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Grilling Product Reviews: GrillGrates – A Taste of “Grate”ness?

Grilling Product Reviews: GrillGrate – How “Grate” Are They?

On a consistent basis the team here at GrillJunkie™ sets time aside to communicate our formal rating on either a Grilling, BBQ or Burger related product. We do this via our Grilling Product Reviews process. As you certainly can imagine these products run the gamut from: Gotta Have It!CoolUsefulUtilitarianRidiculous and the, well, Just Plain Asinine! The spectrum of grilling related products is wide.

Today’s Grilling Product Reviews candidate:

GrillGrates

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The GrillJunkie™ Grilling Product Reviews (GPR) Scale

Based on our extensive field research, the GrillJunkie Product Review team assigns a formal rating to every product that we test. This rating is based on a 1-5 Firepot structure as depicted through our Grilling Product Review (GPR) scale as illustrated below. The number of Firepots given to the grilling product indicates its final rating. The higher the number of Firepots, the more positive the review.  

GrillJunkie Grilling Product Review GPR Firepot key with logo

  GrillJunkie GPR Four FirePot rating Quick Product Reviews Rating: For the more impatient reader who needs to get the rating right away, we gave the GrillGrate4.2 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. This rating equates to a Hot product but not quite Searing.  The product brilliantly addresses and solves the problem for which it was designed in an attractive, energy efficient, durable, and well engineered product. In fact, the GrillGrate may be one of the best ideas to arrive on the grilling scene in years as it can instantly turn a $140 grill into an $800 powerhouse in less than 5 minutes for a mere fraction of the cost. For more detail on this Product Review, including an overview of Infrared Grilling Technology and the present array of grilling surface choices, as well as the many upcoming Grilling Product Reviews on our schedule, read on! 

Here’s a quick overview of the science behind GrillGrate:

First Up: Infrared Grilling Technology

Before we dig into the Grilling Product Review of the GrillGrate product, it is important to understand two things inherent to this product:

  1. There are 3 main cooking methods and as many as 7 grilling surface choices.
  2. The GrillGrate leverages the Radiant/Infrared cooking method via a  hard-anodized aluminum material base.

Let’s discuss Infrared Technology first. Either it be grilling, indoor cooking, outdoor cooking, smoking or BBQ there are three main ways to cook: Conduction, Convection, and Radiant.

  • Conduction is the direct transfer of heat from one thing to another. This is like cooking in a steel or copper pot or a frying pan. The hot pan, when in contact with food transfers heat by being in direct contact and actually touching it. This is the slowest and least efficient form of cooking. On your grill this is the cooking performed by foods coming into direct contact with the cooking or grill grate.
  • Convection is cooking by fluid like boiling a potato in water or by roasting a chicken in the oven. In your grill, convection is the flow of hot air around your food, most notably when indirect grilling, when your food is heated by the heat of the grill by placing your food away from the direct under-flame.
  • Radiant is completely different from these other forms of cooking. Radiant is cooking by use of a form of electromagnetic energy that is directed at the food you cook. The main difference is that the food does not come in direct contact of the heat source but close enough to draw in the energy that is being directed at it. This can be like cooking in your microwave or by using radiant heat from an electric heating element such as in your oven (specifically for broiling) or toaster.

Infrared or Radiant energy seems mysterious to many people despite the fact that it is the most widely experienced source of energy on earth. In fact, it is literally as common as daily sunshine. Every single day the earth is warmed by the radiant energy from the sun. The sun also generates harmful ultra-violet rays, which are another form of electromagnetic energy. They harmful rays are not infrared. Because infrared or radiant energy is transferred directly from its source (in this case, the sun) to the object being heated, it can travel through the cold vacuum of space without heating it. But once it reaches the earth and penetrates our skin, the electrons in the atoms of our skin begin to move fast, creating friction which generates heat and causes us to feel warm.

Infrared has become the big buzz word in outdoor cooking. This all started in 2000 when the patent for the Infrared Burner expired, unleashing this technology to any manufacturer who wanted to built it into a gas grill. Over the last several years this technology has trickled down to gas grills under $500 and across the spectrum of side burners, sear burners and anything else for which you might care to use it.  Now, the infrared burner is being called the microwave of the outdoor kitchen and even credited with salvaging the gas grill industry. The question many people seem to have is, do I really need infrared?

