Cast Iron Grill Grates
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Thread: Cast Iron Grill Grates

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    Cast Iron Grill Grates

    About 3 or 4 years ago, I got what I thought was a pretty decent grill. Overall it's held up well, but the cast iron grill grates are starting to rust pretty bad and are flaking to the point that I don't want to cook on them right now.

    I have two options (if you don't include buying a new grill!)...

    I can order a complete set of replacement cast iron grates for $110 (including shipping). These aren't straight from the factory, but they are an exact match size-wise. Or...

    I can order a custom cut set of aluminum grates from these guys. With shipping, it will cost right at $200 (but I get a "free" flipper made for these grates! ). I don't mind paying the extra money if the aluminum will last pretty much forever. I can get them cut to the right length, but they only come in one width so I'll have about 1" of space at each end of my grill, which is no big deal.

    Has anyone used these aluminum grates? From what I've seen online, they get good reviews - but I haven't seen a review from anyone on GTT (and that's what counts since I trust you guys!). Should they last a lot longer than the cast iron grates?

    If I go with cast iron, is there anything I can spray on them after I'm done cooking to keep them from rusting?

    I'd like to get something ordered today so the pressure is on you guys to help me out!!
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    2LaneCruzer's Avatar
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    Sorry I can't respond directly to your question. I have been grilling for 50 years, but never had a gas grill, nor used either aluminum or cast iron grates. Have Webers and a Big Green Egg. I can add this much though; the plated steel grates eventually peel and rust. The ceramic grates eventually flake off and have to be discarded. I purchased a Stainless Steel grate for my BGE and I love it. Pricey, but well worth it. If you have a SS option, you can't go wrong.
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    For that kind of money, I'd grab the grates you have and go find someone to sandblast them for you. Once they are cleaned up, fire up the grill, coat them with (cooking) grease or lard and put them back in your grill. An hour or so at a 300° temp should leave them well seasoned.

    This is why I never scrub my grates. People wash them and that takes all the coating off and they rust. I just leave mine in the grill and the grease/oils from whatever I cooked last sits there until the next time I use it. If you start the grill up and let it heat up fully the next time you use it, the heat will kill of anything that might hurt you.

    I did have a set of aluminum grates in an older grill I had. They got brittle after a couple of years and broke when the grill got moved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    For that kind of money, I'd grab the grates you have and go find someone to sandblast them for you. Once they are cleaned up, fire up the grill, coat them with (cooking) grease or lard and put them back in your grill. An hour or so at a 300° temp should leave them well seasoned.

    This is why I never scrub my grates. People wash them and that takes all the coating off and they rust. I just leave mine in the grill and the grease/oils from whatever I cooked last sits there until the next time I use it. If you start the grill up and let it heat up fully the next time you use it, the heat will kill of anything that might hurt you.

    I did have a set of aluminum grates in an older grill I had. They got brittle after a couple of years and broke when the grill got moved.
    This ^^^^^^^^^^^

    Or wire brush them well and then season them like you would a cast iron skillet. Put some Crisco vegetable shortening on them and fire up the grill.
    I have a Weber Genesis grill that came with cast iron grates and they have held up well using JimR's method.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbnpp05 View Post
    This ^^^^^^^^^^^

    Or wire brush them well and then season them like you would a cast iron skillet. Put some Crisco vegetable shortening on them and fire up the grill.
    I have a Weber Genesis grill that came with cast iron grates and they have held up well using JimR's method.
    If they really are cast iron , this is your answer!

    Clean them up, season just like cast iron cookware and they'll last forever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by balrog006 View Post
    If they really are cast iron , this is your answer!

    Clean them up, season just like cast iron cookware and they'll last forever.
    That's probably the real question! They're probably not really cast iron. I'm getting large flakes of metal rusting off these things. Almost coming off in layers.

    And like you guys, I never clean the stuff off. Just leave it on there until the next time and then burn it off.
    '05 JD 3520 Open Station w/ 300CX FEL
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    A couple of old Gravelys
    Help a Vet and his dog

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    2LaneCruzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark02tj View Post
    That's probably the real question! They're probably not really cast iron. I'm getting large flakes of metal rusting off these things. Almost coming off in layers.

    And like you guys, I never clean the stuff off. Just leave it on there until the next time and then burn it off.
    Come to think of it, that's exactly what the fireplace grate in my fireplace is doing. I know it's not cast iron; some sort of welded steel bar.
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