Your grill is a personnel item. Over the years you develop a special relationship with this essential barbeque tool. Through thick, thin, good, bad, delicious results and to spectacular meals it is all included in this marriage. I have used a rectangular cast iron grate that is embedded in a 22 1/2 inch grill grate. Heating this cast iron to high heat will produce beautiful grill marks that turn plain meats to restaurant quality masterpieces. After all the years of use the black iron was practically non stick. This cast iron grate cooked at a higher temperature and maintained it longer that a conventional steel grill grate. It did take a little maintenance of brushing clean and oiling after each use. This was a small price to pay for this old friend. After 15 great years it was time to replace the metal holder that cradles our cast iron grate. We contacted Weber-Stephen Products Company the original creator of this special tool We were told the item had been discontinued. We searched numerous resources trying to locate this item with no luck. It was very frustrating. We received suggestions and leads from as far away as Australia. Weber Company contacted me and asked if I would consider trying the “Gourmet BBQ System Sear Grate’ as an alternative. “And now the rest of the story”
As some of you know I am a big fan of Weber products. I received a call from a Customer Representative when they found out my dilemma of replacing this grate holder. Kyrstin Norman went out of her way to help me. She searched the warehouse trying to find this discontinued part. When the search proved fruitless she offered alternatives. One suggestion was to try their new product the “Gourmet BBQ System Sear Grate’. This was a very similar version of my beloved grate. She also added it would be free of charge. I needed to hear no more. Of course I would love to try this alternative. I anxiously waited for the UPS driver.
This product is similar but not the same to my cast iron grate. The center of the grill is cast iron enameled. It is round and does not have as large a cooking area as the older rectangular grate. It is removable and can be replaced with a steel grate. Because it is cast iron enameled it needs to be cleaned in the sink or dishwasher. The old grate just needed to be brushed with a wire brush and oiled. It is suggested to not use metal utensils because you can damage the enameled surface. Let’s build a fire and give this new grate a try.
A two inch thick gorgeous T-bone steak was the first meal our grate would cook. I oiled the grill as directed but did not preheat it long enough. This was because of being anxious to cook this beautiful cut of meat. The grate did perform wonderful. It was practically non-stick and left grill marks that were very decent. Next time, I will try to follow the directions.
Sausages were cooked and we were pleased with the results. Some bone-in pork chops from the ‘Fatted Calf’ would be our crowning moment. Stellar grill marks were produced by the high heated cast iron enameled grate. This grate has performed as advertised. Is it as good as my old grate?
Like all relationships it takes time for true romance to evolve. This grate works very well. I am not too enamored about having to remove the grate for cleaning. I like being able to start the chimney fire in the center of the removable grate. This will be a suitable replacement for my old cast iron friend. It will just take a little time. A special thanks to Weber representative Krystin Norman for being a Knight in Shining Armor.