The Best Grill Grates: Which Material to Choose?

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Last updatedLast updated: February 26, 2021
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How to choose the best grill grates? With perfect weather conditions around the corner, you may want to enjoy your time with your friends and family outdoor. One way of doing this is by organizing barbecue parties in your garden. Thus, it is vital to possess the right tools to cook grilled meats and serve tasty food to your loved ones. But what if the grates on your grill started chipping?

Purchasing the best grill grates might, however, be more tedious than you think. To help you in your quest, we have decided to provide you with the details that you must consider when making your purchase. In addition, we give you grill grates cleaning tips that will help you keep your tool clean and non-rusty.

Advantages of Cooking on Grill Grates

The Best Grill Grates: Which Material to Choose?Before using and purchasing a grill grate, you must know what it is and what it is best used for. They are reversible panels that can be placed and fixed across you’re the surface of your gas or charcoal grill. You can use it to replace your existing grates or complete them.

Grill grates are a great tool to have perfectly cooked and delicious meat on a barbecue. In doing so, the quality of the food they produce is more tender and juicier. In general, they provide you with an excellent grilling experience. You can enjoy quality food and time with your loved ones.

With that being said, keeping grill grates can be tacky, especially if you use them very often.

Whatever materials they are made from, they are bound one day to wear down. You will therefore need to replace them. The type of material you purchase will determine how long you can use and keep them.

Most Common Materials of Grill Grates

Have you made up your mind to purchase grill grates for your barbecue? Before buying one, you must know that there are plenty of grill grates materials. Choosing the appropriate one for you will depend on your preferences and the usage you are making of your cooking tools. We will cover the different types, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Stainless Steel

The Best Grill Grates: Which Material to Choose?Stainless steel is one type of grill grates. This material is one of the most used in the conception of this grilling tool. They are used and appreciated because they are affordable. Tools made with this material are sturdy, resistant, and durable. Additionally, they are rust-resistant, and they don’t transfer rust particles on to your food.

Another reason why you will love this material is that it prevents food from sticking on the surface of the grill. Also, it is an excellent material for outdoor events because it can withstand difficult weather conditions.

Although stainless steel does not hold heat as much as some other materials, it does heat up quickly and can cook your food rapidly. You will not have to wait long to serve food to your loved ones when organizing a barbecue. You just have to maintain the heat.

Last but not least, this material requires little to no maintenance. The stains can easily be removed with a grill brush, water, and soap. If you are looking to change your old metal model with a new one, you can choose the Weber 7639 Stainless Steel Cooking Grates for Spirit 300.

PROS

  • Rust-resistant and durable
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Heats quickly
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Might darken after a while

Cast Iron

The Best Grill Grates: Which Material to Choose?Cast iron is another great material used in producing the best type of grill grate. If you are familiar with the cast iron pan, then know that the cast iron grill grate offers a similar performance. You will love it because it holds heat for a long time. This way, your cooking is not slowed down, and you can quickly serve food to your guests.

Using an oily seasoning on your cast iron grill grate is perfect for preventing food-sticking on the surface. This way, you can remove your meats and other types of food quickly. They don’t stain your product’s surface, thereby making it easy to clean.

Did we also mention that it is long-lasting? The best grill grates made from this material are durable and resistant. When they are well taken care of, they can pretty much last for a lifetime. For instance, the Kamado Joe Half Moon Cast Iron Cooking Grate for 24-inch Grills is a fantastic pick if you want your product last longer.

A significant setback of this material is the fact that it requires thorough maintenance. If you don’t season them before usage, they might cause food sticking. Also, you have to clean and oil them pretty regularly.

PROS

  • Long-lasting
  • It holds heat for a long time

CONS

  • Harder to clean
  • Might corrode after some time

Enamel-Coated

The Best Grill Grates: Which Material to Choose?Another material type of grill grate material you can purchase is the enamel-coated one. The coating either comes in the form of cast iron or steel.

Enamel coated cast iron grill grates are perfect for retaining heat longer. This way, they make cooking quickly and serving fast. Concerning enamel-coated steel grill grates, they possess an easy to clean surface that does not require too much work to return it back to perfect condition.

Unfortunately, they chip off quickly and cannot last long if they are not well cleaned.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean
  • Retain heat longer

CONS

  • Chip off quickly

Plated Wire

The Best Grill Grates: Which Material to Choose?Another best type of grill grate material is the plated wire. Generally, the grates made with this coating are regular steel. You will love them because they are very affordable. If you are on a low budget, the plated wire is the one for you.

When purchasing plated wire grill grates, make sure that they are really sturdy. Because they generally have thin rods, sometimes they are not adequately welded to the grates’ frame.

Another great characteristic of plated wire grill grates is the fact that they are rust-resistant, lightweight, and easy to transport, which makes them excellent for portable grills.

The plated wire grill grates are, however, not recommended for regular use. Also, they cannot hold a lot of heat like other materials.

PROS 

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Corrosion-resistant

CONS 

  • Do not hold a lot of heat well
  • The coating usually chips off after a while

Cast Aluminum

The Best Grill Grates: Which Material to Choose?Cast aluminum grill grates are an excellent choice for you if you are in possession of a gas grill. Their semi-close base is useful because it helps catch seasoning or juice that comes from your food. This way, it eliminates flare-ups.

When purchasing this material, make sure that the grill grates body construction is not hollow. This way, you will have more volume of metal or aluminum available to hold heat better. An additional feature of this type of grates is an interlocking feature. This helps keep your food in place, preventing it from falling through.

However, a major setback of cast aluminum grill grates is their price. They are very expensive.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Easy to handle
  • Corrosion-resistant

CONS

  • They are expensive
  • Their color can fade away after a few uses

Grill Grates Cleaning Tips

The Best Grill Grates: Which Material to Choose?After you finish cooking, you must make sure that the grill and grates are clean before you store them. The cleaning process is not difficult, and it depends on the model and material that you have bought.

First of all, you must prepare some hot water, soap, and a grill brush. You can use your brush and soapy water to scrub your grates. This way, they remain clean, without any lingering stain or buildup on them. Overall, this method is easy to perform.

Final Thoughts

What material is the best when purchasing grill grates? You must know that this depends on your preferences, budget, and the frequency of usage you want to make out of your grill. When buying your grates, we can only recommend you to ensure that they are sturdy, rust-resistant, and durable. That is the only way that you can use your tool for a long time. There is, therefore, nothing that will prevent you from making the best out of your best grill grates!

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