Why Is Food Sticking To My Grill and How To Fix It

Grilling should never be a struggle; it should be a pleasurable way to provide sustenance. The flames, the smell, and especially the sizzle. If you find yourself struggling, wondering why your food is sticking to the grill, we have easy solutions for you. Taking the pain out of grilling and returning you to the serene land of sizzle and smoke. There are a couple of reasons that your food may be sticking to the grill. Let’s explore some common causes of grill stickage and what to do about them.


Cleanliness is next to cookliness

If your cooking grids aren’t clean, food will have a hard time releasing when it comes time to flip. Dirty cooking grids are a leading cause of stuck on foods because you have residue from previous grilling sessions; stuck on and burnt sauce, bits of old steak, and who knows what else. Giving your Napoleon cooking grids a proper cleaning and seasoning will go a long way in preventing your food from sticking.


You can clean your grill while it’s still hot after you cook, or before you grill, while the grill is preheating. Crank up the temperature and heat for five or ten minutes, then brush the grids vigorously with a grill brush.


Hey hot stuff

Are you preheating your grill? Has it reached temperature before you start? If your grill isn’t hot enough then food will stick because there is not enough conductive heat in the metal (cast iron or stainless steel), which results in a literal chemical bond between the food and cooking grids. To prevent this preheat your grill and give it a good scrub with your trusty grill brush - even if you did it after cooking last time - before adjusting the grill to the temperature you wish to be cooking at. The thing is, that a piece of food that has been put onto a hot grill will develop sear marks that will make it quite easy to flip. This food will release easily and you are good to go.

Bristle Free Brush


A slippery slope

Adding oil to the mix when you’re grilling can ensure an easy grilling session, or a nightmare of epic proportions and there’s a perfectly scientific explanation for this too. When preheating the grill, and using an oil with a low smoke point, the oil will break, carbonizing and smoking almost instantly. Not only does this not taste good on your food, but it makes the nonstick surface you’re expecting even more sticky! There are two solutions in this case.

You can either select an oil with a smoke point that is high. Avocado oil has a smoke point of 520°F, peanut and safflower oil smokes at 450°F, this makes them ideal for most grilling, except for VERY high heat searing.

Instead of oiling the grids (aside from seasoning them) try oiling the food. First pat the food dry with disposable towels, then rub with your seasoning blends, and finally brush the food with oil before throwing it on the grill.



Did you know that the leaner the meat, the more likely it is to stick to the grill? Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fish, and pork tenderloin are the bigger culprits, especially when compared to a burger with a ratio of 20% fat to 80% meat.


Side Burner in Use


Just Remember The Five Easy Steps To Stick-Free Grilling

  1. Burn off residue with high heat

  2. Brush your grids clean

  3. Stabilize heat to desired preheat temp

  4. Pat food dry, rub with seasonings, oil food

  5. Cook until grill marks form, then flip


If you have ever experienced the devastation of delicious food cementing itself to your cooking grids, then ripping free, only to leave half of the food still attached to the grid, leaving you a ragged chunk of sad looking food in your tongs, then this blog is for you. Have any of these tricks worked for you? Do you have others that you swear by? Tell us about your disappointment of stuck-on food, or the secrets to your non-stick-success on our social channels like Facebook or Instagram by using the hastags #Napoleongrills and #stickyWicket.