The process of seasoning a charcoal grill--also known as the curing process--burns out all factory chemicals and impurities that can flavor food and provides a protective coating to the grilling chamber that inhibits rust. Taking just an hour or two to properly execute the process will add years of use to the grill.
Things You'll Need
Vegetable oil grilling spray or shortening
One sheet wax paper if using shortening
One bag natural lump charcoal
Electric charcoal starter
Use a damp sponge or rag soaked in hot water to wipe down all interior surfaces of the new grill, including grates and the grilling chamber and lid.
Coat all interior surfaces and the cooking grate with a thin layer of vegetable oil grilling spray or vegetable shortening. If using shortening, apply the grease with a sheet of wax paper.
Pour about 10 pounds of natural lump charcoal on the coal grate or basin, gather it into the center of the grill in a mound and bury an electric charcoal starter in the pile of coal before plugging in the device.
Open all vents for maximum air flow and allow the starter to stay in the charcoal for eight to 10 minutes until the coal begins to smoke and crackle.
Remove the charcoal starter, unplug the device and use the starter iron to spread the lit charcoal evenly across the coal grate or basin. Then place the starter in a safe location to cool.
Close the grill lid and allow it to heat at between 300 and 400 degrees for one to two hours until the grease ceases smoking and a dark, protective coating forms on the inside.
Allow ash and unburnt coal fragments to completely cool before discarding.
Over time, the protective coating on grates and inside smoking and grilling chambers can wear out. Spraying new coats of grilling spray on all internal surfaces before and after use can rejuvenate the seasoning process. Remove leftover food and other charred debris from grates with a wire brush before re-greasing.
Use fire-resistant cooking mitts when feeding coals or chips into the fire, and handle meat with long grilling-style cooking tongs to avoid burns.