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View Full Version : Cast Iron or Stainless?


jeffsasmokin
01-12-2005, 05:05 AM
Ok, guys - here's a question for ya. This weekend I am investing in a new Gas Grill. What I need to know is which burner is superior.......Cast Iron or Tubular Stainless? My present grill has cast iron, they're heavy duty and work well, but they do and will rust. All the "High End" grills I've seen thus far (and believe me, I've been doing my homework) have the tubular stainless - hands down! I suppose that should tell me something, huh?
The grill I am contemplating is awesome! It is 100% stainless - the lid, the body, the grates, the burners and even the flavor bars! The only thing not stainless are the wheels and the Brass side burner.

We use an El Cheapo to grill fresh Clams all the time - mainly because the salt water absolutely destroys everything metal. To those of you who may own a similar grill - is it safe to do the same on a 100% stainless rig? I get tired of having to replace the guts on the El Cheapo twice a year. However, I do not want to chance ruining this new one if the salt water will discolor or somehow pit the stainless steel.

Thanks for any opinions you may wish to share with me!

kcquer
01-12-2005, 07:01 AM
Jeff, What I understand about gas burners is that stainless is desirable for its longevity and cast iron for its higher heat output. Each has its own pluses. Cast iron will get better high heat for searing steaks but will require replacement more often than stainless. I have an all (nearly all, lid end caps are cast aluminum) stainless rig, that just doesn't get as hot for searing as the cheap units I'm familiar with.

Check out Phil's post in this thread http://www.bandera-brethren.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=4695&highlight=gas

brdbbq
01-12-2005, 09:08 AM
Mine has brass 25 years warranty. made in Joplin.

spicewine
01-12-2005, 09:31 AM
Cast Iron for me! I've had mine for 6+ years. After the 4th year I hit them with a wire brush and they have been good to go ever since. I really like the even heat distribution. If you think about it, treat it like one of grandmas old frying pans. If they are seasoned lightly they shouldn't rust. Just a thought.

parrothead
01-12-2005, 10:14 AM
The newer grills have a better design, si it does not matter as much. With all of the newer grills I have seen, there is a deflector over the burner that stops crap from going into the burner. Makes stuff last, and work better, longer.

BBQchef33
01-12-2005, 11:08 AM
i have grills with both. The DCS has huge cast iron burners, the Broilmaster is stainless steel.

They are both rusty, they are both flaking, the broilmaster(Stainless) is about 10 years old and the DCS(cast iron) is 6-7. They both work well. They ar bothe on the original burners. I dont see a huge difference in heat output, but i do think the cast iron runs a little cooler, but more even. Both will sear a steak. Bottom line, i f i had the choice, i would go that most fits the grill. The really big grills i like the eveneness of the cast iron, the smaller residential i thing stainless is probably best.

BUT.. IMHO... Flavorizer bars are Taboo... gimme a lava rock or ceramic briquette anyday.


By the way.. heres a trick... To get any decent gas grill to searing temps, lay a double or triple thick sheet of HD aluminum foil, shiney side down over the grates and push/bend it up the sides an inch or two to make it as tight a seal as you can. Turn burners on high for about 10 miutes or so... When u remove the foil, drop on the steak. And lay the foil back on top loosly just to reflect the heat back down. Your initial temps will be much much higher than usual. Be warned though.. the grills with cheesy rolled steel grates will warp and crack. Those grate will be glowing bright red when u remove the foil.

this is also a great way to clean the heavier style grates and rock. I do it once or twice a season like this.. After covering with a few layers of heavy foil and tucking up the sides as tight as possible, run the grill like this for about 20-30 minutes. remove the foil and everything under it will be white ash. Works similar to a self cleaning oven.

parrothead
01-12-2005, 11:15 AM
I don't like the lave rocks at all. They can explode, embedding what you are cooking with little rock particles. Ceramic would probably be better. But then you get stuff dripping directly on the burners with more chance of a flair up.

chad
01-12-2005, 12:38 PM
I haven't used lava rock or ceramics for over 10 years. I've retrofitted previous grills with 3rd party diffusers and my current 4 burner grill has heavy procelinized cast iron difusers. Oh yeah, the current grill has brass burners.

Lava rock, especially, gets coated and imbedded with grease and other drippings -- this leads to flareups. you can clean the lava rock but very few people do -- recommendations are to turn the rocks over periodically to burn off the grease. I think the advise is the same for ceramics.

I've never seen a loss of heat, flavor, or anyting else from not useing rocks in the grill. The diffusers have done a great job of protecting the burners from drips and still allow the dripping to atomized for flavor. It's easier to control flairups, too, since you spray the diffuser and the greas runs off - not into the burner.

But, like everything else we deal with in this group - you'll get all kinds of advise - use what you wish and evaluate, evaluate, evaluate! :D

BigAl
01-12-2005, 02:43 PM
Don't have any gas stuff, and after reading this, if I wasn't sure before, I am now, I don't need any gas stuff.

