Choosing the Right Grill Grates Metal

Time to Read: 2 m 30s

DIYers and grill enthusiasts understand what it takes to achieve a perfectly seared steak that is grilled to perfection. Whether it’s understanding basic BBQing principles or acquiring the right equipment to take your grilling to the next level, premium grill grates manufactured from high-quality materials like stainless steel and cast iron help achieve the desired results.

Grill Grate Beneficial Features

For a metal to be used for a grill grate, it must display certain features that allow the proper transfer of heat from the grill to the meat. Without the correct heat transmission, the meat will either burn, not cook properly, or cook unevenly. To prevent these mistakes, your grill grate should provide the following features:
  • Provide good heat transfer to cook evenly and produce excellent sear marks.
  • It should be non-stick or at least relatively easy to clean – because who wants to waste time scrubbing the grill after enjoying the world’s greatest steak?
  • Plus, it needs to be strong and durable to last as many years as your grill. Flames and heat can wear down a thin, low-quality metal grill, reducing its useful life.

Grill Grate Material Options

The basic material choices for grill grates include: Of these options, cast iron and stainless steel are the most durable materials with the highest heat capacity.

What Metal is Best for Grill Grates?

When comparing grill grate materials, two clear-cut winners stand out from the rest: stainless steel and cast iron. If you are asking yourself what type of grill grate lasts the longest? Or which grill grates are easiest to clean? Both stainless steel and cast iron provide proven results. But which material of the two is the clear-cut favorite? Some of the most viable comparisons of the two materials are communicated below.

Advantages of Stainless Steel Grill Grates

Most low-cost grill grates are made of plain or plated steel. These won’t last long in the heat and will eventually warp, rust, and begin to stick. Stainless steel is a much sturdier material that resists corrosion and prevents food from sticking.

Stainless may not be as glamorous as cast iron grill grates. But the benefits of stainless are many, especially for an outdoor appliance, because it can better withstand the elements. The metal heats up quickly, though it won’t hold as much heat as cast iron, so cooking slows down once the heat source is removed. Stainless steel grates are long-lasting, require very little maintenance, won’t rust or corrode, and are much easier to clean than cast iron. If they darken over time, the stain can be removed with a grill brush.

Advantages of Cast Iron Grill Grates

Everyone is familiar with Grandma’s well-seasoned cast iron pan, and cast iron grill grates offer the same gourmet performance. Many grilling purists would have nothing else. For one thing, cast iron holds a lot of heat, producing a mouth-watering pattern of sear marks. The oily seasoning helps prevent food from sticking and, when cared for properly, can last a lifetime.

One drawback of cast iron grates is the maintenance required. Like Grandma’s pan, plain cast iron must be seasoned before use and regularly cleaned and oiled. Keeping up with the maintenance will help prevent the cast iron from rusting. You may want to bring it inside when it’s not going to be used for a while.
But if you don’t want the bother, choose cast iron coated with porcelain enamel. Just be aware that over time the coating may develop cracks, which allow water to reach the metal beneath, eventually leading to rust. Plus, the coating prevents those excellent grill marks and dampens the sizzle when the meat hits the grill.

Which Grill Grate Material Should You Choose?

Which metal will you choose for your grill grate? It’s a tradeoff. Most casual grillers may opt for stainless steel for the less complex upkeep. However, cast iron provides a more thorough cook, providing a higher quality final product. But either way, be sure to keep it well-maintained, and it will give you years of service.

The IMS Difference

What separates IMS from other metals companies? With an abundance of metal options and customer service that is second to none, IMS has you covered with the following advantages:
  • Next-day delivery of processed material via our trucks
  • Same-day pick-up in Will-Call
  • No minimum purchase
  • Support of Just-in-Time manufacturing processes
  • Salespeople that act as an extension of your purchasing department (we will get any metal products you need)
  • Material management (stocking and delivery on a scheduled basis)
  • Credit lines with good terms
  • Knowledgeable staff that knows metal
  • Seven stores are open six days a week (check each location for specific times)
  • Shop by metal alloy

Consider Stainless Steel or Cast Iron Grill Grates From IMS

Looking for premium stainless steel or cast iron grill grates? IMS stocks a wide selection of grill grates for your DIY grill-building experience. We also provide metal cutting services to make purchasing easy and convenient. Stop by one of our California or Arizona locations or request a quote today.
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