The Best Type of Grill Grate for Your Grill: [All You Need to Know]

Grill grates are critical when it comes to grilling. They are closer to your food and are responsible for creating excellent grill marks. Hence, knowing which type of grill grates are best for your grill is essential.

So, what is the best type of grill grate you can get for your grill?

While there are different grill grates in the modern market, grills made of stainless steel are the best. In addition to incredible efficiency, stainless grates are more durable and easier to maintain.

Our recommendation for the best type of grill grates includes the following:

  1. Hongso 304 Stainless Steel Grill Grid Grates
  2. QuliMetal 19.5″ 9MM 304 Stainless Steel Cooking Grates
  3. Slow ‘N Sear® 22″ Stainless Steel Replacement Charcoal Cooking Grate
  4. Cast Iron Grill Grate & Stainless Steel Emitter
  5. Stanbroil Fire Pit Cooking Grill Grate with 3 Support Bars

Top 5 Best Types of Grill Grates

Here are the top five best grill grates with great potential to serve you for a long time as long as you ensure that you properly maintain them. Further, they have easy-to-clean surfaces, and most importantly, they are safe

1. Porcelain-enameled cast iron grill grate (Our recommendation)

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Porcelain-enameled cast iron grill grates combine the exceptional heat retention and distribution properties of cast iron with the added benefits of a smooth and durable porcelain coating. These features make them a popular choice for many grill enthusiasts.

 

2. Hongso 304 Stainless Steel Grill Grid Grates

Hongso 304 Stainless Steel Grill Grid Grates

The Hongso 304 Stainless Steel Grill Grid Grate is one of the best grill grates due to its wide range of applications and strength. It is made up of high-quality materials, making it ideal for gas grills or any other types you may have.

Moreover, once you invest your money in the Hongso 304 Stainless Steel Grill Grid Grates, you will not have to consider purchasing another grill grate soon. Additional benefits of the Hongso 304 Stainless Steel Grill Grid Grates include:

  • High-quality materials for durability
  • Compatible with a wide range of grills
  • Made up of 100% safe materials that are durable and rusty resistant
  • It is non-stick

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3. QuliMetal 19.5″ 9MM 304 Stainless

The QuliMetal 19.5″ 9MM 304 Stainless is another top-notch grill grate for your cooking and grilling ventures. Whether it is sturdiness, durability, ease of installation, or effective heat distribution, you will never get it wrong with the QuliMetal 19.5″ 9MM 304 Stainless. While it may sound a bit expensive for some people, the reality is that it is quite cost-effective when you look at the long term benefits.

Here are some of the strengths of the QuliMetal 19.5″ 9MM 304 Stainless that you may want to know:

  • They are highly compatible with other grills
  • Heavy duty
  • It is stainless, hence non-sticky
  • Sturdy and well built
  • No sharp edges that may harm you
  • Minimal maintenance and cleaning

4. Steel Cooking Grates Slow ‘N Sear® 22″ Stainless Steel

 

Steel Cooking Grates Slow ‘N Sear® 22″ Stainless Steel, courtesy of Amazon

The Steel Cooking Grates Slow ‘N Sear® 22″ Stainless Steel has an impressive weight. Further, they are easy to use, so you do not have to strain when using them. However, they have large gaps between them, which might be a little disappointing if you want to use the grill to cook small foods like vegetables.

Some of the advantages of the Steel Cooking Grates Slow ‘N Sear® 22″ Stainless Steel includes;

  • Minimal cleaning and maintenance
  • Excellent design
  • Stainless steel
  • Heavy duty
  • No sharp edges

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5. Replacement Charcoal Cooking Grate Cast Iron Grill Grate & Stainless Steel

Replacement Charcoal Cooking Grate Cast Iron Grill Grate & Stainless Steel, courtesy of Amazon

The Replacement Charcoal Cooking Grate Cast Iron Grill Grate & Stainless Steel are considered by many people as one of the best grills grates with a wide range of applications. The grill grates provides incredible heat distribution, ease of cleanliness, and efficient heat distribution.

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5. Emitter Stanbroil Fire Pit Cooking Grill Grate with 3 Support Bars

Emitter Stanbroil Fire Pit Cooking Grill Grate with 3 Support Bars, Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you want to use the grill grate on your fire pit for grilling or your grill, it is one of the perfect options for such ventures. The Emitter Stanbroil Fire Pit Cooking Grill Grate with 3 Support Bars is quite affordable and offers value for money. Additionally, it features several other benefits, including the following:

  • No sharp edges
  • Easy to use
  • Quality material for efficiency and safety
  • Can enhance the flavor of your food

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Common types of grill grates

When shopping for the best grill grates, one of the strategies to ensuring that you get it right is to have a close look on the different types of grates. With a good understanding of the different grill grates available in the modern market, it will be easy for you to make the right choice.

1. Cast iron grates

Cast iron grates are famous for retaining heat. They produce a temperature that is even for cooking delicious meals.

