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Weber Grill Grates.

I am looking at a couple of Weber Gas grills. Before you Grilling purists boo and hiss at me, this will be my back up quick don't have time to get the charcoal going grill, albeit an expensive back up. On the weekend when time is less of an issue, my Weber charcoal kettle is used exclusively.

My question is, what do you prefer the Weber stainless steel rod cooking grates or the Porcelain enameled cast-iron cooking grates

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  1. i would get the ss grate so you could scrub the hell out of it with a wire brush or steel wool or whatever without worrying about scratches.

    2 Replies
    1. re: j8715

      I have the S/S they clean up nice. But cast will give you a better sear since they retain more heat.S/S grates I think only come on there more $$$ grills too?( could be wrong)

      1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

        That is exactly why I raised the question. Seems the steel grates are on the more expensive models. Like Philly Ray below, I am looking at the Genesis series in the roughly $650, $700 range. It comes with Cast Iron, my preference but I thought If they were putting Steel on the higher end models, that maybe I was missing something. Thanks all for the advice.

    2. As per Weber, you can use a brass bristled brush on the porcelain coated cast iron grates without scratching them.

      I prefer the cast iron grates for the better heat retention. But if the grill you want only comes with SS grates, you can order replacement cast iron grates. I see them on Amazon all the time.

      I did the same thing as you last year. I have a Weber charcoal grill, but I bought a Genesis for those nights when I just want to grill something up really quickly. The two can co-exist..

      1. The rod.

        The fact of the matter is that the porcelain will eventually wear off and you'll have rusty grates. Regardless of what people will tell you.

        5 Replies
        1. re: tommy

          I think I am going with Cast Iron. For me it's all about the sear. I would rather replace them every so often.

          1. re: tommy

            That's why you use them and keep them seasoned with grease from food. Or occasionally spray the grates with Pam when you aren't using the grill.

            I finally replaced the original SS grates on our Weber with the cast iron ones and I wouldn't go back.

            1. re: ted

              another cast iron vote - I have and love a Weber Q model which has the porcelain coated cast iron grates. Part of the reason I bought it was because of those grates. I treat them just as I would bare cast iron. If you enjoy a classic cast iron skillet in your kitchen, and are comfortable with it's pros and cons, you would probably also like cast iron grates.

              I clean mine with a grill wizard type stainless brush (not the wire bristle kind, this is the scrubbie kind). It brushes clean very easily once well seasoned. And seasoning / re- seasoning is much easier then with a pan. I wipe the grates with a very light coat of vege before and after each use and get a great seasoning in no time.

              There are also enamel on steel grates - I would stay away form those. By the way, I also enjoy a Weber kettle.

              H

              1. re: Harryr

                Can you back that up? I am pretty sure that the replacement SS grates (Weber 7527) I just bought are bare SS.

                1. re: Chris B.

                  There's no coating on these from what I know. And they perform just as well as cast iron.

                  http://www.amazon.com/Weber-Stainless...

          2. Cast iron is the way to go with Weber, you get much better searing and heat retention, and they really are not harder to clean than the stainless rod type. Mine have lasted thirteen years on my old Skyline series Weber, and they look great despite year round outdoor storage.

            Get the grill very hot, use a sturdy brass bristle brush and clean the grill before use. Wipe on a little oil before placing food on the grill, use tongs and a wadded up damp paper towel dipped in a saucer of oil. After removing the food, while the grill is still hot, brush it again to clean. If you don't expect to use the grill for a while, heat it up and scrape clean with the brush, lightly oil the grill, and turn it off after a minute or two. Keep the lid up until it cools down a bit, then lower the lid. The cast iron will keep enough seasoning to be ready for the next time.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dan D

              The worst part is that the grates on the gas grills mentioned (at least my 6-8 year old one) aren't even stainless rods. They're a C-shape bar formed out of sheet metal. Means that there's very little mass there to heat up and stay hot when you put the food on.

            2. Angelo04--

              If you can wait until the end of the season, you might be able to get a good deal.

              Since I was looking for a gas grill to use in conjunction with my kettle, I considered the Spirit since it was less expensive than the Genesis. I did my research over the summer last year and wasn't thrilled with the Spirit for a few reasons. By the time I was ready to make my decision, I then found a Genesis 310 at Lowe's on clearance for only $499 (the same cost as the Spirit).

