Grill season is finally upon us, and that means you can get out there and start enjoying outdoor meals. Burgers, veggies, steaks and more just taste better when they're cooked on the grill, don't they? They're healthier too, which is all the more reason to use a grill in your cooking. Before you fire it up and get cooking, you'll need to season that grill. Here's how to do it.
Why do you need to season a grill before you use it in the warmer months? Like most cooking utensils, you'll see build up on your grill over time. If you're taking good care of it, you'll want to ensure that it's easy to clean. When a grill is seasoned, it's so much easier to get food residue off the grill ready for next time. Plus, it helps prevent rust. The longer you keep your grill rust free, the longer you can use it.
Another good reason to season your grill is because it drastically improves the flavor of your food. When you cook on it, you'll see that the fats and juices vaporize, leaving a coating that helps your food taste better every time you cook. Season it before you use it, and you'll get that better taste right away. Seasoning is such a simple job and gives you so many benefits, that you've got to make sure you're doing it.
Ok, so how do you season the grill and get it ready for summer, and all those cook outs you'll be having? Here's what you need to do.
Clean your grill: Before you season the grill, it's got to be as clean as can be. Take a look online, and you'll see there are all kinds of ways to clean your grill. You can use a grill stone to rub the old food and dirt off. You can use a grill cleaning robot if you want to save time and energy. You can even use homemade cleaning solutions, such as crumpled up aluminum foil or even half an onion. All of these methods will work, so you'll need to find the one that works for you.
Most people like to use that trusty standby, the wire grill brush. The bristles are tough enough to take on anything, and the heads are shaped so you can get into every space to get all that dirt and food off. Even better, the brush can often be thrown into the dishwasher once you've used it, to get it clean.
Once you've done this, you'll be able to wash the grates down with a mild solution of water and dish soap. This is all that's needed to clean away any loose particles and get it clean. If the grill is new, it'll take off any wax or any other protective coating that was put on it for shipping.
Oil your grill: Now that the grill is clean, you're ready to oil it. This process helps to seal the grill, ensuring that nothing else from the manufacturing process gets into your food as you cook it. The first step is to use cooking oil to coat your grates. You can apply this in a number of ways, from applying with a paintbrush to using a paper towel or basting brush.
When you do this, ensure that you're using the right kind of oil for the job. You want something that has a high smoke point, such as vegetable, canola, or even peanut oil. This should be what properly seasons your grill.
Once you've covered the grates, apply this oil to the grill pit and lid. This is especially important if the grill is brand new. If you don't do this, chemicals from the manufacturing process can leach out during cooking. Cover everything in a fine layer of oil, and get ready for the next step.
Bake the coating in: Now that the cooking oil has been applied, you need to bake it into the grill itself. To do this, you'll need to heat it up. The way you do this will depend on the type of grill you have. If you have a charcoal grill for example, you'll need to add enough briquettes to heat the grill for about three hours, letting them burn until they're glowing hot. This should take about 15 minutes.
Once the grill has heated up, you'll need to reinstall the grate. Ensure you wear gloves at this point, to avoid any burns. Then, you need to leave the grill for around two hours. During this period, that oil will bake onto the grill and properly season it. Don't be tempted to open it and check on it during this time, but do keep an eye on it. It's a good idea to set an alarm, so you don't forget to stop it after two hours.
Allow the grill to cool: Once you've stopped the grill, allow it to cool down thoroughly. Once you've done that, check on it. The grates should have gone a dark bronze if they're stainless steel, or a shiny black if they're cast iron. This shows you that they have been properly seasoned, and are ready to use.
Get cooking: Now that the grill has been properly seasoned, you're ready to start it up and get ready for months of cooking. You'll really taste the difference in your food when you've seasoned it, and you'll find that there's nothing coating the grill that shouldn't be on there. Once you've finished and are ready to clean the grill again, it will be so much easier to wash it off ready for next time.
There are so many reasons to season your grill. Safety, taste and cleaning are all improved by the process. Plus, it's just so easy to do. Do it now before you start grilling this summer, and you'll really see the difference in your grilling experience. Once you've done it, you'll never want to go back.