Cast iron grates are thicker, making them take a long time to heat up, but once they heat, you can be sure that they will retain the heat for a more extended period enabling you to get the best sear marks and heat transfer. However, cast iron grates are heavy and expensive.

Additionally, the grates are made up of iron which can easily rust. Therefore, you will need to maintain them to ensure that they last longer. Nonetheless with time cast iron grates, will start adopting the non-sticky features and become less rust-attracting.

Pros

  • Retains heat
  • Even grilling temperature
  • Durable
  • Leaves your food with bold sear marks

Cons

  • Easy to rust
  • Heavy
  • Expensive and consistent maintenance
  • Should be seasoned to prevent non-stickiness

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

2. Rod stainless grates

Rod stainless grates are among the most durable grates you can ever find in the market. They are durable and easy to maintain. Thus it is the best option for many people. Many grates are made of rods of stainless steel.

The diameter used to make the grill varies typically based on the grilling industry and the needs of the grill. These grates can produce perfect sear marks, but for this to happen, they should be made with a larger diameter for heat retention. You must have heard stainless steel grates referred to as wire grates because they are mostly made using rods 3 ton5mm wide.

If you want to improve their performance, you should get the ones with larger diameters of at least 8mm or 9mm.

For your grates to last long and also perform better, you should regularly clean and maintain them so that they cannot as well have the sticky feature. Always clean your grates after every use, especially when you cook sticky foods. However, only clean the grates when they are cooled. Cleaning them when they are still hot can easily damage them.

Pros

  • Low maintenance
  • Resilient
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable

Cons

  • Requires regular cleaning
  • Requires non-stick coating

3. Cast stainless grates

The cast stainless grates are made with a combination of cast iron and rod stainless steel. This combination is great because it gives the grates a rough texture like cast iron. Hence, they are simpler to season. Again, they quickly builds up a non-stick patina.

Cast stainless grates are among the toughest to make. Consequently, they are expensive. Nonetheless, they are worth your money because their cost directly represents their performance. 

In some cases, they are made together with gas grills, but you can always find them sold separately and can be used with all the other types of grills.

Pros

  • High performance
  • Easy maintenance
  • Durable
  • Perfect for seasoning

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires regular cleaning

 4. Porcelain grill grates

Porcelain grill grates are highly beneficial because they are easy to clean and rust-resistant. Also, when using these grates for cooking, there will be little or no food sticking to them, making them ideal for any smoked or grilled food.

Porcelain grill grates come in two forms: cast iron and porcelain-coated steel. The latter typically chips off easily, and when this happens, the metal underneath is exposed to air leading to the formation of rust.

On the other hand, coated steel is less likely to experience such issues but is also prone to problems when the chippings occur.

This does not imply that porcelain coatings are bad, but you should be careful when choosing the quality of porcelain to invest in. While prices can be tempting, you should always remember that cheap is expensive. Therefore, before you sign in for cheap, know that it comes with many other problems that may not come immediately.

Ensure that you take good care of the porcelain grill grates, do not scrap with hard metals, and keep away any form of rigid scrapers when cleaning your grates. When cleaning your grates, only use brushes but do not scrap hard using tough metals.

If you follow the correct procedure and use the proper tools to clean your porcelain grates, you can be sure to use them for an extended period.

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How to clean your grill grates

If you are a grilling enthusiast, then you know that to get the best results from your cooking ventures, you must ensure that your grill grate is in perfect condition.

One of the best ways to properly maintain your grill grate and the whole grill, in general, is to maintain a high level of hygiene. 

Moreover, regular cleaning of your grates not only adds value to the quality of your food but also extends the lifespan of the grates.

The following tips should help you to clean your grill grates well.

  • Once you finish cooking, let the grates cool before you begin cleaning. This is necessary because cleaning your grill when hot can easily damage it.
  • Always clean your grate after you finish cooking and before you start cooking. Cleaning the grates before cooking is necessary to maintain a high level of hygiene as you prepare your meals.
  • To ensure that you eliminate all the grease on the grate, use a degreaser for scrapping off the debris.
  • Never use sharp objects when cleaning your grill grates, as this can easily remove the protective layer.
  • Once you are convinced your grill grate is clean, wipe it dry and apply oil to prevent rusting.

What causes rusting in grill grates?

Most people consider replacing their grill grates when they realize that they have rusted. You are probably here because you want to replace your rusty grill grates.

Understanding the cause of rusting will help you maintain and protect your grill from rusting so that you do not have to deal with the hustle of replacing your grill.

Here are some common causes for the rusting you see on basic grill grates.

1. Leftover food residue

The leftovers from the acidic foods you cook are the major cause of grates rust. Marinades and sauces are acidic foods that can fasten the rusting process on your grill.

Therefore, after you finish cooking, it is paramount to thoroughly clean your grill grates and ensure you eliminate all the leftover food residues.

2. Backyard chemicals

Chemicals used in swimming pools or your backyard garden can cause rust in your grate. For instance, bromine and chlorine, commonly used for swimming pools, escape as vapor and can easily damage your quality grill.

Further, chemicals found in pesticides and fertilizers can easily cause a similar effect.

