When it comes to preparing consistently great foods on a Bar-B-Que grill, a cast iron grate is the way to go. It is the preferred grate of most professional chefs because a cast iron cooking surface has many benefits that make the task of grilling any type of food much easier. Here are reasons you may want to consider a cast iron grate for your Bar-B-Que grill.
Heat Retention: There are many factors that affect the heat levels in a Bar-B-Que grill. Temperature and humidity levels, wind gusts and the quality of the charcoal you are using can all contribute to constantly fluctuating heat levels when food is on the grill. The standard metal grates that come with most Bar-B-Que grills do not retain heat well, which can lead to the surface constantly heating up or cooling down as charcoal temperatures fluctuate. A cast iron grate overcomes this problem because, once heated, it retains consistent surface temperatures regardless of fluctuations to heat levels in the charcoals burning underneath it.
Even Heat Distribution: Fluctuating charcoal temperatures can also cause most standard metal grill grates to become hot on one side of the surface while the other side remains cool. This, unfortunately, leads to some foods being fully cooked while the rest is still underdone. A cast iron grate helps solve this dilemma because, as opposed to metal, it distributes and holds heat evenly across the entire surface once it is fully heated.
Less Sticking Of Food: All cast iron Bar-B-Que grill grates need to be seasoned with oil before use. Because of the oil seasoning, food will not stick to the surface of the grate as it often does on a metal surface. The even heat retention and distribution across a cast iron surface also lends to being assured that the food you are preparing will immediately begin to sear, as opposed to stick, when placed on the grill.
Sturdier Grilling Surface: Let’s face it, most standard metal grill grates are notorious for causing a problem with food falling into the bottom of the grill, especially fish. Cast iron grates are sturdier and designed with less open space to the charcoal below, which alleviates this problem. A sturdier and heavier surface also helps assure that the grate will not shift around when you are turning the food while grilling.
Better Grill Marks: There’s great satisfaction that comes with serving meats that have beautiful grill marks. With a cast iron grate, these marks are much easier to achieve because of the even heat distribution and less surface sticking.
Faster Cooking Times: With a cast iron grate, you will find that you are able to Bar-B-Que foods in shorter amounts of time. The even heat distribution across the grate surface creates consistent temperatures that surround the food on all sides.
Easier Cleaning: While cast iron Bar-B-Que grill grates should never be immersed in water, they are very easy to clean. Because of the oil used for seasoning the grate, anything that needs to be cleaned from the surface can usually be easily removed by simply wiping it off with a paper towel.
Longer Life: Metal grill grates tend to rust and wear out easily. If maintained properly, a cast iron grill grate can last a lifetime. It is important to keep the cast iron constantly seasoned to avoid problems with rust on the surface. But even if some rust does appear, it can be easily removed with a wire brush. After the brushing, the grate can be re-seasoned and brought back to its original condition.
Bar-B-Que grill cast iron grates are now widely available through a variety of sources. You can purchase them already seasoned or season them yourself following the instructions that come with the grate. Either way, you’ll be assured of a great Bar-B-Que grill experience.