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What is The Best Material for A Grill Grate?

You can’t cook without the grill grate since it’s in close touch with the food you are cooking.

For the best results, choose a cooking surface that has good heat transmission, will prevent food from sticking, and will last a long time.

Your food will cook better or worse depending on whatever grill grate you choose. Making a decision might be challenging due to the abundance of marketing lingo used by grill manufacturers to describe their grates.

We’re going to break down the many types of grill grates in order to make things as easy as possible. You’ll then be able to make an informed decision.

Is there a variety of grill grates to choose from?

Enameled cast iron and stainless steel grill grates are the norm.

We’ll go through each grill grate material in depth and provide a list of advantages and drawbacks to help you make an informed decision.

1. Grill grates made of stainless steel

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Grates made of stainless steel are among the most cost-effective options. You can move them easily to get to the coals below since they are lightweight.

A stainless steel grill heats up rapidly because of its little weight. However, since they are thinner, they are less effective at retaining heat.

Stainless steel is very resistant to corrosion, although it is not completely impervious to it. Your grill grate will wear down over time due to the heat of the coals and the amount of time you spend cleaning it.

Rust-prone and food-sticky, this results in an uneven surface.


  • It’s small and portable.
  • Reaches a rapid temperature increase
  • When brand new, very resistant to rust.
  • Affordable


  • Over time, the quality of a cooking surface diminishes.
  • Food might get stuck due to normal wear and tear.
  • Thermal dissipation

2. Cast iron grate for the barbecue

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Grill grates made of cast iron are known for their ability to retain heat and maintain a consistent cooking temperature.

It takes a bit longer for thicker cast iron to heat up than for stainless steel. You can anticipate great heat transmission and strong sear marks as soon as they reach cooking temperature.

Cast iron grills have the drawbacks of being bulky and requiring a lot of upkeep.

When cleaning the grate, it might be difficult to lift a hefty grate out of the way.

A cast iron grate’s porous surface is vulnerable to rust, thus it must be cleaned and oiled on a regular basis. Cast iron grill plates, when properly cared for and cleansed of rust, are very durable and will likely outlive your cooking appliance.


  • Heat retention is excellent.
  • Evenly distributes heat throughout the cooking process
  • If properly cared for, very long lasting
  • Great sear marks are the result of this technique.


  • Corrosion-prone Heavy
  • Maintenance is a never-ending chore.
  • A seasoning is required to make this non-stick.

3. Grill grates with enamel coating

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Standard stainless steel or cast iron grill grates are coated in a smooth enamel to make them easier to clean. A non-stick layer is created and the metal surface is protected from corrosion by this coating.

While enameling cast iron and stainless steel solves some of their corrosion and heat retention difficulties, it also has its downsides.

Rust is caused by water seeping through the enamel layer, which may be damaged while cleaning. The non-stick qualities of a damaged enamel grill grate are also rapidly lost.


  • Enhances the ability of a stainless steel grill to retain heat
  • An anti-corrosion coating for cast iron
  • Extra non-stick coating is added.


  • Once damaged, it loses many of its advantages

What is the best grill grate?

All in all, cast iron grate grills provide the finest cooking surface but need more maintenance.

Your cast iron grill grate may need a bit more effort to maintain in top shape. To maintain it non-stick and rust-free, it will need to be seasoned periodically.

Great heat retention and distribution, as well as strong sear marks, will be yours as a result of this. For delicate pieces like fish or tiny slices of chicken, a thicker cast iron grill is preferable.

Corrosion resistance may be improved by using an enamel-coated cast iron grate. Because the enamel is generally much less durable than the cast iron it is covering, this may be a big issue.

It’s difficult to remove rust from iron that has been corroded by moisture that seeps through cracked enamel. As a result, we advise using a regular cast iron grill grate and a little elbow grease instead.

Check out the following if that doesn’t appeal to you.

Enhance your grilling experience with GrillGrates

GrillGrate Set of Three 13.75

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Using hard anodized aluminum interlocking panels, GrillGrates employs reversible interlocking aluminum panels to raise the surface temperature, reduce flare-ups, and achieve the ideal sear.

Using GrillGrates, you can raise the temperature of your food on a grill by as much as 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

As well as providing steakhouse-quality searing, the elevated rails vaporize any remaining juices and drippings, which are then incorporated into your meal. Moisture and taste are both kept in.

Our recommendation for GrillGrates is a great way to get juicy, flavorful food on your barbecue without compromising the sear or the grill marks.

How to properly clean and maintain your grill grate

Stainless steel

Grill grates made of stainless steel are simple to maintain. To clean the grate, place aluminum foil over it and then use a nylon brush to scrape it.

Cast Iron

After cooking, use your cast iron grate to burn off any remaining residue. Then, once it has cooled, use a grill brush and scraper to remove any leftover residue.

Oil is required to “Season” cast iron grills. This polymerizes the porous surface, making it impervious to corrosion and food adhesion. After each and every usage, this must be done.

In order to do this, briefly heat your grill grate and make sure it is completely dry. Kitchen towels may then be used to apply a little coating of vegetable oil.

In our guide on taking care of your cast iron grill grates, we go into further depth.

Enamel coated

It’s best to clean an enamel-coated grill with a brass bristle brush rather than a scraper to prevent damage to the enamel layer. Avoid fracturing your grill’s enamel covering by dropping it.

Choose the best grill grate for your needs

It’s hard to argue with the advantages of cast iron grill grates. The grill grate should, however, complement your grilling technique, as with other kitchen equipment.

Is there a certain grill grate that you’ve had great luck with? Tell us about it in the comments below if you have.