I purchased a set of GrillGrates so I could put them to the test and offer this first-person, hands-on review.
What We Like
What We Didn't Like
Bottom Line: GrillGrates are a premium add-on to any grill setup, but their ability to enhance heat distribution, improve searing and grill marks, and prevent flare-ups makes them a worthwhile investment for any serious backyard BBQ chef.
I was pumped to get my hands on a set of GrillGrates to test them out. I used them on my Weber gas grill and cooked filet mignon and skirt steak on them.
Read on to discover my first-hand experience with these GrillGrates.
What Are GrillGrates?
GrillGrates are a very cool grilling accessory designed to enhance the performance of your grill by retaining more heat and giving you awesome, steakhouse-worthy grill marks.
They are hard anodized raised aluminum grate panels that sit on top of your existing grates, providing a new cooking surface on your grill. Or, you can do what I did, and remove your existing grates entirely, and just use GrillGrates in their place.
Each GrillGrate panel can be attached to other GrillGrates to create a new grate system of any size.
The panels interlock, allowing the entire system to function as one.
How Do GrillGrates Work?
The GrillGrate system works by capturing and evenly distributing heat from below the grate and funneling that heat into the top of the raised rails.
This design allows for really good heat retention and distribution, which gives you those perfect cross-section sear marks, and not to mention a more even cooking experience.
The valleys between the raised rails vaporize any moisture and drippings, returning that flavor to the meat as it’s cooking, while also preventing flare-ups.
What Are GrillGrates Made Of?
GrillGrates are made of hard-anodized aluminum, a material that conducts heat more efficiently than traditional cast iron, porcelain-coated steel, or stainless steel grill grates.
Translation: these grates get really hot!
This allows the temperature at the grate to be between 100-300 degrees hotter than the air in the hood of the grill. And trust me, you can tell the difference in heat!
My biggest complaint with my Weber gas grill is that I often felt like the grates didn't get hot enough. My steaks never got a really awesome sear. Ever since switching to the GrillGrates, I've seen a noticeable difference.
One other bonus: hard-anodized aluminum will not rust, ensuring the longevity of your GrillGrates.
GrillGrates & Grill Compatibility
You're probably wondering:
What types of grills do GrillGrates work with?
Well, GrillGrates can be used with just about any type of grill.
Whether you have a gas grill, a charcoal grill, a pellet grill, or even a kamado grill, you can likely use GrillGrates.
(You can see all of the different grill brands that GrillGrates supports here).
As I mentioned, I use GrillGrates on my Weber gass grill, and it really makes a difference not only in the heat of the grill, but also the heat distribution. With a lot of gas grills, you'll find there are some spots that are warmer than others. GrillGrates really solve this problem.
You can also use GrillGrates on charcoal and pellet grills.
My biggest issue with my Traeger is that it simply doesn't get hot enough to act as an actual "grill"—meaning, you can't really get any sear marks or cross-sections.
Well, by tossing a GrillGrate on top of your smoker, you'll now be able to get those really hot temperatures that are great for searing.
GrillGrates come in different lengths and can be customized to fit your grill size. The panels interlock to create a grate system of any size, providing full coverage for your grill.
They can either sit on top of your existing factory grate or replace the grates that came with your grill.
GrillGrates Features & Benefits
Here are the best things about owning a set of GrillGrates.
The best part of owning the GrillGrates are the beautiful cross-section sear marks that you're able to get.
Just look at the picture above. I have never been able to get sear marks like that on my $1,000+ Weber gas grill.
With the GrillGrates, I'm able to get marks like that every single time
Gas grills don't do a great job with even heat distribution. One side of your grill gets hotter than the other, which can lead to uneven cooking.
GrillGrates are really good at retaining heat. This gives you a more even cooking surface.
GrillGrates are designed in a way where any drippings from the meat are vaporized right back into your food for added flavor and moisture.
With traditional grill grates, these drippings usually just fall into the flames.
Speaking of food drippings getting into the flames: by vaporizing the drippings, GrillGrates can help to prevent flare-ups from happening.
I noticed when using my GrillGrates that I was having far fewer flareups that I normally would with my regular Weber grill grates.
As I noted previously, you can use GrillGrates with pretty much any type of grill, and any size of grill.
Setup & Cleaning GrillGrates
Setting up and cleaning my GrillGrates was pretty straightforward. Here's what you need to know.
GrillGrate panels come together by interlocking with each other.
One side of the panel has a C channel that perfectly fits other grates to connect panels into a grate system.
To lock the panels, just slide the grate into the channel and lay flat on the grill.
You can also separate the panels by lifting up on the grates, and they will unhinge for cleaning.
Just like any other grilling tool, you need to clean your GrillGrates to make sure they last a long time.
I notice that my GrillGrates tend to clean best immediately after using them. So once I've removed the food from the grates, I'll grab my Grill Rescue Brush—dipped in a little cold water—and give the grates a nice cleaning. This technique seems to get rid of about 90% of the grease and debris from the grates.
Here's what the GrillGrates website says about cleaning the grates:
- Remove any major debris from the raised rails while your grill is warming up.
- Avoid high heat burn offs as these are not recommended. Prolonged exposure to temperatures exceeding 850°F can result in warping or melting of your GrillGrates.
- For the occasional deep clean, GrillGrates can be cleaned in the sink or washtub. This can be good for removing marinades and sauces. Soak the GrillGrates in regular dish soap. Don't use harsh chemicals on the grates.
- Scrub your grates with a sponge or Brillo PadKeep in mind that blackened surfaces are part of the seasoning process, so deep cleaning should only be done occasionally.
Remember, never put your GrillGrates in the dishwasher, and don't use oven cleaners or harsh caustic cleaners on them.
Price: Premium For A Long-Term Investment
I paid $178.98 for my GrillGrates, which fit on my Weber Genesis II gas grill.
Look: GrillGates aren't cheap. They're a luxury purchase for the serious griller.
The question is: how much are perfect grill marks and a ripping hot grill worth it to you?
For me, it's worth it, because I use my grill(s) almost every single day. And when I'm cooking a steak like a ribeye or New York Strip, I want it cooked right. Which means perfect grill marks and a great sear.
So if you only use your grill from time-to-time, the GrillGrates probably aren't worth it to you.
But, if you're like me, and you're out grilling up steaks multiple times per week and you care about the quality of your steaks, I really think GrillGrates are a no-brainer.
The BBQ experience with GrillGrates is awesome and I use mine all the time. They deliver superior performance by improving heat distribution, enhancing searing, and reducing flare-ups. The hard-anodized aluminum construction ensures durability, while the interlocking design offers versatility for various grill sizes. If you're a regular griller and willing to invest in your grilling experience, GrillGrates are a valuable addition to your toolkit.