Barbecue grills last long and cook food uniformly when cured before using for the first time and again at the start of the season. Curing is a process of coating the interior of the grill with a quality food oil, then heating to allow the oil to bake into the surface, sealing and protecting the metal or iron. Gas grills are easy to cure; just push a button to ignite the burners. Charcoal grills need a load of coals to burn down completely for curing the grill.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Olive oil or vegetable oil
- Paper towels
- Charcoal and lighter fluid for charcoal grills
- Matches or grill lighter
Pour a few tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil into a wad of paper towels and rub the oil onto the interior surfaces of the grill, including the cover and the cooking grates. Repeat as necessary until the interior surfaces glisten. Olive oil works best since it is a lighter oil that absorbs into metal and iron surfaces faster than heavier vegetable oil.
Coat the outside metal and iron parts with cooking oil in the same manner, rubbing in the oil with paper towels.
Ignite a gas grill and adjust the burners to low, or burn a load of charcoal in a coal-burning grill and wait for the coals to turn white.
Close the grill cover and allow to heat for one hour before shutting off a gas grill. Leave the cover closed and allow the coals to burn out when using charcoal.
Wait for the grill to cool completely before removing the cooking grates to clean out the spent coals in a charcoal grill.
Tips and warnings
- The grill will smoke. This is a natural part of the curing process.
- Lightly coat cooking grate surfaces with olive oil before grilling to prevent food from sticking, especially fish, steaks and chops.
- Do not spill oil on the burners or charcoal pan.
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