Cast iron barbeque grates and plates are a delight to cook on in the great outdoors, but it's important to keep them in good condition. Seasoning them can prolong their life and increases their non-stick properties. This should definitely be done before first use, and periodically thereafter, as and when the food starts sticking to the grill again.
Here's an outdoorsy way to do it:
- Remove any packaging and protective coatings that may be on your new grill (a scrubbing brush and warm water is a good method).
- Place the grill/plate to be seasoned on to the heat source until warm. Remove and rub all over with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil or lard (flaxseed oil is a good one as it is a hard-drying oil and provides a tough outer film once dry).
- Place the grill/plate back over the heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, leave it over heat for a further 5-10 seconds and then remove and allow to cool.
- Wipe off any excess oil with paper towel and repeat at least three times – the more the better!
The indoorsy way is to use your kitchen oven. You can also follow the above process using your kitchen oven but allow the oiled grate to bake for about 30 minutes in step 3.