Should You Be Replacing Your Grates
Youre probably in one of two camps. You either want to avoid buying a new grill for whatever reason and wonder/hope that new grates are the answer to your prayers. At least for the next year or two. Or, you want better performance and are willing to spend some money to get it.
Heres how this decision will break down. Original grates will be the choice if price is most important. However, if you appreciate the underlying design of infrared and what makes it so good then youll appreciate the design choices made in the higher end infrared grills and the aftermarket grill grates well cover below.
You can go with aftermarket replacement grill grates instead of the original ones your grill came with. There are a few designs out there in the marketplace but it dominated by one brand and for good reason great product works as promised but a bit pricey for some folks. It comes down to how much you care about grilling, barbecuing, or smoking meat.
Youre reading this because youre thinking about replacing them, so lets get right to it dont buy the same grates your grill came with. None of them except on high-end grills are worth the money.
What Is The Best Grill Cleaner
8 Best Grill Cleaners for Every Kind of Barbecue Mess
- Best Overall Grill Cleaner: Carbona 2-in-1 Oven Rack & Grill Cleaner.
- Best Heavy Duty Grill Cleaner: Zep Oven and Grill Cleaner.
- Best Grill Cleaner for Indoor Grills: Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray.
- Best Grill Cleaner for Burned-On Grease: Easy-Off BBQ Grill Cleaner.
My Cast Iron Grate Is Getting Rustywhat Should I Do
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.
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How Do You Refinish Grill Grates
Lay out newspapers or cardboard and set the grill grate on them. Coat the top of the grill with heat-resistant stove and grill spray paint. Allow the top coat several hours to dry, then apply another. Flip the grill over and apply two coats of high-resistant stove and grill spray paint to the other side.
Grills Grate That Dont Rust
Maybe your rusty cast iron grates are just beyond repair. If you already know you have to buy a new grill, you might as well buy one that will not get rusty easily. In this section, we will go over the types of grates that you can use without worrying about corrosion.
There are two types of grates that dont get rusty, porcelain-enameled ones and stainless-steel ones.
The first one is actually just cast iron, but with a porcelain coating. This allows the grates to have the excellent heat transfer expected from cast iron while eliminating the issues related to rust and corrosion. The porcelain coating makes cleaning easier as well, and it makes seasoning the grates obsolete. While this might seem like a really good option, this type has a few drawbacks of its own.
Porcelain is quite delicate. While the heat isnt a problem for it, the tools you use to clean it could end up hurting it in the long term. Grill brushes that have stainless-steel bristles might end up scratching the porcelain or, even worse, it might chip small parts of it away. This would lead to the cast iron core being exposed.
Moisture and grease could easily get in through the cracks, and this would mean, you guessed it, corrosion. Unlike regular cast iron grates, however, you cant simply just remove the rust with some vigorous cleaning. If you take good care of it, porcelain is an amazing choice. But its not your only option.
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When Should I Oil My Grill Grates
Its recommended that you preheat new grates made with stainless steel or porcelain-coated cast iron before using them for the first time. This will remove any processing residue. You should always oil your grates before or after each use for best cooking results.
So Which Grill Grate Is Best
Overall, cast iron grill grates offer the best cooking surface but with extra up keep required.
You will need to work a little harder to keep your cast iron grill grate in premium condition. It will need to be regularly seasoned to keep it non-stick and rust free.
In return, youll get great heat retention and distribution along with bold sear marks. The thicker cast iron grill also works better when cooking delicate cuts, like fish or thin slices of chicken.;
It might be tempting to opt for an enamel-coated cast iron grate to increase its corrosion resistance. The problem with that is the enamel is often far less durable than the cast iron its covering.
Cracked enamel lets in moisture which rusts the iron underneath and that can be hard to get rid of. Thats why we recommend a more straightforward combination of a standard cast iron grill grate and good old fashioned elbow grease!
If that doesnt sound appealing, then check out the option below.
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Can You Use Cooking Spray On A Gas Grill
Non-stick spray is just oil with a little added emulsifiers to make it extra non-sticky. It isnt any more dangerous when burnt than the oil you apply to your meat. Spraying oil on the grate will also help season it and keep it from rusting. That said, I spray non-stick spray on the grill and enjoy the pyrotechnics.
