Jump back a couple of generations, and you’ll find that cast iron was frequently used in most households. For pots, pans, and wood or charcoal cooking appliances, cast iron offered plenty of benefits.
The material can be maintained over a lifetime, it retains heat well, and it creates impressive sear marks when used for grilling.
Now stepping back to the modern day, cast iron has generally fallen out of favor. While cast iron is making a comeback in the kitchen with pans and griddle plates, it’s sometimes seen as the lesser choice when used on a grill.
Stainless steel cooking grids are the standard on high-end grills, and for good reason. But, does that mean that cast iron no longer has its place?
Let’s take a look at the benefits of cast iron grills, so you can make the right choice for your next investment.
Superior Heat Retention
Cast iron offers better heat retention than any other material used on a modern grill. It’s thicker with more mass than stainless steel and wire grates, so it carries a lot of residual heat, even when you turn the burners down.
This is important for several reasons. Notably, you’ll get better sear marks when grilling on cast-iron grates. These add flavor and improve the presentation of your food.
Heat retention also helps to limit fluctuations when adjusting the temperature of your grill, which can ensure that food cooks more consistently.
If you are cooking low and slow on your grill, cast iron is undoubtedly the best grate material you can have.
Even beyond heat retention, cast-iron offers better heat distribution. With stainless steel grates, you’ll find that most of the energy is concentrated right above the burners.
Cast iron will disperse heat more evenly across the cooking surface, so there’s less risk of cool spots.
The Grilling Surface Will Last Longer
Although cast iron will rust on the surface, this can easily be removed and prevented altogether when you properly season your grill. The result is a cooking surface that will last a lifetime.
Easier to Work With
Stainless steel cooking grates typically have large slots where food can fall through and burn. This leads to a messy cleanup, and you’ll be losing at least some of your ingredients every time that you cook.
Cast iron grills have smaller gaps in the cooking grates, so food typically stays on top of the surface where it should be.
This makes the grill easier to work with, even if you’re inexperienced with outdoor cooking.
No More Sticking
Stainless steel is notorious for sticking, especially when cooking meat, poultry with the skin on, and fish.
Cast iron doesn’t stick as easily, especially when you season your cooking grates regularly. If you have a grill with porcelain enamel cast iron, the surface will be non-stick, just like your favorite pots and pans.
You Can Add Cast Iron to Any Grill
You can add high quality cast iron cooking grates to virtually any grill, whether it’s a rounded kettle-style grill or a rectangular gas grill. Quality grates can be costly, but because they’ll last forever, the investment will pay for itself.
This Votenli Cast Iron Cooking Grid Grate pack is designed for Char-Broil grills, but you can find similar products for any popular brand or model out there.
Don’t look at cast iron as an outdated holdover from the past. It’s one of the most versatile and durable grilling materials you can work with.