How to Season a New Charcoal Grill

How to season a new charcoal smoker

From vegetables to steaks, charcoal grilling is one of the most used techniques to bring out delicious flavors from your food. In fact, grilling is highly recommended as a healthier way of cooking as such food contains fewer fats and calories. However, it is essential to season a new charcoal grill before grilling for the first time. If you don’t season it, the taste of your foods may not be up to the mark. Seasoning a new charcoal grill can be an issue for a new user. However, the following is an easy and effective way for how to season a new charcoal grill.

Seasoning Charcoal Grill

You need the following tools for seasoning.

  • Paper towels
  • Cooking oil
  • Sponge
  • Grill brush
  • Dishwasher liquid
  • Spray bottle for applying cooking oil on grates

How to Season a New Charcoal Grill

Following this process, you can effectively season both new and used charcoal grills.

• Select Cooking Area

It is essential to select the appropriate grilling area before you start seasoning. Choose an outdoor clean and ventilated area and take your grill there.

Don’t use the populated and polluted area for safety concerns.

• Remove the Grate

First of all, you need to lift the grate. The grill grate may come off easily. However, some grates are locked inside the grill. Make sure to unlock them from inside before removing them to avoid any damage.

• Brushing the grates

Take a grill brush and clean any food or debris left on them from previous use. Make sure to brush both inside and outside of the grates properly.

If there are still a large number of residues remaining after brushing, soak the grate in warm soapy water for about 15 minutes. It will help to remove persistent stuck-on particles.

• Washing and drying the Grill

After brushing the grates, take a sponge and wet it with soapy water to clean the grates perfectly.

If you are seasoning a new charcoal grill, you can use water to clean it. Typically, there are some chemical coatings remaining in the manufacturing procedure. For used grills, use dishwashing liquid to remove the stubborn food remnants.

Rinse the grates carefully after washing and allow them to air dry.

• Apply oil on grates

Use a soft-bristled brush or a paper towel to apply cooking oil on the surface of the grates. You can also use a spray bottle and use it for oil. If you don’t have a brush or paper towel, you can use it to apply oil to the grates.

Make sure to choose an oil resistant to high heat with a higher smoke point as sometimes you may need to burn the coal for up to two hours, such as grape seed, canola, or peanut oil.

• Clean Excessive oil

Excess oil may drip from the grates and hamper the even coating. Such a situation can make the grease catch fire. Make sure to clean additional oil using a paper towel.

• Apply oil on Pit and Lid

Spread cooking oil on the inside of the pit and lid. This is very important for a new charcoal grill. If the grill has emitters, apply oil on them too.

The oil will harden by penetrating the iron grill pores. It will also create a non-sticky glaze that improves the food taste when cooking. The step also helps in the easy cleaning process.

• Preheat the grill

Without putting the grates inside the grill, put the lid on. Now heat the grill for at least fifteen minutes. Add enough briquettes that can easily last for about 2 hours to fire the grill pit.

Burn thee briquettes until the center of becoming glowing red. Make sure that the coating of ash covers the outside.

• Put the grates back

After burning for about 40 minutes in high heat, the color of the grates will change, such as glossy black for cast iron and dark bronze for stainless steel cooking grates.

These are ideal signs of developing a non-slippery surface.

Now turn off the heat and allow grates to cool down. Here are you have a perfectly seasoned new charcoal grill. You can start cooking and enjoy your parties with your family and friends.

Useful tips for Seasoning New Charcoal Grill

Take a look at some handy tips that will help to get the most out of your charcoal grill.

• Proper Area

Don’t use a charcoal grill in a bounded space when lighting the coal, as coal burning in sealed areas can cause carbon monoxide. This dangerous gas is known as a silent killer. So make sure to use your charcoal grill in an open, outdoor space.

• Putting Coal

When putting coal in a grill, don’t forget to wear protective gloves. Make sure to arrange the coal uniformly on the coal grate for even heating.

If you open the vent to supply proper oxygen to coals, it will be beneficial. Don’t use wet coals for burning.

• Grill Brush

Select the best cleaning tool for seasoning. Use a bristle brush to clean perfectly clean the grates.

However, if some bristles remain in the cooker, it can lead to severe damage to your internal organs. Always check your grill brush for loose bristles before using it.

• Temperature adjustment

You can easily adjust the temperature by opening and closing the air vents of a charcoal smoker. When you open the vent, it will allow more oxygen to enter the grill and burn the coal faster. On the contrary, closing the air vents will lower the temperature and also slow the coal burning.

• Ash handling

When you are done with seasoning the grill, now it’s time to remove ashes. It is impossible to empty the ash catcher immediately. Make sure to dispose of the ash after 12 hours. Remember, even slightly warm ash can lead to fire problems.

• Difference between seasoning charcoal and other grills

There are no prime differences between seasoning charcoal and other grills, including pellet or gas grills. Porcelain grates don’t need seasoning.

The only difference is the flavor. Seasoning in a new charcoal grill gives your food a perfect smoked flavor.

Such flavorful smoke appears only when the juice from steak, chicken, and veggies fall and mixes with the burning coal in the grill. The produced steam goes into the food and adds a unique charcoal grilling taste to your food.


Properly preparing a new charcoal grill for cooking is essential right after assembling it. Not only is it beneficial for your health, but it also helps to save from an irritating grilling experience. When you are seasoning the grill, don’t forget to read the safety instruction provided by the manufacturer. Remember, it is important to season your charcoal grill for every season to enjoy perfectly cooked foods.

Frequently Asked Questions

• Is it essential to season a new charcoal grill?

Yes, it is highly recommended to season a new charcoal grill as seasoning produces a protective layer to prevent rusting. Also, the process helps to eliminate the metallic or plastic taste of the new grill.

• How long does it take to season a charcoal grill?

Although there is not fixed heating time to season a charcoal grill, you can check the changing color of the grates to tell if the seasoning is complete. The color-changing of the process may take 30 to 40 minutes.

• Can I use olive oil for seasoning a charcoal grill?

You can use olive oil to season a grill, but we will not recommend using it. Due to its low burning point, such oil can’t properly infiltrate the surface of cast iron. Also, using olive oil can damage the seasoning quickly, which results in rust. Grapeseed, canola, or peanut oils are best for seasoning a charcoal grill.

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