Choosing the right grill grates for your grill

If you are an avid outdoor chef, you know that the smallest changes can make a big difference in the flavor of your food. Different heating systems, materials and ingredients all combine to make a unique flavor that can be mouthwatering. Whether you use charcoal, gas, wood or electricity to fire up your grill, the right grill grates can make a big difference when cooking your meal.

Most grills today come with standard stainless steel grates. These are rust-resistant and are great for cooking a large variety of foods. If you think you will mix and match your meats, vegetables and other items, the versatility of a stainless steel grate may be a good match for you. Though these grates are easy to find, they are fairly expensive. They also do require some care and maintenance. Since they often are not dishwasher safe, you will have to clean them by hand and likely you will have to season them between uses. This is a small price to pay for even cooking and versatility, but you may want to consider other options if you have different cooking needs.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is a favorite for cooking in the kitchen as well as outdoors. You may have noticed that your grandmother's grill used a cast iron grate, and this style of grate is still popular today amongst many avid grill chefs. It's super-sturdy, cheap and heats evenly, which makes it a great grate for cooking or searing meats. If you only plan to grill meat, this is the grate for you. Cast iron must be seasoned after each use and is prone to rust, so you must make sure to keep it dry and free of moisture. Thus, it will have to be cleaned by hand. But the extra work pays off for people who like a perfectly grilled steak or burger.

Aluminum

Aluminum is a cheap, lightweight metal than can be a budget-friendly option if you just need something to tide you over until you get your next grill. It is not the greatest heat conductor, nor is it extremely durable, but it fits just about every budget. Since aluminum is a soft metal, it is often coated with porcelain or chrome. If you find a coated version of an aluminum grate, it will typically retain heat better and be much sturdier than bare aluminum.

Porcelain-coated metals

Porcelain is the hot new item in kitchen cookware, and this durable coating has found its way onto grill grates as well. Porcelain heats food evenly and is usually dishwasher safe, which can save you time in cleaning efforts. Cast iron, steel and aluminum grates are all available with porcelain coating. While rust-resistant, porcelain is more delicate than bare metal, so be sure to handle it gently to prevent chipping and wear and tear.

If you are in the market for new outdoor equipment, Sears is the one-stop shop for everything you need. From trampolines to patio furniture to grills, you can outfit your backyard for a perfect summer season.

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