              19 Replies
              1. re: Philly Ray

                I am kicking myself right now, I caught that at lowe's and didn;t act. Why you ask? Because I bought a crappy Sears, combo grill, charcoal and gas and it absolutely is the worst grill I ever had. There is a design flaw where there is a gap in the rear that is 2 inches high and runs the back of the grill. All the heat escapes and the grill won;t get hotter than 350. Great idea in concept, poor execution. So sears is taking it back and crediting me the amount. However, I have to use it at Sears, so I am stuck paying 700 or so.

                http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12...

                1. re: angelo04

                  If you can find a Genesis cheaper somewhere else, Sears might price match. It will be tough since Weber doesn't allow much discounting, but maybe worth a shot.

                  On the other hand, if you get a Genesis this year you will be getting the redesigned version with the burners running vertically instead of horizontally (that also means two full side tables with the control knobs now in front). I haven't read enough reviews to know if the change is for the better, but it is supposed to allow for better indirect grilling.

                  Good luck!

                  1. re: Philly Ray

                    I angry to see they redesigned it this year I purchased the S/S Genesis last year.The knobs on the side table was one of the things I didnt like when buying this unit.

                    1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                      It was the main reason I didn't buy last year; so glad I waited and just bought one with knobs on the front.

                    2. re: Philly Ray

                      I'm starting my 3rd summer with a Weber gas grill with east-west grates. It's a nice quality grill and I've learned to use it, but do honestly think that north-south burners make MUCH more sense if you do much indirect cooking. Though I haven't seen them in person, it sounds like the redesigned Genesis is a great idea, and having two side tables instead of one is just icing on the cake.

                      Mine came with stainless grates. I've thought about getting cast iron but haven't bitten yet. I do have a cast iron "grilling platter" (http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-Pre-S...), found much cheaper at a warehouse store, if I want something that will really hold the heat. But the Weber preheats to over 500 deg. in about 10 minutes, so it's plenty hot.

                  2. re: Philly Ray

                    Philly Ray,
                    Good score! I was shopping for a Genesis 310 and found last years models at Home Depot for $575.00 and free shipping (online). Last years models but after talking with Weber and asked them the difference between 2010 and 2011 models they ensured me there is really NO difference at all and the 2011 models were $699.00 and up. The deals are out there just waiting to be had. AND,,,,,, the assembly was the best. 3 hours and I was up and running. Great job Weber!

                    1. re: bobbyjava

                      April Fools, right? Weber actually told you there is NO difference? Was someone in customer service unaware that the burners now run 90 degrees to what the old model burners ran? That's a huge difference in my opinion. I have the old Genesis 1000 where the burners run from side to side, I think the front to back orentation of the new models is an improvement, but I haven't used one yet. New gril this year.

                      1. re: mikie

                        Actually Mikie, I prefer left to right so I can't complain for the price. It's a Weber for a reduced price. My buddy has a Weber from almost 10 years ago with left to right burners and regular cast iron grill plates and it is still the "BEST" grill I have ever used. Left to Right or Front to Back it's still the heat retention of the cast iron that does the majority of the cooking. Happy customer non the less.....!

                        1. re: bobbyjava

                          I've been successfully cooking on the right to left burners for about 17 years now on the same Weber grill, so it's not like it can't be done. But I THINK I would like the front to back better, I also THINK I would like four burners and that's whay I'm looking at the Summit. I say think, because I've never used a Weber with front to back burners. It seems like there would be more control as you would have better spacing, but I'm just guessing. I'd like to be able to have a hot side and a cooler side, if I don't like it I can always switch back in another 15 years or so, ha ha.

                          1. re: mikie

                            So very true...... Left to right gives you longer burner tubes with more BTU's. Also, if you only run burner 1 and 3 of the left to right you get more of a convection oven vs. direct grilling, just like shutting down 1/2 of the grill fwd and aft like you are describing. Also,,,, I was talking to my friend last night and he said he has had his Weber almost 20 years, (left to right) and loves it and had a part fail and Weber said they would mail him a replacement part out a.s.a. p. Unbelievable customer service.......! They Rock..... Hope you get what you want in the 2011 Model Mikie......!