Infrared Burners: There are a number of infrared burners and grills on the market these days using a wide range of technology. TEC, the original Infrared Grilling GrillGrate GrillJunkieinventor of the technology developed a new type of infrared burner that emits 100% infrared energy. This completely encased burner puts a gas burner under several layers of stainless steel emitters to stop all airflow (convection) and produce only radiant heat. Other, older style burners use ceramic tiles to emit the radiant energy but still produce hot air so they cook at about 50% infrared. Since 2008, Char-Broil had determined that they can put a gas burner under a metal barrier and isolate the flame from the cooking area to produce an infrared grill. This style of grill has actually existed for decades in the form of grills like The Holland Grill. The truth is that there are dozens of grills on the market like this. Suffice to say these grills work by heating up a large metal box that you cook in, similarly to your oven but with a cooking grate and lid.

Why Infrared?: The one basic and most important fact about infrared grills and burners is that they generate much higher temperatures than normal grills and can heat up much faster. It isn’t uncommon to hear that these grills can reach surface cooking temperatures well over 700° F in as little as 7 minutes. Pretty impressive, but what does this do for you? Infrared grill makers promise that these units sear meats quickly, lock in juices, and cook faster than any other grill. The problem with these claims is that searing doesn’t work that way. Searing does not lock in juices, it causes browning and caramelization on the surface of meats. This process of browning, called the Maillard reaction, happens at temperatures between 300° and 500° F. So what this leaves us with is that infrared cooks faster. That is something you can not argue with. It is this fast and hot cooking that is an infrared grill’s greatest advantage. For a deeper discussion of Infrared Cooking Technology see our Grilling Product Review of the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Grill.

Second Up: 7 Types of Grilling Surfaces

Type 1: Stainless Steel – Stainless steel can be made from thin or thick rods. Stainless steel grates are not to be confused with chrome or nickel plated grates which are not as beneficial. The real advantage to stainless steel is that it has the a long life span and is easy to clean. Good quality and/or true stainless steel grates will never rust or corrode while cheap stainless eventually ceases to be truly “stainless”, and eventually will require replacement. Stainess_Steel_Grill_Grates_GrillJunkieThe last thing you want on your grates is rust or other oxides that can make their way onto your food. Some prefer thinner stainless steel grates that allow more radiant heat through, especially for charcoal grills. There are those that believe that the challenge with thick rods is that they block radiant heat and, although they make large dark grill marks, some find them less adequate in creating all over and even browning.

Type 2: Enamel-Coated Porcelain – A sturdy porcelain enamel coating is applied to a variety of metals Enamel_coated_porcelain_grill_grates_GrillJunkieof different weights. Some grill manufacturers put it on rods or on upside down V or U-shaped rails. It can be coated on cast iron or tempered steel. Some prefer the thin rods so they don’t block the radiant heat needed to brown the surfaces of foods. Porcelain is easy to clean. It is hard to crack the surface, but dropping them can create a fissure in the coating allowing for the creation of rust. Vigorous scrubbing and scraping can scratch them and eventually wear off the coating. However, with proper care they work just fine, should last for years, and are much less expensive than stainless.

Type 3: Chrome or Nickel Plated WireInexpensive and easily replaceable, these types of grates warp under extremely high heat. After a year or two they pit and the plating begins to chips off. Once this occurs the exposed metal is susceptible to rust. But they’re so cheap that replacing them is not a budget-breaker. Their main advantage is that they allow radiant heat from below to find the food on the grate by leaving the heating surface of the grill open for real searing. They’re the next best thing to no grates at all and as close to open fire cooking that you can get. An example is what you will find as standard equipment with the Weber Hinged Cooking Grate.  

Type 4: Cast Iron Grates – Unlike cast iron fry pans and griddles that can become non-stick with use, many people believe that the same is true for cast iron grill grates. Untrue, my friends! Pans and griddles become non-stick due to their design. The metal is slightly porous and the surface is textured so oil becomes embedded in the surface pores forming a slippery polymer that can last for years.  The key to the longevity of these types of surfaces is to not allow them to become overheated or scrubbed with abrasives. Therein lies the problem with cast-iron grill grates. They get a lot hotter than most fry pans and that intense heat burns off the embedded surface oil and/or turns it to carbon. This eliminates the intended advantage of a non-stick surface. When finished cooking on a grill, scrubbing and scraping the grease and food residue off actually removes those non-stick properties.

