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  • In order to get the best performance out of your BBQ grill, and the best flavors out of what you cook on your outdoor grill, there’s one critical thing you need to make sure you always do with a perfectly clean grill, or a new grill: season it.

    Whether your grill is shiny and new, or ancient with layers of baked on grime and oil, having a clean, yet appropriately seasoned barbeque is the key to delicious, simple and easy outdoor cooking. A properly seasoned grill is essential for cooking up amazing dishes and culinary creations in your outdoor kitchen. But what does it mean to ‘season’ your grill and how can you do it yourself at home? Here we look at what seasoning your grill is, the benefits for you and your cooking and how to prepare and season your own grill for ideal results.


    And no, it doesn’t mean adding salt and pepper to taste. Seasoning an outdoor grill or the plates in an outdoor kitchen means preparing the grill plates to function and perform at their prime throughout the life of your grill. Seasoning a grill involves applying oil to the cooking surfaces and simply heating the oil-coated surface to ‘seal’ and protect the grill plates. This process of seasoning protects your grill plates from rust, makes them easy to cook on and clean as well. Despite the use of the term ‘seasoning’, this process doesn’t necessarily change the taste of your food, but it does make cooking on your outdoor grill or kitchen island easier and more effective.


    Grills, both old and new need to be seasoned from time to time in order to maintain ideal cooking conditions. However, some types of grills and outdoor cooking equipment do not require seasoning. Porcelain and enamel coated cast iron grill plates do not require seasoning prior to use, for all types of plates and grills. This includes the cooking surface in outdoor pizza ovens as well, which do not require seasoning. Stainless steel and cast iron grill plates that are not coated do require seasoning however, and should be properly seasoned before and after each use for best results.

    If you are thinking of building an outdoor grill island to house your barbeque and host your outdoor entertaining, consider implementing a kitchen island design that allows for easy grill cleaning and seasoning as you will need to do this often.


    An outdoor grill, whether as a standalone piece of equipment or incorporated into an outdoor grill island, should be seasoned when new, when freshly cleaned, and ideally before and after each use. Many grillers like to leave the oils and residue from the last meal cooked on the grill resting on the grill plates as a form of ‘seasoning’. However, this residue contains a lot of food particles and oil which can potentially become rancid, so it’s better to properly clean and season your grill after each use, in order to leave it in a pristine condition, ready to cook on next time around. Freshly seasoning your grill just after cleaning keeps the grill plates in prime condition and prevents rust and difficulty cleaning the grates in the long term.



    Seasoning a new grill is fairly easy as the grill has never been used and should be clean and clear of debris. This seasoning technique works for both stainless steel and cast iron grill plates and grates.

    Wipe down your grill plates with a soft wet cloth to remove any residues from manufacture or storage. While the grill is off and the plates and grate are still cold, coat all cooking surfaces (including emitters) with a cooking oil that stays safe at high heat. High heat cooking oils include peanut oil, canola oil and grapeseed oil, but olive oil should not be used.

    Coat the surfaces evenly with the oil and wipe off excess using a pastry brush, soft dry cloth or paper towel. Then light your grill and heat it on a low to medium setting for 15 minutes until the oil burns off or starts smoking. The once shiny finish of your grill plates and grate should now be bronze or dark brown.

    It’s good to get your cooking surfaces dark and well-seasoned, as this helps to get your grill hotter when cooking. Once you have seasoned the grill and it has cooled, coat lightly with another layer of oil to prevent rust until next use.


    The process for seasoning older and new grills is generally the same, but more extensive cleaning may be required for older grills, particularly if you haven’t been strict with keeping your grill clean in the past. This is where an outdoor kitchen island that integrates a sink and washing up area can be handy, to make it easy to clean your grill plates after each use.

    If you have a lot of hard set debris on your grill plates, it’s time for an overhaul and re-season. While the grill is still warm, brush off extra debris and baked on residue while it is still soft using a grill brush. You can then thoroughly clean the grill plates using soapy water and a bristle brush. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry completely before re-seasoning according to the above method.

    After each time you cook on the grill, brush off leftover bits of burned on food, wipe down, and season in preparation for next use, in order to keep your grill easy to use and clean.

    Seasoning your grill and keeping it in perfect working order with regular cleaning helps to make your grilling easier and smoother, whether you use your grill weekly, monthly or yearly. Outdoor kitchen islands and integrated BBQ islands make cooking on, and cleaning your outdoor grill easy, while providing a highlight for your outdoor entertaining.