Season Your Grill, You Filthy Animal

Kieren Caldwell

The Essential Guide to Seasoning Your BBQ Grill: Why It's a Game-Changer for Your Grilling Experience

Introduction to BBQ Grill Seasoning

As the warm weather approaches and we begin to dust off our BBQ grills, the anticipation of smoky, delicious meals becomes almost tangible. But you can have the best spice blends and dry rubs in the world but if your grill is caked in burnt food, it'll be a sub-par experience.

Often misunderstood or skipped by many, seasoning a BBQ grill is the unsung hero of a successful cookout. Our guide, taking just 6 minutes to read, will help you raise your BBQ game.

Grill Seasoning and cleaning and dirty grill

What is Seasoning?

The Basics of Seasoning

At its core, seasoning involves coating the grill grates with oil and heating them until the oil breaks down and bonds to the metal, creating a non-stick surface. This process isn't just for cast iron pans; it's equally important for your BBQ grill.

Why Seasoning is Essential

Seasoning prevents rust, improves longevity, and, most crucially, enhances the flavor of your food. It's the foundation of a great grilling experience, ensuring your meats and vegetables don’t stick to the grill and retain their juicy goodness.

The Benefits of Seasoning Your Grill

Improved Non-Stick Surface

A well-seasoned grill means less food sticking to the grates and easier cleanup. It’s the first step toward professional-grade grilling at home.

Rust Prevention

Regular seasoning forms a protective barrier against moisture, the nemesis of metal, helping prevent rust and extending the life of your grill.

Enhanced Flavor

Seasoning isn't just about the practical benefits; it's also about taste. A seasoned grill contributes to that sought-after smoky flavor, adding depth to everything you cook.

Step-by-Step Guide to Seasoning Your Grill

Cleaning Before Seasoning

Start with a clean slate by thoroughly cleaning your grill grates. Remove any old food residue and rust to ensure the oil adheres properly.

Applying the Oil

Choose an oil with a high smoke point and apply it evenly over the grates. Less is more; you want a thin layer that covers without pooling.

The Heating Process

Heat your grill to high for about 15-20 minutes or until the oil starts to smoke. This creates the non-stick layer and locks in the benefits of seasoning.

And chill...

Allow your grill to cool to a normal temperature BEFORE cooking in it.

Choosing the Right Seasoning Oil

Types of Oils and Their Benefits

From canola to vegetable oil, choosing the right oil can make a difference. High smoke point oils are preferred for their ability to bond effectively without burning off too quickly.

Do use:  Peanut/Pine Nut Oil, avocado, vegetable or sunflower oil

What to Avoid

Not all oils are created equal. Avoid low smoke point oils or those with strong flavors that might impact the taste of your food.

Don't use:  Butter, olive oil or coconut oil.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Seasoning


Yes, there's such a thing as too much seasoning. Aim for a balance to ensure you're not creating a sticky surface that defeats the purpose of seasoning.

Using the Wrong Oil

Choosing the wrong oil can lead to smoke and flames, not the kind we're aiming for. Stick to high smoke point oils for the best results.

Maintaining Your Seasoned Grill

Post-Cooking Cleaning

After each use, a good brush-down while the grill is still warm can help maintain the seasoned surface without stripping it away.

Regular Re-seasoning

Depending on usage, re-seasoning your grill a few times a season can help maintain that perfect cooking surface.

Q&A on Seasoning a BBQ Grill

  1. How often should I season my grill?  It depends on usage, but a good rule of thumb is to season it at the start of the grilling season and after any thorough cleaning.

  2. Can I season a grill that's already been used?  Absolutely. Seasoning can be done at any time to improve performance and flavor, whether it's new or has seen a few seasons.

  3. Is there a best type of oil for seasoning?  High smoke point oils like canola or grapeseed are generally recommended for their effectiveness and neutral flavor.

  4. Does seasoning make cleaning the grill harder?  On the contrary, it makes cleaning easier by creating a non-stick surface that prevents food from adhering to the grates.

  5. Can I use olive oil for seasoning?  While olive oil can be used, its lower smoke point makes it less ideal compared to oils like canola or vegetable oil.

  6. What if my grill is rusted?  Remove as much rust as possible with a wire brush before seasoning. This will help restore the grill's surface and protect it moving forward.

Conclusion: The Art of Perfect Seasoning

Seasoning your BBQ grill is a simple yet transformative step in your grilling routine.  Crefted spice blends and BBQ dry rubs really sing when you look after your equipment.

Not only does it enhance the flavor of your food, but it also prolongs the life of your grill and makes cleaning a breeze. By following the steps outlined above, you'll ensure your grill is in prime condition for whatever culinary adventures lie ahead.

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