Grillgrates are an interesting new addition to the grill aficionado’s arsenal. Grilling is not so much a science as it is an art. Getting the perfect sear on the meat without drying or over cooking takes the proper equipment. Using Grillgrates over a grill’s own grate is a step toward achieving outdoor cooking perfection.
What are Grillgrates?
These plates are made of hard anodized Aluminum. This is metal is one of the best conductors of heat available on the market. It out-performs more traditional grill materials such as cast iron or steel. It provides an equally heated surface, perfect for getting the surface of the meat to optimal cooking temperature. The surface is extremely durable. It can withstand temperatures up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Each plate has a flat surface at the bottom. This prevents uneven heating and flame flare-ups. The solid surface also catches the juices from the meat, helping to keep the meat moist. T-shaped raised rails hold the meat. The unique rail surface provides maximum meat to metal surface contact and optimal heat conduction. They also leave perfect grill sear lines.
The GrillGrate Cooking Method
The grill plates are 5.25 inch wide interlocking rectangular panels. They can be used to replace a grill’s built in grate or simply laid over the existing grates. Each panel has evenly distributed venting holes between the raised rails. These holes serve to allow heat and gases from the flames close to the meat. When the grill is closed the heat will circulate much like in a convection oven.
Most of the flame’s heat will be caught below the flat plate. The plate then heats up evenly and becomes the main source of heat in the grill. This is a similar concept to infrared grilling. Infrared grilling works by using high heat and a shorter cooking time. Between 300 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit meat will brown and caramelize from natural sugars and any sauces applied. This is known as the Maillard reaction. A browned and evenly caramelized meat surface is the tastiest type of meat. Fast heating allows the grill to quickly sear in juices as they quickly cook meats and other grilled food at the optimal point for the Maillard reaction. Use of a Grillgrate plate can help provide an infrared-like result with far less cost.
Chicken with skin will end up absolutely crisp but unburned. Delicate fish skin and flesh will cook without disintegrating. Steaks will be more evenly browned and cooked to a medium rare perfection. Burgers will cook perfectly without sitting in their own grease.
The grill surface between the plates catches any dripping from the meat. It is then vaporized underneath the meat, keeping the moisture in the meat. The same principle can be applied to other juices. Any sauce will carbonize and release the flavor into the meat. Other flavoring can be used as well. Wood chips, sawdust and pellets are a nice addition. A thin layer of wood will smolder when placed on the Grillgrate and wonderfully flavor the meat.
Great for More than Meat
A Grillgrate is perfect for cooking non-meat foods. A modern favorite, the grilled pizza, is a great food to cook on the evenly heated surface of an aluminum grill plate. Vegetarians and others will be able to enjoy delicious grilled vegetables that are browned but still juicy.
Which Grills Benefit The Most?
Most grill masters agree that Grillgrates can be used on nearly any grill. There are grills that will benefit more than others. Gas grills will be able to enjoy the smoking effects of a wood or charcoal grill using natural wood products. Pellet grills and smokers will be able to utilize more infrared heat instead of convection.
Grilling ‘low and slow’ briskets and other large cuts of meat will also be more fuel efficient. It will also be much easier to set up a two heat zone scenario. This is great for preparation of several foods at one time for a fully grilled meal. Both novice and skilled grill chefs will enjoy a Grillmate on their grill.