Are Stainless Steel Or Cast Iron Grill Grates Better

Which Is The Besttype Of Grill Grate

Malory Cast Iron Grates vs KillaGrilla Heavy Duty Stainless Grates

There will always be a debate about which cooking grids are best. Stainless steel grids tends to be preferred by grillers who use very high heat/temperatures for cooking. Cast iron retains heat better than probably any other material which is why is allows for cooking at lower temperatures.

A few simple steps will extend the life of your cooking grids and save you tons in food you will actually eat instead of scrape from your cooking surface.

It really isnt necessary to sacrifice food while cooking on the grill. No matter what material your cooking grids are made from, proper maintenance is your path to success. Proper maintenance of your grills cooking grids will ensure they remain effective as long as possible and help you maintain the quality of your meals.

Cooking grids are manufactured in a variety of materials. Most cooking grids are made of cast iron, stainless steel, or porcelain and variations of those metals, i.e. porcelain steel wire, matte finish cast iron to name a couple. When buying replacement barbecue parts, try to use parts made from the same material as the original manufacturer parts that came with the grill.

Cooking grids are a vital component of any barbecue grill. Its the surface used for cooking all food and most would argue that it is the most important part of a grill. Take care of it and it will take care of you.

Are Stainless Steel Bbq Plates Better Than Cast Iron

Cast iron grates last longer, retain more heat and provide greater nonstick properties, whereas stainless steel grates are better protected against rust and corrosion and are easier to clean. If youre struggling to choose between the two, you can always purchase both types of grates for your grill or smoker.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Porcelain Grill Grates

If your porcelain grill grates are really dirty, you can try applying a baking soda solution to them. Make a paste by combining ½ cup of baking soda with 14 cup of warm water. Apply the paste to the grill grates. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then clean it off with a soft bristle grill brush.

Don’t Miss: Do Weber Natural Gas Grills Have Regulators

Weight Of The Grill Grates

A critical feature for any piece of equipment is whether it is light or not. Generally, we prefer tools that are lighter but have the same durability and function as other options. In this area, stainless steel grill grates will take the cake.

They are lightweight and perform as well as cast iron steel grates. Removing and maintaining the grill may be difficult if you have iron grates because they are heavier and will need more effort to pick them up.

The Stainless Steel Grill Grates

Stainless Steel Grill Grates vs Cast Iron

Stainless steel grill grates have been in the market for so long thanks to its durability and need for minimal maintenance. Stainless steel is a much better option than regular steel or steel plated grill grates because the other two cannot stand the heat for a long time.

Stainless steel is corrosion and rust-free for the most part. However, it does not mean that the stainless steel grates will never corrode. You can expect it to last for years to come even after exposure to heat and moisture.

Also Check: Best Way To Clean Infrared Grill Grates

Upgrade Your Grill With Grillgrates

A fantastic innovation, GrillGrates uses reversible interlocking aluminum panels made of hard anodized aluminum to increase your surface temperature, eliminate flare-ups, and deliver that perfect sear.

Compatible with gas grills, charcoal grills, and pellet smokers, GrillGrates can amplify cooking temperatures by up to 350°F.

The raised rails not only impart steakhouse quality searing, but they also collect juices and drippings and then vaporize back into your food. Sealing in both moisture and flavor.

So if you are looking for a grilling innovation that will give you juicy, evenly cooked food without sacrificing on the sear or flavor, we highly recommend you upgrade your grill with GrillGrates.

Check the latest price on Amazon.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Cast


  • Retain heat well Cooking on cast-iron combines the benefits of stovetop cooking on a cast-iron pan with outdoor grilling. Youll get a good sear where the grates touch the meat, and youll get great heat transfer. This helps you cook your food thoroughly when your charcoal is starting to die down.
  • Transfer heat directly Food thats touching the surface of the grates will be well-seared. This is ideal for foods that only have to cook for a short amount of time but benefit from a darker outer layer.
  • Last for decades With proper care, your cast-iron grill grates may never have to be replaced.


  • Heavy Cast-iron grates are extremely heavy. This makes them cumbersome to remove to shift around the charcoal beneath them. You may need a special tool to lift and replace the grate on the grill.
  • Rust quickly An uncoated cast iron grate can rust quickly when exposed to the elements. Even if the grate is inside your grill, it can oxidize in humid weather. If youre not using it for a while, bring it inside.
  • Take more effort to clean You have to take the extra step of seasoning the grates periodically to maintain the finish.

Recommended Reading: Internal Temp For Grilled Chicken Breast

Cleaning Your Cast Iron Or Stainless Steel Grill

This is one area where stainless steel stands out. Since it has a comparatively smooth surface, its easier to clean a stainless steel grid.

Stainless steels also lighter than cast iron so you can take it inside and clean it in the kitchen sink. This can also make stainless steel a better option for hiking.

Choosing Your Hill To Die On

Cast Iron vs Stainless Steel Grills – Which is better? | Barbecue Galore

Before we dive into the specifications and the pros and cons, the truth to this debate is that its really just a matter of what your personal preferences are and what your dominant BBQ style is. There isnt one metal thats definitely the best. They are both awesome.

