It is overwhelming to settle for a specific type of BBQ grill grate when there are so many options available on the market today. Most people will tell you that all you need to cook a great steak is to choose the right meat and buy the best stove be it charcoal or gas.
What these people forget to tell you is that you need to invest in a good type of grilling grate. Most people assume that the barbecue grill just needs to be dependable with little or no variation considering that it is always metallic. The grill grate is exposed to extremely high temperatures and constant buildup of burned food remains. Also, different materials cook different foods well.
The choice of a good barbecue grill grate is just as important as selecting the correct backyard barbecue especially because the different materials work for different foods. You need to equip yourself with the right knowledge to be a master at grill grate choices.
What is available in the market?
You need to understand that barbecue grates are not a standardized product, so there is no one-fit solution for all. This means that whatever you decide to get is strictly based on personal preferences. However, there are some factors you need to consider when choosing the right grill grate. Varied grate materials have a different composition that in turn affect the longevity and performance of the grate.
Chefs and experts in grilling meat recognize at least five grate materials that are commonly used. There is a significant price variation in the different grate types. Choosing the right grate will require an almost similar dedication and consideration that you give to the process of purchasing the grill itself. Here are some of the common grate materials in the market today.
Cast Iron Grill Grates
These grates are a delicate balance between affordability and quality, which is why they are among the most common grates in the market. They are what most people would go for. They have a reasonable longevity guaranty, which is more than what is available for chrome grates. Even so, it cannot match the lifetime warranty that makes stainless steel grates expensive. You need to clean this grill grate thoroughly just as you would for any material. Also, it must be perfectly seasoned before every use.
Consider the manufacturer’s instructions on how to season and oil the grate every time it is not in use. You need to keep it smooth and free from rust. You should consider buying a different material of grate if you are the type of person that is not keen with maintenance and cleaning.
On the other hand, any person that has no trouble with frequent cleaning and proper seasoning, the iron grill grates will pay back ten folds. This metal is known to hold heat longer than any other material would. As a result, it can deliver evenly cooked foods faster and satisfactorily. With proper care, these grates can deliver timely, quality as well as offer a lifetime experience of great grilling and barbecuing.
Chrome-plated Steel Grates
This is an excellent choice for any person starting to use grills. They are the cheapest grates in the market making the perfect choice for rare or temporary use. If you want to grill frequently or need something that will last longer, this is probably not your kind of grill grate.
However, casual grate shoppers will be comfortable with this category especially because it has a limited budget. It can be a perfect entry point into the grilling world before you figure your way around.
Porcelain Coated Steel Barbecue Grates
If you are looking for an excellent option with potential longevity resembling cast iron without the high maintenance requirements, then this is the grate for you. It is the excellent balance between maintenance, performance, affordability, and longevity.
These grates are thin with widely spaced bars compared to cast iron grates. This means that they cannot match the amount of heat retention. Even so, this is a great material with the capacity to handle all grilling needs.
Stainless Steel Grates
This is the ideal cooking grate for any top-chef that knows what to expect when it comes to grilling. Stainless steel grates are the bets the market can offer. Even though they may not last as long as other materials, stainless steel grates are the perfect grates.
They offer excellent heat retention, quality, design, reasonable longevity and easy maintenance. In fact, they are the best grates as far as premium grill grates are concerned. In fact, all stainless steel grates come with a lifetime warranty and are expensive in nature.
Porcelain-coated Cast Iron Grates
These grates have an outstanding ability to hold heat for a longer time. They are also long-lasting and easy to maintain since they do not involve frequent seasoning or labor-intensive maintenance. This is a good compromise between price and functionality when looking for a good grill grate.
Tempered Steel Grates
This type of grates works fine for larger barbecue pits. They are available in expanded diamond grates. These grates are easy to use because you do not have to rotate the meat on it. They are also light in weight making them easy to store. Unfortunately, they have a downside.
They rust and warp easily not to mention the difficulties in cleaning because of their V-shaped parts. They need to be frequently oiled. Carelessness or ignorance can lead to an unhealthy buildup of grease and debris.
Teflon and Non-stick Coated Grills
This kind of grates are found on most electric and gas grills. They are easy to scratch thus should be treated gently. All you need is soap and water to clean it up. This grate can go into the dishwasher making it an appropriate choice for people who hate cleaning. However, you need to be cautious not to get them too hot.