Trib Tested: GrillGrates
The pitch: Great grilling has nothing to do with the heat source and everything to do with the grate — where the meat meets the heat and the actual cooking takes place. GrillGrates are interlocking panels that work on any grill to form a new grill surface. Quite simply, GrillGrates cook food better: Meats are juicier, more evenly cooked and perfectly seared. It works on steak, chicken, pork, fish, vegetables ... even pizza. Professional chefs, grillers and competition BBQ teams have embraced GrillGrates and its advanced science for amazing cooking results.
In a side-by-side comparison on a charcoal grill with and without the GrillGrates, I was hard-pressed to tell much difference in the juiciness or flavor of turkey burgers, veggie burgers and chicken breasts.
But I will say that the grates created less surface charring on the burgers and chicken, and they, indeed, left a much more aesthetically-pleasing meal with even grill marks and less shrinking. My vegetarian wife said there were no “transfers” of meat flavors to her veggie burgers as she'd noticed on a traditional grill, and flare-ups weren't a problem, either.
I would recommend using extra cooking spray with the Grill Grates. Even after a light spray of canola oil, the turkey burgers stuck to the grates, and without the spray, the chicken stuck fast and left behind a couple of bits on the last turn. The two interlocking grates included in the package weren't enough to cover an entire medium-size grill and would be hard-pressed to serve an entire cookout.
— Matthew Santoni
GrillGrates did not live up to their bold claim. I loaded up the grill with fresh perch, asparagus and thick slices of tomatoes and was disappointed in the results.
The fish, almost always difficult to grill, stuck to the grates and broke apart when I tried moving the fillets, despite using cooking oil spray as recommended. The slotted spatula did show promise and would likely make meat manipulation easier.
The asparagus turned out dry. Perhaps I overcooked it. The tomatoes, however, were perfectly cooked and delicious.
I set the bar high and walked away hungry.
— Aaron Aupperlee
I've never had a big problem with grilling. Most people don't seem to realize that you just have to keep the heat low. Be patient for a few more minutes, and you'll have a tender and juicy steak.
Having said that, I liked GrillGrates. I grilled some pork chops, and they came out perfectly. I really liked the grill tool that comes with it, that allows you to scoop up the meat from the grate and flip it over with little effort. Because I used it for the first time, some of the meat stuck to the grate because I forgot to spray some cooking oil on it. Instructions say you don't have to do that after a few uses.
But the cleanup was great. I soaked the grate in water for just a couple of minutes, and it wiped off easily.
The panels are narrow, just over 5 inches wide, so if you're going to cover a grill, you'll need two or three sets. They're about $40 per set, so it won't be cheap. But the grates are nice. If you have a grill that's got rusty grates, this would be a great way to extend the life of the grill.
— Bill Vidonic