Cast_iron_grill_grate_GrillJunkie_product_reviewAdditionally, because cast iron grates are so heavy and therefore so efficient at holding and transmitting heat to meat, they make definitive grill marks. You might ask, “What’s wrong with that?” The answer lies in the fact that it’s not the grill marks in an of themselves but the intensity of and quickness at which the grill marks were created! What is produced at too high of a surface temperature is a very significant contrast between those marks and the rest of the meat, leaving much of the meat surface under cooked and underdeveloped, never mind the potential of unsafely under heating the inner portions of the meat. What is desired is an even browning of the meat across the entire surface leaving dark mahogany tones of brown caramelized stripes slightly contrasted by medium mahogany surface colors between the stripes. Not only does the food being grilled look richer and more attractive, the taste tones are more satisfying and complex! Furthermore, cast iron grates need extra and immediate TLC. You have to scrape them immediately after cooking, then oil them while they are still warm. The oil will fill the pores that have opened during cooking and prevent rust. To perform this maintenance ritual constantly and consistently is a hassle as you will find yourself on a frantic time scheduled obstacle course of leaving the fire on in order to burn off residue, running the food into the house, and while everyone is waiting for you, running back out to scrape and re-oil. If you forget to do this, you will notice that within days the cast-iron grates can start rusting. If you don’t use cast iron grates for months, they will rust even if you oiled them after the last use.

Type 5: Tempered Steel – Common on large barbecue pits, tempered steel grates often come in expanded metal diamond grids. Their main advantages are that they are lightweight, inexpensive, and make diamond shaped grill marks without having to rotate the meat. Their disadvantages are that they rust, warp easily, and they are extremely hard to clean. Similar to cast iron, they must be oiled. 

Type 6: Teflon and Non-Stick Coatings – These surfaces are typically found on electric “grills” and a few portable gas grills. As with non-stick pans, the surface is easily scratched, must be treated gingerly and the use of a metal spatula, tongs, fork never mind a grill cleaning brush is verboten. Also, some are known to put out dangerous gases if they get very hot. Depending on the specific coating, “very hot” is usually 500° F, which is the range of a good direct grill surface. Their top feature is that they clean up easily, usually with mild soap and water, and some can even go through the dishwasher.

Type 7: Hard-Anodized Cast Aluminum – Made from aircraft quality aluminum into various shapes, (either as a pure flat plate, aerated and shaped for strength and air-flow, or raised railed wide rectangles), this light weight material is well suited for grilling as it allows if not epitomizes the infrared cooking method. Not GrillGrate_Product_Review_GrillJunkie_GPR4typically used as standard grilling surface material direct from the original equipment manufacturer – OEM, they are available as an after market product either as complete replacement grates or designed to sit on top of existing grates. Dependent upon the surface shape and design, aluminum grates have been shown to amplify heat, reduce hot spots by evening out the heat transfer across the grilling surface, minimize flare-ups and are easier to clean. The GrillGrate is made of this material and is shaped to maximize the infrared grilling method. Does the GrillGrate evolve the utilitarian grilling surface to the next level by successfully combining Hard-anodized Aluminum and Infrared Grilling Technology into a “Greater Grate?” Let’s see!

GrillGrate_Logo

GrillGrate Product Review – Great or Just another Grate?

The GrillJunkie Grilling Product Reviews follow a comprehensive structure which includes the:

  • Problem that needs to be solved or addressed
  • Solution to that problem
  • Good, Bad and Ugly elements of the product
  • Verdict – the official GrillJunkie™ GPR (Grilling Product Reviews Rating)

So let’s dig in to the GrillGrate product review.

Official Product Review and GPR

  • Problem – The way we view it, the options for the grilling surface and corresponding heating method are vast but mostly utilitarian.  A lot of the conventional thinking surrounding grilling grate surfaces is their ability to hold and transmit heat. However, the grilling surface options available are not differentiated so much by any particular grill brand or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) as the grilling surface is frequently sacrificed for other ergonomic or visual features such as exterior construction material, side burners or nonsense such as lighted burner knobs. In essence, the grilling surface, arguably the most important feature next to the heating source and method in producing deliciously grilled, safely prepared, and beautifully caramelized meats is unfortunately overlooked, sacrificed and undervalued as a key source of grilling success and overall return on investment. This deficiency is shown at not only the lower priced grills but also on versions costing in excess of $2,500. Typically most grilling surfaces are lacking in one of the key features to produce the balance of efficiency, safety, deliciousness, attractiveness and juiciness. These key features are:
    • Heat Source Amplification
    • Fuel Efficiency Assistance
    • Even Heat DistributionGrillGrate Buy-2ABImage
    • Flare-Up Minimization
    • Flavor Enhancement
    • Juice/Moisture Retention
    • Ease of Clean-Up and Maintenance
  • Product’s Solution Pitch – The GrillGrate™ team’s approach to addressing the problem was to develop, market and distribute the GrillGrate™ lineup of grilling surfaces and GrateTool. According to the company’s marketing material and ad copy:

GrillGrates_Infrared_Design_via_GrillJunkie_Product_Review

“GrillGrates are interlocking panels that create a new grilling surface on any grill. The 3-dimensional design of GrillGrate is unique and new. All grates sear, but no other grates sizzle, radiate or protect. Foods are juicier and more tender. GrillGrates turn any grill into an infrared grill and can be used directly on top of your existing grill surface or as replacement grates for your grill. Better Grilling by Design! The Grate that’s Changing the Grill!”

