Breaking in a new BBQ Grill

So you just bought a new grill and are anxious to get it home and cook some thick, juicy steaks for you, boneless, skinless BBQ chicken for your wife, veggies for your vegetarian brother-in-law, and hot dogs for the kids.

The first thing you have to do is get it home safely. (I laughed and laughed when I heard this story from a guy I work with). Apparently there is a vacant lot on the corner right next to the local WalMart. They call this lot the Grill Eater Lot. There are several smashed up grills that didn't make the corner as their owners took the corner too fast and lost the grill out of the back of their pickup trucks (I totally need to drive over there and get a picture). So - a tip for the new grill owner - tie it down before you leave the store :-).

Get it home safely, unload it, plug in a new (full) tank of propane and lets get it ready to cook - right?

Not so fast. You may want to take the time to season your grill before putting it to use. Barbecue grills are like dutch ovens - they need a little seasoning before you use them the first time and then they get better and better the more you use them. This is because they smoke the juices from the food you cook gets vaporized by the heat and covers the inside of the grill to produce the signature "grill" taste. The more you use your grill, the better things taste.

The easiest way to season your new grill is to just heat it up on high heat (>400 degrees) and let 'er cook for ~30-45 mins. This will burn all the solvents and impurities off of the heating elements, grill, etc.  But before you fire it up, take the time to completely wash off the grill with dish soap and brush lard, shortening or vegetable oil on the grill elements to start that seasoning process.

Then turn it on and see how hot it will get.  Make sure that you move it away from things that will burn as it will get pretty warm during this process.  Check it often while it is doing the initial burn-in.  After about 45 mins, let it cool down a bit, wipe things down to remove any lingering residue and you should be good to go.

This will also work to season a grill that has been cleaned or before the first run of the season (got to clean out the cobwebs somehow).

Happy grilling!


  1. Hey all you BBQ lovers!

    I am casting a new show on the Food Network with Bobby Flay called Grill It! We are looking for exceptional grillers w/ big personalities who would like to share one of their unique, famous recipes! If you, or anyone you know is interested please do not hesitate to call us. I posted further info below.

    Thanks so much,

    Embassy Row Productions

    Love to Grill? Cook on the Food Network w/Bobby Flay

    Are you a Master Griller? Are all barbeques held at your house? If you're a serious griller (charcoal or gas) and have the skills to prove it, then live out your culinary fantasy on Bobby Flay's new half hour GRILL IT! series on the Food Network.

    To apply, please create a 3-minute VHS Tape or DVD in which you cook us your favorite dish. Tell us how you created the recipe and the ingredients you use. All applicants must have a terrific personality and must illustrate why you'd make a fantastic candidate for GRILL IT! with Bobby Flay! Unlike "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" this is not a competition, instead Grill IT! shows people how to grill with a well-stocked kitchen.

    All applicants must live in the U.S and be 18 and over (although quick-witted teenagers with parents' permission can apply). Professional chefs need not apply. No drop-ins please!

    To be considered, please mail your submission tape, original recipe and photo of yourself to the address below no later than March 15th.

    Also: If you are in the tri-state area, we are having an open casting call March 7th from 11-7. Please email for further details.


    110 Leroy Street

    New York City, NY 10014

  2. David Henderson says:

    great idea,like to see a half hour new grilling show,would love to show bobby some southern grilling\smoking............remember everything is better on a grill............

  3. Chris Lorenc says:

    Would love to show how I grill a beef tenderloin to perfection - on my Weber or Vermont - with a recipe and process that is fail safe with consistently outstanding results.