Grillgrates For Gas Kamado And Pellet Grills
Theres only so much you can do to upgrade a grill after youve taken it home. Sure, certain models may be compatible with a rotisserie attachment or smoker box, but rarely does any post-purchase accessory fundamentally change the way your grill performs. Looking for an exception to that rule? Reader, youve already found it. GrillGrate panels are the quickest way to upgrade any grill thats right, we said any and the best part of all is just how simple they are to use. Just place them over your existing grill surface, or remove the grates and drop in a set of replacement GrillGrates to work wonders in their stead.
As if being a one-size-fits-all product wasnt enough, GrillGrate panels have so much more to offer grill masters in search of perfect results. Lets start with the raised-rail design, a true stroke of genius that streamlines performance in several ways: reducing flare-ups, evening out hot/cold spots, amplifying heat at the point of contact with your food, and providing steakhouse-worthy sear marks. Those valleys between the raised rails deserve some love, too they hold drippings until they vaporize back up toward your food, giving every meal an extra flavor boost. Speaking of a little something extra, hard anodized aluminum GrillGrates are completely resistant to rust and function as a superior heat conductor when compared with cast iron and steel. Thats a lot of benefits wrapped up in a single product!
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Which Is The Besttype Of Grill Grate
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.
Replacement Grate Design It Matters
The aftermarket grill grates Im referring to arent unique in the design concepts they use. But they are unique in that they at least utilize the design advantages from infrared grills and therefore provide the same rewards. If you think flare-ups are a pain, ruin food, and are unavoidable check out this video from Solaire.
It shows you plain as day how to avoid flare-ups and fires. And it confirms what you saw above regular grill grates do nothing to prevent or minimize flare-ups and as a result produce inferior food. Either inferior finish or inferior consistency. You can have 2 patties next to each other on a conventional grill grate and have one be burnt and the other just fine. Take a look and see for yourself.
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Which Is Better Stainless Steel Or Cast Iron Grill Grates
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.
Cleaning And Caring For Your Grill Grate
Stainless steel grill grates are easy to clean. Simply spread some aluminum foil over the grate to help burn off the cooking residue and then scrub with a nylon brush.
After cooking, burn as much residue as possible off your cast iron grate. Then, when it is cool, remove any remaining residue with a grill brush and scraper.
Cast iron grills need to be Seasoned with oil. This fills in their porous surface with a polymerized layer that prevents corrosion and stops food from sticking. This needs to be done after every use.
The best way to do this is to heat your grill grate slightly to warm it and ensure it is dry. Then apply a thin layer of vegetable oil with kitchen towel.
We go into more detail in our guide to caring for your cast iron grill grates.
To avoid damaging your enamel layer, its best to use a brass bristle brush, rather than a scraper, to clean an enamel-coated grill. Be careful not to drop your enamel-coated grill, as this can fracture the coating.
Find the grill grate thats right for you;;;
Cast iron grill grates have a lot to recommend them. But, like most cooking equipment, you should find a grill grate that matches your grilling style.
;Have you had exceptional success with a particular type of grill grate? If you have, wed love you to tell us about it in the comments below!
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Cast Iron Cooking Grates
Cast Iron is another metal that is poured into a cast. Most cast iron cooking grates you will find in gas grills will have a protective porcelain enameled coating on them either in a gloss or matte finish. The matte finish offers the closest resemblance to standard cast iron products as its harder to see the coating on the grates. The finish keeps maintenance at a low level since they do not have to be consistently oiled to keep the iron in the grates from being exposed to air and potentially rusting. It also protects them from drying out. Cast Iron is a popular choice for many grill brands as it is more cost effective than stainless steel. It also will generally not carry much of a warranty. They are a great feature for brands because they are heavy and when shopping for gas grills people love to have heavy grates in their bbq.
We find though that the many people do not like the porcelain coating as they like to have the ability to season their cooking grates. This is when you combine cooking oil and seasonings and rub it on the cast iron. It not only provides additional flavoring to the food but it also protects the cast iron fro drying out and rusting.
