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.)
With the grates removed, brush down the inside to clear out any loose particles that have collected in the bottom and around the sides. Scrape off any large peeling flakes of carbon and grease and if yours is a charcoal grill, empty the ash catcher. Don’t forget to clean the drip pan and grease cup in warm soapy water and line them with aluminum foil so they’ll be easier to clean next time.
Check the fuel lines for invisible openings. Create a mixture of soap and water. Make sure you stir the mixture around so it gets really sudsy. Then, use a paintbrush to brush the soapy mixture onto the fuel lines. Turn on the gas, and brush some more soapy water onto the gas lines. If any bubbles form on the gas lines, that indicates a gas leak. Immediately replace any fuel lines that exhibit signs of a gas leak.
If you're all right with all that and want to give this method a try, here's how: Pat the meat dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides of the steaks generously with Kosher salt. Be sure to get the salt on the edges of the steaks as well. That's 1½ inches of surface you definitely want to cover. Press the salt crystals into the meat with your hands.
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.
In lieu of fully re-seasoning your grill with each use, there are simple steps you can take to maintain and care for the condition of your grates. After each use, take a moment to run the wire brush quickly over the grates to clear away any immediate drippings. The heat in this case is helpful for removal when in smaller portions and in the moment. In the same step as above, use a pair of kitchen tongs and a paper towel to coat a layer of high heat oil over the cleaned grates before closing the grill top to cool.
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).
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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.