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Which is better?
Cast Iron or Stainless Steel Cooking Grids?

Which is better?<br>Cast Iron or Stainless Steel Cooking Grids?

One of the biggest questions people have about getting a new grill, besides which fuel type to choose, is which cooking grids to choose. Which is better? Cast iron or stainless steel cooking grids. By understanding the pro’s and con’s of each material, and how they cook, you can make an informed decision that is right for you. While the decision is entirely up to you, finding out which cooking grids are right for you plays a huge role in selecting your new Napoleon Grill.

Cast Iron Cooking Grids

Cast iron cooking grids, well think of them like your grandmother’s favorite frying pan. You know the one; she’s cooked breakfast in it for as long as you can remember. Like that skillet, cast iron cooking grids take a while to heat up, but when they do, that heat is retained and transferred to the food with efficiency. Searing on a grill that has cast iron cooking grids will provide the best sear marks, dark and bold - barbecue perfection.

Cast iron, especially when it isn’t taken care of properly, corrodes easily. To increase longevity in our grids, Napoleon has coated them with a porcelain enamel coating. When you take proper care of your cast iron cooking grids, cleaning them, and seasoning the grids properly, they will last a long time. This process is a little labor intensive. Additionally, unlike your grandmother’s cast iron pan, cast iron cooking grids will not become nonstick over time. The reason for this is that grids in a barbecue get, and remain, too hot so that any oil from food and seasoning will be burnt off during the cooking process.

Should you get cast iron cooking grids for your barbecue?

PRO's Con's
  • Cast iron grids retain and transfer heat effectively
  • Produce the best sear marks
  • Best barbecue cooking experience
  • Rust or corrode over time, especially when not taken care of
  • High maintenance

Stainless Steel Cooking Grids

Stainless steel cooking grids are found on many of the high end grills on the market. These grids are shiny, (hopefully) thick and fairly foolproof. We make our grills out of stainless steel because it is so resilient, resistant to pretty much anything that can be thrown at it when properly maintained – the same goes for these cooking grids. They’re pretty low maintenance, requiring minimal cleaning and seasoning. Although they don’t get as hot as their cast iron counterparts, stainless steel cooking grids are great for efficiently transferring heat to your food and producing a more even sear across the whole surface of food instead of producing deep and dark sear marks. Stainless steel cooking grids develop a patina as they are used, discoloring in hues of orange, gold, purple and sometimes black, but can be scrubbed up and made to look nearly new.

Should you choose stainless steel cooking grids?

PRO's Con's
  • Virtually foolproof
  • Very low maintenance
  • Durable
  • Develops patina after use
  • Not as hot as cast iron, looses heat quickly
  • Sear marks aren’t as distinct
Sizzle Zone In Action

Making the Decision

So, which will you choose; cast iron or stainless steel cooking grids? For unparalleled grilling power, beautiful sear marks, and the truest barbecue experience, cast iron is the way to go. The only caveat to that is that they need to be taken care of. Period. If you have a more laissez faire attitude towards grill maintenance and need something that can take whatever you can throw at it, getting stainless steel grids is probably a better idea. They are still able to provide an excellent grilling experience; they’re just more forgiving than cast iron.

Which cooking grids did you choose and how did you come to that decision? Which ones do you have on your grill? Let us know by using the hashtag #napoleongrills and tagging us in photos and comments on social media.

Happy Grilling!