                            1. re: bobbyjava

                              Unfortunately my frame is rusting out and they don't make the replacement parts for that any longer. But I have certianly gotten my money's worth over the extended time I've had it. You brought up a couple of good points, although I would assume, and I'll certianly have to check it out, that Weber has a way to maintain the BTU of the unit, even with the shorter front to back burners. The advantage I THINK I might get with the front to back is the broader spacing of the burners for the indirect cooking. Like you mention, using 1 and 3 gives you more of an indirect heat cooking, but the distance between the burners isn't very much, so I'm not sure we get to take full advantage of that. And if I'm cooking stakes to different levels, it's more difficult to control doneness, or at least I think it is, with the east west burners. Again, you can lower the front or back burner, but it's still close to the other burners. Life's an adventure and a new grill will be another learning experience. We'll see what I have to say a year from now ;)

                      2. re: bobbyjava

                        To me, the difference in the knob placement is huge, I'm very glad I didn't buy last year's Genesis.

                        1. re: mcf

                          I would have preferred the knob placement to be on the front,,,,, but again, not a huge show stopper for $125.00 less than the 2011's.

                          1. re: bobbyjava

                            The loss of use of a side table is really a down side, to me. And $125 spread over all the years of use of the grill and side table is a bargain, IMO. Seeing those top mounted knobs is what caused me to delay the purchase. I was so glad to see the redesign.

                            1. re: mcf

                              mcf,
                              When I grill I only need one platform. All of my food prep and anything else I need is done inside. I guess as long as it serves my needs, I am completely happy with it. I had a charcoal grill for the last 4 years and it had two platforms and I found that 99% of the time I only used one side. It works for me! I can understand others needing two platforms and that is why the redesign is good for them.

                              1. re: bobbyjava

                                I'm very glad you're happy with your purchase. I do all my prep inside, too, but at some point, I carry it out to the grill and need a place to put the platters down, then the serving dishes. That's also why I opted out of the side burner. I never used it much when I had one, that stuff is easy to leave in the kitchen. I need the space to rest things.

                            2. re: bobbyjava

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/767569

                              I recently went with the E-330 and love it. The grates definitely need some more seasoning for a better release but it has seen use 4x/week in the month (?) since I bought it.

                              Don't the knobs on the right keep you from using the right platform/shelf for much? I find I need all kinds of space when grilling with different pans, tools, etc.

                              1. re: Dax

                                When I grill I only need one platform. All of my food prep and anything else I need is done inside. I guess as long as it serves my needs, I am completely happy with it. I had a charcoal grill for the last 4 years and it had two platforms and I found that 99% of the time I only used one side. It works for me! I can understand others needing two platforms and that is why the redesign is good for them.

                                1. re: bobbyjava

                                  Good for you. I got the side burner in case I needed it but it's low on BTUs I think so doubt I will use it much. I like having two platforms so far

                      3. At least as of two or so years ago, Home Depot would sell you porcelain enameled cast iron grates to fit your grill.

                        My grill (from Ace Hardware) came orginally with allegedly superior stainless-steel grates, but I traded them out for the Home Depot grates for better heat retention. At that time, Home Depot was the only retailer allowed by Weber to sell new Weber grills with those grates.

                        Two or three years later, there is no speck of rust or chipping on them. They're the best for performance and convenience, I think.

                        1. I bought a Genesis the other day and was offered the SS as an upgrade for a not outrageous amount I can't recall. I elected the cast iron for better sear, but you can get SS later if you change your mind.

                          1. I have the cheaper Weber with cast-iron, and I live in Houston. I keep the grill outdoors on a covered patio. I had some slight rusting on the grates the first year, but more of a problem with rusted burners. Weber cheerfully replaced them (literally a very sweet sounding lady with a Minnesota accent and one of the best customer service experiences ever) and FedEx'd the parts to my house for free. I haven't had a problem since then. Maybe it was an unusually humid year, even for us? Cooks really well, and I've not had any problems with chipping during cleaning. If you get a Weber, do the product registration, in case you need that customer service!@

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: arashall

                              Weber does indeed have excellent customer service.

                            2. I would go with the heavy stainless steel rods. Not those light sheet metal ones that came with my grill. If you get that grill hot, the rods will sear the meat incredibly. The cast iron will chip and rust if you don't baby them.

                              1. I have had them all...porcelainized steel, stainless steel, and porcelainized cast iron.

                                It's pretty simple. If you want the best performance and are will to give a little thought to care, go with the cast iron. Superior sear and most importantly, food release. If you cook steak fish like tuna or swordfish or salmon, you'll appreciate that release. I don't clean my grates after cooking...rather I brush them down after pre-heating during the following cooking session. No rust problems.

