How to Properly Season Cast Iron Grills


While requiring more care than a steel or porcelain grill, cast iron grills are popular for their reputed searing capabilities and hardiness. Cast iron is a porous, non-toxic, and non-stick cooking surface that contributes to your dietary intake of iron. If you properly season a cast iron grill before your first use, and regularly maintain it, you'll get years of cooking enjoyment out of it. Before the seasoning process, wash your cast iron grill with hot water and dish soap and dry thoroughly. This will ensure that any protective waxy coatings are completely gone.

Things You'll Need

  • Barbecue
  • Vegetable oil or lard
  • Paper towels
  • Coat the grill with a thin, even layer of lard or vegetable shortening, covering all surfaces.

  • Preheat your barbecue at high heat with the lid open.

  • Close the lid and turn down the temperature to medium when the barbecue reaches high heat.

  • Leave the barbecue on for thirty minutes to allow the oil to penetrate the iron grill. After half an hour, turn off the barbecue and let the grill slowly cool.

  • Remove the grill from the barbecue when it is cool to the touch. Use water (but no soap) to clean off any burnt oil.

  • Lightly re-coat the grill with vegetable oil on a paper towel.

Tips & Warnings

  • After the initial seasoning process, remember to maintain your grill. Clean the grill with a barbecue brush and hot water, if necessary (no soap). Re-coat with a light layer of vegetable oil after each use. This will keep your grill hardy and rust-free.
  • If working in the winter, you can season your grill indoors using an oven heated to 300 degrees F. Be sure to place aluminum foil on a baking sheet underneath to prevent any excess oil from dripping in your oven. You may want to turn on the exhaust fan or open windows, as the process can produce a strong odor.
  • Be sure not to use too much oil or lard when coating your grill. Too much oil will spark large flames in the barbecue, and may burn some of the oil on your grill.

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  • Photo Credit Barbecue image by Paty Cullen Wingrove from
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