Weber Stainless Steel Grates vs Porcelain Grates: Which One?

Weber Stainless Steel Grates vs Porcelain
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Weber Stainless Steel Grates vs Porcelain

Weber is a well-known name in the grill industry as they have designed hundreds of grills, including charcoal, gas, and electric grills. Irrespective of which grill you choose, it is designed with grates on which you can put the food for cooking.

However, which material you choose for grates can directly impact the flavor of the recipes and how fast the food is cooked. So, let’s see how porcelain and stainless steel grates are different from each other.

Weber Stainless Steel Grates vs Weber Porcelain Grates

 Stainless Steel GratesPorcelain Grates
MaintenanceHigh maintenanceLow maintenance
Heating speedFasterSlow
Heat retention periodShortLong
BarsNarrowWide and flat
Price factorAffordableExpensive

Weber Stainless Steel Grates vs Porcelain

Weber Stainless Steel Grates

The stainless steel grates are the most affordable. The stainless steel grates have nonstick coverage but need proper care and maintenance to prevent chipping of the nonstick surface.

The grates made from stainless steel have a smoother surface, which helps prevent sticking. In addition, it lasts a long time as it can resist corrosion.

The stainless steel grates heat up quickly and you can leave the grates in the grill for a long time without worrying about rust. In addition, the stainless steel grates are extremely easy to maintain as they have a nonstick coverage, so a sponge helps clean it up.

The stainless steel grates are suitable for grilling thick meat cuts but you cannot use them with chicken pieces or fish. In addition, you can grill pizza or bigger veggies, such as mushroom caps, because these grates have narrow bars.

Fresh squid and mushrooms on the grill grate steel
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It is recommended that you clean the grates immediately after use to prevent the grease buildup as it can create smoke. The stainless steel grates are only available in silver color.

In addition, make sure that the stainless steel grates are properly heated before you put the food on them to prevent sticking.

  1. Cleaning & Maintenance

The stainless steel grates can be cleaned with a brush as it helps dislodge the food particles from the surface (it’s better to clean while the grates are hot because dried-up food debris will be a challenge to remove).

On the other hand, if you have to deep-clean the grates, you have to use baking soda and white vinegar. Once the foam develops, use a wire brush to scrape off the built-up food debris. In addition, you can use the degreaser to loosen up the debris.

Cleaning is relatively easier because stainless steel has a non-porous nature, which means the food particles and juices won’t penetrate the grates.

  1. Heating

It’s important to add that stainless steel grates don’t have reliable heat retention, which is why it’s recommended that you invest in a heat distribution system with ceramic briquette trays as it helps compensate for the low heat retention.

Weber has designed these grates in various shapes in addition to the circular tube. It’s recommended that you purchase the grates with diamond or hexagonal shapes as they create a flat surface, promising an even cooking experience.

The stainless steel grates have exceptional heat transfer – the heat will be transferred to the food efficiently, resulting in a quicker cooking process.

Stainless steel barbecue grill inside
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In addition, the diamond and hexagonal shapes improve the heat flow to the cooking surface, which prevents food from sticking to the surface and allows more contact surface. Also, the new shapes offer multiple points of contact, which helps with searing.

In fact, there are different types of stainless steel grates offered by Weber, such as;

  • Cast Stainless Steel Grates

These grates are designed by pouring stainless into the cast and are heavier as compared to regular grates. These grates have long heat retention, which helps save fuel during grilling. However, these grates should be maintained well to prevent flaking.

  • Rod Grates

The rod grates are designed with rows of tubular stainless steel rods installed in a vertical form. These vertical bars connect to the top horizontal bar.

Grate, made of steel reinforcement rods
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  • Diamond & Hexagonal

The diamond and hexagonal grates are designed to create a flat surface, which not only offers more surface area but also promises faster heating. The heat transfer is improved and food doesn’t stick to the cooking surface.

Pros

  • Quick heating
  • Resists rusting and corrosion
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Prone to warping
  • Weak heat retention
  • Weber Porcelain Grates

Weber Porcelain Grates

Weber Porcelain Enameled Grates
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The second common material used by Weber for grates production is cast iron, which is coated with porcelain enamel. The porcelain grates have a blackish and dark color, which looks more appealing.

The extra layer of coating on the porcelain grates can actually increase the time it takes to heat up but have a longer heat retention period. In addition, porcelain grates are heavier as compared to stainless steel grates and can be expensive.

However, the quality and durability of these grates are worth the money. The users can get reasonable searing with porcelain grates as they are made from cast iron and have a porcelain coating. So, when the grates touch the food, the heat transfer will be improved.

This means that the food will be thoroughly cooked. For this reason, it’s suitable to cook thin cuts of meat as well as chicken and fish. In addition, these grates have flat and wide bars, which makes them suitable for cooking smaller veggies.

Grilled zucchini
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Weber has released various models of porcelain grates and some of them are designed with bracket controls, promising easier installation.

The porcelain grates by Weber offer the durability and exceptional cooking performance of cast iron grates while covering the porous surface, resulting in easier cleaning. In addition, it also eliminates the need for repetitive seasoning.

These grates are available in matte as well as glossy finish and you can purchase them in different colors.

  1. Cleaning & Maintenance

These grates can be cleaned with oven cleaners or grill cleaners but make sure you dry them before you install them on the grill.

Close-up of a red brush with golden bristles and a scraper for cleaning a barbecue grill grate
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These grates are reliable as long as you ensure correct care and maintenance – you can use the stiff bristle brush to clean them but don’t be too aggressive as it can damage the coating.

Also, you shouldn’t use scrapers or metal bristle brushes as they can damage the grates’ coating. The porcelain grates have a nonstick coverage, which eases the cleaning and promises protection from rust. When maintained properly, these grates can last for decades.

When you are done cooking, you can use a wire brush to clean the grates and coat the grates with oil with a higher smoke point and let them dry before storage.

  1. Heating

The porcelain grates are flatter, which helps in even heating, so the food is cooked quickly and evenly. For instance, you can use these grates for making steaks. In addition, it has a longer heat retention period, which means you can cook food at a lower temperature as well.

Empty grill grate and tongues of fire flame
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The best thing about porcelain grates is that they don’t need regular seasoning and aren’t prone to rust. The experts recommend using the cooking spray, which not only prepares the cooking surface quickly but also makes cleaning easier.

The porcelain grates are designed with a coating on top, which means the surface is non-porous. As a result, the food will not stick to the cooking surface, which promises easier cleaning as well as better heat transfer.

The bars of the grates come in contact with the food, which caramelizes the food, resulting in better flavor.

Pros

  • Longer heat retention
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Food doesn’t stick
  • Non-stick coverage
  • Aesthetic appeal

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

The Bottom Line

Grate
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The grill grates are an important part of outdoor cooking equipment as they work as the cooking surface. Stainless steel and porcelain grates are the most widely used.

The stainless steel grates are suitable if you want something durable as they can withstand snow and rain without corroding and are more affordable.

On the other hand, porcelain grates are recommended if you want a low-maintenance and aesthetically appealing option but they are expensive.

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