grill grates

Cast Iron Vs. Stainless Steel Grill Grate: Which Is Better?

Cast iron grill grates and stainless steel grates are the best types of grill grates in the market. Hence, it is easy to see many people in a dilemma on which to buy.

So, cast iron vs. stainless steel grill grate, which one is better?

Both grill grates have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, cast iron grates retain more heat, durability, and excellent non-stick properties. On the other hand, stainless steel grill grates are less prone to rusting and easier to clean.

I love the stainless steel grill grates because they do not rust easily and they are also easy to clean. This means using these grill grates can be easy and enjoyable as they are the best type of grill grates.

Please keep reading for more enlightening information about stainless steel vs. cast iron grill grates.

Stainless steel grill grates

Stainless grill grates are quite popular among BBQ enthusiasts because they do not rust and are easy to clean. Further, the grates are generally durable, meaning that once you buy yours, you will not have to consider their replacement soon.

Here are some of the advantages of stainless grill grates;

  • Stainless steel grill grates are easier to maintain than cast iron grill grates, and one of the reasons for this is that they hardly rust.
  • They are easy to clean as you can put them in the dishwasher, making them highly convenient for many uses.
  • Again, the stainless steel grill grates have a non-stick surface. Hence, you can use it for cooking a wide range of meals without worrying about your food sticking to the grill’s surface.

What is the main disadvantage of cast iron?

The main advantage of cast iron grill grates is that even though they have high-retaining capability, they are poor conductors of heat. This means that they have uneven heat distribution, which can be a bit inconvenient when preparing some types of meals.

Additional disadvantages of cast iron grills include the following;

  • Best for grilling enthusiasts who use their grill frequently and need a long-lasting product.
  • It might not be the best option if you want to prepare super quick meals
  • If you fail to clean it well after use, you will likely start seeing rust spots.

Cast iron grill grates

Cast iron grill grates are made from iron bars. In most instances, the metal is enamel coated before being sealed at high temperatures. This means it is rust-resistant and non-porous.

One of the traits that make cast iron grill grates stand out from the rest is the fact that they have the efficient heat-retaining capability.

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What is the advantage of cast iron grill grates?

  • Less expensive when compared to stainless steel grill grates
  • It retains its non-stick surface longer than most of the materials used to make grill grates
  • Cast iron grill grates are seasonable to minimize their rusting rate

The disadvantages of iron cast grill grates include the following:

  • They are prone to rusting
  • The seasoning process for iron cast grill grates can be overwhelming
  • Since iron cast grill grates rust more quickly, they are hard to maintain

Stainless steel vs. Cast Iron Grill Grates Comparison

Stainless steel grill grates Cast iron grill grates
Heat Loses heat fast High heat retention capabilities
Sear marks Less distinct sear marks Fine sear marks
looks Less prone to rust, hence appealing always Prone to rusting
Maintenance Requires minimal maintenance Requires high maintenance

Which metal is best for grill grates?

The material is one of the critical considerations when shopping for the best grates for your grill. This is because it influences the grill’s efficiency, maintenance, and durability.

The best materials for high-end grill grates are stainless steel. This is because they are efficient, easy to clean, and easy to maintain. 

Furthermore, with these materials, you will never have to worry about rusting your grill grates.

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How do you keep stainless steel grates from rusting?

Although stainless steel grill grates are not prone to rusting, failure to ensure their proper maintenance may result in rust forming on your grill grates, and that is the last thing you need to avoid by all means possible.

One of the best ways to protect your grill grates from rust is to clean the grease and food particles every time you finish cooking. It is also necessary to coat your grill grates with oil after you clean them.

Besides efficient cleaning, you should also mind where you keep your grill when not using it. For instance, keeping your grill close to your swimming pool can fasten rusting due to the chemicals used to treat the swimming pool.

Which steel is best for grill?

If you want to use steel to make a DIY stainless steel grate, then 304 stainless steel is the best type of steel that you should use. The 304 stainless steel comprises the highest nickel and chromium content, making the grill grates resistant to rusting and corrosion.

Also read>>How to Prevent Cast Iron Grill Grates Flaking


Up to this point, you should be able to determine the best grill grates for your use. Stainless steel grill grates are the best option as they have more advantages than disadvantages. You can also purchase both the cast iron and the stainless steel grill grates to try both before drawing your conclusion.


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