Preparing meals outdoors is one of the things that people look forward to during summer when the weather allows for outdoor activities and you will need a grill to make this possible. Other than providing people with an opportunity to bond and interact with each other, outdoor grilling is one of the best ways to enjoy healthy meals that you and your guests will love.
Of all the grills that you can get for your outdoor cooking needs, those made of cast iron are some of the best that you can get. Cast iron is very strong and durable and as such, you will be able to use it for a very long time and probably pass it down to the coming generations.
They absorb heat properly and this way, they are able to cook your meals effectively and produced those professional grade sear marks that you love on your dishes. However, for you to enjoy grilled dishes cooked on these grills you need to season the grates and we will enlighten you on how to season cast iron grill grates.
Understanding how to season Cast Iron Grill Grates
Most people imagine that seasoning of grill grates has something to do with adding some flavor to them but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Seasoning of grill grates is the art of coating them with oil and then baking the grill grates afterward so as to seal the pores within the grates.
Seasoning of the grates is very important since once the oil settles in and the pores sealed, it prevents the cast iron grates from catching rust and this enhances their durability and longevity. Seasoning also makes the surface of the grill non-stick and this will ensure that your steaks don’t get to stick to the pan when cooking.
With all these information, it is now clear why the seasoning of your grill grates is an important aspect of your outdoor meal preparation adventures. Let’s us now go through the steps on how to season cast iron grill grates.
What you will need
Here are some of the things that you will need for seasoning your cast iron grill grates.
- Mild washing detergent
- Scrubbing pad
- A clean sponge
- A dry towel or paper towels
- Unflavored vegetable oil
- Clean water
Seasoning your cast iron grill grates
Follow these steps to effectively season the grates on your grill.
- Wash the grates with warm water
The grates have to be clean before you season them and this makes cleaning the grill grates the first thing that you have to do in this regard. For this, you will need clean running water, dishwashing soap and a scrub.
Scrub the grates thoroughly using the scrub dipped in the detergent to clean it properly. This will remove the dust and dirt particles on the grates as well as the paraffin coating that manufacturers use for waxing the surface.
- Rinse the grates with running water
After cleaning the grates with detergent, rinse them thoroughly with running water so as to wash off the soap from the grates. While rinsing the grates, rub them gently using the scrub so as to remove any residue from the grates.
You should make sure that you rinse off all the soap from the grates as the soapy water might collect within the pores of the grates and interfere with the seasoning process.
- Dry the grates
The next thing that you have to do is to dry the grates completely. To do this, you can use paper towels or a dry piece of cloth. Wipe all the moisture from the grates so as to ensure the proper seasoning of the grill grates.
- Apply oil on the grates
The next thing after drying the grates is to season them with vegetable oil. Pour some oil on your paper towels and rub it gently on the grill grates. Apply the oil on every part of the grill grates and turn them over and do exactly the same thing on the surface underneath.
One alternative to vegetable oil is non-stick spray but you should be careful with your choice of non-stick spray if you want to get your seasoning right. Some sprays cause a sticky build up on the grates and to prevent this from happening, you should only get a non-stick spray that does not contain lecithin.
- Pre-heat your grill
You will have to bake the oil-coated grates to get the seasoning to settle in and for this, you will need to pre-heat your grill slightly. Turn on your burner to medium and let it pre-heat for about 15 minutes. Close the lid during this time so as to create the perfect condition for seasoning the grates.
- “Bake” the grills for 2 hours
After pre-heating your grill, turn the heat setting low for seasoning of the grates. Put the grill grates in their place and let them “bake” on the grill for 2 hours.
- Turn the grill off and let the grates to cool off
2 hours is enough for the grates to season properly and when this time elapses, turn off the grill and let the grills to cool off. Leave the grill’s lid closed during this time so as to ensure that the grates cool off slowly for proper seasoning.
Your grates are now properly seasoned and they are ready for the next barbeque. To maintain the grill in the best condition, clean the grill grates after every cookout so as to ensure that food particles and grease don’t accumulate of the grates. It is recommended that you re-season the grates after every 4-5 cookouts so as boost the durability and the longevity of the grill.
Seasoning your grates is very important if you want to grill your meals effectively. It makes the grates non-stick and durable and this will make sure that you are able to enjoy your dishes for a long period of time. Read this article to learn how to season cast iron grill grates.