Six Key Steps Before You Fire Up Your New Grill

May 6, 2024 by Kenmore

new grill setup

Pardon our enthusiasm, but could there be a more awesome time of year than the start of grilling season? There’s just nothing in world as inviting as the sound, the scent, and the anticipation of sizzling meat, poultry, seafood, and veggies on a rocket-hot grill!

Don’t get us wrong; we love the rich flavors of the slow-cooked stews, braises, soups, etc. of fall and winter. But with spring blossoming all around us, we’re more than ready to raise the stakes… with some steaks!

Did You Get a New Grill?

new grill

If you got a brand new grill for the holidays, or anytime during the off-season, then congratulations! We’re happy for you, and we share in your excitement. We know it can be super-tempting right now to hit the patio and start grilling as soon as you possibly can, but please… slow your roll for just a hot minute.

It’s a good idea to follow the following steps before you fire up and start cooking on your new grill. Take your time and do it right: you’ll be very happy with yourself later!

1. Read the Guide!

new grill

Before you do anything at all with your new grill, be sure to read the Use & Care Guide that comes with it (aka the owner’s manual). We know, it’s not the sexiest book you’re likely to read this spring & summer. But the people who manufacture this equipment actually put a lot of thought into them, and they provide a wealth of information on your grill’s assembly, operation, maintenance, and important safety guidelines.

2. Assemble with Care

new grill setup

If your new grill comes pre-assembled by the retailer (or you had a handy friend do it for you), then feel free to skip this part. Just be careful when you wheel it into place on your deck or patio.

If the grill requires assembly, take the time to carefully follow each of the manufacturer’s instructions, step by step, and put it together properly. It makes a real difference when it comes to safety and to the overall operating performance of your new grill.

Different grills have very different assembly steps, so we won’t try to summarize them all here. But typically, you will need to assemble the base and pedestal frame, install casters, attach the grill head and lid assemblies, attach control knobs, install any included shelves or side-burners, install diffusers, cooking grates and racks, and connect to the fuel source. Pro Tip: get an assistant to help with assembly. It’s much easier as a two-person job!

When finished, check the grill for any visible signs of damage during shipping or assembly. If you notice any issues, contact the manufacturer or the retailer for assistance.

3. Fuel the Fire

new grill gas grill propane

If you have a new gas grill, take a moment to connect the propane tank or natural gas supply according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Check the gas supply line and connections for leaks using a soap and water solution;  bubbles will form if gas is leaking.

If your new grill is a charcoal-fueled model, make sure you have plenty of quality charcoal briquets or lump charcoal to last you through the first few months of grilling season, at least. Also, be prepared with a fire-starting medium (e.g. lighting fluid or natural wax-based starters), and a long-reach lighter.

4. First Burn-Off

Your new gas grill components may look clean and pristine right out of the box, but looks can be deceiving! First, clean the grates with a grill brush to remove any potential debris or residues left from the manufacturing process. Then perform an initial burn-off by heating the grill on high for about 20-30 minutes to burn off any manufacturing residues, oils, etc. that may be present on the grates and burners.

After the first burn-off, test the burner controls to make sure they work properly. Turn them up, turn them down… and see if the flame follows along!

5. ‘Tis the Season!

If your grill comes with cast iron grates, consider seasoning them before or after grilling to prevent rust and to enhance their non-stick properties. (Grills with stainless steel or porcelain-coated grates do not necessarily need seasoning.)

Clean the grates and coat them with a thin layer of cooking oil. You can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or other oils that have a high smoke point. Note: olive oil is not recommended, due to its low smoke-point.

Preheat the grill to a high temperature, around 400-450°F. The heat helps the oil to bond with the iron and form a protective layer.

Once the grill reaches the desired temperature, let it smoke for about 15-30 minutes. This allows the oil to polymerize and create a seasoned coating on the grates.

Lastly, turn off the grill and let it cool down. The seasoned grates should now have a “seasoned” layer that helps prevent rust and provides a non-stick surface for cooking.

6. Get Comfortable

new gas grill

Your new grill is more than just a cooking implement… it’s your outdoor cooking companion! Your fiery new BFF!

Spend a little time getting to know how the various controls and features on your grill work. This includes ignition systems, temperature gauges, and any additional features your grill may have. How long does it take to preheat up to 400°F? How rapidly does it lose heat when you open the lid? How does the side-burner ignition work? Get a good feel for how it responds before you start on your first culinary adventure!

No New Grill Yet?

Well, thanks for reading this far. The good news is that you still have time to start the grilling season with a bright, shiny new Kenmore grill and make yourself the envy of the neighborhood!

Our 3-burner compact model with fold-up side tables is available in a choice of 7 designer colors.

Kenmore Grill Shopping Tips

Our 4-burner model with side-searing burner is a serious step up, available in all-stainless or in black with your choice of trim finishes. Also available with value-focused, open-cart design.

grilling for beginners

If you are more of an old-school charcoal chef, our Smart Charcoal grill blends the most traditional fuel with innovative Bluetooth connectivity for the best of both worlds.

And, for the undisputed Grillmaster, we offer our Deluxe 6-burner model with rotisserie, side-searing burner and 848 sq. in. of cooking space.

Kenmore Grill Shopping Tips

And, of course, we offer a full lineup of quality accessories to elevate your outdoor cooking game and help you get the most out of your grill throughout the year!


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about preparing a new gas grill.

How do you prepare or “break in” a new gas grill for the first time?

Once a new grill is assembled and connected to a fuel source, it’s a good idea to heat the grill on high for 20 to 30 minutes in order to burn off any residue left behind in the manufacturing process. After that, the grill should be ready to use as instructed. But before anything else… please read the owner’s guide!

Do new grill grates need to be seasoned?

If your grill has cast-iron cooking grates, you should take a few moments to season them to enhance cooking performance and improve their nonstick properties. Grills that use stainless steel or porcelain-coated nonstick cooking grates already have nonstick properties, so it’s not completely necessary to season them before use. But, just like cast-iron grates, they should be scrubbed clean with a stiff grill brush before each cooking session.

How do you start a propane grill for the first time?

Before anything else, read the Care & Use Guide that comes with your new grill for specific instructions on properly connecting fuel lines to the propane tank, and igniting the burners. Before your first use, you can check for leaks in the gas line and connection using a soap & water solution. Bubbles will form in the solution if leaks are present.


The Kenmore brand represents 100 years of trusted performance, backed by exclusive features and innovations that no other brand can bring to the table. We’re always evolving to ensure day-to-day tasks are taken care of with faster cooking, better cleaning and more living throughout the home.