How to Season Your Char-Broil Grill

season grill grates
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You’ve just brought home your new Char-Broil grill.  You beam with pride as you show it off to friends and family, enthusiastically awaiting the first time you’ll fire it up.  You have big plans for this grill, and see it carrying you to BBQ fame in no time.  There’s certainly a long life of happy grilling adventures ahead of you two.

But to ensure that you set your grill up for its best possible future,  it’s vital to properly season it before the first use and every time you use it thereafter.  Contrary to what the name suggests, “seasoning” the grill actually has nothing to do with the flavor of food.  Instead, it is the simple process of heating and oiling the grates to help your grill stay functioning at its prime.  Seasoning the grill will protect the grates from rust and will make them easier to clean, as well.  Show a little TLC to your grill by seasoning it every time you use it, and rest assured that your partner-in-grilling-crime will be by your side for years to come.


To prevent rust and make your grill easier to clean,  season it properly before and after each time you grill. You can see which grates need seasoning in our chart below. Here’s how to season your grill:

  1. While the grill is off, and the grates are cold, coat all the surfaces of the grates and emitters with the high heat cooking oil (such as Canola or Peanut oil).
  2. Wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel — the oil must coat the grates evenly.
  3. Ignite and heat your grill for 16 minutes or until the oil burns off or starts smoking.
  4. The shiny finish should now be dark brown or bronze. The darker and more seasoned the grates become, the hotter and more evenly they will cook.
  5. Once the grill has cooled, put a light coat of oil on after each use. This will help prevent rusting.

Tip: Use a spray bottle of oil to coat your grill grates for best results.

Different grill grates call for different seasoning methods. Use this quick-info chart to find out how to properly season your specific grill.

Tips For How To Season Your Grill

Each grill has a specific set of needs, and through using different grills you can become accustomed to the best way to care for each kind.  As a general rule, grills that have stainless steel and cast iron grates, such as Char-Broil’s Commercial Series grills, should be seasoned before and after each use.  If your grill is equipped with emitter plates, it’s also a good idea to season those as well.  Porcelain grates, like those found in the Char-Broil Gourmet Grills, require no seasoning at all.

53 thoughts on “How to Season Your Char-Broil Grill

    1. Depending on what type of grill you have the emitters will vary. If you have a Commercial or Performance Series grill, the emitters will be the tray that the grates sit on. If you have a Gourmet, RED or heatwave grill, the emitters will be a trough underneath the grates.

  1. Have a 5yr old Char Broil RED gas infrared grill. 2 items: 1. Within the 1st 6 months, the painted on control topics wiped off. I’ll put them on with black magic marker, but I need to know what and where to mark them. 2. I’ve have to replace the trough covering the flame because it rusted through. I thought I read someplace that I am supposed to season the trough before I use it? With what and how often?

  2. We’re wondering the same thing about seasoning the trough. Link on website to seasoning instructions takes you nowhere. Link above in reply says it’s private. Live chat hours says they should be available but website says unavailable for chat. Can find instructions on seasoning grill but not the trough. Link attached above also says it’s for cleaning the grill, not seasoning the trough. Ugh!

    1. The video should be fixed.
      When seasoning the trough, you want to clean the debris off the trough, and then use a light coat of high-heat cooking oil to season the grate. You can use a spray cooking oil to spray the trough, but make sure to use a paper towel to rub down the trough to ensure the oil is evenly coating it.

  3. I just purchased the charbroil 4 burner professional true infrared gas grill. It has porcelain enamel coated grates. I have read 2 different things in regards to seasoning the grill grates. The grilling manual says the grill grates do not need to be seasoned…whereas the wesite indicates that I should season the grill grates. Which is correct? And thank you for your time.

    1. Looking at the chart on this page, the porcelain grates and the porcelain-coated grates do not need to be seasoned.

  4. I find you REALLY have to git ‘er done and get the cover closed to maintain heat. I have only used the highest setting so far, and even then the temp will drop if you dawdle just a little bit. However, the flavor is good when you surround the edge of the grate with some wood chips. If you’re going to do steak, make sure it’s thick. I’ve done amazing pork tenderloin, ribeyes, filet mignon, fish, chicken…but you have to be strategic with the temperature drop.

  5. I have a 2 burner infrared grill. I keep seeing people with troughs or “emitter” trays underneath their grates. My grill only came with 2 stainless steel plates with very tiny holes in the valleys of the grates. Did I not receive some parts with my purchase?

    1. Depending on the grill model that you purchased, the style of the grates and emitters will vary.

  6. Need to season my new commercial infrared 2 burner. Do I coat only the top side of the emitters with oil or bottom also? Thanks

  7. I have a tru infrared Patio Bistro electric grill with a porcelain coated grill. do I need to season it? It says nothing in anything I red. If not, do I just heat it up for 15 min an put the meat or whatever on it? Can I use a marinade with out making the grill crusty and hard to clean….Help!!!

    1. You can just oil the meat and Italian dressing is a great option to help prevent sticking and adds extra flavor.

  8. I have 4 burner gril+ gas burner (traditional series).
    how can I clean the tray under the burners ftom residuse of fat and oil/

    1. Hi Raffi, here is a video that provides step by step instructions on cleaning your gas grill.

  9. We just purchased a Commercial 2 burner model. The grates are porcelain coated cast iron and the emitters are stainless steel. Do we only season the emitters? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Eileen,

      We recommend that you season both as the grates are covered in a light porcelain coating designed to protect them until they can be seasoned.

