How to Season BBQ Grills Guide

bbq grill
To season your bbq grill, clean the grates thoroughly. Turn your grill on high heat (450°F) and let the grates get hot. Apply a thin coating of a high-smoke point vegetable oil such as Avocado oil over the surface using a towel and tongs. Allow the grill to cook the oil for 10-15 minutes before turning the grill off and wiping up any excess oil.

Seasoning is a process in which cooking oil is applied to the grill’s surface to help create a non-stick coating. This is similar to seasoning a cast iron skillet and helps prevent food from sticking to the grill grates.

Do You Need to Season a New Grill?

Seasoning your grill for the first time involves cleaning the metal grate with a wire brush and applying vegetable oil over the cooking surface.

There are a few reasons why seasoning your new grill is essential:

1. Seasoning helps to prevent rust and corrosion. If you don’t season your grill, it can rust when exposed to moisture and oxygen. Rusting makes it harder for the metal to conduct heat evenly, so your food won’t cook as well on an unseasoned grill.

2. Seasoning helps prevent sticky cooking surfaces and makes cleanup easier. If your grill isn’t appropriately seasoned, food will stick to the metal and make cleaning difficult or impossible without damaging the grill’s surface.

3. Seasoning adds flavor to food and helps build a layer of protective oil on top of the metal that keeps food from sticking or burning.

4. Seasoning eliminates dangerous contaminants that can affect your food.

What is the Best Oil to Season a Grill?

Since you’ll be heating your barbecue grill, you want to ensure that the oil you use won’t break down under high heat—which means it needs a high smoke point (higher than olive oil).

The best oils for seasoning your grill are:

  • Avocado oil. This oil has a high smoke point (up to 520°F), and also tastes great!
  • Canola oil. This common cooking oil has a smoke point over 450°F and a neutral flavor that won’t affect your meat.
  • Peanut oil. This oil can also reach a high temperature of 450°F and has an awesome flavor.

How to Season a New Grill

The process for seasoning a new grill is generally the same for both charcoal and gas grills, with a few minor differences.

Here are the simple steps involved in seasoning a new grill:

1. Clean the grill grates.

Before seasoning the grill, it’s essential to remove any dirt, dust, metal shavings, or debris from the grates. You can use a grill brush to scrub the grates clean for a charcoal grill. For a gas grill, you can use a grill brush or a scraper specifically designed for cleaning gas grill grates.

2. Heat the grill.

Once the grill grates are clean, it’s time to heat the grill. For a charcoal grill, light the charcoal and allow it to burn until it is covered in a layer of white-gray ash. For a gas grill, turn on the burners and allow the grill to heat up to around 500°F (260°C).

3. Coat the grill grates with a thin coating of oil.

Once the grill is hot, coat the grates with oil. You can use a cooking spray, a basting brush, or a cloth held between tongs to apply the oil. Be sure to coat the grates evenly, particularly on areas prone to sticking.

4. Allow the oil to cook.

Once the grates are coated, allow the oil to cook for about 10-15 minutes. This will help create a non-stick surface on the grates and prevent food from sticking when you start grilling.

5. Let the grill cool down and wipe off excess oil.

Once the oil has had a chance to cook on the grates, use a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe off any excess oil. A thin coating is what you’re looking for.

6. Repeat the process as needed.

It’s an excellent idea to re-season your grill regularly to keep the grates in good condition and prevent food from sticking. You can repeat the seasoning process every time you cook or as needed.

How Often Should You Season a Grill?

As with seasoning skillets, it’s a good idea to season your grill before using it if you haven’t grilled in a while to ensure it is ready. It is essential to pay attention to the condition of the grates and burners to ensure that they are in good working order.

How do you know when your grill needs seasoning? There are a few telltale signs:

  • Food doesn’t taste as good as it used to
  • You’ve been using aluminum foil to prevent food from sticking
  • The only thing that comes out of your grill is ash and smoke
  • Your meat cooks unevenly

What are the Benefits of Seasoning a Grill?

Seasoning your grill is essential for a few reasons. It will help you get the most out of your grilling experience, keep your grill looking and smelling brand new, and make it easier to cook on.

If you don’t season your grill, it can be harder to clean, less likely to last, and develop an unpleasant odor that may make your food taste bad. It is also a sure way to ensure it will rust and fall apart over time.

What Happens if You Don’t Season a BBQ Grill?

If you don’t season a BBQ grill regularly, there are many negative consequences:

  • You might be unable to use certain parts of the grill because they are so rusted over from lack of maintenance (like cooking grates or drip pans).
  • You can end up with an unpleasant odor due to buildup in the crevices where food gets stuck, which causes bacteria growth if left unattended.
  • Your food will end up not being evenly cooked, and the result will be disappointing.

How to Clean and Season an Old Grill

An old grill will get rusty over time, making cleaning even harder. So the best rule to follow is prevention!

Cleaning and seasoning a grill regularly will prolong the life of your grill and improve its performance (this is especially important for stainless steel and cast-iron grates).

Luckily, there are many ways of cleaning an old rusty grill to get it ready for the seasoning process:

  1. Use a wire bristle brush, or sandpaper in case of extreme rust to remove layers of buildup. You will need to use some elbow grease to get as much off as possible.
  2. Next, make a paste by mixing one part baking soda with two parts vinegar and add the mixture to a spray bottle.
  3. Apply your paste on each grill section starting with a small area before moving on to the next section. Pay special attention to the grill grates.
  4. Keep coating your grill with the paste, and scrub every part thoroughly.
  5. Let it sit like this for about 30 minutes, so the paste has time to penetrate.
  6. Wipe the grill with a damp towel and then a dry rag.
  7. Repeat these steps as much as needed until your old grill is clean. Once clean, with no signs of visible rust, you can season as you would normally.
  8. Follow the same steps you would for a new grill; the only difference is that you’d want to do it a few times to ensure a good result.


Alexandra is a passionate writer who loves everything related to food: from buying local produce and sourcing the best ingredients to finding the perfect spice mix and sauce to complement each dish. She loves getting together with friends near a campfire and grilling up some barbecue goodness while having quality conversations - no screens allowed.

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