Which One Is Better? Stainless Steel Grill Grates or Cast Iron

Picking the best grills is indeed essential. However, when you want quality, you have to examine each part of your grill before. The top in the list in terms of importance is no doubt grates. They are the ones that give shape and taste to your food.

If you want to purchase a new grill grate or want to replace an old one, then you need to choose among one of the grates according to your cooking preferences.

Stainless steel grates and cast iron both offer top-of-the-line performance. However, some features make them different from one another. Here we will be giving a detailed review and comparison of both grates so that you have a clear idea of which one to choose.

Comparison Chart of Stainless Steel and Cast Iron Grill Grates

Detailed Review and Comparison (Stainless Steel Grill Grates Vs Cast Iron)

Here will be presenting a detailed review as well as comparison of stainless steel grill grates vs cast iron, so that you can make rational purchase rational decision making.

Nature of Both products:

Iron is a soft material, and it becomes gentler on heating. That is why it is not recommended for cooking.

Stainless steel and cast iron both are alloys of pure iron. One is famous for strength (cast iron) power, while the other is rated high because of its intelligent resistance to corrosion ability. (Stainless steel).


Cast iron is durable and challenging because of the quantity of carbon. On the other hand, stainless steel is not as tough as cast iron because of its low carbon quality.

Rust Resistance:

Although, stainless Steel grill does not have that high quantity of carbon in its making. However, the one thing that differentiates it from a cast iron grill is the quantity of chromium.

The more the added quantity of chromium in its making, the more excellent its resistance against rusting. The physical appearance of stainless grill grates is silvery smooth. This silvery smoothness is the reaction of chromium with the oxygen, which resultantly makes a protective silvery layer on it. That is why it has high corrosion resistance. 

In contrast, the cast iron grill has two types I) bare cast iron and ii) iron with coating on it of porcelain-enameled cast iron. However, the coatless iron rusts readily. Thus, require higher maintenance. In comparison, the iron with porcelain-enameled coating has an excellent resistant rusting ability. This type is vulnerable to breakages. If it hits a hard surface, the coating on it breaks.


Stainless steel grill grates have narrow thin rods compared to its counterpart, cast iron grill grates. Thus, if you want deeper grill marks on your meat, you need a cast-iron grill grate.

On the other stainless steel grill, grates are famous for cooking huge meat or maybe a vegetable. However, if you want to cook your meat or vegetable-like mushroom, you need to go back to your cast iron grill.

Food Stickiness:

Pure stainless steel has an excellent smooth surface. Food does not stick with its rods, even using it longer times.

On the other hand, cast iron has two types. The one with no coating of porcelain-enameled food sticks with it easily. That is why; it is seasonal and requires proper care and maintenance.

 Its second type has a porcelain-enameled coating that does not require a coat and shows more excellent resistance to the stickiness of food with its rods. However, it too depends on the protection of porcelain-enameled on its rods. Thus, if that protection corrupts, it becomes vulnerable to the stickiness of food on its rods.

Which one is durable?

The most important thing you need to keep in mind is the durability of any product. Stainless steel is solid and durable because of its remarkable resistance ability against rusting and corrosion; it never corrupts from the inside. Because of this reason, it lasts for years without any significant requirement for maintenance.

In contrast, cast iron grill grates with no coating require proper maintenance to prevent rusting. Since rusting weakens the toughness. Because of this reason, without reasonable care, it corrupts soon, thus lesser durability. In addition, the porcelain-enameled cast iron grill grate has protection. Resultantly, it does not expose to corrosion and rusting quickly.

Both are durable. However, stainless steel does not require maintenance, unlike cast iron, which requires greater care.

Ease of use and maintenance:

Since stainless steel does not require oil application after some time, there is no need to apply paint on its rods. Thus, it is very easy to use and maintain. Now, being its user, after using it, just run a stiff brush through it to remove the food debris or apply mild soap, and you make it ready for the subsequent use.

However, cast iron grill grates need proper maintenance and attention in the case of cast iron grates. They must be adequately seasoned to prevent rusting and corrosion.

Thus, if you can afford maintenance, then cast iron grill grates are a rational option to go with it.


Both of these grates offer top-of-the-line performance. However, both of them have their qualities, and they are fantastic. Stainless steel is famous for even heat distribution, and it is an ideal match for slow cooking at low temperatures.

