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Apr 1, 2010 04:58 PM

Grill Grates--what is the best surface?

I have an inexpensive gas grill to supplement my Weber charcoal one. I think the cooking grates were porcelain coated iron but now something seems to be flaking off & there are rust spots. So what is the preffered material for grill grates? Cast iron (which I am afraid will rust), porcelain coated? stainless?

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  1. Everything will stick to stainless, good luck finding cast iron of the right size, and yes it'll rust, but it's a decent material. Enameled steel is about the best compromise.

    1. Porcelain coated cast iron is the best to cook on and will last about 10 years of moderate use,say 1-2 times per week.

      Stainless rods are best for durability but not for grilling. A good set will last longer than you want to keep the grill. They don't retain heat and to get good even searing you need to move from area to area when turning over meat.

      You seem to have porcelain coated rolled iron. Which is the worst of both worlds.

      1. Cast iron if you can find the right fit.

        If rust is a concern, store the grates inside. If cleaning is a concern, throw them in your oven on a cleaning cycle.

        5 Replies
        1. re: JayL

          Should I assume that cast iron grates are preseasoned? Will I be able to tell by looking? I have a vintage stove so no self cleaning oven. I do keep my grill covered most of the time. Will acidic foods do anything to the cast iron?
          And yes the crap I have now is the worst of both get what you pay for sometimes.

          1. re: sparkareno

            cast iron is going to rust and be a pain. you can't keep then seasoned when using such high heat. it's not like a cast iron pan, where you can easily coat the entire surface with oil after use. removing the rust from every little crevice is next to impossible. cast iron grates are prone to rust, and in my experience, not worth the hassle.

            for the same reasons, i'd skip porcelain coated cast iron, or porcelain coated anything else, as the coating will wear off when using any sort of brush, and even with metal utensils.

            i bought stainless steel welded rod grates for my weber, which were super heavy, performed quite well, and didn't rust. they were also 90 dollars each, but as we know, you get what you pay for.

            details here:

            1. re: tommy

              I have been using porcelain coated cast iron grates on my 08 Genesis for over two years. Clean it with steam and Weber's SS t-brush. No rust.

              Leaves fantastic sear marks on my steaks.

              You have to be rather brutal with your utensils to chip of the coating.

              I doubt anyone would get grates that cost $90 each for an "inexpensive grill."

              1. re: DeeAgeaux

                "You have to be rather brutal with your utensils to chip of the coating"

                nope. normal use.

                i'm not suggesting anyone buy anything. what i'm doing is sharing my experiences. thanks for your input though!

                1. re: DeeAgeaux

                  Well I do like to do a good brushing every time. And no I am not going to spend that kind of $$$ for a cheap grill. BBQ's Galore has some Weber grates for $70 for the set---I might bite on those--have to check the material. Damn, I knew this wouldn't be easy. What kind of grates are on my Weber kettle? I'm happy with those.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. oh boy--me likey. thanks!