You’re in the midst of opening up your barbecue for the season and aren’t quite sure what to do with your cast iron cooking grates. There’s a trick to properly maintaining the grates and preventing them from rusting – seasoning.
Let’s talk about two of the most popular methods for seasoning your cast iron cooking grates.
Bake and Use
To season the grates, you’ll first want to wash them in warm, soapy water. Dry them off and then oil them with melted lard, vegetable shortening, or vegetable oil and cover the rack with foil.
Bake the grates at around 350°F for about 30 minutes to an hour. This will allow the oil to thoroughly coat the grates, creating a protective barrier. Remove the rack and let it cool. You can repeat this step two or three times.
After that you can either reinstall the grates back on your barbecue for immediate grilling, or if you’re planning on not using them for a while, store the grates uncovered in a dry place.
Bag and Store
When winter comes and it's time to put the BBQ away, simply coat them in vegetable oil, put them in a plastic bag, and store in a cool, dry place.
Cast iron cooking grates are great if you’re a grilling connoisseur, as they tend to heat up faster and often stay hotter than their stainless steel counterparts. They also produce those much-desired restaurant style grill marks.
If you’re the kind of person who grills every night, then regular seasoning isn’t a big concern, and a burn-off before each cooking session should do the trick. However, if you’re only grilling once a week or every so often, you’ll want to regularly season the grates.
A general rule of thumb is to season the grates every few months to ensure they don’t rust. To maintain your cast iron grates, you’ll want to leave the food and cooking residues on the grates after use. This will produce a protective coating on the surface. You can burn off the residue just before you grill again.
Published by Sarah - Goemans Appliance Expert on Tuesday, April 28th