How To Season a New Gas Grill | A Complete Guide

So, you have purchased a new gas grill and want to start grilling your burgers right away? Well, that may not be the best option given that you have not seasoned the grates and racks well enough. Seasoning is required to remove the toxic and unwanted contaminants. Now, you must be thinking, where do these contaminants come from when you haven't yet used them? So, in this article, we will discuss how to season a new gas grill and why it is necessary.

Before we begin with the aesthetics of seasoning, let us understand what seasoning is. For starters, when your grill skillet is manufactured inside the factory, they are covered with oils and chemicals to retain the lustrous look of the grill and to prevent it from rusting inside the store. But if not seasoned properly, the grill toxins may enter your food and hamper your health.

So, without further ado, let us dive into learning why you should season your grills and the different seasoning methods you can apply for curing cast-iron and stainless-steel grates and grills.

Why Is Seasoning Required?

As already mentioned, the new gas grill comes with factory chemicals and contaminants. Seasoning the grill before the first use helps you to remove these contaminants. So, even though you are eager to inaugurate your new grill right away and cook your delicious steaks and burgers, do take a moment in reading the whole article as we will unveil the different types of seasoning techniques, oils used for seasoning grills, smokers, griddle, and much more relevant information.

Now that you know the primary benefit of seasoning, you must also know that seasoning has other major benefits. Apart from removing the harmful contaminants from the grill, proper seasoning also aids in preventing rust from accumulating on your grill. So, what are the other benefits of seasoning the new gas grill?

  • Easy cooking – The grills and griddles initially have a non-stick coating covered with manufacturing oils and paints. These paints and oils make the griddle sticky upon heating. This will make your meat soggy and stick to the cast-iron grills. Seasoning helps you to cook the meat easily.
  • Stress-free cleaning – seasoning with proper oil removes the paints and dust, reducing the burning of the meat on the grill. Thus, you can clean the grills without much worry.
  • Durability and longevity – Seasoning extends your grill's life. But for that, you need to season the grills and racks regularly.
  • Better flavor – To get the signature taste of your steak, seasoning is important.

Types of Seasoning Oil To Use

The best oil to season your new gas grill is Canola oil. This oil is amazing for seasoning your grills or griddles as it helps enhance the performance of the grates and even heat distribution. Most manufacturers suggest Canola oil as the smoke point of the oil is 400 degrees. However, we also recommend vegetable oil, sunflower oil, or avocado oil.

The reason why we chose these oils is that they have a high smoke point that ensures that the oil doesn’t burn. However, the grill is all about flavor, and these oils don’t add to the taste. But don’t worry as we have some tasty suggestions as well.

You can use:

  • A couple of pieces of bacon
  • Mystique wood chip dipped in oil
  • Half-onion dipped in oil
  • Pork fat
You can grab your cooking tongs and rub any of the above ways on the grill. This will impart a majestic flavor to the meat and doesn't allow them to stick to the grates. Moreover, the grates will be easier to clean and have a longer life.

But the type of seasoning to be used largely depends on the type of grates you are using. So, the method you use to season your stainless-steel grates will be different from that of porcelain-enamel cast-iron grates. So, we will walk you through the seasoning of the different types of grills in the following sections.

Seasoning Cast Iron Grates

Cast iron grates are the most common grates available in the market. Since they are made of cast irons, it becomes pertinent to season them properly before using and taking routine care. In addition, cast-iron grates usually don't have a non-stick coating, and therefore, you need to season the grates to create a rust-resistant surface.

The seasoning process seals all the pores of the grill and makes your grates non-sticky while maintaining the proper heat distribution. Gather the following tools before the curing process:

  • Paper towels and tongs
  • Cooking oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Wire brush for grills

Now, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps to complete the seasoning process:

  1. Rinse the cast iron grates in water and clear the surface by rubbing with the wire brush.
  2. Once the rust gets removed, dry the surface with a clean towel.
  3. Place the grates on the gas grill and pre-heat them to 5 mins at 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. After preheating, heat the grates again to 200 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  5. Use a paper towel to rub the cooking oil or a tong with onion dipped in oil. Make sure that you cover the whole of the grates. We don't recommend using non-stick sprays on cast-iron grates.
  6. Lastly, put the grates back onto the grill and heat it for one hour.
  7. Repeat the process three to four times for better results.

Now, your grill is seasoned properly. From now on, you only need to do regular maintenance periodically to avoid rust accumulation and stickiness.

How To Season Porcelain-Coated Cast Iron Grill Grates

If you have invested a little higher on your grill, you will find that your cast iron grates are already coated with porcelain or enamel. Porcelain and enamel are hard substances that rightly seal the pores of the cast iron skillets. So, this kind of grates season will be different from that of normal cast iron grill grates.

Grills with porcelain coating have better and efficient heat transfer and the porcelain helps the fatty meat products absorb the oils on the grate and develop a natural layer of seasoning. This makes the grilled meats taste succulent.

