Grill grates are the most critical component of your grill as they are the part that gets closest to the food whenever you are cooking. Moreover, it is the part responsible for creating those beautiful sears that many people love. So, what is the best type of grate for your grill?
The best type of grill grate is stainless steel. Stainless steel offers more benefits compared to other types of grill grates. Even though it is a bit more pricey, it is easier to maintain and more durable.
Generally, grills can have either porcelain-coated cast iron, cast iron, porcelain-coated steel, stainless steel, or plain steel. The intense heat produced during grilling can easily compromise these metals if they are not of the right quality. Additionally, grill grates can degenerate with time. Therefore, you must replace your grill’s grates for the best results. Read on for more information on the best grates for your grill.
Different Types Of Grill Grates
One trick to purchasing the best grill grates is comprehending the different types available in the modern market. With this information, you will find it easier to make the right choice. Most grill grates are made of stainless steel, cast iron, or base materials covered in enamel coating. Although most grill grates seem to function in the same way, some work better than others.
Cast Iron Grates
Cast iron grates are best known for their incredible heat retention ability and for producing even cooking heat. Although the thicker cast iron takes longer to heat up compared to stainless steel, they offer a reliable temperature once they are up. Moreover, their sear marks are bold and beautiful.
Nonetheless, the cast iron grates are heavy and thick, making it difficult to access the coals whenever you need to or even move the grates around when the need arises. The surface of the cast iron grates is prone to rust if you fail to maintain it well.
Pros of Cast Iron Grates
- Great heat retention capabilities
- Produces excellent and beautiful sear marks on the food
- Best known for producing even cooking heat
- It can be very durable if you maintain it well
Cons of Cast Iron Grates
- It is very heavy, making it less portable. The thickness can also prevent you from accessing your coals whenever necessary.
- Prone to rust and corrosion if not well-maintained
- It requires seasoning to make it non-stick.
- Needs constant maintenance, which can sometimes be tedious
Rod Stainless Grates
The Rod Stainless Grates are best known for their incredible durability and keeping a low maintenance profile. Additionally, the grill is non-stick, meaning you do not have to season it before using it. Stainless grates are also excellent in delivering great sear, even though they require a larger diameter to achieve that objective.
Pros of Rod Stainless Grates
- It is made of premium quality material to guarantee a long-lasting use
- Perfect fit for most gas grills
- It is non-stick, meaning that you will not have to season it before using it for cooking your meals.
- The Rod Stainless Grates are easy to clean.
- Does not have sharp edges that can hurt your hands
Cast Stainless Grates
The cast stainless grates are among the most affordable options available in the market. They are lightweight, easy to transport, and perfect for outdoor cooking. Nonetheless, they are not the best for heat retention since they are thin.
Also, Cast Stainless Grates are corrosion-rust resistant but not 100% corrosion-proof. With continued usage of the grates and regular cleaning, the surface of the grates will degrade, prompting you to order new grates for your grill.
Pros of Cast Stainless Grates
- The Cast Stainless Grates are light making them portable and hence perfect for outdoor cooking.
- Lights up quickly because it is thinner
- Corrosion-resistant but still requires maintenance.
Cons of Cast Stainless Grates
- The cooking surface of the Cast Stainless Grates degrades overtime
- Wear and tear on the surface of the grates for a long time can lead to the food sticking on the grates
- Low heat retention
Porcelain Grill Grates
Porcelain grill grates are manufactured by pooling multiple steel threads to make grates tightly. The tight grates are then coated with a protective porcelain enameled coating to make them effective.
Most people love porcelain grill grates because they are moderately priced and have a non-stick coating that makes them quite effective.
Notably, porcelain grill grates have several advantages over other grill grates available in the modern market. Some of the benefits associated with porcelain grill grates include the following;
Pros of Porcelain Grill Grates
- Providing even cooking surfaces
- They are rust-resistant
- Easy to clean
Cons of Porcelain Grill Grates
- Poor heat retention capabilities
- Can’t season the grates
- Requires regular maintenance, which can be tiring
How Often Should I Replace my Grill Grates?
With time, the grill grate’s surface degrades, which can interfere with the quality of the food that you cook on the grill. It is crucial to replace the grill grates as often as possible or as soon as you notice their surface has already degraded. Here are some signs that you should replace the grates of your grill.
Rust On The Grates
While a small amount of rust should not be the reason to raise the alarm, as you can remove it with a brush, too much rust on the grill should warrant a replacement. Additionally, if the rust has gone deeper into the grates, you cannot completely remove them with a brush. Although small amounts of iron may not have an immediate health impact, using rusted grates for an extended period can cause a health problem.
Difficulty Cleaning The Grill Grate
Another sign that it is time to replace the grill grates is if you realize that you are having difficulty cleaning them. Difficulty could signify that they are degraded; therefore, replacing them will be a wise move.
The scraper and the grill brush are the right tools for cleaning all grilling items, and if you realize that they are ineffective in cleaning the grates because the debris attached to the grill is stubborn, it is a good idea to replace the grill grates.
When the grill grate gets worn out, it often starts to chip away. Chipping causes uneven distribution of heat on the grilling surfaces. Moreover, a chipped grill provides an entry point for moisture that increases the rate at which rust occurs. Therefore, if you notice any chipping on your grill, it will be prudent to replace it as soon as possible.
How To Clean And Take Good Care Of Your Grates
For the best results, ensure that you clean and maintain your grill for the future. Taking good care of your grill helps extend the life of your grate and saves you a lot of money. Always follow these tips when cleaning your grill grates;
- Wait for the grates to cool before cleaning. Cleaning the grates when hot can damage it.
- Clean the grill grates after and before every cooking session. It is one of the ideal ways of maintaining high hygienic levels for the foods you cook.
- Use a degreaser to help scrape off the debris.
- Avoid using sharp edges when washing the grates of your grill, as they can easily scrape the protective layer of the grates.
- Use water and soap when cleaning your grates.
- After cleaning the grates, rub them with oil to prevent drying and rusting.
With the numerous types of grill grates in the market, it is easy to get confused about the one to choose for your use. When shopping for the best grill grates, always remember to pay close attention to durability, maintenance, the amount of heat the grate can withstand, and the price.
Scot has loved smoking food in his free time for the last few years. Each major holiday or off-weekend, Scot spends days testing and prepping new recipes for perfection.