I consider these two cooking grates the best options available for the Weber charcoal grill. Upgrading the cooking grate is a quick and easy way to improve your grill and up your grilling game.
Weber does not make a complete cast iron grate. Here’s a complete list of cooking grate upgrades for the Weber kettle.
Why Upgrade to Cast Iron Grates?
The primary reason for upgrading is to enhance the look of your food and improve your grill’s ability to provide grill marks.
The standard cooking grate is nickel coated steel and the rods are too thin to produce amazing grill marks. There just isn’t enough thermal mass and searing capability.
Cast Iron is heavy and has the potential to hold a lot more heat. The additional thermal mass will require 5-10 minutes longer to heat up, but the result is a thermally charged cooking grid that can sear and mark food even after the charcoal is spent.
Malory Cast Iron Grates
The Malory grate is a heavy duty cast iron grid for the Weber charcoal grill. It’s the newest option on the market as well as the most attractive and the most functional. The traditional thick-and-straight rods of the Malory grate are the perfect size and shape for searing and marking your grilled creations.
These grates are available directly from the manufacturer.
KillaGrilla Heavy Duty Stainless Grates
These are amazing grates. They’re handcrafted in the USA using heavy duty 1/4″ stainless steel rod. The Killa Grilla grate is HEAVY, but not as ridiculous as the cast iron grates.
The grill-marking capability of the KillaGrilla is considerably better than the standard Weber cooking grate. I’ve been using the KillaGrilla for about a year now and have absolutely ZERO complaints.
KillaGrilla grates are availably directly from the manufacturer.
The difference between cast iron and stainless steel is night and day.
Cast iron grate require regular discipline. Cast iron will rust if exposed to oxygen so it’s important to keep your grates seasoned and/or coated in a light film of oil. New cast iron needs to have multiple layers of seasoning to become non-stick and non-rusting.
I use flax-seed oil for my initial seasoning. It’s the best oil for seasoning cast iron because it actually polymerizes on the surface – creating an actual hardened oil surface. Traditional seasoning methods use bacon grease, lard, crisco. They will all work, but flax seed oil works considerably better.
Stainless steel grates require less involvement. I leave my SS grates dirty when I’m done cooking. When it’s time to cook again I simply let the previous cook’s mess burn off.
I’ll brush the Killa Grilla grates before cooking and oil them (or my food) if I’m worried about something sticking.