So, if you have a porcelain-coated cast iron grate grill, follow the following steps to season it properly:

  1. Turn on all the burners on your grill to the highest setting.
  2. After that, close the lid and heat the grill for up to 15 minutes.
  3. Please take out the grates and keep them aside for a few minutes to cool a bit. Make sure that the grill doesn't completely cool down.
  4. Take a cooking tong and fold a paper towel.
  5. Dip the multi-layer paper towel pad into vegetable oil such that the towel is just soaked into the oil.
  6. Rub the towel on the grates and make sure the oil is rubbed on every nook and corner of the grates.
  7. Close the lid and heat the grates for 30 minutes.
  8. Repeat the process 2-3 times.
You can then start cooking meat. First, however, do not forget to clean the seasoning with water and scrub the layer with a clean brush. Make sure the brush bristles are not corrosive or very hard. This may damage the porcelain coating.

How To Season Steel Griddle Effectively

Seasoning the griddle top might be the most simple and convenient process that you may ever come across. You will need the basic tools to season your steel griddle top. So, let us have a look at the tools you will be requiring:

  • Clean cloth;
  • Bowl of water;
  • Grilling tongs;
  • Cooking oil;
  • Paper towels.

Now that you have the tools ready, let us follow the steps:

  • Take your skillet and wipe it with a clean, dampened cloth.
  • After the top is cleaned thoroughly, put the skillet in the oven.
  • Heat the grill by firing up the main burners to 10-15 minutes and as soon as the grill darkens in colour, switch off the burner.
  • Take your paper towel and soak it in cooking oil. Make sure that the oil stops dripping when you remove the paper towel.
  • Use your tongs to hold on to the oil-soaked paper towel and rub the oil on the grill's cooking surface.
  • Cover the whole griddle till the edges and sides are completely covered in the oil.
  • Place the skillet again in the oven and heat it.
  • Follow the same steps three times, and your grill is ready for cooking.

Apart from this primitive seasoning, you must keep a regular check on the grill. If you are using the grill after a while, we recommend you follow the steps again as a prolonged stay of the grill may affect the taste and flavor of your meat.

How To Season a Stainless-Steel Grill

Preparing a stainless-steel grill is easy but tricky. Manufacturers mostly prefer stainless steel because of its long-lasting, rust-proof, and high-heat sustainability nature. This is why they don't require much maintenance after the first use. But, if the seasoning is not done properly, the meat will not be cooked properly and may stick to the surface. Also, although the steel is corrosion-resistant, you may need to do some extra for keeping the surface likewise. So, if you are using the stainless-steel grates for the first time, follow these steps to the seasoning:

  • Remove the stainless-steel grid from the oven
  • Wash the grates with soapy water. However, it is recommended to use lukewarm water.
  • Use a soft and clean cloth to dry the grates.
  • Preheat the grill for up to 15 minutes.
  • Place the grates on the oven and brush the surface with vegetable oil.
  • Continue this process till a yellow patina is formed. This patina prevents your meat from sticking to the surface and allows even heat distribution for cooking.
  • Pre-heat again till the cooking temperature is reached.

Now, your stainless-steel grates are seasoned properly and can be used for cooking delicious barbecue dishes. However, after some time, you may need regular maintenance and prepare the grill for cooking. Moreover, you must also know that cleaning stainless steel grill is a tough process, and therefore, you will need to use warm water for cleaning before applying soap.

How To Season a Smoker

Suppose you have purchased a new smoker and want to light it up to test the meat cut. However, you must know that curing is very much required when it comes to the smoker. But seasoning a smoker is very different from seasoning cast iron or stainless-steel grates. Seasoning is necessary to get amazing BBQ results, and this can be done by following the steps mentioned below:

  1. Clean the surface of the smoker thoroughly.
  2. You can use dishwasher soap and warm water for better results.
  3. Once the cleaning is done, dry the surface using a clean cloth.
  4. You can also place on the smoker in sunlight so that it dries quickly.
  5. After complete drying, coat the interior of the smoker with vegetable oil. You can use a cooking spray to coat the inside walls as well.
  6. Now, slowly heat the smoker. You will see light burning of the oil, and then you can use the smoker for cooking.
  7. The approximate time required for heating the surface may take up to 4 hours. Therefore, maintain the temperature while cooking.

Some best practices to season a smoker are also listed below:

  • Make sure that the smoker is placed on a levelled surface. If the surface is at a gradient, the coated oil may run from one end to another.
  • Wipe excess oil, if any, from the bottom of the surface. Thinner the coating, the better the results.
Once the smoker is seasoned properly, you can cook your steaks or patties without worrying about stickiness or undercooking. After using the smoker, you can keep the smoker as it is. But make sure the period of usage must not exceed 1 or 2 weeks. If you are using the smoker after 2-3 weeks, we recommend re-seasoning the smoker using the same steps mentioned above.

Seasoning Results and Expectations

While many believe that seasoning a grill is the same for all kinds of grates, we believe that different materials require different curing. So, we have provided you with various ways to season your grates. In addition, the oiling and pre-heating of the grills and griddles help you create a protective film on the metal surface that aids in preventing rust and enhances durability. Moreover, you may expect the grills to add taste to the steaks or burgers you are grilling.

In addition to that, the seasoning burns down the dust and manufacturing oils. This helps in removing the toxins from the grill grates also. Hence, seasoning and curing is an amazing way to remove contaminants. Also, the pre-heating and curing make the grates non-sticky, making the grills easier to clean. This also makes the grills to be low-maintenance. Howsoever, you will need to do regular maintenance as well. So, this was all about how to season a new gas grill and the processes to season them.

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