Seasoning Your Plancha – Charcoal BBQsSteve
Before cooking on the plancha we need to wash and season the surface to create that natural non-stick coating. This is the same process as seasoning a steel wok or cast iron cookware.
What is Seasoning.
The seasoning process is the baking of a thin layer of oil into the surface of the metal. Repeating the process will build up the layers of baked oil and will give the steel that dark tanned shiny appearance. The plancha comes with some oil on it for shipping purposes so this needs to be washed off and fresh oil applied.If there are any blemishes or discolouration on the steel, don’t be troubled as these are normal and come from the manufacturing process of the steel and will soon be covered by the layers of seasoning. The layers of seasoning will provide a natural non stick coating that will develop further the more you cook it.
Oils To Use
Any of the following are suitable
- Flax Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Canola Oil
- Coconut Oil
1. Start your by preparing a full chimney of coals. In this instance we have used weber briquettes. For the Kettle plancha 57 we would normally only need half a chimney of coals for a cook but on this occasion we want to heat the whole surface to a higher temperature than a normal cook.
2. While the coals are burning, thoroughly wash the Plancha and allow to fully dry. Once dry, apply a small film of oil, 1 tablespoon applied with a kitchen towel should be enough. Dont be too generous with the oil or you could develop a sticky and uneven seasoning. Less is more and patience does pay.
3. Spread the coals evenly across the base of the BBQ so we can apply a broad even heat.
4. Insert the plancha into the kettle and wait for the temperature to rise. The steel will conduct the heat very well and within a few minutes you should be up to or over 200C. The ideal way to gauge this is with an IR Thermometer. Another option is to drop a small amount of water onto the plancha. If the water bounces and rapidly boils off, then you are up to temp. When you are around 200C, the existing film of oil will begin to smoke and burn into the steel. You will notice that the shine of the oil has gone and the surface appears dry.
5. Apply and repeat. Apply a small amount of oil to the plancha and spread evenly using a paper kitchen towel. Use tongs or a scraper to apply a thin and even coat across the surface. This will rapidly smoke and darken the surface of the steel. Allow time for the oil to bake in and then repeat the process at least 4 times. The surface colour will now have darkened to a shiny tanned colour ready to cook on.
Cleaning and Storage
Scrape the surface with a metal scraper or spatula and wipe down with a paper kitchen towel. If there is any stubborn food residue, you can spray water on and scrape again. Add a film of oil before storing away. Store in a dry place away from the elements so you can retain that seasoning. Please do remember that the plancha is similar to cast iron cookware and it can rust. If it does rust, you can simply scrape back with a griddle stone or wire wool and reapply the seasoning.
Q. Do I season both sides?
A. Not necessary as the side that faces the coals will become quite hot and the seasoning will burn off under high heat.
Q. How high should I heat the plancha to?
A. Ideally not much above 250C as this could start to burn off your seasoning
Q. I’ve seasoned the BBQ but some food did stick, is this normal?
A. In the early stages before the seasoning has developed, some foods may stick but using a small amount of oil and moving the food will avoid that. Any residue will quickly scrape off and the griddle will come clean with some water
Q. What cleaning fluids should I use
A. Only water is needed. Apply while plancha is still warm and scrape. Then follow up with a film of oil applied with a paper towel