According to the GrillGrate web site description, the claim is made that the product:

1. SEARS – The raised rails deliver superior sear marks from more surface area contact and better conductivity.

2. SIZZLES – The valleys capture juices which steam and sizzle for added flavor, moisture and juiciness.
3. PROTECTS – The bottom protects against charring flareups and drying heat. Fats drain off without igniting. 
4. RADIATES- The added mass and shape radiates with heat for fast, even cooking.
 

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The GrateTool is an integral part of the GrillGrate system. It fits between the valleys to gently lift food off the grill, not scrape. It also doubles as a cleaning device to shovel debris out of the valleys when it accumulates.

 

 

 

  • The Good – The product has a few important positive attributes. First of all, the GrillGrate product team did indeed address the problem head on with an attractive, well designed, well constructed, materially strong and versatile product. Under extensive product testing using various sized grills, a myriad of food and temperature ranges, the hard to impress GrillJunkie team found that this grilling product:
    • Amplified the heat of our Gas grills on average 205° F, Pellet grills by 155° F, Charcoal grills by 100° F (at peak heat)
    • Reduced pre-heating time by up to 25%
    • Consumed almost 23% less fuel by retaining heat longer and evenly
    • Can  either sit on top of or completely replace the grates that came standard with the original grills
    • Interlocked quickly and easily providing versatility from grill to grill
    • Evenly distributed the heat leaving no significant hot or cold spots
    • Evenly seared meat, vegetable and fruit surfaces w/o leaving darkly charred marks
    • Eliminates food “fall through” and loss on delicate items such as some vegetables, fruit slices, shrimp, etc.
    • Allows ample space and air flow for the use of wood smoking chips and flavor enhancement
    • Vaporized dripping fats and juices as opposed to losing them to the heating compartment
    • Was able to be transferred from gas grill to charcoal grill to pellet independent of size
    • Significantly reduced hot and cold spots on our pellet grills
    • Minimized dangerous flare-ups while not eliminating the occasional flame up
    • Magnified the Infrared Cooking Method
    • Supplies a unique food handling and cleaning capability with the GrillTool

Moreover, the former engineers on the GrillJunkie Product Review team discovered that these grates are made from structural grade hard-anodized aluminum (a natural hardening process) to create an extremely durable, ultra hard surface that is a much better conductor of heat than steel or cast iron. This creates a surface that is more efficient and will never rust. Additionally the GrillJunkie team was impressed with the fact that each plate has large oval shaped holes drilled across the surface of each of the base channels designed to allow hot air, smoke, and combustion gases to rise through them while most of the heat is evenly distributed across the bottom of the grate. As a result, the base becomes extremely hot GrillGrates_Infrared_Design_via_GrillJunkie_Product_Review_5while the aluminum alloy distributes the heat evenly across the cooking surface eliminating those aggravating and temperamental hot or cold spots. The bottom plate, which is exactly 3/4″ below the food, becomes the main heat source. Therein lies the similarity to a complete grill system designed around the concept of infrared cooking technology.

The evenly heated base blocks dangerous and food scorching flareups and helps prevent burning of easily charred chicken and fish skin. As a result you create succulent, crispy chicken skin without scorching. Juices drip into the 3/4′ deep grate valleys between the rails where they are vaporized and penetrate the meat hence enhancing their flavor. The holes in the base allow some juices through where they burn, and smoke and combustion gases travel up through the holes to reach the food adding more flavor.

We also experimented a bit and found that GrillGrates can be flipped upside down. In this manner you create a fully flat heating surface whereon you can place food on a scorching surface while the holes can allow smoke through by placing  a few wood chunks, pellets or chips underneath. On Pellet Grills or Smokers the GrillGrates work wonders in correcting one of their inherent flaws; minimal infrared heat due to the fact that they are basically convection grills. In all cases, it is important to leverage GrillGrates differently for a few scenarios. When placing them on top of the factory grates, or using them as full replacements do not bring the grates all the way to the edges of the grill (round or rectangle) so as to still allow for useful airflow airflow. As a useful tool for setting up a 2 heat zone scenario for indirect grilling such as when smoking ribs or a brisket for longer periods of time the GrillGrate is very useful. In fact, this is where we measured its fuel efficiency benefits while enjoying a perfectly smoked, low-and-slow grilled brisket. Oh my!

