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Stainless Steel Gas Grills

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Post Tue Feb 03, 2004 3:41 am
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
Many of you already know I sell grills at Home Depot. Most of the Weber gas grills we cary have black enamel paint like the kettle charcoal models. Most of the other surfaces on these grills are either stainless steel, porcelain coted, or enamel painted.
The next step up offers stainless steel parts in place of enamel and porcelain coated parts.
Just by looking at the grills, I get the impression that the enamel and porcelain coated parts would cook better and last longer but the stainless steel is more expensive.
Is the stainless steel really better?
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:02 am
Guest

Speaking from personal experience, I found cast iron works the best. My second choice would be porcelain coated. I’m done with stainless steel. I’ve replaced so many stainless steel grates in the past. They get discolored and messy very easily. Also they don’t sear as well as cast iron. If your grill company does not make cast iron for your grill, you can just get one the fits on top of your own grill (use it as grill topper). You will notice a big difference in grilling.

Post Tue Feb 03, 2004 3:45 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Ok I'll disagree with the guest.
I've used most and right now I'm 1 year into stainless and love it. So I can't speak on the longeviety yet but time will tell. As for the rest here goes:
Will it discolor...YES. It's called seasoning, it happens, you want it to happen.
Coating will peel. Period.
Cast Iron will rust. Period.
Stainless will never rust or peel.
I think they clean easily but thats just me and 600 degrees of grease and gunk burning heat. Ash scrapes off easily.

I have no opinion on the heat transfer. I've had no problem myself.

There's a reason they use stainless and its not just to bump up the price. Its a high end product, but you get what you pay for.

Hope this helps.
Image

Post Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:08 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I too prefer stainless especially for cooking and preparation surfaces. Some folks mistake cheaper chrome plated grates for stainless. The chrome plated ones will warp under heat, flake the plating, and rust over time. Stainless is a high quality, almost care free product.

Enamel burns off easily and rust will form over time. Even the high temp stuff has to be reapplied periodically. Never use paint on cooking surfaces.

Porcelain coating protects better that paint but can chip easily if not handled with care. Rust will for in chipped areas. It also cleans easily and shines like new, whereas paint will oxidize in a short time.

Unfortunately I haven’t used cast iron on the grill, but I understand when seasoned properly it’s a long lasting product.

IMHO stainless really is a better product!
Image

Post Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:30 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3046
Location: Atlanta-GA
I’ve used cast iron for three years now. It never rusted on me. I coated with oil after every use and heat it up, and that keeps a nice coating on it. It’s no different than any cast iron cookware; it lasts forever if you take good care of it. And I don’t think anyone would disagree about cast iron heat conduction or searing capabilities.

Post Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:39 pm
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
Thanks for the input. I was beginning to get the impression that stainless steel was more about impressing the neighbors with big shiny objects on the patio than turning out quality food.
I've noticed that the stainless steel cooking grates are a lot thinner than the cast iron ones. Do they offer a comperable sear and heat distribution?
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:20 am
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
I think a distinction needs to be made between SS on the outside and SS on the inside where it directly affects cooking performance.

SS on the outside lends itself to easier cleaning and a more upscale appearance.

SS on the inside is a different matter.

Weber charcoal grills and cheaper gas units use chrome plated steel. Quick to heat and quick to loose any stored heat, hence the diminished sear on the flip side (usually).

Porcelain coated steel (usually thinner) Grates suffer from the same problem.

Cast iron sue to being more brittle needs to be made thicker, thus is stores more heat energy and releases it slower. Same with porcelain coated cast iron.

My experience has been after using coated cast iron, which rusted after the coating wore off and heavy (almost pinky thick) Stainless grates for an extended period of time on the same grill. The material is not that important. What is important is the mass. Thicker will sear better. Period. I don't care if it's a grill or a skillet. A large ROCK will give off it's heat at a higher temp for a longer time than a smaller one.

Cast iron grates in my case are too labor intensive to maintain. Porcelain coated anything will wear out quicker than you think.

Heavy rods on a stainless grate will last almost forever. Who cares if they don't sparkle.

The guys on TV all start out every show cooking on new grates. That's why they have sponsors!

Post Wed Feb 04, 2004 9:29 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Great points Yard!

But whats wrong with impressing the neighbors by the way?!?
Image

Post Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:52 am
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
That helps a lot. The Weber stainless cooking grates I'm comparring with the cast iron ones are pretty thin. That's what made me question why the grill was neccesarilly better than the cheaper model with cast iron porcelain coated grates.

As for impressing the neighbors, I think its best to impress them with the food off the grill first and foremost. So when selecting a grill, I just want to know which ones will turn out great food and which ones are mainly just for being sparkley and decatorive.
Is it cookware first and patio funiture second, or vice versa?
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:55 am
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Cookware.

Just be sure to move your plate BEFORE you open the cooler.

Post Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:57 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Food First
Cookware Second
Furniture Third

Unless tiki torches count as furniture! :)

Although I threw in music before the furniture. A little rock and roll goes a long way!
Image

Post Wed Feb 04, 2004 3:20 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
OK, music's good, but no DOORS!

I'll light my own fires, thank you very much.

Post Thu Feb 05, 2004 4:32 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
I have a Weber Genesis in which I replaced the original porcelain-coated steel grates with SS. I find that the sear is about the same, but the durability is much better for SS. I wish Weber made heavy SS grates for my grill, but until they do, I'll stick with what I have.

As far as SS outside, IMO, that's a way to drive up the price and impress the neighbors. My grill is on a covered deck, and I keep a cover on it, so it's not a fair comparison, but I know several people who have one sitting outside for as long as 5 years with no problem. That isn't really paint, it's a baked-on powder coat that is extremely durable. Don't chip it, use a cover, and it'll last a long time.

PaulP
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Thu Feb 05, 2004 6:46 pm
Forrest rare
rare

Posts: 28
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
I'm really happy with my new Weber Summit Silver A with it's stainless-steel cooking grate. Thanks Steven! Great sear and cleans up nicely with a stainless-steel wire brush (made by Lincoln Welding, available at Lowes or Home Depot). I see no reason why it shouldn't last.
Forrest

Post Fri Feb 06, 2004 12:42 am
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Forrest....I'm glad that the new grill is working well for you. I was hoping you would let us in on how it was going.

Pete

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