To prevent such chemicals from having a toll impact on your grate, place your grill away from the swimming pool or lawn if possible. Alternatively, use a cover to protect your grill from these hazardous chemicals.

3. Snow-melting solutions

During winter, people use various snow-melting agents, including chemical agents, to melt the snow. Sometimes, the chemical agents can have a rusting effect on your grill.

Therefore, it is not a good idea to leave your grill outside during winter without an adequate cover.

4. Saltwater

Saltwater has a corrosive effect on the grill. Whether you are using salt to melt snow or salt water to clean your grill, it is important to understand that you are increasing your grill’s rusting rate.

Besides avoiding saltwater, you can also coat the surface of your grate with oil or wax to minimize the impact of salt on the grate.

How often should I replace my grill grates?

A well-maintained grill grate can last for a period of ten to fifteen years before you start thinking of replacing them. The frequency at which you should replace your grill grates highly depends on the type of grates you use. For instance, porcelain grates last for about five to ten years, steel grates can go for over fifteen years, and cast iron will serve up to twenty years.

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When should you replace the grill grates?

It will be tough for you to tell when your grills need a replacement unless you have been in the grilling field your entire life. Therefore, you need to know the most obvious and possible signs that you need to change or replace your grill grates.

Here are the common signs to tell you that you need new grates;

Rust on the surface

Rust is harmful to human health. Therefore, using grates with rust on their surface to cook food exposes you and your loved ones to serious health risks. Further, rust metals are likely to flake off into your food quickly. With time, these rust particles enlarge and become many, making your grill grates look dirty and dangerous.

Rust is dangerous, and it quickly runs deep into the metal as time goes; therefore, after some time, it becomes hard to clean the metal, and here you will have to replace the grates.

A lot of chippings on the surface

Old grates have a lot of chippings on their surfaces because they have been used for a long time and can no longer hold together their surface pieces. When your grates have a lot of chippings, they make it hard for you to cook and form proper sear marks, as they also pose a severe health issue. Therefore, replace your grill grate if you notice that it is chipping off a lot.

Things to consider when choosing grate grills for your grill

Before you go out to the market to get great grills for your grill, you need to comprehend some of the factors to look for in the best grates. Here are some of the essential things to look for:

  • Material
  • Maintenance
  • Cost
  • Metal diameter
  • Easy to clean

Grill grate commonly asked questions

1. Is it safe to cook on rusty grill grates?

Most BBQ enthusiasts agree that ingesting a small amount of iron oxide may not be harmful. However, it is important to try your best and clean all the rust from your grill grates before you start cooking.

It is also important to note that ingesting a lot of rust can be harmful.

Furthermore, rust can distort the intrinsic flavor of your food, and this is why you should always focus on eliminating it completely before commencing any cooking.

2. What are the best heavy-duty stainless steel grill grates?

If you are into preparing large volumes of meals for your guests or even friends, then you need to invest in quality, heavy-duty stainless steel grills.

The best 5 heavy-duty stainless steel are;

  1. The Hongso 304 Stainless Steel Grill Grid Grates
  2. QuliMetal 19.5″ 9MM 304 Stainless Steel Cooking Grates
  3. Slow ‘N Sear® 22″ Stainless Steel Replacement Charcoal Cooking Grate
  4. Cast Iron Grill Grate & Stainless Steel Emitter
  5. Stanbroil Fire Pit Cooking Grill Grate with 3 Support Bars

These grill grates are sturdy enough to withstand the heavy weight of a large amount of food and serve you for a long time.

3. What is the best DIY grill grate material?

If you want a temporal grill grate before purchasing a more permanent one, you must ensure that you use quality materials. 

Using inferior materials for your DIY grill grate will not only see you end up with a useless product but can also pose health issues.

So, what are the best DIY grill grate materials? The most common and reliable DIY materials are stainless steel and carbon steel. These materials are strong and safe for your DIY grill grate.

4. Stainless steel vs. porcelain-coated grill grates, which is better?

While both the steel and porcelain-coated grill grates are excellent for cooking a wide range of meals, the stainless steel grill grates are better.

The stainless steel takes the day thanks to its durability, excellent heat transfer, and the ability to prevent food from sticking to the grate.

Read>> Pellet Grill Vs Gas Grill: Which Is Better? [Find Out Here]

5. Which is better, porcelain or cast iron grill grates

If you have little experience shopping for the best grill grates, it is easy to face a dilemma when choosing between cast iron grill grates and porcelain grill grates.

So, between porcelain and cast iron grill grates, which is better?

Porcelain grill grates are the real deal because they are not prone to rusting. 

Furthermore, they do not require regular seasoning to prevent rusting. On the other hand, cast iron grill grates are prone to rust, and one of the reasons for this is that they are made up of iron. Rust is iron oxide.

Final thoughts

Finding suitable grates for your grill is a big deal for efficient cooking. Therefore, you should research well and understand every grill grate type available before deciding. Always remember that each type has its pros and cons. You only need to get something that will give value for money.

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