  10. So I just got my Grill last year, however, I never knew anything about seasoning it. I was cleaning it out today and noticed a little rust at the bottom. Is it too late to try to start treating it? Maybe use a citrus degreaser to clean it and then season it.

  11. What happens if I forgot to season my grill grates before the first time I used it? I have a Char Boil Gas Patio Grill with Steel Grates?

    1. Hi Steve, if you want to season your grates, we recommend cleaning your grates as best you can, then applying the steps to season your grill as instructed. For tips on how to clean your grill grates, you can check out our article How to Clean Grill Grates.

  12. I have the commercial 4 burner Tru infrared with porcelain coated grates according to your chart this grill mode should be seasoned however every other that shows porcelan coated say do not season and the manual says nothing either way so do I need to season

    1. Hi Juli, you do not need to season the porcelain coated grates before you begin using your grill, but applying a light coating of oil after each use will help extend the life of your grill grates and prevent any rusting that may occur.

  13. My grille has porcelain grates which work fantastically, I must say, however on occasions I’d like to be able to put some of my cast iron out on the grille depending on what I’m cooking. Can stainless grates be purchased to swap out or will porcelain like the ones that came with it be the only ones I can use? Alternately, is it safe to put cast iron on a porcelain coated grate?

    1. Hi Ed, you can swap out your porcelain grates for stainless steel grates, you just have to make sure that they are the same size as your porcelain grates. It is also safe to put cast iron on porcelain coated grates as long as it is handled gently on the grill.

  14. I have a 6 year old model 463230710 and think it came with porcelain grates but also thought I had read somewhere that they were coated cast iron. Do I have to season these or does it matter. Yes these are the original grates. What about the heat shields. Do they need to be seasoned?

    1. Hi Steven, the porcelain-coated cast iron grates do not need to be seasoned as the porcelain coating acts as a buffer between any meats or vegetables and the cast iron. You heat shields do not need to be seasoned as well.

  15. I have Charbroil Model 463242715.
    I’ve read many places this model has porcelain-coated grates and that these grates do not need to be seasoned.
    Even above.
    But every time I use my grill … my meat sticks very badly to the grates and rips the skin off.
    What is going on?
    I did season the emitters per the instructions but it said I didn’t need to do the grates.
    How do I keep the meat from sticking?
    I’m ready to curse my CharBroil Infrared that I thought I would love.

    1. My sentiments exactly! Cleaning this thing is unreal. I’m curious about oiling the grates before I put meat on them. Maybe trying a spray bottle.

    2. Hi Adam, while your porcelain-coated grates are pre-seasoned for immediate use, a light coating of high temperature oil on your grates will help reduce any sticking that might occur.

  16. I have just assembled my offset smoker 1280. Do I need to season the inside surfaces as well as the grates?

    1. Hi Cameron, the grates are porcelain coated so they do not need the standard seasoning treatment, but a light coating of high temperature oil after you are finished cooking and you have cleaned your grates will ensure longevity.

  17. I have a porcelain coated cast iron grate and above it says no seasoning needed! However food is sticking incredibly bad. And cleaning it is such a chore. Is there a chance seasoning it might help. Should I oil the grates before putting meat down? The Nylon brush is not taking anything off the grate, and I do not have time to deep clean these in a bag with vinegar and baking soda after every use.

    1. Hi Gabe, while the porcelain grates are pre-seasoned for immediate use, a light coating of high temperature oil can help reduce any level of sticking that might occur.

  18. I just purchased a tru infrared 3 in 1 gas grill,does anything other than the grate need to be seasoned?

    1. Hi Frank, you will only need to season your grates during the initial stages of using your grill.

  19. I have a Commercial Series, Model #463242515 gas grill. I believe that the grates are porcelain, cast-iron grates. Do these need to be seasoned? Also, I have got some rust spots on the grates, what is the best way to remove the rust? Do the emitters need to be seasoned as well?

    1. Hi Paul, your grates do not have to be pre-seasoned, but we do recommend cleaning them after each use and applying a light coating of oil. To remove any rust spots on your grates, you can follow the deep clean methods found here.

  20. I got a tru-infra red BBQ with stainless steel grates.
    I didn’t do a good job seasoning the grates and on the first try the food stuck to the grates and burned.
    Is seasoning before using the grill for the first time that important?
    Did I ruin my grill? I don’t want food to stick to the grates this much. Help!

    1. To completely clean your grill grates, try using a deep clean to remove any residue that is stuck to the grates. This will help with re-seasoning your grill grates. For information on how to clean your grill grates, check out our article here.

  21. I have porcelain grill grates and the porcelain is flaking off and getting on food. What is causing this manufacture defect?

    1. Hi Zack, we are sorry to hear this. Please contact customer support; they will be able to open a claim for you and help with replacing any defective parts.
      Monday – Friday
      8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Eastern
      10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Eastern

  22. I just bought the tru infared 2 burner performance series and am wondering how do I season the grill or if there is a need to do so

    1. Hi Billy, if you have the porcelain coated grates you do not need to season the grill before cooking. If you have stainless steel grates, you will want to follow the instructions included in this article.

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