Seasoning a Blackstone with Avocado Oil
The brand new Blackstone grill is on the deck and gleaming in the sun.
The temptation is to fire it up and cook something, but before it can be put to use, the new grill ought to be seasoned, like any other piece of iron or steel cookware.
Properly seasoning a grill isn’t hard to do, and when done, will make cooking food easier while protecting the grill from the elements.
Many cooks like to use avocado oil for seasoning cookware in the kitchen.
While it is certainly possible to use avocado oil to season a Blackstone grill, there are no special benefits to doing so, and other cooking oils or cooking fats may work better.
What is seasoning a grill or skillet?
Seasoning a grill refers to rubbing the hot cooking surface with a thin coat of cooking oil, lard, or shortening.
The rubbed-on oil sticks to the surface of the grill by “polymerization.”
The oil creates a black patina, and makes a smooth surface that food won’t stick to while cooking.
The layer of oil also preserves the metal and prevents it from rusting.
Will avocado oil work for seasoning a Blackstone grill?
Many cooks prefer avocado oil for use in their kitchen to season cast iron skillets.
It can certainly be used on the Blackstone grill as well, although it is not listed in the instruction manual as an oil to choose for seasoning purposes.
There are excellent reasons for doing so, but the factors that make avocado oil a good choice for indoor kitchen use may make it a less useful choice on an outdoor grill.
Any kind of liquid cooking oil or a solid cooking grease like lard or vegetable shortening can be used to season metal cookware.
The key points to remember in selecting which oil or grease to use are the smoke point of the oil you choose, and whether the oil is considered healthy or unhealthy for cooking purposes because of its saturated fat content.
Cooks like to use avocado oil for seasoning cast iron cookware because of its high smoke point in excess of 500 degrees F.
The smoke point of an oil is the point at which it begins to burn and give off exhaust fumes, which are somewhat toxic, like any other smoke.
For seasoning a pan on an oven in an indoor kitchen, the high smoke point of avocado oil makes it a good choice.
With a grill used outdoors, in the open air, the high smoke point of avocado oil is less important, and the grill may not be able to heat the avocado oil to a temperature high enough to season the cooking surface properly.
Instead of having a nice black patina, the grill may only get an oily film on the surface.
The instruction manual for the Blackstone grill lists some better choices, including olive oil, vegetable or soybean oil, canola oil, coconut oil, or sesame oil, as well as lard or vegetable shortening.
All of these oils and solids have a smoke point between 350 and 450 F.
Peanut oil is not on the list, but has similar properties.
Some oils, otherwise thought healthy, have a smoke point that is too low, or release toxic compounds when heated.
Flaxseed oil, rice bran oil, and margarine should not be used for seasoning the Blackstone grill for these reasons.
How to season the Blackstone grill using oil or lard.
1. With the burners OFF, remove the lid that covers the grill using a screwdriver and a pair of pliers or wrench.
You will want access to both the inside and the outside of the vertical lip that runs around the edge of the cooking surface.
2. Wash the griddle surface to be seasoned with soap and water, and then rinse it with water.
Wipe it dry.
3. Turn the burners on beneath the griddle and let them heat for fifteen or twenty minutes.
If you have a temperature gauge, you can use it to see if the griddle has heated to at least the smoke point of the oil you have picked.
If not, the griddle is ready to season when it turns a darker color.
4. If you are using a liquid oil, pour some on the griddle cooking surface, and, using a cloth, rub it all over the horizontal cooking surface, as well as over the vertical lip that surrounds the cooking surface.
You want to get both the inside and the outside of the lip, which is why the top was removed.
If you are using a solid cooking fat like lard or vegetable shortening put a generous spoonful of it on the cooking surface, and, when it has melted, rub the cooking surface with the cloth to spread the grease evenly over the surface and the lip.
5. Always hold the cloth with either your grill tongs or a thick cooking or oven mitt.
Never attempt to season the grill by holding the cloth in your bare hand.
6. The oil or lard will give the surface of the griddle a dark black patina similar to that of a cast-iron skillet.
This is how the seasoning process works visibly.
You may wish to repeat the seasoning process between five and seven times before you are finished.
Properly done, the oil will protect the surface from rust and make it easy to clean the grill after use.
Seasoning will thus add years to the life of your grill.