Complete Guide on How to Break in a New Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills are loved for their smoke-filled flavor and high, meat-scorching temperature. Now that you have a new charcoal grill, knowing how to break in a new charcoal grill should follow next. It’s funny that a lot of people who buy a new charcoal grill have no idea how to get them ready for cooking. A lot of things can go wrong while preparing a charcoal grill if you don’t know how to go about it.

Some of the challenges you might face if you install a charcoal grill incorrectly includes some nasty manufacturing substance mixing with your food, or your meat getting stuck in the grill, amongst others. To cut the long story short, if you want to cook that BBQ chicken or brisket for your family, but not sure how to break in a new charcoal grill, you are in the right place. This article will guide you on how you can get your charcoal grill ready for cooking.

How to Break in a New Charcoal Grill

1. Safety First

To ensure you are setting up the new charcoal grill the right way, please refer to the manual that comes with the grill for instruction on how the grill works. The major issue encountered by a lot of people is that they don’t read the manufacturer manual before bouncing on the grill. Even though you might be tech-savvy, always read the manual, as there might be a safety tip included in the manual by the manufacturer. Invest a few hours to thoroughly read through the manufacturer manual, and stick to the given safety directives of the manufacturer.

Following the manufacturer’s guide is the central step to getting your new charcoal grill perfectly ready in no time. If the instruction warns you against using a certain thing, do not use it. Some charcoal grills come with a kind of grate coated with paint that can peel off if you use metal kitchenware. So, if the manufacturer warns against using metal tools on the grill, don’t use it, except you want to ruin the grill. Also, examine the area where you want to place the grill, and ensure there is no flammable material close to it, like a curtain, dry grass, or anything you feel might easily get burnt if placed close to the grill.

2. Easier Cooking and Cleaning

After taking note of the safety tips of your new charcoal grill, it is also important to examine the ease of cooking on the grill and cleaning it after using it. To ensure your new grill is easy to clean, ensure the grease tray it comes with is in place.

The grease tray catches grease, fat, and droppings from the food you are cooking, making cleaning easy as you can easily dump the dropping, and clean the tray. Another thing to look out for to ensure your grill would be easy to use is the type of grate that comes with the grill. Cast iron cooking grate might be the most durable grate, which can create the perfect sear mark on your meat. Nevertheless, cast-iron grates are not the easiest type of grate to take care of. Cast iron cooking grates are easily susceptible to rust, and food can easily stick to them while using them.

On the other hand, if your new charcoal grill comes with a stainless steel cooking grate, cooking on it will be easier because it is nonstick and relatively easy to maintain. Another type of grate you might have in your new charcoal grill is the cast iron or steel coated grates. Coated grates are the best to look out for because the coating makes the grate nonstick and rust-resistant. Furthermore, coated grates are easier to maintain.

3. Get the Grill to the Cooking Area

Ensure your grill is fully assembled with every part intact and working before taking it to the grilling area. Mount your grill in a well-ventilated area, outdoors. If possible, mount the grill in your yard, away from where people are gathered. As aforementioned, ensure there are no flammable objects close to the area where you are mounting the grill for safety reasons.

You can also mount the grill on your patio if you have one. But while mounting it on your patio, ensure there are no flammable objects close to the grill. Also, ensure your patio is well-ventilated to let the charcoal burn efficiently. When the grill is all set, season the new grill as a curing process. Many people often do not place any importance on this step, which is very wrong. Seasoning your new charcoal grill is the best way to successfully break into your new grill. To season the grill, use a baste brush to oil the grill, and then preheat it before cooking on it the first time.

How to Season a New Grill?

As we mentioned earlier, to successfully break in a new charcoal grill, you need to know how to season a charcoal grill. Seasoning a gas grill or charcoal grill involves the same process of oiling and preheating. While the step for different types of grills might vary, for a charcoal grill, here is how to season a grill:

  • Use a brush to remove any dirt that might have lodged on the body of the grill and in the grill. With a rag and warm soapy water, wipe down the grate and surface of the grill. Rinse with clean water, and allow to dry.
  • Before preheating the grill, using a basting brush to apply high heating oil to the surface of the grill’s grate. Examples of high heating oil include peanut oil, coconut oil, and so on.
  • Using a soft towel or a paper towel to wipe excess oil from the grate of the grill. Add some charcoal, and fire starter chips to the grill and light the grill. Let the grill heat up for about 20-30 minutes.
  • Close all air dampers of the charcoal grill to let the charcoal die down. When the grill is cool, brush away the soot and ash from the grill with a wire brush, and your grill is all set for preparing taste BBQ.

Why Should You Season Your Grill?

There are so many reasons why you should season a new grill, but below are three of the most important reasons why you should season a new charcoal grill:


Almost every new product after manufacturing will have manufacturing oil, dirt, metal shavings, and dust. But the seasoning will remove these impurities, making your grill safer for cooking.

Increases the Lifespan of the Grill

Seasoning your grill helps to increase the lifespan by preventing rust. When you season your grill, the buildup of materials that could promote rusting will be removed, thereby increasing your grill’s lifespan.

Easier Grilling and Cleaning

Seasoning your grill grate also helps to smoothen the surface making it nonstick. Additionally, nonstick grates are easier to clean. Oiling also makes the grate easy to cook on as food can easily be tuned, and rolled with ease.


In summary, you need to know how to break a new charcoal grill so that you can set up the grill the right way. Skipping the seasoning step can result in a lot of issues, especially creating unwanted flavor in your food. Overall, we cannot stress it enough the importance of seasoning your new charcoal grill properly. If you have any questions about breaking in a new charcoal grill, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.

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