Lookin’ Ain’t Cookin’

Lookin’ Ain’t Cookin’

We have an old saying here at Weber that is considered the golden rule in grilling. If you're lookin', you ain't cookin'. Every griller should live by this mantra and always remember it as a golden rule upon which great grillers are built.

So what does it mean? Simple, keep the lid closed when you are grilling. Grilling with the lid open is a bad habit which is done by amateur grillers. Weber grillers know the key to perfect back yard grilling is keeping the lid closed. Grilling with the lid closed is a very simple tip which many people overlook. If you are looking to raise the level of your grilling abilities this step is essential. By keeping the lid open the grill will lose heat and will cause your foods to be grilled longer. By keeping the lid closed you allow the Weber grill to do what it was designed to do, grill!!! By keeping the heat inside the grill, food will grill faster and be more flavorful.

One major advantage to grilling with the lid closed is controlling flare ups. Weber grills are designed and engineered to eliminate flare ups. This is done by our legendary flavorizer bar system. The flavorizer bars system is the heart of Weber® Gas Grills. A single row of Flavorizer® Bars eliminates annoying flare-ups by vaporizing juices and creating the smoke that gives every meal that barbecue flavor. I can't even tell you how often people ask me how to control flare-ups and how to get better grilling results. Grilling with the lid closed is the best possible way to achieve both. I know is seems very simple but keeping the lid closed is the single best way to grill foods properly and get the best possible grilled results. For the charcoal lovers out there, the genius of a Weber kettle's design is that it allows hot air to circulate throughout the grill. This circulation allows for perfect convection style grilling. By keeping the lid closed throughout the grilling process flare ups are virtually eliminated and food is grilled to perfect.

Again it's important to recognize that Weber grills are designed and engineered to grill your food to perfection. I know it might be difficult at first but one of the most important things you can do is trust your Weber. I promise it will not let you down.

What are your thoughts? (20)

09.21.13

Andy K

I've read about what to do before the first use (E-330 propane), and there isn't much. Just oil the food, not the grates. However, I cranked it up to about 650 degrees with nothing in it, and it created a lot of smoke (that had a plastic smell). I removed all the protective stuff before I fired it up. Is this normal? I don't think it would be good to cook in there.

09.21.13

Kevin Kolman

Hi Andy,

First, congratulations on your new Weber Genesis E-330. What an amazing grill! Now, what you smell is the oils from the manufacturing process being burned off. There is no need to worry. You are correct regarding oiling the food and not the grates, so keep that up. In addition, make sure you preheat the grill each and every time you use it. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Happy Grilling!
-Kevin

08.05.13

W.S. W

In relation to the comment above regarding the new style cast iron grates, I too am bewildered as to the new design. I started with a Weber Kettle, bought a Spirit 3.5 years ago, and was ready Saturday to upgrade to a Genesis E-330 until I saw the cast iron grate. It is misleading to see the older triangle shape grate that I have on my Spirit shown on the Weber website picture of the E-330. I really like that grate, but in the store, the pointed side had elevated cross bars that would hamper cooking ( this is how every grill was displayed ) and the reverse side had extremely wide grates which, in my opinion, would really make for excessively crusty grill marks rather than a small discernible pattern.

I understand that Weber can't please everyone but I will choose to not spend in excess of 800.00 on something in which I am not totally in agreement.

As always, Caveat Emptor....

05.28.13

MaryBeth V

Kevin,

Thanks for the prompt reply. I'll give it a whirl "on the flat side" and see how it goes! That said, the geek in me is curious about the change...is there a reason for the change?

05.28.13

Kevin Kolman

Hi MaryBeth,

It all boils down to the performance of the grill. We have found that the design of the grates and grilling on the flat side adds to the overall performance of the grill. I hope this helps.

Happy Grilling!
-Kevin

05.28.13

MaryBeth V

I'd also like to ask a question about the PCI grates. We just purchased a Genesis E330, and the grates that came with the grill look nothing like the grates in any of Weber's promotional materials for the E330. While all the Weber pictures show a grate with a continuous front to back bars that are tapered or "triangular"on the cooking surface, our grates have two sides -- a side with flat front to back bars, each bar about .75cm wide; and a side with bars having a more traditional triangular shape. The side with the triangularly shaped bars, however, is not continuous from front to back, but is broken up by 2 "support" bars that cross from left to right, making it impossible to easily run a spatula from front to back.

It is simply unclear which side of the grate I am supposed to use for grilling! The flat side seems odd (and contrary to ever grill I have ever seen), but the cross supports on the side with the triangle bars make it near impossible to use a spatula in any kind of continuous way from front to back. Help!

05.05.13

Cordell F

Hi Kevin. I'm confused.

I just bought a Genesis BBQ with cast iron grates. So far I've used it three times. I didn't prepare my grates or season them in any way because I read on your blog that there's no need. You said apply oil to the food, not the grates.

Today I went to Weber's website to register my BBQ and in doing so I read some of their FAQ including a paragraph about how important it is to prepare cast iron grates before the first use. This process includes a procedure to remove a wax protective coating that was applied for shipping, applying a coating of vegetable oil, and heating the grates for 60-90 minutes. This is totally opposite to your instructions!

Here's a copy of the detailed instructions from Weber's website:
"To maintain the wonderful searing/grilling performance of your cast iron grates or griddle, as well as their longevity, some special care is required. As with any cast iron cooking tool, proper seasoning is most important.

First time use: Before using a cast iron grate or griddle, wash it thoroughly with a mild dishwashing liquid to remove the protective wax coating applied for shipping. Rinse with hot water and dry completely with a soft cloth or paper towel. NEVER ALLOW TO DRAIN DRY, OR WASH IN A DISHWASHER. Now season the grates/griddle to prevent rust and sticking.