Many veteran grillers preferthe bare cast iron grill grates because they leave those delectable grill marksand hold a lot of heat. Some even hold to the philosophy that when it comes tocast iron grate, The heavier, the better!;
Cast Iron Grill Grate Advantages:
- Retains heat
- Moderately priced
Whats The Best Type Of Grill Grate Material
SmokedBBQSource is supported by its readers. We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you if you buy through a link on this page. Learn more.;
The grill grate is an essential part of your cooker because it is in direct contact with your food.
You want a cooking surface that gives you excellent heat transfer, keeps the food from sticking, and is hard wearing.
Choosing the right grill grate is a big decision, as it can affect how your food cooks. Making that choice can be difficult as grill manufacturers love to use a lot of marketing jargon to describe their grates.
To make things as simple as possible, well be breaking down the different kinds of grill grates. Then giving you the information you need to make the right choice.
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How Do You Get Rust Off Grill Grates
To use vinegar and salt to clean, combine two cups of vinegar with one cup of salt in a large bowl. Then, set your rust grates inside a big heavy-duty garbage bag, the kind that you use for your yard debris, and let the grill grates soak overnight. Once youve soaked them, wipe away the rust using an old towel or rag.
Types Of Grill Grates Stainless Steel Cast Ironand Porcelain
Cooking grids are manufactured in a variety ofmaterials. Most cooking grids are made of cast iron, stainless steel, orporcelain. Although you may think that the choicein material is based on aesthetic, the fact is that metals all have uniqueproperties making them react differently to their surrounding elements. In the case of barbecue grills, that element isextreme heat.
Tip: Manufacturers use differentmaterials to produce the cooking grids installed in your grill. When buyingreplacement barbecue parts, try to use parts made from the same material as theoriginal manufacturer parts that came with the grill.
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Which Grill Grate Is Best: Stainless Steel Cast Iron Enamel Coated Plated Wire Or Cast Aluminum The Answer May Surprise You
Before taking a look at the different grill grates and considering pros and cons, you really should read my article busting the myth of grill marks.;It discusses how to get the perfect surface color on your meats, a rich, dark brown color from edge to edge with no tan in between. Essentially, no cross-hatched grill marks. Thats max flavor, just as you can see on the surface of this grilled ribeye.
Yes, I know youve been indoctrinated all your life to start drooling when you see grill marks, but the truth is that grill marks mean much of the meats potential has been lost. Tan meat is meat that has less flavor than brown meat. So the goal should be an even dark brown all across the surface.
When buying a new grill, you might want to replace the grates to get the best browning on your meat. The conventional thinking on gridirons focuses on their ability to hold and transmit heat. Thats why there is a mystique about cast iron grates. They absorb and hold a lot of heat, and they brand the meat surface with that heat, creating dark sear marks. But I dont want my grill grates to cook just parts of my meat.
Worse, thick cast iron grates with little space between them block smoke from contacting the meat surface. Smoke is one of the main reasons we cook outdoors, isnt it?
Grill grates are only there to keep your meat from falling into the coals. The smaller and lighter the better.
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Preventing Any Further Rust
If you managed to get the rust off of your cast iron grill grates, you probably want to keep it from getting rusty again. Here we will talk about the ways you can do this, and things you should avoid in order to keep your grates rust-free.
First of all, be sure that you dont pour any liquid on the grill while cooking. If youre using BBQ sauce on your food, try not to spill it on your grates, as it can clog them, or make them rusty. But what if you accidentally do spill some on them?
Clean your grates regularly. Every single time you use it, take out your grill brush and clean the grates thoroughly. Turn the burners off but clean it while its still hot. Your brush is very important here, try to get one with a long handle, so you dont accidentally burn yourself. If it has a scraper on it, even better. Be sure to clean everything off your grates, then let the grill cool down.
If you clean your grill regularly, you shouldnt have too many problems with rust. However, to be extra safe, you should try deep cleaning it sometimes as well. Simply detach the grates and soak them in hot, soapy water for about an hour. After that, clean them off with your brush. Dont forget to clean your burners too, and while youre at it the outside of your grill as well.
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