  • The Bad – There are, however, four main negative attributes to the GrillGrate. Albeit minor they are worth mentioning. The first two involve clean up and seasoning while the last two refer to ROI and a tool enhancement. The first two are a bit more involved but done once the procedures take no longer than with the typical grill.
    • Let’s tackle Clean Up first. Unlike the post-grilling procedure of heating up the empty grill to its highest temperature and removing burned and caked on food and debris by vigorous scraping with a wire cleaning brush, the use of a metal wire-based grill brush is not conducive to cleaning this product. In fact, it could damage the aluminum. As an alternative, and a bit of an additional investment at a local hardware store, we found that a bristle brush works perfectly. On a positive note, the fuel that you save on eliminating the high-heat post burn can make up for the scant cost of a good bristle brush. Cleaning can also be enhanced by using the GrateTool to clean the channels of the product while also leveraging the flared tips of this funky looking “spatufork” to get into the angles of the vaporization chambers. We also found that by quickly removing the hot panels from the grill by grabbing with a good protective grill mitt and hitting the grates with cold water that any debris and built up carbon came right off.
    • Now onto the Seasoning challenge. To get the most out of the GrillGrate it must be seasoned properly. This important steps takes no more effort than applying a generous coating of cooking spray on the grates prior to heating them on the grill for at least the first three cookouts. Once the grates become darkened they are properly seasoned and there is little need for additional oil as you find that meats will not stick as easily as the first time and clean up is quicker.GrillGrate Seasoned GrillJunkie Product Reviews
    • The third negative is related to Price. For a set of 2 GrillGrate panels, which for most rectangular grills will only cover no more than 1/3 of the grill, the MSRP is $39.99. Although this price includes the GrateTool, for those who may want to replace their original grates completely, it could become a 3 figure investment. Again, the ROI of the long-term fuel savings and the ability to turn a $150 grill into a $800 powerhouse create a balanced trade off.
    • A Grater Tool? Lastly, although the GrillJunkie team thought the GrateTool was, well…great and certainly uniquely designed specifically for use with the GrillGrate heating channels, there were times when we could have used an extra hand or needed to use a pair of tongs to lift a heftier burger, a larger steak or a grilled pizza. We thought that, what we donned as the “GrateTong” would make an improvement. It would be a combination Sporkula/Spatula and tong that could both lift, flip and securely maneuver food on the grill while still fitting inside a the grate channels and under food. Keep in mind that many on the GrillJunkie team are former product designers, engineers and marketing snobs so we tend to over think and are openly opinionated. Take our suggestions for what they are, just suggestions.
  • The Ugly – We did not believe that this variable directly applied to this product. In fact, the GrillGrate and GrateTool both have clean and attractive package designs and the product themselves are very attractive, well designed and extremely effective. The only ugliness is the crime that the gorgeous aluminum design must inevitably turn dark when properly seasoned. However, taste the juicy and perfectly caramelized results of a burger, chops or burger that was grilled on the GrillGrate and the blackened beauty of this seasoning fact comes to life.
  • Verdict – We give the GrillGrate a 4.2 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. This rating equates to a Hot product but not quite Searing.  The product brilliantly addresses and solves the problem for which it was designed in an uncomplicated, attractive, energy efficient, durable, and well engineered product set. In fact, the GrillGrate may be one of the best ideas to arrive on the grilling scene in years as it can instantly turn a $140 grill into an $800 powerhouse in less than 5 minutes for a mere fraction of the cost. The GrillJunkie Product Team would not be surprised to see some OEMs actually including the GrillGrate design as standard equipment. GrillGrates are a very impressive recent invention that we recommend for gas grill and pellet smokers. They amplify heat, minimize flareups, enhance flavor via vaporization, evenly heat food while producing desirable dark mahogany, not unhealthy blackened grill marks while being a solid investment with a measurable ROI and very easy to clean and maintain. We look forward to any new product developments that will come from the GrillGrate team. Maybe one day we may even be conducting a Product Review on the GrateTongs. The future is ours to see. Stay tuned! We only have about 25 products on our Grilling Product Reviews schedule before that.

GrillJunkie 4 Firepots

    GrillJunkie Rating of GrillGrate = 4.2 / 5.0

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Next Review:  SlotDog – Revolutionary or a Dog?

What are your thoughts? What Fires You Up? We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Leave a reply or comment. It’s OK. Bring it on! Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club or subscribe to our RSS list.

Comments ( 33 )

  1. ReplyMaxineZdebiak

    It looks like the Grill Grate can certainly give most people what they want in this type of accessory. I thought the review was very fair and informative .... thanks Grill Junkies :-)

    • ReplyGrill Junkie boy

      Thanks Maxine! The Product Review team is hard to impress yet the GrillGrate held its own. Did you see the 2 minute YouTube Video Review as well?

  2. ReplyBackYarder

    Interesting Product Review. Thorough and fair. Are the GrillGrates available on any OEM grills yet?