Obviously, each will work best in some specific situations, so thats where it becomes important to be self-aware of what you like, in order to understand what you should invest in.

Recommended Reading: How To Clean Traeger Grill

Types Of Materials Used To Make Grill Grates

Besides the material used in the construction of the grill body, the type of materials used in making the grates is also important. The grates need to be well constructed from high-grade materials or else they will succumb to the high heat from the grills.

If you get low-quality grates to save some money, they can wear down and impact the quality of grilled food over time. Hence, we recommend that you invest a little more in choosing the right grates that can give you perfect barbeque food every time.

The grates may be made of plain stainless steel, nickel-plated steel, cast iron, porcelain-coated cast iron, or steel coated with porcelain enamel. Keeping the grates clean and in the best shape can help you ensure that they last for longer. Lets take a look at the pros and cons of both stainless steel and porcelain.

Stainless Steel Grates

Stainless steel grates are studier and more highly durable than the cast iron grates. They are less likely to rust and tarnish than the latter. They can also benefit from frequent lubrication using cooking oil spray and regular cleaning after each grilling session.

The stainless steel grates can in various forms such as a rod, hexagonal, or cast form. The rod-style grates are made of simple rows of solid tubular stainless steel. They are connected together by a horizontal bar, and this is one of the most widely used stainless steel grids.



Porcelain Grates


  • They have better non-stick abilities compared to stainless steel


Things To Know About Cast Iron Grills

Cast iron is an excellent material because it tends to retain a large amount of heat. Of course, when compared with stainless steel it is corrosive, which is the main reason why they are coated with enamel or porcelain.

These coatings will help you ensure that it does not rust due to elements and weather, and that will eliminate the need for curing the metal. At the same time, it will provide you faster and easier cleanup than other types.

Even though you will not notice the specific sizzling sound, the meat makes when it gets on the grill, you will not get sear marks as well. The porcelain is prone to chips and cracks, especially if you mishandle the grates or drop it to patio.

These chips and cracks will affect its efficiency and ability to retain heat, and that may cause it to rust from the inside.

If you get bare or non-coated cast iron, you will be able to get a grill that will withstand severe heat and stick resistance, but with short durability due to inability to handle weather elements.

Recommended Reading: Macaroni Grill Sacramento Ca

What Are The Main Differences Between Stainless Steel Grill Grates Vs Cast Iron Steel Grates

Cast iron grill grates give you an authentic seared look on your meat and can retain the desired temperature for a longer period than the stainless steel option. At the same time, stainless steel grates will last for a long time and do not need a lot of maintenance and effort on cleaning.

While iron grates will not cost that much during replacement, the stainless steel grates may burn a hole in your pocket. But the thing with stainless steel is that it is lightweight and you do not have to add any non-stick coating.

My Cast Iron Grate Is Getting Rustywhat Should I Do

Best Stainless Steel Grills of 2020  Complete Round

Mistakes or accidental carelessness might lead to your grates getting rusty, which is terrible. For example, it might happen if you forget to cover your grill or if you havent been using it for an extended period of time, causing moisture to penetrate the grill.

Unless you want to ruin the seasoning on the surface, do not clean your cast iron with water and soap. When trying to remove corrosion from any form of metal, its recommended to start with an abrasive scrubbing instrument. Cast iron may be cleaned using wire brushes or steel wool.

Try using vinegar, baking soda, or salt paste if you prefer to speed up the process with a cleaning solution.

After cleaning your grates, give them a nice rinse before properly drying them. You wouldnt want any moisture to remain since it will cause corrosion to reappear very soon, perhaps even overnight.

You May Like: Why Did Mcdonald’s Get Rid Of Grilled Chicken

How To Prevent Food From Sticking To Steel And Iron

Either you use stainless steel or cast-iron grates now or intend to get one in the nearest future, one of the biggest issues we all have is preventing stuff from clinging to the surface. Here are some suggestions to help you avoid this.

  • Keep your grates clean and tidy during and after cooking
  • Grates should not be oiled. instead, grease your food
  • Patiently wait. If the meal is sticky when you attempt to turn it on the other side, wait a little longer
  • Heat your meat first to keep it from sticking. Food that is chilled will stick to a heated grate more than food that is heated.

Stainless Steel Grill Grates Vs Cast Iron Which One Is Better

Who doesn’t love a good grilled meal?

They are easy to cook and amazingly delicious. When it comes to the cooking part though, you need a grill, and there is often a debate between the top contenders, the stainless steel grill grates and the cast iron grill grates.

They both have their flaws and benefits, and there is no clear answer on which is better. These two bring their unique set of conveniences and drawbacks, and you are to pick which one suits you more. I’ll lay down the facts here as impartially as I can.


Also Check: Why Are Evo Grills So Expensive

Your Best Options For Grates

Overall, a good, heavy cast iron grate is your best option for long-term durability and creating the best-grilled foods. The difference in the quality of your cooked meats is considerable and you’ll soon learn why it’s the preferred material for a barbecue.

