Because of its proximity to the food being cooked, the grill is an integral component of your pot.
A good cooking surface should conduct heat well, prevent food from sticking, and be durable.
The quality of your grill depends on your grill, so it's important to choose wisely. Grill manufacturers use a lot of marketing words to describe their grids, making it difficult to choose.
We'll simplify matters by outlining the fundamental differences between the various grill designs. Then provide you with all the data you need to make an informed decision.
Before comparing grill grates, read my essay on grill markings. It explains how to create a deep, dark brown surface color on your meats without a tan. No grill marks. This grilled ribeye shows maximum taste.
Grill marks are a warning that the meat is overcooked. Brown meat tastes better than tan. Dark brown should cover the surface.
Change the grates on a fresh grill for better meat browning. Gridirons transmit and store heat. Mysterious cast iron grates. They absorb and maintain heat, and sear meat. My grill grates shouldn't cook my meat unevenly.
Maillard reaction converts tan, dull flesh into a brown, delectable crust. Heat, smoke, and combustion gases should do it. A frying pan is preferred for searing steaks. I want a black-streak-free grill.
Smoke can't reach meat because to thick cast iron grates with little space between them. Isn't smoke why we grill outdoors?
Consider a rotisserie-equipped Brazilian steakhouse. Waiters serve meat still on the spear in 1/4-inch chunks. Re-browning the meat. The procedure yields a consistently browned surface and medium-rare meat. Grill-mark-free meat is delicious.
Sometimes grill marks help. Radiation or convection alone may overcook thin foods like skirt steak, asparagus, kabobs, or shrimp. Conduction only. Heat-conducting grates. My favorite grill grates are different. Gas or charcoal? Gas grills use GrillGratesTM and thin stainless steel grates.
Heat a new grate without food for 30 minutes to remove oil, dust, and manufacturing byproducts. Themselves.
Which grill is better: an aluminum, cast iron, enameled wire, or stainless steel barbecue grate? The answer may surprise you.
- Most grills are cast iron, stainless steel, or have an enamel covering.
- We'll describe each grill material and highlight its benefits and downsides.
Stainless steel grates are cheap. They're lightweight, so moving them to reach the coals below is simple.
Stainless steel grills heat fast due to their low weight. Thinner materials don't retain heat effectively.
Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant but not corrosion-proof. Coal heat and cleaning can ruin your barbecue grate over time. This generates a corrosive, sticky surface.
- Light, portable
- Newly corrosion-resistant
- Cooking surface deteriorates
- Damage may make food stick.
- Heat loss
RELATED: We have an entire post on the best presto 7046 big griddle review made from stainless steel if you want to learn more.
Cast iron grill grates retain heat and cook evenly.
Cast iron heats considerably slower than stainless steel since it's thicker. Once they're hot, they'll transmit heat well and sear well.
A hefty grate makes it hard to reach coals and clean them.
Cast iron grates rust easily and require frequent maintenance. Cast iron grill plates, if properly maintained and rust-free, will outlive your oven.
- Highly insulating
- Evenly cooks
- If maintained, durable.
- Sears well
- Corrosion-prone heavy
- Becoming non-stick requires seasoning.
Enamel-coated grill grates
Standard stainless steel or cast iron grills are enameled. This coating is non-stick and prevents rusting.
An enamel coating helps with cast iron corrosion and stainless steel heat retention but also has downsides.
During cleaning, enamel may chip, enabling moisture to corrode the surface underneath. Chipped enamel grill grates lose their nonstick characteristics.
- Improves grill heat retention
- Prevents grill rust
- Non-stick coating added
- Prone to chipping if not cleaned correctly
- When chipped, it loses many of its virtues.
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Grill grate care, Our guide to grill grates give further details.
Easy-to-clean stainless barbecue grates. Use aluminum foil to burn off cooking debris, then scrub with a nylon brush.
Burn residue off your cast iron grate after cooking. When cool, use a grill brush and scraper to remove any residue.
Oil "seasons" cast iron grills. This polymerizes their porous surface, preventing rusting and food adhering. Always do this.
To accomplish this, preheat and dry your barbecue grate. Apply vegetable oil with a cloth.
Use a brass bristle brush, not a scraper, to clean an enamel-coated grill. Dropping an enamel-coated grill might crack the enamel.
Identify the best grill grate for your needs.
Designed for versatility
Most grates are only built for one style of sear. Reversible Broil King cast iron and stainless steel grills. Our grates feature distinct peaks for sear marks. The grooved side allows the grate to act like a griddle with built-in vaporization, producing a larger surface sear and better basting.
Fresh burgers are mushy and lack structure. If you cook it on the sharp peak side, soft flesh sags between the peaks, and your spatula shaves it off. Flip the grates for double the contact points and less burger from loss. Use the reverse side for wings, veggies, and anything that doesn't require a large sear.
The Weight of your Grill Grates
Grill grates should be substantial unless your barbecue mimics the sun's cooking power. Energy is stored in and transferred to the food in an efficient manner through conduction and radiation via thick cooking grates. For a more refined and uniform sear and a smoother finish, use this method.
When it comes to grates, weight is of the utmost significance. The searing intensity required to get as near to the meat as possible is only available by using heavy cooking grates, which are full of energy. It's not your burners' fault that the meat isn't scorching, since they're just a few inches away.
There are several benefits to using cast iron barbecue grates. However, just like any other piece of kitchenware, you'll want to choose a grill grate that works for you.
Does a certain grill grate get your stamp of approval? Have you? If so, please share your experience with us in the discussion below.
Grids made of stainless steel are high-quality and long-lasting. They are the priciest blisters because of their exceptional corrosion resistance. These blisters are rated the highest in terms of durability and thermal retention. Porcelain-coated cast iron grates are a close second to stainless steel. The heat it generates is retained for an extended period of time.
You may be confident that it will take many years for the rust to show through even if the porcelain chips are still there. Finally, there are porcelain-coated steel grids, which are the coolest looking but have the lowest heat retention rating of the three since they chip easily and corrode.