Porcelain Cast Iron Grill Help Needed
I just signed up on this forum because I'm looking for help/guidance. I've been doing a lot of research on the internet about seasoning and maintaining Cast Iron Grills and Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Grills. I have a Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Grill. I've decided on using Earth Balance Shortening for seasoning the grill. I melt the shortening in a glass container on the grill during pre-heat. Then I use a silicone brush to get the cast iron covered in shortening. Heat on medium-high settings for about 30 mins and repeat a few times.
Before each BBQ session I pre-heat the grill on medium to high, then brush on shortening all over it. I let it sit for a few minutes and then I start grilling my food. So far I've cooked up sausages, burgers, and steaks, all of which have made a mess on the grill.
After the food is ready, I immediately take my brass grill brush and try to remove as much leftover and burnt on bits of meat, juices, sauces, etc. It doesn't quite get at everything and there is still stuff left under that's hanging. Then I take folded up paper towel and try to remove what the brass brush didn't get by sliding the paper along the grill. The grill looks even better after this had been done. But still there are bits underneath that I cannot get at. Then I do one of two things. I brush the grill with shortening while the heat is still on before I eat, and I leave the heat running for a few minutes on med-high. OR I turn the grill off, eat, then turn it on, and brush with shortening, let it run.
Now here's what's really bothering me. If I take a clean paper towel at any time, hot or cold, or just my finger and swipe along the grill, I get black sticky stuff all over the paper/finger. I tend to cook on the right side of the grill so the majority of this gunk can be found on that side. However if I swipe on the un-used left side I still get the black gunk in some areas. Just not everywhere. I've only cooked 3 or 4 times in the past week after the initial seasoning. So this stuff is either from the seasoning, or from the food. I believe it is from the food, but I still see the possibility for it to be from seasoning. This black gunk can be wiped off at any point on the grill grate that I cook on mostly. On the grate that is left unused but seasoned, the black gunk is found in some areas but not everywhere. This black gunk is not chunks. The best way I can describe it is that it's a paste that's completely black, and sticky.
Could someone please help me out?
You don't season enameled cast iron so there's no need to do what your doing. Go ahead and clean with soap and water. If you want to get it looking new, use bar keepers friend.
SeaKoz is spot on, no need to do what you are doing. Further I suggest that you brush the grill after it's been heating for five minutes or so, then merely oil the grill grates just before adding the meat or whatever you're grilling. After removing the grilled food return the grill to high heat for a couple minutes to burn off residual food, and brush then if you wish or wait until the next pre-heating to brush it off. Usually the high heat after cooking or the pre-heat period is sufficient to remove the gunk left from prior grill sessions.
Agree with the previous posts - get it REALLY hot before and/or after you cook and burn off all the grease. I always close the lid of my grill and heat it up as hot as it will get (over 400* on the temp dial on the front), for at least ten minutes (20 or 30 if it's really dirty), and all that stuff brushes off easily. If it's really sticky it's not getting hot enough to burn off the oil.
The whole point of porcelain-coated cast iron is that you don't season it. I have a Dutch Oven like that and I adore it.