                                If you want low maintenance at the expense of *some* cooking performance, get the stainless steel. They don't last forever either though...the welds eventually fail on some of the bars.

                                The current Spirit 310 is the exact same grill as the old venerable Genesis Silver B. Same firebox, manifold, size, etc.

                                Home Depot has the best price, and their version also comes with the CI grates. I got mine there last summer when my trusty old Silver B finally kicked the bucket last year.

                                1. Thanks for all the feedback. As I stated in my OP, my charcoal kettle grill is my grill of choice. Not to switch topics but finally found a reasonably priced cast iron grill grate for the kettle grill. Ordered it and thought I would pass it along, I believe a couple of you were like me, prefer charcoal but use the gas grill for convenience

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. Just for reference, at certain dealers, you can get the SS grates as standard on the Genesis lines with no upcharge. I forget the official "designation" - it might be "Premier Dealers" or something like that. When I got my grill, I got the SS grates, etc. at no extra charge. Apparently Weber does this with certain smaller dealers to allow them to compete with the big box stores.

                                    1. I've had both the uncoated cast iron and the enameled cast iron on my Weber and they both rust, and much more quickly than you might think. I've done all kinds of seasoning and they still rust if you leave them outside on the grill, even if it's covered. Just too much moisture in the air combined with the high heat of grilling, speeds up the rusting process. The enameled coating chips very quickly, probably due to the differences in thermal expansion between the coating and the cast iron at grilling temperatures. They do sear well, but, the SS grates will get just as hot as the cast iron and since the sear happens while the gass is still on, the ability to hold heat is less important. If I were to replace my grates again, which I won't, I need to replace the entire grill at this point, I would look for heavy duty SS rod grates on e-bay. Some of these are 3/8" rod, just like Weber uses on the expensive Summit grils.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: mikie

                                        I agree that a 3/8" SS rod would have some useful mass. But I have to wonder why you and some people have had problems with enameled grates chipping and rusting (by definition, both need to happen, and in that order, to get to rust stage).

                                        Perhaps it's how they're cleaned? I clean my enameled cast iron grates by heating the grates (usually I leave the previous gunk on until preheating the griil for the next use), then I scrub with a Grill Wizard, a very effective tool that could not chip porcelain enamel even if you were trying hard. I only oil the grates right before cooking.

                                        I live in the midwest, plenty humid in Summer. The grill's grates are like new after 3 (maybe 4?) years.

                                        p.s.: another possible variable: you mention thermal expansion. My grill is a modest model along the lines of a Spirit B, with two heating bars. It's possible that the more powerful grills heat faster and therefore make a bigger factor out of thermal expansion. There might also be quality variations in the enamel across various years.

                                        1. re: Bada Bing

                                          I did notice some rust on my porclainized CI grates after a a month or so with no grilling this winter- a rarity for me. And this was way before the porcelain could have chipped or worn off. I'm wondering if it's really enough to prevent rust at all.

                                          In any event I think those who don't experience rust with them either a) use their grills several times a week, like I do or b) tend to burn off food at the beginning of the next cook instead of at the end of the last one. If you burn off your grates right cooking then you leave them bare and unprotected. You also risk forgetting you left the grill on and killing a whole can of propane :P

                                          1. re: Bada Bing

                                            Well, I'm not the only one that uses the grill and I'm sure there have been times when it's been left on by accident, much longer than it should, so maybe it just got too hot. All I can say with certianty is that the enameled grates didn't hold up as well as I had hoped. The guy in the office next to me just ordered the 3/8" SS grates off e-bay, I'll have to see how they worked.

                                        2. So I opted for the Genesis E 310 with the enamel coated cast iron grates. This grill rocks. I love it. I still prefer my Weber Charcoal Kettle grill and plan on using that on the weekends. But on a typical night like tonight when I strolling for the office at 7:30, 8:00 PM. I was eating grilled soft shell crabs by 8:15. SO Gas works for me during the week.

                                          This thing gets hot and hot fast. I would say I was pushing 600 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Pretty sweet.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: angelo04

                                            Angelo,,,,,,,,,,,, Nothing beats a Weber grill....... I have the raw cast iron grates and they ROCK..... I was gonna get the coated cast iron but glad I have the raw. Either one rocks...... You'll enjoy it immensley.