Seasoning your stainless steel and cast iron cooking grids is something that you should do as soon as your grill is put together, before you put it away for the season (not that you do ‘cause who doesn’t grill all year?), and at least every 4 months or so. It should be part of your grill maintenance routine. Seasoning your grids prevents food from sticking, prevents rusting, prevents buildup of debris, making it easier to remove what little debris accumulates, and extends the life of your grids. Overall we can’t stress how important it is to properly season your grids.
Caring for Stainless Steel Grids
Stainless steel cooking grids don’t need as much maintenance as cast iron grids. They have the ability to retain even heat for long periods of time. Stainless steel grids are shiny straight out of the box, although you may notice a little bit of discoloration after the first few uses. This is the steel developing a patina that can range from yellow to nearly black. This patina is good. It is the steel protecting itself from corrosion, although it does need a little help from you. The first couple of uses of your stainless steel cooking grids will prove to be a little sticky because the patina has not been built up yet. After your first time use maintenance is performed, remember to allow your food to cook completely on one side before attempting to flip it. The food will self-release once the food touching the grids is sufficiently cooked. PRO TIP: Never grill frozen food, especially on new stainless steel cooking grids. The heat will cause the food to contract and hold on to the hot surface.
First Time Use
Follow these steps when using your stainless steel grids for the very first time:
- Remove the cooking grids and give them a wash with warm soapy water and a soft cloth.
- Dry the cooking grids completely.
- Preheat your grill for cooking. Using a Silicone Basting Brush and high temperature oils that are high in saturated fats, like melted Crisco, vegetable, or canola oil, carefully brush your grids with oil and continue preheating until you’re ready to cook.
Follow these steps if your grill isn’t brand new:
- Preheat the grill while you prepare for cooking.
- Using the Napoleon Bristle Free Grill Brush, brush away any debris from previous meals.
- Using a silicone basting brush and high temperature oil, like melted Crisco, vegetable, or canola oil, carefully brush your grids.
- Grill a fantastic meal on your Napoleon.
Caring for Porcelainized Cast Iron Cooking Grids
Like your favorite frying pan, Napoleon’s Porcelainized Cast Iron Cooking Grids provide a nonstick surface for cooking when properly seasoned and cared for. If you swear by that afore mentioned frying pan, you will swear by these cooking grids. Properly maintaining them is easy and should be done every fourth or fifth grilling session. Cast Iron withstands high temperatures like a champ, providing fantastic searing. They retain heat and distribute it evenly. They’re a little higher maintenance than stainless steel grids, but it’s well worth the effort for the incredible meals. Cast iron cooking grids are not completely smooth. Use of paper towel is not recommended as the fibers will stick to the grids and no one want’s paper towel with their meal. Paper towel is also thin and flammable, use a Silicone Basting Brush to apply oils instead.
First Time Use
Follow these steps when using your cast iron grids for the very first time:
- Using warm soapy water and a soft cloth, wash your cooking grids and pat them dry, then allow them to dry completely.
- Using a high temperature oil that is also high in saturated fats, like shortening, flax seed oil, or canola oil, cover the grids completely, on both sides, with a thin coat.
- Turn the grill on once more and heat the grill to between 350 and 400°F for 30 to 60 minutes. Remember to keep the temperature below the smoke point of the fat used. This will allow the oil to bond to the surface of your grids creating a protective coating.
- Grill a fantastic meal on your Napoleon.
After Full Seasoning
It is recommended that you follow these steps after you’ve seasoned the first time, and every time you grill:
- Turn the grill on to high and allow the grill to heat up in preparation for cooking.
- Use a brass grill brush to brush away any debris from previous culinary adventures.
- Use a silicone basting brush, and high temperature oil, like flax seed or canola oil to brush the grids before you cook.
We suggest that you re-season your grids every four months, or once at the beginning and once at the end of grilling season. This will maintain the finish on your cast iron cooking grids and prevent corrosion.
- Clean your grids with warm, soapy water. Inspect the grids carefully. Remove any surface corrosion with steel wool.
- Allow the grids to dry completely.
- Using a high temperature oil like shortening, flax seed oil, or canola oil, cover the grids completely, on both sides, with a thin coating.
- Turn the grill on and heat the grill to between 350 and 400°F for 30 to 60 minutes. Remember to keep the temperature below the smoke point of the fat used, which will allow the oil to bond to the surface of your grids.
The Science of Seasoning
The application of a thin coat of oil like flaxseed, or canola oil creates a coating that is both nonstick and protective. These high temperature oils are heat drying, and the application of high temperatures causes the oil to polymerize to the grids.
We’re Stuck On Seasoning
Seasoning your stainless steel and cast iron cooking grids is one of the best things you can do to extend the life of your grill. Keep watching our Facebook and Blog for more grilling tips and tricks.