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Is there a better method for oiling grill racks?

Mr travelmad478 and I are preparing to grill tonight, and for the thousandth time, preparing to waste a bunch of oil and probably spill it as we dump it on a paper towel that we'll then use to wipe down the heated grill racks. We're racking our brains for a better method, but coming up short. Our first idea of using one of those squeeze bottles with a sponge on the top (usually meant for dish soap) was quickly discarded when we figured the sponge would just melt right onto the grill.

Has anyone found a better way?

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  1. I'm glad you asked this. We use the same paper towel method, wasting oil, and I would love to find another way to do it.

    1. Lets see....What if your grill surface is really, really clean, well brushed etc, and is very, very hot.
      Now brush a small amount of oil on your meat/vegetables at some point prior to grilling....
      Would that work for you?

      Fun!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Uncle Bob

        Try this.....Take a 3 inch ramiken put in a tablespoon of oil, fold up a paper towel so it fits the dish, grab it with 16 inch tongs, soak, rub on grill, throw out paper towel, wash and put away ramiken and tongs.....Whew!!!!!!

        1. re: ospreycove

          Just what the OP was wanting to get away from...paper towels etc. ~~ Oiling the product itself works perfectly ~~~ Personally I rarely find a need to do either.

          Enjoy!

        2. re: Uncle Bob

          We do put oil on the food when it makes sense, but it isn't always possible. For instance, tonight we had flank steak made with a dry rub. You can't oil that. We do brush the grill, but it's not possible to have the bars as clean as if they were brand new. So I still need a good oil-the-grill method.

          1. re: travelmad478

            Oil (or not) prior to the rub ~~ The grill surface doesn't need/have to be brand new clean...just clean and Hot! ~~~ When a piece of meat is placed on a heated grill surface they will seize each other with the intensity of newlyweds...Do not disturb!!! At the proper time they will release. Turn the meat over. They will embrace once again!! When they let go for the second time the honeymoon is over...it's time to get on with other business....Flank steak at this point is probably ready for the table...Thicker cuts..rib-eye, T-Bone, Porter house etc may need extra time away from direct heat to finish.....As I stated previously...I rarely find the need to oil the meat or grill surface.

            Have Fun!!

        3. We use a spray can of olive oil, from the oils section of the local store. Have never had a problem.

          Cheers!

          1. You could keep pieces of fat trimmings in the freezer I guess for such a purpose. I use them with tongs when I have them instead of oil.

            1 Reply
            1. re: King of Northern Blvd

              Yes, my Father's method a nice piece of beef fat on a long 2 prong fork, works great!!!

            2. Wish I could take credit for this but I saw it on FNW. Cut an onion in half, stick a bbq fork in it , dip in a small bowl containing oil and rub the grill after its hot. Works perfectly and adds flavour!

              1 Reply
              1. re: beekeroc

                I don't get this onion method--seems like a waste of 1/2 an onion to me. And I might not want onion flavor on what I am grilling.