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How Do I Choose the Best Barbecue Grate?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2016
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When it comes to choosing the best barbecue grate, you have several styles to pick from. The average barbecue grate can be made in a wide variety of materials and designs, from chrome-plated steel and ceramic-coated steel to plain cast iron. Each type of grate material has a special purpose that it is intended to provide for the user. Whether it be a traditional charcoal grill or a modern, gas-fired model, the barbecue grate is often the deciding factor when choosing one model of grill over another.

The bottom-of-the-line model of barbecue grate is traditionally found on most entry-level, charcoal grill models. The chrome-plated, steel grate is the most basic of all grate designs, and while it offers certain non-stick capabilities when new, it can eventually rust and become difficult to clean. One trick to improve the lifetime of the chrome-plating is to apply a non-stick spray to the grate prior to cooking on it. Using non-metallic grill tools on this type of barbecue grate will also add life to the grate. If, however, you are searching for a short-term cooking surface and do not mind changing the grate out every grilling season, you might want to choose the chrome-plated grate for your barbecuing needs.

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One of the more common types of barbecue grate for both charcoal as well as gas grills is the porcelain- or ceramic-coated steel grate. This type of grate consists of a steel-wire grate that is coated with a ceramic material for non-stick cooking with relatively easy cleanup. Commonly offered as both an original equipment type of grate as well as a replacement grate, this style is both economically priced and fairly durable. Providing you care for the grate by cleaning it thoroughly after each use and do not allow burnt-on food to remain on the grate for long periods, this can be a wise choice for your cooking needs.

If your goal is to choose the best barbecue grate for your grill, most cooks agree that the cast-iron grate offers the most benefits of any of the different styles. The cast-iron grate provides the most even heating and produces the most identifiable grill marks on your food. The tip in keeping your cast-iron grill grate in top-notch cooking order is to lubricate the grate prior to every use. You have several grates to choose from, with each one offering a distinct level of cooking and durability performance at all price points.

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