Stainless Steel Grill Grates Vs. Cast Iron | All You Need To Know


Another day, another debate: This time, cast iron grills are going up against stainless steel variants. Since the grate is the only part of the grill that comes into contact with the food being grilled, many grill masters agree that it is an element that should not be neglected.

Whether you’re replacing warped grates or buying a grill with grates that you don’t like, the following list of pros and cons will help you pick a clear winner and resolve the debate faster.

Stainless steel grates on charcoal grill

Cast iron cooking grates


  • Although cast iron takes longer to heat up, its molecular structure makes it incredibly efficient at storing and transferring heat for long periods of time.
  • Cast iron cooking grates create great grill marks. If you’re a fan of those delicious looking definitive lines, this factor might increase the value of cast iron grates to you.
  • Some manufacturers produce their grates with a porcelain coating, which can make cleaning and maintenance easier.


  • Cast iron grates are not only more difficult to clean than many other materials, they also have to be brushed immediately after grilling and then oiled while still hot. While you’re attending to this task, your food might get cold.
  • To prevent corrosion and rust, cast iron requires routine hardening and maintenance.
  • Top cast iron grills can be expensive.
  • Contrary to popular belief, cast iron grills are not non-stick like skillets and skillets. The oil that lodges in this porous metal tends to burn in the high heat of the grill. Brushing off grease and food residue also removes the non-stick property.
How to clean cast iron cooking grates

Stainless steel cooking grates


  • Stainless steel does not corrode or rust as easily as iron, making it a very durable metal.
  • The thin grates allow more radiant heat to pass through and allow for even browning instead of dark grill marks. An overall golden crust is a preferred result for many grill masters.
  • Stainless steel grills are very easy to clean and maintain, making them perfect for chefs who prefer low-maintenance kitchen and garden tools.


  • Stainless steel does not retain heat as well as cast iron.
  • Although the flavor of the food is not affected, these grates tend to discolour over time.
  • They can be swapped out with nickel or chrome grilles, which aren’t as durable.
  • Cheap stainless steel needs to be replaced. Although they can cost more upfront, it’s best to buy a higher quality brand for a longer lifespan.

The judgement

Grilles need to be strong, sturdy and durable, no matter what metal you choose. However, your decision really depends on a maintenance issue. If you’re willing to go the extra mile for cast iron, do it. put on, save yourself the trouble and stick with stainless steel… okay? 

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