How to Season a Charcoal Grill for Better Taste and Cleaning

charcoal grill seasoning

Interested in learning how to season a charcoal grill?

It doesn’t matter whether it is brand new or not, seasoning your grill will make it last longer and make your food not stick to the grates.

Another bonus to regular seasoning is the regular cleaning that you must do before applying it.

A clean grill is not just a happy grill but also the griller is happy as well because the food will taste much better.

However, you should be careful not to scratch the interior.

See the procedure of seasoning your grill below.


  • A bag of natural lump charcoal
  • A sheet of wax paper
  • Melted lard, shortening, or vegetable oil
  • Lit charcoal briquette

Seasoning A Charcoal Grill

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Step 1: Clean the Grill

charcoal grill cleaning

Wash your grill and get rid of the ash.

Your first step is to empty the ash at the bottom.

Wipe down the interior surface of the grill. The internal covering includes the lid, grates, and grilling chamber.

The method is done by using a damp sponge soaked in hot water.

You can also use a wire-bristled brush to get rid of accumulated food bits or rust on your grill grates. I don’t recommend this, though, as there are health hazards associated with this.

Allow your grill to air-dry or wipe it with a dry towel before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Apply Coating

coating grill grates

Thoroughly cover the surface of your grill with a thin layer of vegetable oil, melted lard, or vegetable shortening.

For the shortening, use a sheet of wax to apply it on your grill.

Using a towel, wipe any excess oil to make sure the grill grates are coated with oil evenly.

Step 3: Fire up and Heat Your Grill

lit briquettes on a charcoal grill

After doing the cleaning and oiling, spread the lit charcoal briquettes evenly, ignite your grill for about 1 hour as this will allow applied oil to season your grill.

Bake it until the oil burns off and stops smoking resulting in a dark brown finish.

This helps to burn any residual contaminant on your grill, and the process can be repeated.

Step 4: Re-Coat

This is the final step.

Once cooled, reapply the coating.

It’s very crucial to repeat this step as the oil cover prevents rusting.

You can achieve this by soaking a towel in oil and using tongs to coat your grill grates.

Now your charcoal grill is ready.

How To Maintain The Seasoning

After you are done with seasoning your grill, it’s now ready to grill for cooking.

However, it’s essential to maintain regular seasoning.

Here are some nifty guidelines on how to do it: 

  1. After your grilling party, leave your grill to air-dry naturally: don’t risk using cold water as it will cause cracks and shorten the lifespan of your grill
  2. After cooling, thoroughly clean your grill with a mild soapy solution. Get rid of the ash at the bottom. Dry with a kitchen towel
    • Too much soap will get rid of the seasoning
  3. Re-coat your grill after it has cooled using oil or shortening to prevent rusting
    • The best oil is vegetable oil

Additional Tips

cleaning charcoal grill grate with towel

Cleaning your charcoal grill becomes a hard task when someone does not know how to season it.

Apart from the above steps, you can apply the following techniques and have yours clean.

  1. Use an onion, degreaser, and a decarbonizer
  2. Use a boar bristle pastry brush to spread the unsalted vegetable oil
  3. Put the coated grate on the grill and allow it to cook for an additional of 10-15 minutes

Caution: A grill should be thoroughly washed after use. This helps minimize rusting.


Seasoning your charcoal grill before grilling on a regular basis is a safe practice, it should also be done at the end and the start of every grilling season since it helps to get rid of oils, dust, and any other contaminants on your grill.

Sanitizing your grill also helps in preventing rust.

You should not assume your newly purchased grill is ready for cooking as it may contain dust or bacteria.

That’s why seasoning a new grill before first use is important.

Make your grill admirable by seasoning it at the right time.

Do you want your grill to look like new? Now you know how to season a charcoal grill.

Apply these simple tips and you will be satisfied with the next grilling experience.

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how to season a charcoal grill

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About Mario 148 Articles
I am the owner of Kitchen Guru Ideas. I've set up this site so I can share my kitchen tips and hacks that have been passed on to me from my parents and grandparents and show you how a wonderful experience cooking is and not just a way to save money. Even in this hectic lifestyle, there is time to prepare and most important enjoy a home-cooked meal.

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