Trout_man22
01-12-2005, 03:30 PM
Don't have any gas stuff, and after reading this, if I wasn't sure before, I am now, I don't need any gas stuff.

I have gas and alot of it

BBQchef33
01-12-2005, 03:42 PM
i never had a lava rock explode.. uhhh.. they come from volcanos...its volcanic rock.. dont think we can come that close to the temps need to go boom.. i also flip the rocks fairly often and replace them every 2-3 years. Flare ups are just from not watchin what your doin...

I Dont like them flavor bars. They may be a technological marvel as Weber puts it, but i like the good old fashioned rock.. next best thing to charcoal.

parrothead
01-12-2005, 04:17 PM
I've seen them exlode. If they are wet for any reason they explode.

Saiko
01-12-2005, 06:03 PM
Gas grills are great for cleaning off bandera racks. Oh, and as a home for my rat poison packs, since they still tend to favor that area.

jeffsasmokin
01-12-2005, 08:22 PM
Gas grills are great for cleaning off bandera racks. Oh, and as a home for my rat poison packs, since they still tend to favor that area.??????????

Samichlaus
01-12-2005, 08:30 PM
This Weber Genesis has held up well. I live about 1 mile from the beach. The burners are stainless. I don't know much about cast iron.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85/samichlaus/0d4e6206.jpg

Bill-Chicago
01-12-2005, 08:38 PM
I've seen them exlode. If they are wet for any reason they explode.

Greg soaks his lava rocks

pass it on

Wayne
01-12-2005, 09:50 PM
GAS!!!!

Ya Right, gas! The only gas I have with BBQ requires beans and Guinness.

The_Kapn
01-12-2005, 09:58 PM
I have a gas grill and have had one for years.
Do I love gas?--NO.
Do I love gas when wifey says (at 5 PM)--" I have some steaks/chicken/shrimp/burgers and we need to eat at 6!"? --YES I DO :lol:

Mine has stainless burner and ceramic briquettes and I just don't stress over it.

I think all the advice is right on--for a part time cooker anyway.

COOK ON!

TIM

BBQchef33
01-12-2005, 10:19 PM
I have a gas grill and have had one for years.
Do I love gas?--NO.
Do I love gas when wifey says (at 5 PM)--" I have some steaks/chicken/shrimp/burgers and we need to eat at 6!"? --YES I DO :lol:

Mine has stainless burner and ceramic briquettes and I just don't stress over it.

I think all the advice is right on--for a part time cooker anyway.

COOK ON!

TIM

My sentiments exactly.. and also very true.. i use the gas grills more for cleaning smoker racks and water pans than cookin.

Neil
01-13-2005, 04:40 AM
only use a small tabletop gas grill occasionally when weather is too bad to fire up the coals in the Performer.

jeffsasmokin
01-13-2005, 05:25 AM
Thanks Guys! Some very interesting and varied opinions. I too am a hardcore charcoal and wood fanatic. But realisticly speaking, they do provide a degree of convenience. As with most things, this day and age - they have made vast improvements on them and when you live in "Hurricane Alley", like I do - they become an invaluable resource. Talk about having a hard time finding Charcaol - it can get brutal out there fighting everyone for that last bag on the shelf! :shock:

I have noticed that some of the Top End grills now have Cast Brass burners - they must last forever, but I have no desire to pay $1000 for a Jenn-Aire. I'd rather use that for a Klose BYC!

I figured the Charcoal vs. Gas, would be a divisive issue - especially amongst us Bandera Brethren, but I'm glad to see there are some of us that settle for the convenience of Gas......and really, that's what I am using it for.

As far as utilizing Lava rock or ceramic briquettes - a Weber rep told me not to do that on a new grill not designed for them. Obviously, opinions vary on that subject.

Come Saturday, I'll let ya'll know what comes home in the back of my Pick-up! :D Can't Wait!!!!!!!!!!

jt
01-13-2005, 09:12 AM
Jeff, I've got the Jenn-Aire. Nice unit. Usually when I use the grill it's for the convenience of quick or last minute cooking. And the wife is willing to go out and fire it up whereas she won't touch the smoker!

racer_81
01-13-2005, 11:21 AM
I've seen them exlode. If they are wet for any reason they explode.

Yep. Makes sense. Volcanic steam explosions are not uncommon, so it makes sense to me that rapid heating of watery lava rock would explode.

jeffsasmokin
01-13-2005, 04:31 PM
Jeff, I've got the Jenn-Aire. Nice unit. Usually when I use the grill it's for the convenience of quick or last minute cooking. And the wife is willing to go out and fire it up whereas she won't touch the smoker!Yes, it's a very nice unit, indeed! As far as my wife's concerned, outdoor cooking is for the Men!!! Can I get a Tim the Tool Man: Argh, Argh, Argh! 8)