How to Season a Grill: a step-by-step Guide

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 24, 2021

Always the latest smoking tips & tricks?

Subscribe to THE ESSENTIAL newsletter for aspiring pitmasters

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Any new grill will benefit a lot from seasoning. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a gas or charcoal grill, stainless steel or cast iron, seasoning is always recommended. So, how do you actually do it? It’s easy.

Here are 5 steps how to season a grill you should follow:


How to Season a Grill No Matter If It Stainless Steel or Cast Iron Grill Grate

Rinse and Dry

Rinse, and air dry the grill grates first. You don’t have to use soap here. Plain water should work, but if for some reason you are using a detergent, make sure the grates are rinsed properly with a lot of water.

Grease Oil

Get heat resistant oil and wipe it all over the grate. Vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are all excellent options. The oils should be applied using a dry cloth or a basting grill brush.

Don’t Ignore The Inside

Don’t forget to wipe the oil on the inside of the lid, on the emitters, and also on the insides of the pit.

Light Up

Once the oil is applied evenly on all parts, light up the grill. Make sure it gets as hot as possible.

Burn Them All

Let it burn the oil for between 30 and 40 minutes.

The stainless steel will darken and become discolored while the cast iron grill will become slick black. There is nothing to worry about here. It’s simply a sign that a nonstick surface is developing and it’s a good thing.

Video how to season a smoker grill


Can an Old Grill Be Seasoned?

Yes, it is possible to season an older grill. When you use a grill for a long time, naturally stuck food will harden over time to create a layer of carbon on the metal. As this layer becomes more dominant, it makes your grill unsanitary and filthy. In that case, you may want to scrub it off using a brush. Use some soapy water too, and make sure all the layers are removed. Once this is done, rinse the grill and let it sun dry.

In order to loosen the hard carbon layer for easy cleaning, you can heat up the grill for about 20 minutes. Let it cool before you begin scrubbing off the layers. As soon as the grill is clean enough, you can season it up using the simple steps we have highlighted above.

How Long Do You Need to Burn Off a New Grill?

It should take between 20 to 30 minutes when the lid is closed. After that, open up the lid and let the grill burn for an extra 5 minutes. If there’s some noticeable debris after this, use a stiff wire brush to get rid of it.

How Do You Season a New Stainless Steel Grill?

Before using the grill first time, apply a coating of high heat cooking oil on the grates and the emitters. Ensure the oil is evenly spread and turn on the grill. Let it burn for 15 to 20 minutes, and you are done.

How Do I Season My Weber Grill Grates?

The Weber grill grates don’t need to be seasoned. The grill features cast iron grates that are coated with porcelain enamel. The enamel is nonstick. However, you still need to prepare the grill before using it for the first time. Simply preheat it by running all burners for 10 to 15 minutes. Brush the grates clean with a wire brush immediately after that, and you are done.

Do You Need to Season a New BBQ?

Some people will advise you to oil the grates after every cook. However, you can still do it once every few months. This will be enough to prevent rusting and maintain that beautiful nonstick appearance on the grates.

Also read how to grill here: How to Cook Porterhouse Steak

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.