How To Season Cast Iron Grill – Grilling Guide

HOW TO  SEASON  CAST  IRON GRILL

Cast iron has been used in almost all cooking surfaces for thousands of years now. They are ideal for making cooking surfaces as they have high heat durability to withstand high temperatures while cooking meat and it adds flavor to our food. The more we cook using iron cast grills, the better our foods will taste. These are very strong but highly reactive to even a single droplet of water when left for a longer time. Thus making it easier to become rusted. 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SEASON A CAST IRON GRILL

Seasoning the iron cast grill is the process of oiling and heating the grill before using for the first time after buying it from the factory. The following are the reasons why seasoning an iron cast grill is essential

  • A newly bought grill will have all the residue from the factory and the excess paintings and the remainings of chemicals used during the production process. Thus, seasoning an iron cast grill will help in removing the impurities and sterilize it.
  • A seasoned iron cast grill creates a non-stick cooking surface. This helps in less usage of oil, butter, or fat while cooking.
  • A well-seasoned iron cast grill will create a layer that acts as a protective layer from the air, making it less prone to rust. This preventive layer increases its lifespan.
  • A properly seasoned iron cast grill will be much easier to clean and maintain.

HOW TO SEASON CAST IRON GRILLS

1. Seasoning a new iron cast grill

As mentioned earlier, it is essential to remove all the chemical residues from the grill before cooking on it. So, season a new iron cast grill with the following steps:

  • Remove the cast iron grill and wash them with warm soapy water, and air dry them thoroughly.
  • Use a clean brush or a paper towel to rub oil over the iron grill. Make sure you apply the oil in every part of the grill on both sides, making it seasoned more evenly, thereby making it ideal for cooking.
  • Also, rub oil on the insides of the pits and emitters.
  • Replace the grill and start to heat it to the highest temperature available for about 30 to 60 minutes. It is advisable to keep the temperature below the smoke point of the oil used.
  • You can repeat the process 3 to 4 times to ensure the iron pores are filled thoroughly with oil residues.
  • Turn the heat off and let it cool and start your grilling sessions.

2. Seasoning after first cooking:

The following are the steps to be followed after the grilling session of the first seasoning process:

  • Use a metal brush to remove the remaining food particles from the grill.
  • Use a silicone brush or a brass brush to apply oil to its surface.
  • Turn the fire on and keep it for about 30 minutes. This helps in strengthening the seasoned coating on the grill.

3. Maintenance

It is not only important to season the grill for the first time, but it is also necessary to season it once in a while to make its life longer. Repeat the same procedure of washing it with soap, then applying oil and heating it at a high temperature. Some say it is necessary to season the iron cast grill after every cooking, but it is generally advisable to do it once in 4 to 5 months.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD TO SEASON IRON CAST GRILL:

Season Cast grill in Oven:

Follow the same procedure by removing the excess food particles from the grill by thoroughly using a paper towel and brushing the oil of your choice. The Oven is pre-heated for 5 to 10 minutes at 275F. Place the oil-coated grill grate on the Oven, and heat for 30 to 40 minutes at 350F.

CHOOSING OILS FOR SEASONING IRON CAST GRILL:

Seasoning iron cast grill is done at very high heat. So it is necessary to choose the right type of oil which can withstand such high heat. You would have frequently come across the names such as canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, hemp oil, flaxseed oil, etc., to season the iron cast grill. Though these are the commonly used oils for the purpose, the following are the 5 best oils used for seasoning iron cast grills. 

1. GrapeOla Grape seed oil:

This is one of the best oils used to season your iron cast grill. It is extracted from Spanish Wine Grape Seeds. Though his oil is expensive, it is highly suggested for seasoning purposes for the following reason:

  • High-temperature endurance up to 450F
  • Multi-purpose oil
  • Suitable for various cookwares
  • Does not give any odd smell after the seasoning process

2. Caron & Doucet - Cast iron Seasoning and Cleaning Oil

This oil is suitable for seasoning and cleaning various cookware. It is extracted from refined coconut oil. Though this oil has low smoking point, it stands the second best for its properties like,

  • Preventing moisture from the cookware, thereby protecting it from rusting.
  • Does not have an odor after the seasoning process
  • Enhances the lifespan of the iron cast cooking surfaces
  • Suitable for various cookware. 

3. Barlean's Fresh Organic Flax Oil

This is the top flax seed oil used by many customers to season and re-season their cast grills. Though this oil gives a slightly bitter taste with regular usage, it is suggested because, 

  • It helps in preventing the surface from rusting
  • Provides a smooth and shiny look
  • Does not have an odor after the seasoning process

4. Kuche chef organic cast iron oil and cast iron conditioner

This is another flaxseed oil that tops the list because of its affordable price. Also called DRYING OIL. though this oil takes a few days to show the difference, it is recommended because

  • Quick and simple maintenance
  • Prevents the surface from rusting 
  • Does not give foul smell after seasoning process

5. Crisbee Swipe Cast Iron and Carbon Iron Seasoning

This oil becomes the most cost-effective among the oils that we have discussed today. It is a plant-based oil best suited for seasoning the iron cast grill to improve its overall condition. Though the effects of using this oil only last for a few days, it is recommended, 

  • As for cleaning and maintaining, the surface will be more comfortable.
  • Ideal for carbon steel and iron cast cookware.
  • It gives a smooth and non-sticky surface for cooking.
  • It helps to prevent corrosion.

WHEN TO SEASON CAST IRON GRILLS

Now that you have known why and how to season an iron cast grill, it's time to know the right time to season it. The cast iron cookware gives various signs to tell us that it needs care. The following are the common signs which indicate an iron cast grill needs seasoning.

1. Rust

As mentioned initially, iron cast cookware is highly reactive to even a single droplet of water when left for a longer time. These iron cast cookware are easily prone to rust and corrosion, especially during rainy and winter days as they get exposed to moisture more. Though this rust formation of rust is not harmful to our health, it is always better to wipe it off. If it doesn't go away with a wipe, seasoning is essential.

2. Sticking

When food gets stuck to the surface of the grill, it means the non-sticky property is getting reduced. This stickiness could be due to various reasons, but it also indicates that the iron cast grill needs care with more seasoning layers.  

3. Flaking

Many times, black spots would appear after the cooking. This indicates that the iron cast grill is not seasoned correctly or it needs re-seasoning.

4. Black Residue

Black residues generally occur when the grill is not seasoned correctly or when the seasoning coat is damaged. These black residues are harmful to our health. Hence immediate action of proper seasoning process needs to be done.

CONCLUSION:

Seasoning becomes the foundation surface for cooking in a Cast Iron Grill. As it creates a non - sticky layer and increases the longevity of the cast grill, it is essential to season your grill regularly,once in 4 to 5 months, to enjoy delicious grilled food with your loved one.