If you don’t want to deal with the work of maintaining cast iron, your next best option is a high-quality porcelain-coated cast iron grate. You get the heat characteristics of cast iron with a rust-resistant surface. When you buy your cooking grate, be sure to get a good grill cleaning brush that won’t chip the porcelain as well.

Stainless Steel Vs Porcelain Grill

Sear Test: Porcelain-Enameled, Cast-Iron Grates vs Stainless Steel

If a grill features a stainless steel body then its by all means a gas or propane grill. Stainless steel is not only durable and strong, but it also resists rust and corrosion that may occur due to exposure to harsh weather conditions. The gas burners provide a quick grilling option without the mess associated with most charcoal-fueled grills that produce ash.

Many grill manufacturers, including the well-known brand Weber uses a porcelain coating in both gas and charcoal grills. The classic charcoal grill typically comes with a porcelain enamel coating both outside and inside the grilling chamber.

The porcelain coating protects the core stainless steel body from heat damage. As porcelain is a better insulator, it can also help the grill retain more heat than the stainless steel structures. Cast iron is also an excellent material as it helps to retain a good amount of heat.

However, when compared with stainless steel, cast iron turns out to be more vulnerable to rusting. Hence, they are coated with porcelain or enamel to make them last longer. The coatings reduce the need to cure the material to protect it from the outdoor elements that cause rusting.

See Also: Charcoal Grill Vs Gas Grill : Pros And Cons

Also Check: How To Clean Porcelain Grill Grates Char Broil

The Pros And Cons Of Stainless Steel Grill Grates

  • Quick heat up – If you dont have time to be waiting around for your grill to heat up, grilling with a stainless steel grate may be perfect for you. Generally, it takes about 10 minutes for the grate to get hot before your meat is ready to be cooked.
  • Lightweight – Stainless grates are much lighter due to their metals. Theyre a lot easier to move, especially when the grate is still hot and greasy.
  • Resistant to rust – You wont have to constantly season your stainless steel grill grates since they are less susceptible to corrosion and rust.
  • Easy maintenance – Since the cooking grates are easy to clean, they require little upkeep. A quick grill brush and youre ready to go.
  • Poor at retaining heat – While you may be happy that stainless steel warms up quickly, it doesnt retain temperature well. Once you remove the heat source, your stainless steel grates will quickly cool off.
  • Lose quality over time – Of course, you get what you pay for. However, even the highest quality of stainless steel doesnt last forever. Over time, the material will begin to discolor and chip away.
  • Warping – Stainless steel grill grates have been known to bend and warp over time, resulting in an uneven top.

How Cast Iron Differs From Stainless Steel: The Basics

Both cast iron and stainless steel are considered alloys of iron. In other words, they are primarily composed of iron ore but contain other metals or elements. The primary difference between cast iron and stainless steel lies in the specific types, as well as quantity, of the non-iron metals or elements used.

Cast iron is an iron alloy thats characterized by a minimum carbon composition of 2%, whereas stainless steel is an iron alloy thats characterized by a maximum carbon composition of 1.2% and a minimum chromium composition of 10.5%. Therefore, cast iron contains more carbon than stainless steel, but stainless steel has a high composition of chromium, which isnt found in cast iron.

  • $159.00

    Are you a backyard BBQ Master? Have you given your grills their own special name? Then you need to try our world class cooking chunks. Our Variety Pack offers the perfect way to experience a variety of unmatched flavors. These boxes also make for the perfect gift for the smoking enthusiast in your life.

    Cutting Edge Firewood produces the best possible smoking chunks because the best food deserves the best flavor. Each variety pack contains a number of Pecan, Cherry, Hickory, and Oak chunks. We offer two sizes:

  • The Standard Box is 8.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 and has enough chunks for 8-12 meals.
  • Our large variety box contains 4 standard-sized boxes.

This is an amazing way to enhance the flavor of your cooks. Order today to receive complimentary shipping nationwide!

Recommended Reading: How Long To Grill Bone In Pork Chops

Cast Iron Vs Stainless Steel Grates: Which One Should You Buy

The decision on which is the better grates to purchase between cast iron vs stainless steel grates could be quite challenging. Both materials are very popular in the grilling industry and can provide a safe and effective surface for you to cook your food. However, the materials may have different effects on your culinary activities.

Whether you intend to purchase a wood pellet grill, a gas one, or an electric one, we hope this detailed comparison of the two types of grates will serve well to help you make an informed decision.

Should I Preheat My Food Before Grilling

Stainless Steel vs Cast Iron Grill Grates

As we just stated, yes, you definitely should. Reduce grilling time by partially precooking meals in the oven or on the stove. Simply ensure that the meal is placed immediately after on the hot grill to finish cooking.

Place a sheet of foil or a flat metal pan on the counter. Spray or grease it with oil. Then heat all sides of the meal until they are slightly brown. You may transfer it to the grill after a few minutes of cooking.

Read Also: What Temp To Cook Grilled Cheese

Popular Articles

More Recipes Like This