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How to Clean and Season Your Cast Iron Grill Grates

Keep your Char-Griller cast-iron grates in fighting shape by ensuring they stay clean and seasoned from the day you get your grill fired up for the first time. Don’t worry. We’re showing you exactly how in this blog post.

Before Your First Cook…

The life of your cast-iron grates begins from the very first time you get your grill fired up. It’s essential to make sure your grates and the entirety of the interior of your grill are properly seasoned before you think about laying food on it. It’s a good idea to perform a burn-off by kicking your grill’s temperature up to 500-550°F for at least one hour to remove any factory coating used to protect the grates during shipping. Before the burn-off you may choose to give your grates a nice hard wash with warm water and soap if you choose. Be sure they are thoroughly dried off with a towel to prevent rust.

To fully season your grill, using a brush or paper towels, coat the entirety of the interior and both sides of the grates with your choice of oil or fat. We recommend flaxseed, vegetable or peanut oil for their high smoke point. Many pitmasters also swear by bacon grease and Pam cooking spray is also very convenient. Heat your grill up to 400-450° and allow it to burn for 40 minutes to an hour with all dampers open to ensure the oil penetrates the grates. Alternatively, you can place the grates in your oven at the same temperature. We recommend repeating this seasoning process 2-3 times prior to your first cook.

After Each Cook…

The upkeep of your cast-iron grates also depends on your treatment of them between each and every cook. Once you finish your smoking or grilling session, allow you grill to cool down a bit before brushing them completely with your grill brush or grate scrape to remove any stuck on food or grime. Apply a coat of oil using a paper towel or brush before storing.

Deep Cleaning…

We highly recommend that you give your grates a nice hard wash with mild soap at least once per year. Many pitmasters preach that water will surely ruin your grates altogether, however as long as you dry them thoroughly and keep them seasoned, your grates will be fine. This ensures you don’t get a nasty build up of grime and food over time.

To wash, thoroughly scrape the grates clean before washing them with a mild soap and warm water to remove grease and grime. Rinse and dry thoroughly with a towel before seasoning just as you did for the first time use above. You may wash your grill grates with soap and water more frequently, but understand you will need to re-season each and every time.

Cast-iron grates certainly require a lot of work, but when you show them proper love, they will surely love you back and more with amazing cooks and heat retention. How do you keep your cast-iron grates in fighting shape, #TeamCharGriller?