BBQ 101: Care and Maintenance Information for your Cooking Grates

What is a Cooking Grate?

It is the main cooking surface of your grill that is in direct contact with all of the foods being cooked. Your barbecue has either porcelain coated cast iron or stainless steel cooking grates. Follow the care instructions based on the type of grate you have.

Proper Care & Maintenance will help to prevent the following:

  1. Rust/ corrosion
  2. Food sticking
  3. Chipping/ shattered Porcelain coating
  4. Splitting cooking rods
  5. Soot build-up
  6. Grease fires

Caring for PORCELAIN COATED CAST IRON Cooking Grates

  • With every use, brush off all build-up on the cooking grates, prior to lighting your grill.
  • Following every BARBECUE session, always perform a burn off of your cooking grates by turning the temperature on HIGH, for 5 minutes. It is not necessary at this point to brush your grates again using a grill brush, as the left over residue from cooking will protect your grates from moisture and humidity.
  • Two - Three times a season: Full seasoning of your porcelain cast iron cooking grates is recommended two to three times a season, especially following long storage periods.

How do I season my Cast Iron / Porcelain Cast Iron Cooking Grates?

  1. Start by removing your cooking grates from your BARBECUE
  2. Brush clean by removing any build-up on the surface using a brass bristled brush. Only clean when grates are cool.
  3. Wash the grates with mild dish soap and water (first time use only).
  4. Dry thoroughly – this is important to avoid further damages caused from moisture entering the cast iron. Then towel dry or let them sit in a very hot, sunny area to dry out quickly.
  5. Using VEGETABLE SHORTENING – not butter, PAM, olive oil or any other oil that burns off quickly. Coat the entire cooking grate: front to back, every rod, corner and curve with vegetable shortening, ensuring that every groove or chipped area has been covered.
  6. Once coated, pre-heat your conventional oven to 250-350 °F.
  7. Place seasoned cooking grates into conventional oven on top of aluminum foil. This process will bake the vegetable shortening into every groove on the surface of the cooking grates, including any chipping or cracking porcelain.
  8. The baking time will depend on the thickness of the cooking grates but usually it is between 15-20 minutes, if oven is preheated.
  9. Turn off oven and let cooking grates stand until cool.
  10. Remove from oven and replace on BARBECUE.

Repeating this process several times throughout the season will create a stronger "seasoning" bond, improved performance and non-stick capabilities, just like an old cast iron pot or frying pan.

Should I season my cooking grates before every session?

Yes, however you are not required to remove your grates from your grill to season during every session. Before heating and cleaning with a grill brush, use a rag or dish towel that is coated in vegetable oil or shortening to coat the entire top surface of the grate. Do not use paper towels because they tend to stick to the grates.

Caring for STAINLESS STEEL Cooking Grates

Stainless steel cooking grates are durable, provide excellent heat retention and offer trouble free maintenance.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Prior to preheating the barbecue, remove all build up from cooking grates using a barbecue grill brush.
  • Always prep cooking grates with a light coating of vegetable shortening or vegetable oil.

Attention: Under extreme heat, stainless steel cooking grates will become discolored with an orange/ brown colouring, at first use. This is a natural occurrence and does not in any way affect the composite, nor does it affect cooking performance.