Seasoning: A solid vegetable shortening is recommended for the initial seasoning. Spread a thin coating of solid vegetable shortening over the entire surface, including all corners, with a paper towel. Do not use salted fats such as butter or margarine. Proceed as follows:

Gas grills: Preheat grill for 15 minutes, place grates/griddle in grill. Turn burners to Medium-Off-Medium with lid closed. Allow grill to heat grates/griddle for 1 to 1½ hours. Turn all burners to OFF, and leave cooking grates/griddle in grill until they are cool."

- Who's correct? You or Weber? Please clarify.
- Have I missed out by not properly preparing my grates before first use? Is it too late to do so now?
- Did my first steak from this BBQ include a layer of melting shipping wax?

Thanks
CJ

05.05.13

Kevin Kolman

Hi CJ,

First, congratulations on the Weber Genesis Gas Grill. I know you are going to enjoy it for years to come. Second, let's talk about the grates. At one time, Weber used to have cast iron grates in our grills. The instructions you included in your response were for those specific grates. About 7-10 years ago, Weber developed a porcelain enameled cast-iron grate that is ready for use right out of the box. This made our consumers very happy because you did not have to go through the instructions you shared. All you had to do was put them in the grill, turn it on, and get started.

The grates you have on your grill are the porcelain enameled cast-iron grates, and they were ready for use right away. There should be no shipping wax, and no worry about properly preparing and/or seasoning them. The grates are grill ready so that the only thing you need to think about is the food on them.

Thank you for the great question. I'm glad we were able to clarify. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Happy Grilling!
-Kevin

04.13.13

Scott S

Hi,

I bought the Genesis E310 (natural gas) grill. I am wondering if you can tell me exactly what I should do prior to first use. I have been told about wiping vegetable oil on the grates. Anything else?

04.13.13

Kevin Kolman

Hi Scaschwa,

Congratulations on your new Weber Genesis E-310! That is one great grill you have! What I recommend first is to read the owner?s manual and make sure you follow the grilling guide that was provided with your grill. Also, stay away from using vegetable oil on the grates. This does not help in any way. The majority falls down the sides of the grates and the rest will get burned off during the preheating process. Do yourself a favor and lightly oil your food instead. Besides that, always preheat your grill for 10-15 minutes and you should be on the right track. I hope this helps. Enjoy your new Weber Genesis!

Happy Grilling!
-Kevin

06.02.12

Norm C

I have a question about putting oil on my cooking gates.. I have a Genesis E-310 and from what I can tell by reading these blogs- you should oil the food and not the grates. I did however read somewhere that brushing on some peanut oil would be a good idea.. Is this necessary or not? I am getting ready to use this grill for the first time tomorrow so I was wondering if there was anything I needed to do other that make sure I have pre-heated the grill for 10 to 15 minutes.. Also is there anything I need to do differently to prepare the grilling surface since I am using it for the first time? Thanks

06.02.12

Kevin Kolman

Hi Norm LC:
Congrats and welcome to the Weber family!! You are correct that you should oil the food not the grates. The reason is that the majority of oil will fall down the grates and the rest will get burned off during the preheat. Brushing peanut oil, olive oil, etc., is not necessary. There is nothing more important than the preheat when it comes to grilling. It sets the whole tone for what you are going to be grilling. Just make sure you allow the grill to preheat for 10-15 minutes; getting temperatures up to 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help in obtaining those great grilling marks we love which add to the flavor of what we are grilling. And that's it! Make sure you reference the grilling guides for grilling times, have fun and let me know how it comes out. Congrats again and Happy Grilling!!-Kevin

03.22.12

Roberto P

Hi Kevin,


Thanks for the suggestions. The only thing I have to clean the outside of this grill is Windex and paper towels. I usually do this after I'm done cooking and once it has cooled down. Once I clean it, I put the cover on it. Is this the recommended approach? Will Windex harm the surface of this E-310?


Thanks again!

03.22.12

Kevin Kolman

Hi RPerez07,


You are on the right track. Always clean the outside of the lid when the grill is cool. A mild class cleaner like Windex will do a great job restoring the porcelain lid back to its glass finish. Another thing I can recommend is wiping down the inside of the lid when the grill is warm with a soft, damp cloth. This will help remove some of the carbon build up that can happen overtime when you grill. Keep up all the great work and Happy Grilling!!

03.21.12

Roberto P

Hi Kevin,


I just bought a Weber Genesis E-310 ... What can I do to prevent the sides from experiencing any rust in them? I have had the grill for about two months and have recently started to see some brownish marks on them, as if rust is starting to kick in. I did get a thick, Veranda BBQ cover so its been well covered since day one. Please advise, thanks!

03.21.12

Kevin Kolman

Hi RPerez07,


You are on the right track. Always clean the outside of the lid when the grill is cool. A mild class cleaner like Windex will do a great job restoring the porcelain lid back to its glass finish. Another thing I can recommend is wiping down the inside of the lid when the grill is warm with a soft, damp cloth. This will help remove some of the carbon build up that can happen overtime when you grill. Keep up all the great work and Happy Grilling!!

07.27.11

Kevin K

Hi StoopidMonkey81:
This is a very good question. I always recommend using chips vs. chunks inside a gas grill. The best practice when smoking with a gas grill is either using a Weber smoker box attachment (Weber sells these) or using the drip pan method. When using the drip pan method, you soak the chips in liquid, place them in an aluminum foil pan, cover with foil and place a few holes in the top. Once that is done you can set the drip pan underneath the grates (on top of the Flavorizer bars) and start grilling. Either way will get you the most consistent smoke over time and the best results.

I do though recommend using chunks on a charcoal grill because for the application they work the best. Hope this helps. Let me know how it comes out. Happy Grilling!!-Kevin