AmazingRibs.com is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Aircraft Aluminum GrillGrates (TM) Are the Best Thing to Happen to Gas Grills Since Sear Burners

The Single Best Improvement to Most Gas Grills

GrillGrates (TM) are an amazing invention featuring reversible interlocking panels that increase the grill surface temperature, reduce flare-ups, minimize hot and cold spots, and deliver perfect sears. GrillGrates also come in a variety of shapes and sizes so that you can customize them according to the size of your gas, charcoal, or pellet grill.

Also appealing is the fact that you can flip over to make a fine griddle, allow wood placed right below the meat to smolder, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. They may be the best thing to happen to gas grills, charcoal grills and pellet smokers since salt and pepper, or at least since sear burners.

Made by extruding aircraft grade aluminum into interlocking 5.25″ wide rectangles, they are available in various lengths. Each section is a flat plate with five raised rails on which the food sits and they lie on top of your current grill’s grates or they can be used to replace them.

Each plate has large holes in it so hot air, smoke, and combustion gases can rise through them while most of the heat is trapped below and builds. As a result, the base can get very hot and the aluminum alloy distributes the heat evenly across the cooking surface eliminating hot spots. The bottom plate, 3/4″ below the food, becomes the main heat source. This is a similar concept to the new expensive infrared cooking systems on the market. The heat also wraps around the edges creating convection when the lid is closed.

grill grates with gun

According to the manufacturer, GrillGrates amplify the temp of gas grills up to 200°F and pellet grills up to 150°F. Charcoal is more variable depending on how many briquets you use and how they are distributed.

The base of the grate blocks flareups and helps prevent burning. As a result, you get really crispy chicken skin without scorching. Juices drip into the valleys between the rails where they are vaporized and the vapors penetrate the meat, enhancing flavor. The holes in the base allow some juices through where they burn and smoke and combustion gases travel up through the holes to reach the food, adding more flavor. The solid bottom plate with its small holes spells the end of asparagus falling into the fire.

grill grates with pellets

You can throw wood chips, pellets, and sawdust into the valleys between the rails and then put food on top. The wood begins smoldering almost instantly and imparts a delicate wood smoke flavor even on fish and other quick cooking foods.

They also work well on pellet smokers, which have an innate flaw of being primarily convection cookers. Pellet smokers can get up to 500 to 600°F air temp, but there is little radiant heat. Place GrillGrates on top of the factory grates and they can really even out the hot spots common to these cookers. Just don’t go all the way to the edges so you don’t mess with the airflow.

The sturdy stainless steel custom designed spatula that comes with GrillGrates has fingers that slip between the rails and lift even the most delicate pieces of fish with ease. There are even special stainless steel tongs with fingers available as an option.

GGs are easy to move from one grill to another. The manufacturer has several pre-cut sizes, but he will also custom cut them to fit your grill. Don’t sweat it. Just get the closest size and just place them on top of your current grates.

grill grate setup

If you leave a gap between the GGs, you can easily set up a 2-zone cooking system. The air gap is a great way to keep one side of the grates from heating up.

Notice that I have two grate panels on the right upside down. GrillGrates can be flipped upside down so you can put meat on a scorching hot flat metal griddle surface with holes that allow smoke through. Some people place all the grates right side up and they keep a spare section around just for griddling.

upside down grill grates

This section is sitting on top of a set of right-side-up GrillGrates, and I often throw sawdust or wood pellets on the right-side-up set so the smoke gets up into the burgers. Now that’s what I’m talking ’bout.

The surfaces of GrillGrates are easy to clean with a wire brush when hot. There is almost never grease buildup, just carbon in the valleys. It tends to build up there, reducing efficiency. A long bristle wire brush from the hardware store works well, but the standard wire brushes designed for grills do not. I’ve had good luck cleaning the valleys with a narrow paint scraper blade (and heavy glove) when they are hot. I tried superheating them and then hitting them with a hose, and, sure enough, most of the carbon popped right off, but one of the sections warped. After it cooled, I flipped it upside down on my deck and stood on it and it flattened right out!

The hard anodized aircraft grade aluminum rail tops are flat and wide and make the most beautiful dark crunchy grill marks you’ve ever seen where they contact the food and cook it by conduction. They do wonders for thin foods getting brown flavors to the surface in a hurry before the centers overcook.

Finally, let me allay any concerns you may have about aluminum. Here’s a quote from Alzheimers.org‘s page on myths: “During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.” Aluminum is everywhere. It is the third most abundant element on the planet. Studies always rate aluminum intake from cookware far down the list, behind dust, drinking water, antacids, antiperspirants, buffered aspirin, occupational sources, etc. And the healthy human body has the capacity for excreting what very small levels end up in the body. The manufacturer of GrillGrates claims that the anodizing process hardens the aluminum in GrillGrates making them harder than any steel.

If you own a charcoal grill, toss them on top of the factory grates when you have thin or small foods but take them off when you want to get a dark sear on a steak so the meat is closer to the radiant heat. If you own a pellet smoker, I recommend these grates for improving the surface color of your foods. If you own a gas grill, I cannot recommend GrillGrates more enthusiastically as a replacement for your factory grates or on top of your factory grates for all your cooking. They simply make gas grills work better.

Click here to check prices and to order

Published On: 5/22/2018 Last Modified: 10/7/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click for comments...

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

kamado grill
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

Click here for our article on this exciting cooker


Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker


This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.

Click here to read our detailed review


Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners

3 burner gas grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker


Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker


Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order