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.
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.
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.
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.
You also want a cooler, medium heat area of the grill to move the steaks to once they're seared and crispy on the outside. If you have enough burners and space on your grill, set them to a lower heat; if you don't have enough room, simply turn off the burner. If you are using a charcoal grill, one side should have a hot fire while the other a smaller, cooler flame.
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.
Now it’s time for propane flames to meet with forged cold steel. Turn up the heat and sit back while you watch the griddle plate blacken. The griddle will billow with smoke. That’s called “smoke point” and it takes about 30 minutes for your Blackstone to get there. So relax, grab a seat, and watch the smoke fly by. When all the smoke’s gone, you can turn off the griddle.
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.