While the cast iron grill is famous for cooking at high temperatures, thus, it depends on you. Do you like to cook at low temperatures? Will it take a little longer to cook your food or the other way around?

In terms of performance, both are awesome!

Heat retention ability:

Cast iron grill grates offer excellent heat retention abilities! It does not get hotter quickly. Thus, if you want to cook your meal at a slow temperature, cast iron grill grates would be a reasonable option compared to the stainless steel cooking grates that are popular for even heat distribution and cooking at high temperatures.

Which one cools down quickly?

Since cast iron is a good conductor of heat, it has a high heat retention ability. Thus, cast-iron cooking grates take a bit longer to cool down than stainless steel grates. Therefore, stainless steel grill grates would be the top priority in terms of grates that can cool down quickly.

Which one creates awesome grill marks?

If you are looking for a grate that will give your food beautiful grill marks and shape its appearance, then stainless steel grill grates are popular. It is intelligent; it has shiny silvery and smooth rods, which take your food to the next level. Thus, in creating beautiful grill marks, none other but stainless is an attractive choice.

Stainless steel grill grates vs cast iron in terms of weight:

Well! Cast iron cooking grates are heavier than stainless grates. Thus, if you are an extrovert person and often go out with your beautiful family or a group of charming friends, then stainless steel grates are recommended. They are lightweight and easy to move.


Usually, it is seen that stainless steel grill grates come with a more extended warranty as compared to cast iron. However, in today’s market, because of stiff competition, things are changing. Brands every other day offer new grates into the market. Thus, you need to have deep research before making the purchase decision to choose the one that gives a more extended warranty.

Purchasing decision:

We discussed many of their unique features in the paragraphs mentioned above. Thus, if you want the one that is easy to use, has greater heat distribution ability, and is easy to maintain. In addition, it is lightweight and if it is comparatively durable because of its high rust resistance. Then stainless grill grates would be a wise pick.

Another way around, if you want grates that can cook food quickly at high temperatures and have a high heat retention ability that is strong and durable, you need to go with cast iron grill grates.

The ultimate decision is yours; pick the one with excellent features according to your preference.

Stainless steel grill grates

  • It heat up quickly
  • It shows high resistance against rusting
  • It is famous for even heat distribution
  • It is lightweight
  • Thin rods
  • Ease to use and maintain
  • Stainless steel grill grates have poor heat retention ability

Cast iron
grill grates

  • They have a high heat retention ability
  • Do not get heated up quickly. Thus, an ideal match for foods requiring low temperature
  • Better in heat conduction
  • Durable
  • Needs proper maintenance and great care
  • Comparatively heavier

Conclusion- Which One Is Better

We presented a detailed overview of stainless steel grill grates and cast iron. We compared their features and discussed the pros and cons of these products.


Overall, both; stainless steel grill grates and cast iron are fantastic. Both of them present top-of-the-line performance. They serve the different needs of different customers.


Stainless steel grades that are lightweight do not require as much maintenance as in the case of cast iron. Stainless steel shows high rust resistance but does not have high heat retention ability. Cast iron grill grates are popular for even heat distribution and durability. In comparison, stainless steel grill grates are not that awesome in even heat distribution.


Finally, the last decision would indeed be yours. We tried our best to examine both of them from all angles. So that you can make a wise purchase decision, if you find this comparison and review applicable, share it further.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to use a grill?

Usage of the grill is easy. You just need to follow the instructions given with the grill you have purchased. Furthermore, after assembling parts in the grill, n, you need to preheat the foot you want to grill. Preheating food is essential because preheating helps create an excellent shape, and also it helps in making tasty food.

How to clean the grate after using it?

After when you have used it, follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. Because in most cases, they are washed in a dishwasher. However, some of the grates need a different approach to cleaning them.

Which grill grate lasts longer Stainless steel grill grate or cast iron?

Well, both of them are durable. However, cast iron is more vital because of its high carbon quantity than stainless steel grill grate. In addition, cast iron requires greater care to maintain in the long run in terms of maintenance. Stainless steel does not need that much maintenance.

After how long I need to replace my grill grates?

Grill grates usually have longer duration. However, if not used properly, they may have defects like rusting or corrosion. Therefore, in order to ensure their durability, they will last longer. If not used according to instructions, they will have defects. Resultantly, you will need to replace them very soon.

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