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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.

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Unread 11-01-2010, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default Cooking Grates ?

I have no experience grilling on cast Iron or porcelain covered cast iron grates. What is the difference cleaning, heat retention, durability, maintenance, etc..
Weber 22.5 Performer / Meadow Creek TS60 Smoker / Weber 26.75 One Touch Gold / Lynx 30" Propane
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Unread 11-01-2010, 10:10 PM   #2
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they do rust and require a little more TLC but they cook great. Clean easily then spray with pam before you put it away.
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Unread 11-01-2010, 10:33 PM   #3
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My old chargriller has cast iron grates, it's about 7 years old.
The entire thing has spent 2 winters outside, un-covered. Most of the time it's garage kept.

I clean the cast iron grates as soon as I can after cooking by brushing them down (wire brush) just enough to remove food debrie and let the heat of the coals finish the cleaning for me. Usually the next morning I coat the cast iron with Olive Oil and store the unit away from water/rain.

7 years and rolling; the sheet metal is getting a tad rusty, but the cast iron is doing great.

I'd say I've got another 4 or 5 years left before either the smoker or the grates give out.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 06:40 AM   #4
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When my cast Iron grates get nasty on my Chargriller that is always outside, uncovered and barely used I take them off and stick them in the firebox of my off-set smoker. This burns off all the junk then I coat with an oil cooking spray and put back.
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Unread 11-02-2010, 09:09 AM   #5
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They both take a little extra time to heat up, but leave great sear marks. They also stay hot even when you throw a big hunka cold meat on em. Porcelain are less likely to rust, though after a while (depending on quality) the porcelain starts to chip off. They're still good, just require more attention as mentioned ^^. I've used stainless, but nothing works for grillin like iron, in my opinion. Smokin is a whole different story since the heat of the grates is less of an issue.

Last edited by starvinmarvin; 11-02-2010 at 09:09 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Unread 11-02-2010, 09:57 AM   #6
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All the above, to include the cast iron grates can crack easily. No experince with the porcelin grates.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 09:37 PM   #7
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I've got a 20+ year old grill with cast iron grates. I scrub them clean before every cook but that's about it. Once every 5 years or so, I refurb the grill which means I scrub everything as clean as possible and apply hi temp paint to the sheet metal. The grates will out last the sheet metal.

Once or twice a summer I will build a really hot fire and burn off the grates from stuff the brush misses.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 09:51 PM   #8
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I have experience with both types, as well as stainless and chrome plated. I do like the porcelain on one of my gassers as it makes clean up fast and easy. The cast iron grates, I do not clean, but have had people express concerns for their food safety. I prefer cast iron for the effect it can have on both appearance and thermal mass in cooking, in my mind, it is a superior metal for searing meats without a doubt. For smoking, I am less inclined to declare cast iron's superiority as I prefer thermal mass to be held away from the meat for smoking, thus I use a cast iron skillet under the meat in my kettle to hold thermal mass.
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