Caring for cast iron grill [moved from Home Cooking]
After years of using a Weber kettle grill, I just upgraded to a Char Griller. It looks like a big improvement (adjustable coals, built in thermometer, optional smoke box, and cast iron grates).
Any advice on how to care for the cast iron grates? I never cleaned the Weber grates after cooking. Instead, I let all the crud sit. The next time I lit a fire, I could easily scrape the grills clean when they heated up.
Can I do this with the cast iron grates? Or do I need to scrape them down after cooking?
To clean my gas gril's cast iron grates, I spritz heavily with water, then crank the heat up all the way. Most of the grease/crud will burn right off after 15 minutes or so on high. Then I let it cool and oil lightly (any cooking oil) with a paper towel to prevent rust. I don't use the self-cleaning oven (I don't want all that crud burning off inside my house), nor do I use caustic stuff like oven cleaner, b/c cast iron is pretty porous and oven cleaner is noxious. So far, the steam-and-high-heat method has worked just fine, along with an occasional scrubbing with a brass grill brush.
My brother taught me to use a crumpled ball of aluminum foil to scrape the grill--works okay when you're in a pinch and don't have a grill brush or much time to burn off the crud.
You can do the same with these grates.
Basically, compared to your weber grates, the main things you have to worry about are (1) don't let them rust, and (2) don't over scrap them (many cast iron grates have a coating on them, which you don't want to scratch off).
Be sure to season your grill and grates.
You can use the self-cleaning cycle in your oven to clean the grates.
Also, check out the instructions at the Char Griller website for more tips: http://www.chargriller.com/tips.html