Grill Grate Types: Stainless Steel and Porcelein
Cooking on a barbecue requires a grill or grate of some kind. The most commonly used is the stainless steel grill, but others are also available, including the porcelain and the cast iron grill grate. Since iron rusts easily, most cooks now avoid it in favor of iron covered with ceramics, as this affords some protection against corrosion. A stainless steel grill is often supplied with the barbecue, but cooks may wish to look around at other options. There are a range of different porcelain and stainless steel grill barbecue sets available from different manufacturers, so the choice comes down to the personal preferences of the cook.
Stainless Steel Grill
Stainless steel grill and grate parts are the most frequently used of all the barbecue grills. They are long lasting, are used easily, and can also be thoroughly scrubbed, which is very useful if you intend to cook on the barbecue regularly.
A stainless steel grill that suffers a lot of wear and tear often requires ‘reseasoning’. In order to properly season a stainless steel grill, first clean the grill from top to bottom, as clean as it is possible to get it, and then coat the grill with oil. Close the lid or cover on the stainless steel grill, and then light the barbecue. Leave it to cook with the lid on for two hours or so. This cooks in the oil and provides a resistance against damage and corrosion.
Cooks are sometimes surprised that a stainless steel grills appears to have rusted. In fact, although stainless steel is more corrosion resistant than other steels or irons, and it is still vulnerable to rust if exposed to extreme weather conditions. The stress and strain of being heated rapidly and then cooled swiftly, as occurs with a stainless steel grill barbecue, is exactly the kind of pressure that can damage corrosion resistance.
Porcelain grills have a layer of ceramic around a metal grill. The most common kinds of metal to be covered are cast iron and stainless still grill or grates. Many cooks and barbecue experts maintain that a porcelain grill heats the food better than metal alone, but they do need to be checked and replaced more often than a stainless steel grill, and also are more expensive.
Porcelain can sometimes become chipped or broken. This can expose the metal underneath to rust and damage, particularly where the ceramic covers a cast-iron grill. Cheap porcelain grill coatings can be scratched and scared by cleaning with a stainless steel wire brush, rather than with a brass brush, which is recommended by experts. Stainless steel grill utensils, such as barbecue forks, can also pierce the ceramics.
Cooks should not be put off by the idea that they can’t clean porcelain grills as they are used to: porcelain is designed to be easily cleaned, and soap and water can do the job easily. Use soft bristled brushes, and try to avoid pressing on the brush during cleaning.