It’s funny that most people who buy new charcoal or gas grills usually have no idea how to get them ready for cooking. If you have just bought a new grill and you want to be prepared to get it to work, it’s crucial to invest some time to learn how to go about it first.
If you break in your new charcoal grill incorrectly, it’s highly likely that you won’t like the results. Besides getting some nasty manufacturing substances mixing with your food when grilling, you are likely to have your food, especially meat, stuck to the grill.
To cut the story short, if you are eager to cook that skinless BBQ chicken for your family but you aren’t sure how to break in a new charcoal grill, you are in the right place. Here, we’ll guide you step by step on how you can get your new charcoal grill ready for cooking.
How to Break In a New Charcoal Grill
- Read your manual
It’s the foremost step to getting your new charcoal grill ready to work. Thoroughly read through your manufacturer grill manual and make sure that you adhere to the given safety instructions. If the instructions warn against using something (even if it’s in this guide), then don’t use it, not unless you want to ruin and toss your grill in the bin within the next few days. Which is, of course, a total waste of money and time.
- Confirm whether the grill is fully assembled
Sometimes we assume that everything is the way it should be only to realize too late that something was missing. Since it’s human to error, then it’s vital to check for mistakes. After all, it will only take a few minutes. Thoroughly inspect your new grill and make sure that all the parts are present and the grill is well assembled.
- Get the grill to the cooking area
Where do you want to cook from? Identify a clean and well ventilated outdoor area and get your grill there. If possible, do it in your yard – avoid populated and highly polluted areas. Also, as a safety measure, stay away from flammable objects or structures.
- Get your grill ready for seasoning
Seasoning your new charcoal grill is one of the best ways to effectively break in your new charcoal grill and enjoy a wonderful cooking experience. In simple terms, seasoning means oiling and pre-heating your grill before cooking on it for the first time. Why do I need to pre-heat the grill? The main reason is to burn off any dirt, oil, coating, and other toxic manufacturing or storage contaminants that might have attached to the grill.
- How do you season a new grill?
The seasoning process will depend on the type of grill you are using, although the process is quite similar. For a charcoal grill, here is how to go about it:
- Using a brush, brush away any dirt on the entire grill. Using warm soapy water, wet a rag or sponge and wipe the grill and grate surfaces. Use clean water to rinse the grill and allow it to dry.
- Before heating your charcoal grill, apply high-heat cooking oil such as peanut oil on the surface of the charcoal grill (you can also use coconut oil).
- Wipe excess oil on the grate using a soft towel and light the grill. Allow it to heat for about 20 to 30 minutes. Remember to light your grill as instructed in the manufacturer’s manual. After 30 minutes, the grates should have turned to a dark brown or black color depending on the material of the grill.
- Turn off the heat and allow the grill to cool. Brush away any debris on the grate with a wire brush.
Why should you season your grill?
Here are a few reasons why it’s important to season your grill before cooking on it:
- Safety – almost every product that is manufactured will have dust, metal shavings, leftover paint, dirt, and manufacturing oils, among other debris. Seasoning is meant to burn off these impurities and prepare your grill for safe cooking.
- Increases the lifespan of the grill – seasoning prevents rusting and buildup of debris on the grill that could lessen the lifespan of your grill. To extend the life of your grill, make sure you season it regularly.
- Easier grilling and cleaning– seasoning smoothens your grill grate surface making it non-stick. Oily and smooth grates will ensure easy cooking, rolling, and turning of food. Additionally, non-stick surfaces are easy to clean.
Just like any other equipment, your charcoal grill will need proper maintenance. Simple maintenance tips to keep in mind include:
- Perform regular operation checks on your grill. Repair problems immediately after you notice them.
- To prevent flare-ups, remove excess fat from meats before cooking and wipe away any food leftovers on the grill after cooking. Allow the heat to burn for about 10 minutes after cooking so that leftovers can be burned,
- Clean your grill regularly to keep it in good condition.
- Season your grill regularly, like every few months to maintain its stunning non-stick coating and prevent rust from forming. If not, make sure that you season your grill at the beginning of a grilling season.
- Re-season your grill if you see rust forming or when foods start to stick on the grates.
Adequately preparing your new grill for cooking is something that you should do straight away after your grill is put together. It will not only be good for your health, but it will save you from a stressful grilling experience. Just remember to keep in mind the manufacturer’s safety instructions when getting your grill ready. Also, don’t skip the seasoning step – it’s the first step to a great grilling experience.
Skipping this step will cause your food to burn or stick on the grates when cooking. Your food is also likely to mix with manufacturing substances, and besides being dangerous for your health, it could alter the taste as well as the color of your food.
Moreover, make sure that you repeat the same procedure that we have discussed in this article on how to break in a new charcoal grill at the beginning of every grilling season. Overall, we can’t stress enough how crucial it is to season your grill properly.