Saturday, March 12, 2005

Seasoning the Grill for a Camp Chef Barbecue Box

I returned home around 4 p.m. after a trip up Iron Mountain Road for lunch and a campfire. The unseasonably warm weather we've been having in Northern California prompted me to season the cast iron grill from my new Camp Chef Barbecue Box (model BB-60L).

Grilled baby back ribs with Thai-mustard sauce on Camp Chef's barbecue grill. The grill uses one of the burners on a two- or three-burner propane stove as a heat source. The ribs were ready for the table in about one hour. Posted by Hello

All cast iron must first be seasoned before you use it for the first time (see note for exception). Most cast iron is shipped from the factory with a wax coating that prevents rust during shipping and storage. To season, you must burn the wax coating off, wash it and bake a layer of oil into the cast iron. This is the first step to developing the black patina, or seasoning.

After filling my propane tank (I discovered it was still empty after Pleasanton), I removed the grill from the barbecue box and place it over a burner on my propane stove. I lit the stove and turned it up to 100 percent. A light gray ring developed in the cast iron over the burner within a minute.

I moved the grill every three to five minutes to burn the wax off the whole grill. The strong odor of paraffin wax was evident throughout the process. I turned the gas off after 25 minutes.

Melting the protective wax off the grill over a propane burner. You can also use a regular propane grill to accomplish the same task. Posted by Hello

At one point I placed a griddle thermometer on a section of grill away from direct heat. The dial immediately jumped to around 500 degrees. It took about 20 minutes to cool the grill to below 100 degrees after turning the heat off.

I then took the grill into the kitchen and washed it in hot, soapy water. I rinsed the grill to wash off soap residue and dried it with a paper towel. I dried the grill to drive all moisture from the cast iron over my kitchen range for about five minutes.

I placed the grill into my kitchen oven and turned it to 425 degrees. It took about 20 minutes for the oven to register 425 degrees. Watch for excessive smoke when you season cast iron in the house and make sure that you vent the kitchen.

I turned the oven off one hour later, cooled the grill for about 15 minutes and placed it in the barbecue box. The cast iron grill came out with a nice, black sheen, ready for action.

To test the barbecue box, I grilled three half slabs of baby back ribs. I'll post the recipe on Monday.

Note: This rule doesn't apply if you purchase Lodge Logic or Camp Chef Advantage cast iron cookware. These products are seasoned at the factory and are ready to use.

The grill will become extremely hot while melting off the wax. Only perform this function outdoors and wear heavy gloves when moving the hot grill. Posted by Hello

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