Place the grill grate over a cold grill, then slowly increase the temperature to about 400 degrees and keep it there for about 40 minutes. Finally, allow the grill grate to cool.
Yes, you should touch the steaks to test for doneness, but that doesn't mean that you should be flipping and moving and poking a lot. Steaks should only be flipped once, and only moved once from a higher to a lower heat. And don't poke them with anything but your finger! Put the meat on a hot grill—they should sizzle immediately—and leave them there until they release on their own accord. If you're pulling or struggling with them, they are not seared and not ready to flip.
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.
For metal and cast iron grill grates, coat lightly with a high temperature oil like Canola or Peanut oil – wipe off any excessive oil, install the grates and fire up the grill.  Heat the grill on high and let it burn for ~30 mins.  This will burn all the solvents and impurities off of the heating elements, grill grates, etc.  Note that porcelain grates won’t need a coat of oil, but will benefit from the burn in process to remove any chemicals/impurities that were applied by the manufacturer. 
Transfer the steaks to cooling racks with a sheet pan or cookie sheet underneath, cover the whole tray with plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge. Take them out about 30 minutes before cooking, pat them dry again with paper towels (because the salt will pull out some juices), season with freshly ground black pepper (press the pepper into the meat as you did with the salt) and then grill as you normally would. We'll talk more about black pepper in a moment. As for patting the steaks dry, a dry steak will form a browner crust when it's cooked.
Grilling season is upon us, which means summer cookouts, burgers and barbecue, and long, warm nights in the yard. It also means it’s time to clean your grill. The same cooking process that makes those Instagram-perfect, flavorful char marks on your food produces carbon deposits on virtually every interior surface of your grill: the grates, flavorizing bars and burner tubes (on gas grills), and the firebox itself. Those carbon deposits aren’t just ugly; grease can stick to them and harbor bacteria, and carbon buildup can cause your grill to heat unevenly or prevent it from reaching full operating temperature, and burner tubes to fail.

For metal and cast iron grill grates, coat lightly with a high temperature oil like Canola or Peanut oil – wipe off any excessive oil, install the grates and fire up the grill.  Heat the grill on high and let it burn for ~30 mins.  This will burn all the solvents and impurities off of the heating elements, grill grates, etc.  Note that porcelain grates won’t need a coat of oil, but will benefit from the burn in process to remove any chemicals/impurities that were applied by the manufacturer. 
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.
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.
×