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Grill Marks

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Post Mon Aug 11, 2003 8:20 pm
petz raw

Posts: 2
Hi everybody! I'm from Europe where BBQing doesn't have the same tradition as in the USA. That's why i've got nobody to ask any questions about "serious" grilling or to watch how he's doin' it. But since I bought a WEBER 22-1/2 Charcoal Grill and a few of Steve's books, I'm becoming a BBQ-fanatic. So here's my first question:
I'm able to grill steaks that taste great, but I can't get these beautiful grill marks on 'em. What am I doing wrong? Is the heat too high/low? Any hints for me? Thanks for all advice from you experts to a "willing to learn" novice!

Post Mon Aug 11, 2003 10:55 pm

Petz, one idea would be to rub the hot grate with oil using a paper towel. This will help with grill marks. And, use tongs to hold the towel when rubbing the grate!


Post Mon Aug 11, 2003 10:58 pm

Sorry, I didn't log in and posted that last reply as guest. Geez, I wish they required us to log in before posting!


Post Tue Aug 12, 2003 6:42 am
petz raw

Posts: 2
Thanks, Grumpster!
But that's exactly what I'm doing. There must be another mistake in my technique: My Steaks get brown (not burned!!) all over. Should I try to reduce the heat or close the lid after searing?


Post Tue Aug 12, 2003 9:11 am
WeberBoy rare

Posts: 26
Location: Southeast PA

I have the same grill and had the same problem. The best method is high heat, let the cooking grate get hot before putting on the steaks and oil the steak/grate. Even with that you may not get the grill marks you are looking for with the standard stainless steel cooking grates. They just don't hold the heat well enough to give you the good marks.

I recently purchase a cast iron cooking grate for my 22.5" Weber. It takes a lot more work to maintain (seasoning, fighting rust, etc.), but it give you great grill marks!! I think Weber discontinued thier cast iron grate for the 22.5" Kettle. I purchased a Charbroil gas grill replacement grate from Home Depot for $25.00. It is square and fits nicely on the stainless steel grate.

Good Luck!


Post Tue Aug 12, 2003 10:52 am
chagan well done
well done

Posts: 1350
Location: Central NJ by way of NY
Weberboy called it right. If the grill is fairly new, you may have to allow the seasoning to build up a bit before the marks become more evident. Hey Grumpster, good to see you made it. You can set up your account so that when you visit the site, it will automatically log you in. It's a checkbox under your username and password. This way, you will always have your posts credited. .

No, it ain't burnt- it's barbecue

Post Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:42 pm
egkor rare

Posts: 39
Location: Tx
The standard cooking grate that comes with the Weber kettles does not have enough thickness and therefore heat retention to make grill marks.

One of the above posters has the right idea, get a thicker grate of cast iron (or porcelin coated cast iron) and just set it on top of the standard grate. Let the grate heat up, which should not be hard or long with a charcoal grill, 10 to 15 minutes or so should do it. Either oil the secondary grate, or have some oil on the steaks. Searing time depends on the thickness of the steaks. In general, initially the steak will stick to the grate. When its time to turn, the steak will release. Then you should see some nice grill marks.

And just to be sure, we are talking about a *hot* fire here, hot enough to really heat the grates and get a good sear and grill marks on the steaks.


Post Wed Aug 13, 2003 9:33 pm

Posts: 10
Location: Rochester, NY
I've also run into the problem where my first side browns nicely but not the other. The trick is to keep the grill free enough to flip the meat onto virgin grill grate. Also keeping the grate well oiled helps loads. I've seen also that grill marks are easier to get on a charcol grill than on my gas grill. Does anyone concur?
:D Spoon_Gouge :D

Post Fri Aug 15, 2003 11:13 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
All I can do is agree with what everyone else has said - Keep the grates well oiled and get them hot. I have a gas grill (natural gas not propane) and when I can cooking steaks or something that I want to show off with some great grill marks I fire the grill up and let the burners go on high for about 15 minutes before I put the meat on. The grill temperature is about 500-550 degrees at this point. I make sure that when I turn the steaks or rotate to get the crosshatch effect that I turn to a "fresh" part of the grill that is well oiled. My grill does have cast iron grates which I know helps alot, you would need a hotter grill if you are using stainless grates.

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