· Master Your Grill
Cast Iron Versus Stainless Steel Maintenance
Caring for your barbecue and it's grill is easy if you do it regularly. Whether you have cast iron or stainless steel grills, a little TLC (tender loving cleaning) goes a long way. Follow these steps below to show your barbecue how much you care about it.
CARING FOR CAST IRON GRILLS:
WARNING : Follow all safety instructions provided with your grill. Do not drop cast iron grates, as they will break.
FIRST TIME USE
Wash thoroughly with mild dish washing liquid. Rinse with hot water and dry completely with a soft cloth or paper towel. NEVER ALLOW TO DRAIN DRY, OR WASH IN A DISHWASHER. You must season the grates before use to prevent rust and keep foods from sticking.
WHAT IS THE CORRECT WAY TO SEASON CAST IRON GRIDS?
A solid unsalted vegetable shortening is recommended for the initial seasoning, but vegetable oil or olive oil will work as well. Never use Pam or other non-stick sprays to season your grids, as they burn off at a really low heat and don’t protect the grids well.
DO NOT use salted fat such as margarine or butter.
SEASONING: Spread a thin coating of solid vegetable shortening over the entire surface of the cast iron grids with a paper towel. Be certain the entire surface, including all corners, has been coated thoroughly. Preheat grill for 10 minutes on HIGH. Turn burners to medium with lid closed. Allow grill to heat for 30 minutes.
Turn all BBQ burners off. Leave cooking grids in grill until they are cool. Your cast iron grids are now ready to use.
RESEASONING: After each use, the grids may be re-seasoned by coating with a solid unsalted vegetable shortening, vegetable oil or olive oil, closing the lid and leaving the cast iron grids in the grill until it is cool.
NOTE: As with all cast iron, the more the use, the easier the maintenance.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SEASON IRON GRIDS?
Just like a cast iron pan, it is necessary to season, and re-season cast-iron cooking grids. The oil will help protect the porcelain coating, decrease sticking, and protect the grids from rusting. This will mean for a seamless summer barbeque dinner.
Most cooking grids are coated with a durable porcelain enamel to assist in cleaning and reduce the tendency of food sticking to the grid. This is essentially a glass coating, Some chipping may occur if mishandled. This will not affect the use or performance of your grids. If some rust appears, remove the rust with a scrub pad and re-season the grid.
CARING FOR STAINLESS STEEL GRILLS:
Stainless steel cooking grids do require some attention especially if you use salt, marinades and seasonings that contain salt. The salt residue left behind will leave a rust-like orange blush on the cooking grids, which can easily be removed by washing and seasoning with vegetable oil.
HOT TIP: Seasoning with vegetable oil before and after use is an excellent practice for all types of cooking grids. It helps protect the grids from salts, reduces sticking and definitely aids in cleaning.
WHAT NOT TO DO WITH STAINLESS STEEL GRILLS
Never use bleach, or cleaners containing bleach. If accidental contact occurs wash immediately with baking soda and rinse thoroughly. Never use metal or steel wool to scour stainless steel. The residue left behind by the metal or steel wool will show as rust. Never use harsh abrasives. They will mar the finish. Never use acid on stainless steel.
MAINTENANCE (every-time you grill)
Don’t do a burn-off after you grill, but rather leave the cooking residues on the grates to keep a protective coating on the cast iron. Then do burn-off just before you grill. Brush of charred residues with a brass brush.
STORING YOUR GRIDS
Prior to storing or when your grill will not be used for an extended period, grease the grids very lightly with solid vegetable shortening, then wipe dry with a paper towel. Store in a dry place, if you're in either Calgary this likely means inside the home if possible. If you're in the Greater Toronto Area you may be fortunate enough to have a well-stocked and thought out built-in grill and outdoor kitchen with cabinet compartments.