I had a chance recently to test out a new set of GrillGrates from GrillGrate.com. These are exactly what they sound like – replacement grill grates – and they’re one of the easiest upgrades I’ve made to my grill.
FTC Disclosure: GrillGrate.com sent me a review set of grates at no cost, making this a solicited review. I do not receive any other compensation for the review, however.
First, what are they? Unlike regular grates, GrillGrates are heavier pieces of metal that link together and form a coherent grilling surface on the grill. They offer a lot more surface area and have much less air moving through them, which makes them operate at significantly higher temperatures than the default grates that came with my grill.
Installing them is stupid easy. Remove the old grates. Maybe clean up some of the mess inside. Put the new grates on. An 8-year old (albeit a strong one, the GrillGrates are heavy) could do it. No tools or anything required.
One of the most useful features of GrillGrates is that they’re double-sided. One side is the standard grill that gives you nice grill marks on whatever you put on them. The other side is a flat, smooth surface like a griddle – which is the side I use more often, frankly. Because they interlink, if you bend them carefully in the correct direction, you can lift the entire grilling surface and flip it over all in one go.
They’re energy savers, too. Either you run your grill at normal burner temperatures and you grill hotter and faster, or you run your burners lower and save gas. Because the grates heat up so fast and much hotter, you don’t need to use nearly as much fuel or take as long to cook things.
The only downsides? I’ve been reluctant to go slamming my cast iron pans around on them for fear of marring the surface. The grates are really well-machined, smooth anodized aluminum, and I don’t know they’d tolerate being hammered with a few pounds of cast iron very well; I’ve kept the old grates for when I need to abuse the surface of the grill. And because they’re anodized aluminum and not iron or steel, they would offer little to no protection if you had to use them in a pinch against small firearms as makeshift armor – aluminum will tend to shatter more easily when struck by bullets. Hold onto your cast iron for that. (though obviously they’re better than nothing)
To see them in action, I cut this short video:
Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.
So far, I’ve made:
- Fried rice (yes, with the griddle side, you can!)
- Green beans
- Garlic naan
- Mixed vegetables
- Breakfast sandwiches
- Corn on the cob
The only food that absolutely does not work on the GrillGrates is anything that’s purely a liquid, like eggs. There aren’t many holes in the grates, but there are enough that you’d still lose most of the liquid to the grill; in that regard, it’s not a true griddle surface.
GrillGrates ship with a spatula designed for the raised rails, as well as a wire cleaning brush. The cost is dependent on the side of your grill but ranges anywhere from US60 to US200 depending on how many panels you need. If you want an exact fit down to the eighth inch, you can commission custom cut panels as well for more.
Would I buy them with my own money? If I hadn’t had a chance to try them, I wouldn’t have because I wouldn’t have understood the difference they make. Now that I’ve tried them? You bet. And I’ll probably buy a set for my father, too.
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