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May 15, 2013 11:10 AM

Gas Grill Options

I have stainless steel grills in my outdoor gas grill. Food has always stuck to them from day one. I have scrubbed, cleaned, even run them through my self clean oven cycle with no improvment. Any suggestions. Should I replace them with ceramic grills?

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  1. If you're going to replace them, I think you'd do better with cast iron. But stainless steel is not useless. If you get the grill hot enough, oil the grates (optional), and make sure that the food is dry and oiled, the sticking problem should be mitigated.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bcc

      I have oiled the grates, but not the food. I will try that!

    2. "Not for nuthin' but" (I love that expression) I buy Gas BBQs with ceramic coated cast iron grills. They seem to last the longest. I don't go crazy and spend $800 on a BBQ. I stay in the $300-400 on sale range. I have found that the more expensive grills don't last any longer than the less expensive ones.
      I do not like Weber because I can't get the steaks black and blue without a little flare up from the fat dripping.
      To address your question: I am not anal about having a clean and shiny grill. I heat up the grill and scrape it. A little oil on the steaks etc. keeps them from sticking.

      17 Replies
      1. re: Motosport

        With you on inexpensive grills, but I'm even cheaper than you. I got my three-burner Brinkmann from Target for $199, I think eight years ago; a few months afterwards I read a Consumer Reports article on gas grills, and their $200 Brinkmann performed as well as any and proved more durable than some two or three times the price. I can readily believe that, since mine's pretty ugly but still grilling away. Yes, it's got cast-iron grilling surfaces, which was one selling point. Yes, oil the food!

        Stainless steel makes really good bodywork for a grill, but that's where it belongs.

        1. re: Will Owen

          I did buy a Brinkman from Home Desperate!! It was around $250 on sale. It has a side burner I have used once. Still good after 3 years.
          I find that the burners go first and are just not worth replacing.

          1. re: Motosport

            That's funny! I was at one the other day (our name for them is Home Despot) and they had some very nice-looking Brinkmanns for right at or under $200. The steel "roofs" on my burners are getting ratty enough to warrant a replacement, and my side-burner never did work - as I said, it's been about eight years, but I grill only occasionally. But I much prefer the burners that run front-to-back rather than across the length, and I just like the Brinkmann's style.

            1. re: Will Owen

              You couldn't pay me to go back to anything short of a Weber Genesis ever again. Did that for years. The quality I can get on the Weber is ummatched at lower price points, IMO.

              1. re: mcf

                Totally agree. You know what you're getting when you buy a Weber. Great quality, long life, wonderful customer service, and (if you eventually need them) readily available replacement parts.

                1. re: mcf

                  Am I the only one who likes "flare ups" so I can get my steaks and burgers "black and blue?"
                  It's almost impossible with a Weber so I don't buy any more Webers.

                  1. re: Motosport

                    You might not be the only one who likes flare-ups, but you might be the only one that can't achieve one on a Weber.

                    1. re: grampart

                      The only way I was able to get a steak black and blue was to put a dab of bacon fat on the grill to get some flame.
                      Their flavorizor bars keep the flare down.

                      1. re: Motosport

                        They're supposed to, but they don't, IME. Not if the steak has fat on it or if you've oiled it before grilling. If I don't move a thick steak over to high indirect, I end up with a flaming hunk of meat, black, sooty and bitter. I've also taken to blotting steaks I've marinated or oiled at all, to prevent the flareups.

                        This way, I get a nice dark sear, and medium indirect for the time it takes to finish the steak to med rare gives me a great crust.

                        1. re: mcf

                          ......but Weber advertises "No flare up!"

                          1. re: Motosport

                            If you drip enough fat down into a flaming grate, you'll get flareup. And if the grill needs cleaning, you'll get complete incineration!

                    2. re: Motosport

                      I love my Weber specifically because of the char, though I try to avoid black from flareups. It happens if you leave it on the hot burner, I buy 2" thick steak and move it to indirect after the sear.

                      I had to learn to avoid flareups on mine.

                      1. re: Motosport

                        If you're going to cook directly in the flame of a flare up, you would probably like cooking over charcoal that's doused with lighter fluid as well.

                        The acrid tastes are similar.

                        1. re: JayL

                          .............or just marinade the steaks in lighter fluid and save on the charcoal!!!!!!!!!!! THAT WAS A JOKE. DO NOT TRY THAT AT HOME!
                          There is a point in the grilling process where I want some flame to blacken/char the meat. We like it cool "blue" inside.