  3. ReplyGrill Junkie boy

    Not sure Backyarder, but we won't be surprised when we start seeing GrillGrate show up as standard equipment over the next 18 months!

  4. ReplyBrad

    GrillGrate here- Thanks for a very thorough review! Backyarder- two pellet grill companies now offer GrillGrates as standard options. YODER and Rec-Tec. They are seeing outstanding results. Several grill manufacturers are also offering GrillGrates as up-grades too. Thanks again Grill Junkie!

    • ReplyGrill Junkie boy

      Brad, the GrillJunkie Review team is hard to impress so it just goes to prove how well the GrillGrate performed! Thanks for addressing BackYarder's question about OEM relationships. Smart business moves and "Grate" news!

  5. ReplyJo Jo

    I have seen a char-broil grill with Teflon grate. How does this compare with other grate like the cast iron grate?

    • ReplyGrill Junkie boy

      Hi Jo Jo. Thanks for the question. This topic has come up a lot lately. We lean towards cast iron mainly due the intense heat environment. Teflon simoly simply has too many drawbacks for high heat grilling. Should cast iron still be the centerpiece of modern kitchens or should it make way for technological wonders such as Teflon? Here are a few facts: Durability - With proper care ast iron cookware is durable enough to last generations. As long as it isn't cracked, that rusty, crusty yard sale find can be cleaned and put back into service. However, once a Teflon-coated pan has been scratched, perhaps by the accidental use of a metal utensil, the aluminum beneath the coating is exposed and the pan is no longer usable. Maintaining Non-Stick Surfaces - Both cast iron and Teflon-coated pans offer non-stick cooking surfaces, and both types of pans require special techniques to maintain those surfaces. Metal utensils and scouring pads will scratch the coating off of a Teflon pan, so only plastic utensils and gentle scrubbers can be used. Cast iron pans are not easily scratched and metal utensils and scouring pads are not a problem. However, cast iron cookware must be re-seasoned with a light coat of cooking oil regularly, especially after a good scrubbing. Regular seasoning maintains a non-stick surface and prevents the cast iron from rusting. Leaching - Both cast iron and Teflon-coated pans leech chemicals into food when heated. In fact, a study published in the July 1986 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that cooking in cast iron skillets added significant amounts of iron to 20 foods tested. However, this is an advantage, particularly to women who do not get enough iron in their regular diet. A Teflon pan, on the other hand, can leach toxins into the air and food if the pan gets overheated. Heat Distribution - Although cast iron cookware takes longer to heat up than other cookware, it distributes heat more evenly across its cooking surface and holds heat longer even after the burner has been turned off. Teflon-coated pans are generally aluminum pans with a non-stick coating, so they have the same properties as an aluminum pan. They heat and cool quickly, but heat is unevenly distributed over the cooking surface. High Temperature Cooking - Several common cooking techniques such as searing, sauteing, and stir frying are best done in a pan that's been preheated at a high temperature. Teflon pans cannot handle these high temperatures. Owners risk warping the pan and releasing toxins if a Teflon pan gets too hot. Also, Teflon pans cannot convert from stove top to oven. Cast iron cookware is not adversely affected by high temperatures and can easily move from stove top to oven. Hope that helps! Keep on grilling.

  6. ReplyWayne

    Could you be more specific about the "bristle brush" you used for clean up? That leaves a lot of room for interpretation and error.

    • ReplyGrill Junkie boy

      Hi Wayne, Good question. We should have been more specific with regards to cleaning the GrillGrate. Keep in mind that the GrillGrates need not be cleaned every single time as they should be allowed to season a bit for the first few cookouts. Here are a few tips from the GrillGrate site and a link. As far as a bristle brush is concerned, one of the triangular shaped brass brushes or steel wool does well, and/or use the GrateTool to get into the tight 90 degree corners. Give your GrillGrates a good soak! Follow these simple steps for cleaning: 1. Scrape off anything you can with the GrateTool. 2. Lightly tap the grates on a hard surface to get rid of anything that will come off on its own. 3. Soak in a bucket of hot soapy water. Never use degreaser or caustic cleaners! 4. Scrub the top of the rails with steel wool. Use the GrateTool to scape the valleys and sides of rails. Make sure all the holes are clear. Learn More: http://www.grillgrate.com/index.php?/site/care_and_seasoning_your_grillgrates

  7. ReplyDick

    The better quality grills will have larger grilling surfaces and distribute the heat more evenly than less expensive models. Traditional grills have earned their place in American nostalgia. These grills allow you eat healthier with less worry of fire hazards or damage to the environment and save you time and work in both cooking and clean up.

