How to Season a BBQ Grill

Regularly seasoning your BBQ grill can help extend its life and improve cooking results. A sizzling new season of backyard barbecues and outdoor cookouts beckons!

Whether you’ve invested in a shiny new BBQ or you’re maintaining your current one, a well-seasoned grill is the secret ingredient to successful barbecuing.

Why do we season a BBQ grill? The process of oiling and heating stainless steel or cast iron grates is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • It may promote food safety by removing chemical residue from straight-from-the-factory grills.
  • It allows for quick, even heating to help achieve the desired searing and tastiest grilling results.
  • It produces a non-stick surface that can help make cooking and cleanup easier.
  • It helps prevent rust for lasting use and enjoyment of your grill.

You’ll find all the supplies you need to properly season BBQ grills at This how-to guide offers easy steps to follow to help you do it right.

Steps on How to Season a BBQ Grill:

  1. Gather your supplies
  2. Thoroughly rinse cold grates and let them air-dry
  3. Lightly brush, spray or wipe grill with an even coat of high-heat cooking oil
  4. Ignite BBQ burners and let grill heat and smoke
  5. Scrape food and grime off grates
  6. Turn off the heat and let the grill cool
  7. Apply more oil

Gather your supplies

Only a few basic supplies are needed whether you’re seasoning your BBQ grill for the very first time or maintaining the one you’ve been cooking on for years. BBQ chefs will find everything they need at


Thoroughly rinse cold grates and let them air dry

It’s not necessary to wash your brand-new BBQ grill with dish soap before seasoning it. Simply rinse it with clean water and let it air dry completely. The same goes for an existing grill that’s currently in use—ensure the grate is cold before you start rinsing it off. It’s also a good idea to scrape off built-up grime or rust that’s become burned on during frequent barbecuing.

Backyard Grill Small/Medium Adjustable Gas Grill Cooking Grid Backyard Grill Small/Medium Adjustable Gas Grill Cooking Grid

If your old grate is too far gone, you can always replace it with a non-stick coated cooking grid by Backyard Grill. It features a universal design that you can adjust to fit many gas grills (extends to 19.75 inches wide by 14 inches deep). Of course, you’ll want to season it before barbecuing those yummy hamburgers and hot dogs.


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How to Clean Your BBQ Grill


Lightly brush, spray or wipe grill with an even coat of high-heat cooking oil

PAM Grilling

PAM Grilling

Here’s a convenient and budget-friendly cooking spray by PAM formulated especially for grilling that helps provide superior no-stick performance.

Unico Canola Oil

Unico Canola Oil

This 100% canola oil by Unico is cholesterol-free, cost-effective and versatile. Use it to season your grill or prep your food before barbecuing.

Pit Boss Soft Touch 3PC Grill Tool Set

Pit Boss Soft Touch 3PC Grill Tool Set

You can use a basting brush like the one included in this set of stainless-steel barbecue tools by Pit Boss to apply a thin coat of cooking oil on the grill. Make sure you’re using food-grade oil that has a high smoke point.

New paint brushes that are clean and have never been used can work well for this purpose, too.

Trudeau Maison Oil Spray Bottle

Trudeau Maison Oil Spray Bottle

Spraying is another simple method for applying high-heat oils. This glass bottle by Trudeau Maison has a pump spray that can come in handy whether you’re seasoning your grid or grilling veggies. The built-in filter also helps allow you to infuse your favourite olive oil with flavourful herbs to spritz on salads.

SpongeTowels Ultra Choose-A-Size Mega 6’s

SpongeTowels Ultra Choose-A-Size Mega 6’s

You only need to apply a light coat, so a roll of Sponge Towels Ultra by Sponge Towels can come in handy for wiping off excess oil as you prepare to season your grill.

These paper towels are designed with super absorbent pockets and feature choose-a-size sheets. They are also useful for cleaning up everything from barbecue sauce drips to messy ketchup bottles to your munchkin’s mustard mustache.


Ignite BBQ burners and let grill heat and smoke

Turn on your gas or charcoal barbecue and let it get good and hot for at least 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the unit. Smoking starts as the oil burns off the grate. It’s a good sign when the shiny metal finish turns a dark brown or bronze-type colour. The darker, the better. It means your BBQ grill is more seasoned.


Scrape food and grime off grates

Maybe you’re seasoning an older grill. As the BBQ heats up throughout the seasoning process, burned-on food and layers of carbon start to loosen, so scraping off the grates becomes easier.

Backyard Grill Natural Wood BBQ Scraper

Backyard Grill Natural Wood BBQ Scraper

Worried about food safety? Here’s a natural wood BBQ scraper by Backyard Grill that’s a grate choice for anyone concerned about using brushes with wire bristles to clean their grills during seasoning or after cooking. This wooden tool customizes to the grill and has a handy flange that can make it helpful whether you’re scraping off hard-to-reach areas or trying to lift a hot grid.


Turn off the heat and let the grill cool

Notice how the effects of the high temps on the oil have caused the grates to become darker as a non-stick surface is created. Now your grill is perfectly seasoned! You should find it easier to flip burgers, sear steaks and cook vegetables on the barbie like a pro. When food starts sticking, it’s time to season your grill again.


Apply more oil

To help prevent rusting and make your BBQ grill last longer, apply another light coating of oil to your seasoned grate once it has safely cooled off. Some barbecue chefs recommend seasoning stainless steel and cast-iron grates before and after each use while others might opt to season every few months. It’ll depend on your preference and how much grilling you do.

Camp Chef Cast Iron Spray Conditioner

Camp Chef Cast Iron Spray Conditioner

If you’d prefer a canola-free product, you might want to try this easy-to-use spray conditioner by Camp Chef. Use it when you’re seasoning a cast iron grill (like this one by Lodge) before it’s first use. It can also be used as maintenance between cookouts. It contains all-natural ingredients and comes in a handy little 8-ounce bottle. You only need to spray on a small amount at a time to help treat and protect your BBQ grill.

Now that you know how to season a BBQ grill, can’t you almost smell that deliciously barbecued fare?

See also: Best BBQ Brands at Walmart

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Kelli Rickard lives just east of Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a senior copywriter and former radio announcer, she’s a seasoned communicator who has written about everything from kitchen spatulas to rock stars to news stories for nearly 30 years. Kelli is a proud Maritimer who loves cooking healthy meals and puttering around the house as her tuxedo-wearing cat supervises. When not perfecting the art of being a homebody, she enjoys trips to nearby beaches and distant shores with her husband, working out, and catching up with friends over great food and wine.