                          1. re: Motosport

                            You need higher heat, without direct contact with a flame, to char the meat.

                            When a flame touches food it leaves soot on the surface. This isn't a taste I enjoy, but everyone is different.

                            While I adore tartar & carpacio, I don't eat blue steaks. I like to cook them enough that the intramuscular fat melts...a good med rare for me...leaning to the rare side if we must. I find blue steaks a bit chewy. Again, everyone is different here.

                            1. re: JayL

                              On a non Weber grill the fat drips onto the hot surface and you get flare up that chars the meat. A Weber grill on the highest heat will not char/blacken the steak. That's Weber's claim to fame. No flare up.

                              1. re: Motosport

                                Yes, a Weber will darken or char the steak on high heat, at least a Genesis will. It will do it on indirect medium even after searing, but I cook to med/rare, so a bit longer.

            2. Love my Cast Iron grates. A good brushing while it's still hot/warm, followed by some high heat oil spray does the trick every time.

              1. Stainless steel is known to be more sticky. Your best bet is probably cast iron grill.

                1. I've started using a new product that can actually sit on top of your stock grills, the product is Grill Greats, it's an aluminum extrusion that's been hard annodized. It leaves the most splended grill marks and meat doesn't stick to it when it's oiled. I believe the web site is They are available in sections and a number of sizes, and even special to fit a Weber kettle grill. I've had cast iron, enameled cast iron, and stainless steel, grill greats are better than any of these in my opinion.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: mikie

                    It's actually Grill Grates,

                    1. re: bcc


                    2. re: mikie

                      I just want to thank you for the heads up on the Grill Grates. I was surprised to discover that they're made right here in Georgia, available in our local Ace hardware store, and have actually been around for over 5 years, yet I had never heard of them! While definitely not cheap, judging by the reviews I've read, they seem to be worth the investment. I got the best deal from Amazon with my Prime membership. Free shipping, no sales tax, and they'll be delivered on Monday. Again, thanks for the info!

                      1. re: grampart

                        You're very welcome, glad I could help. I hope you enjoy them.

                        1. re: mikie

                          I was most impressed by the videos showing the flare-up reduction with burgers or steaks cooking side by side on a grill with some on the stock grate and others on the Grill Grates.

                        2. re: grampart

                          grampart, please, pretty please, post a review of your grill grates here, when they arrive?

                          I read about them on another site and have been trying to convince Hubs to get a set, because our grill just doesn't give the char I like on my steak. I'm dying to know how well they work, from a 'Hound's perspective. :)

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              I've had mine for almost 2 years, bought them right after I picked up the Kitchen Aid professional stainless steel grill from the appliance store. The KA grill has very heavy SS grates, but they just didn't do a good job of searing a steak, and I had issues with sticking. I saw the Grill Grates recommended on a BBQ web site and thought I'd give them a try. Doesn't matter if I'm grilling salmon or a steak, they leave a wonderful grill mark and do a much better job of searing than just the SS grates. About a minute or two and then I rotate about 70 degrees for another minute or two, and then flip and do the same thing, leaves a nice looking diamond pattern on the meat. I brush them with a brass bristle grill brush and then oil with a paper towel after they heat up. Sticking is minimal if at all. The ones I bought fit my grill from front to back, you even get a special shapped flipper with tines, so you cal slide it under the food and lift without having to scrape across the Grill Grates. I don't usually use this, just my regular spatula. I would give them two thumbs up.

                              1. re: mikie

                                Can anyone recommend a discounter for Grill Grates?

                                1. re: randyjl

                                  I'm not aware of one. It's a small company, in fact, my wife bought the wrong size, and when I called about a swap I was speaking to the owner of the company. He was willing to do whatever I wanted to have a satisfied customer and I am. If someone finds them discounted please post. They are pricy, but worth the expense from my experience.

                                2. re: DuffyH

                                  I got the Grates yesterday and tried them out this evening. Flat Iron steak about 1-1/2#. Preheated the Weber to 600 and cooked for 4 minutes per side with a 1/4 turn at the 2 minute point. NO flare-ups, and (as you can see) a very pretty set of grill marks. So far, so good. Looking forward to the burgers and chicken wings!

                                  1. re: grampart

                                    Thanks, grampart. That is one pretty steak! Our grill turns out beef tenderloins that look like the unmarked parts of your steak. That's why I thought we could benefit from the grates. I think it would improve flavor a lot.