  8. ReplyChef Caron barbecue gadgets

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I'm looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks a lot Here is my homepage - Chef Caron barbecue gadgets

    • ReplyGrill Junkie boy

      Hi, Thanks for the positive feedback on the GrillJunkie blog. We use WordPress and the Money theme. We'd love to learn more about the Chef Caron Non-stick BBQ Grill Mats.

  9. ReplyMatt Biggins

    Hi, Do you think this product would work on just a portion of my grill? Since it's a bit of an investment, wondering if I could start with one piece and then add more later if I like it. Thanks for any info! Matt

    • ReplyGrill Junkie Staff

      Hi Matt, Great question. The answer is yes. Although you can purchase a system to cover your specific grill surface entirely, the Grill Grate can be purchased in individual sections to cover just a portion of your grill. That is exactly what we did initially and we were pleased as it helped us create a hot and cool zone and more control over our heat. Your grill will run hotter. GrillGrates are made of hard anodized aluminum, one of the most highly conductive materials. Aluminum allows heat to travel through it much more rapidly than poorly conducting materials such as cast iron. This means your GrillGrates will heat up much quicker and cool down rapidly once you are finished grilling. You will use less fuel, you will save time AND you will grill much more efficiently! Adjust your grill temperature down, according to the type of grill you own. Hope that helps. If you need more info, let's keep the conversation going.

  10. ReplySarah

    I love my grill grates! Turned an old, cheap, ready for the dump grill into a very nice grilling machine! One problem... I can't get rid of these little flakes of black that have started appearing on my food. I've scrubbed and soaked and burnt off and even tried a little salt/baking soda paste to rub with but nothing's working. Have I let too much "seasoning" occur? The nonstick abilities have diminished a little too. Confession- I was using a wire-scraper brush, not a fancy bristle brush. Could that be my problem? Any suggestions or should I toss these and try again with a different brush next time?

    • ReplyGrill Junkie Staff

      Hi Sarah. Thanks for your question regarding the GrillGrates. We too agree that this is a great product. Your issue may very well be occurring due to using too harsh of a grill cleaning brush which may have affected the aluminum. The baking soda may have created a chemical reaction as well. Although we are not the expert source on maintaining this unique product, we do know that Brad Barrett and the team at GrillGrate would be happy to uncover what happened and provide a potential solution. In the meantime, here is a link to the Care Instruction which may shed some light: http://www.grillgrate.com/index.php?/site/care_and_seasoning_your_grillgrates We hope that was helpful.

  11. ReplyKenny Boy

    Great review. Plan on buying Grill Grates but want to replace the cast iron that came with my CharBroil 2 burner infrared grill. I manage to keep the cast iron from rusting but by doing so I create an awful black residue mess on my steaks, etc. The 2 cast iron grates cover an area of 17" by 17". According to the Grill Grate web site, this size is not available. Prefer to completely replace the cast iron grates. Any suggestion? Thanks.

    • ReplyGrill Junkie Staff

      Hi Kenny Boy, Good question. In speaking with the folks at GrillGrate their 17.375" should be a drop in (be sure to measure the shelf not the old grate) 4 panels wide is all that will fit for now = 21". Having a little gap on each side is actually a good thing so as to allow for air and heat flow. Hope that helps.

  12. ReplyKenny Boy

    Grill Junkie you are a big help. Just verified that I did measure the shelf and it is 17". Like your suggestion regarding the spacing on the side of grates. And there is enough space past the shelf that would allow the .375" and would allow closing of the lid, but the front would be elevated about .25" above the rear. I could elevate the rear the same I'm thinking. Your thoughts on that would be appreciated and do you know if I can order 3 grates from GrillGrate or if they must be ordered in pairs? Thanks!

    • ReplyGrill Junkie Staff

      Hi Kenny Boy, You may be able to use an aluminum strip in the rear of the grill to fix the elevation challenge. As far as the need for a third grate, they do indeed sell single panels. When buying a pair, you also receive the very useful GrateTool. The customer service team is very helpful. They can be reached at 877-380-2527. Let them know that you spoke with us and that we know Brad Barrett, their CEO.....it may help expedite assistance. Hope that helps.

  13. ReplyKenny Boy

    Will Do and Thanks Big Time!

  14. ReplyKenny Boy

    And they can be cut to length by Grill Grates. Will not cut widths.

  15. ReplyPearline Mcleish

    I was thinking about something after I posted this…larger diameter gas tube = lower pressure = perhaps SLOWER and weaker cycling? Maybe that’s what I was getting at. Been up a long time.

  16. ReplyScaggia

    Hi, I have an Outdoorchef Ascona 570 G. Do you think the grillgrate can be used with the funnel in "direct grilling" position to make the heat uniform in all the surface? Thanks Andrea

  17. ReplyDunk

    Thanks for this helpful review. Any idea if these would make much difference on A Charbroil Tru infrared porcelain coated grill (the model that is very similar to grillgrates)? I've just bought one, and enjoy the infrared, but the grates are very difficult to clean (the holes are much smaller than the Grillgrate holes and get clogged up very easily), and the porcelain has started to chip off after the first 3 cleans.

    • ReplyGrill Junkie Staff

      Hi Dunk, Thank you for the feedback on the GrillGrate Product Review and for your question. The answer is yes! The advantage is that you will be replacing a good infrared grate system with an even better one as the interlocking aircraft- aluminum GrillGrate design will give you the benefits of infrared grilling while minimizing the clean up hassle of the lower infrared plates. Also, the GrillGrate offers to GrateTool which is not only designed to easily get under and flip food but it also acts as a cleaning tool as it fits perfectly inside the grooved channels to dig out any stubborn burnt on food. Hope that helps address your question. Have a sizzling day!

  18. ReplyDan

    Great review and much appreciated! Do you see the grill grate being an good substitute for a infrared burner? I'm in the market for buying a new grill and I'm considering having my grill configured with two standard gas burners and one infrared burner but I hate the idea of losing one third of my grilling space and also impacting the indirect grilling. I was thinking the grill grate could help get me a better sear (although not as good as a infrared burner) but not lose any grill space. Good compromise?? Thanks, Dan

    • ReplyGrill Junkie Staff

      Hi Dan, Thanks for your feedback on the GrillGrate review. Glad you liked it. To answer your question, yes it is a great compromise. By simply replacing the grill surface on a portion of your grill with a set of GrillGrates, you will creating an infrared section on your grill without having to replace the traditional burner with an infrared burner. Dependent upon the surface shape and design, aluminum grates like the GrillGrate design have been shown to amplify heat, reduce hot spots by evening out the heat transfer across the grilling surface, minimize flare-ups and are easier to clean. The GrillGrate is made of this material and is shaped to maximize the infrared grilling method. Hope that helps. Have a sizzling day.

  19. ReplyBilly

    Very thorough review. I'm excited to "resurrect" my old Jenn-Air with GrillGrates. I am leaning towards using the 17" on a 19" opening to make it easier to ignite the grill as I would have to lift the grates each time to ignite multiple burners . Would this inch of space on the front and back be any great disadvantage? Also, I have a ceramic sear-burner that takes up the leftmost 10 of 36" of the grill. Would leaving this much of an opening affect the performance of the GrillGrates? Thanks! Billy

    • ReplyGrill Junkie Staff

      Hi Billy....thank you for the positive feedback on the review! With regards to the resurrection of your Jenn-Air grill, we wish you well. Sounds like fun. To address your question regarding the 17" GrillGrates, we don't see a disadvantage whatsoever. Given the fact that it is best to leave a small airflow gap, combined with your spacing need to fire up the burners, the 17" GrillGrates will work out perfectly. Leaving the sear burner untouched will be no problem either as the GrillGrates interlock creating a separate infrared section on your grill while not losing the sear burner. Hope this helps! Have a sizzling day!

  20. ReplyRaySig

    Nice review. I just ordered a set! Only questions .I saw a video using wood pellets to help smoke with the Grill Grates. But the guy doesn't say how much to put in the grooves or how long it takes to get going for pellets to get heated. Is ok to put in grooves and cook meats regular to add smoking flavor? Or use A-MAZON PELLET tube? Also far left burner of 4 is out. Unable to get rusted screw off. Will GRILL GRATES over that burner still get evenly heated? Thx, Ray

    • ReplyGrill Junkie Staff

      Hi Ray, Thanks for the positive feedback on our Grill Grate review! As far as putting pellets in the grooves to obtain a smoky flavor, it depends on the type of grill you have and if there is an open flame directly under and very close to the surface in order to set the pellets afire. Without an open flame the pellets typically will not ignite. Overall, it may be best to simply throw a handful of pellets directly on the coals or, as you mentioned, use a devise such as the A-Maze-N Pellet tube for charcoal grills or a v-smoker box for a gas grill http://www.bbqguys.com/item_item_2908404.html?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=shopping-campaign&utm_term=2908404&adbrand=Charcoal%20Companion&adbrand=Charcoal%20Companion Having the pellets in the grooves of the Grill Grates may interfere with the overall searing and infrared features. With regards to your dead burner and its effect on the heat transfer on the GrillGrate surface, it should not be a major concern due to the fact that the product is design to interlock and transfer heat evenly over the surface. The additional benefit of having the burner off is that you may be creating a cool zone on your grill which can be used to move food to that area that may be cooking too fast or simply needs to be warmed. Hope that helps. Have a sizzling day!

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