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KJ CI vs Grill Grates for Searing Steaks


Polar Bear
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Been looking at a couple of new cooking surfaces to help get a good sear on steaks and was curious what everyone's thoughts are on the KJ Cast Iron Grate VS the Grill Grates?
They're roughly the same price here (especially when you take into account the GG come with the Grate Tool) so from a financial point of view its 50/50

From a functional point of view, I like the idea that I wouldn't need to seasons the GG after each use but I know how good CI can be from using gasser for years

 

Thoughts?

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I would go GG over CI for high heat searing. I own GG and although I don't own anything KJ I have used Akorn and Akorn Jr CI grates. 

 

The plus side to GG is they give an awesome sear and will even the heat across the GG. (I have leg quarters on GG as I type this). Also they are the perfect fish cooking grates when coupled with their grate tool. 

 

The main downside to GG is they are a bit of a pain to clean. Even so I use mine all the time. 

 

I also like CI grates and use my Akorn Jr when the cook calls for it. The main downside to CI is maintaining the seasoning. Not a really big deal if you get in a routine every cook. 

 

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I have the CI for two of my Joe's.  No grill grates here.  I find I get great crusts on protein with dome temp @ 450 F. At those temps, I have never had to reseason.  You could try soapstone...

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8 minutes ago, Mewantkj said:

I have the CI for two of my Joe's.  No grill grates here.  I find I get great crusts on protein with dome temp @ 450 F. At those temps, I have never had to reseason.  You could try soapstone...

 

That's an option too, but I can see myself dropping it at some stage after a couple of beers

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I personally have absolutely for Cast Iron grates and KJ CI grates are I different than any other CI grate.  They rust.  All cast iron will rust.  I have use Grill Grates for quite some time and i wouldn't trade for the,.  They're great.  Additionally, you can flip the Grill Grayes over and use the flat side as a griddle.  

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9 hours ago, CeramicChef said:

I personally have absolutely for Cast Iron grates and KJ CI grates are I different than any other CI grate.  They rust.  All cast iron will rust.  I have use Grill Grates for quite some time and i wouldn't trade for the,.  They're great.  Additionally, you can flip the Grill Grayes over and use the flat side as a griddle.  

 

I was about to say just this.  Spot on.

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What are you looking to achieve?

 

Cast iron grates are good for making high contrast grill marks.  The downside is you do not get a good even sear which is desired for flavor, and at high heat they don't hold seasoning like CI pans used indoors will.

 

A cast iron griddle or pan by contrast gives a great even sear for max flavor but no grill marks for pretty pictures.  When used at high heat on the grill the seasoning issue is still there. 

 

Getting your standard KJ grates close to a hot bed of coals will give you a good compromise between even sear and grill marks.  

 

I have not tried the GG's yet.  I can see why they would be a big benefit on a gas grill that is temperature challenged, but I am not sure why I would want them over charcoal.  There are plenty of people who have them and love them, so I am curious enough to want to try them.  I just don't have a problem for them to solve that would justify the expense.  

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I have not used GG so I will not comment on them; I will however provide feedback on the KJ products.

 

I have a lot of success with cast iron grates. Great grill marks, great sears and when not searing they are a very good option for direct grilling. From a pure searing perspective I have moved on to Soapstone and each time I get a full, wonderful and delicious crust. The downside of the soapstone attachment for the Big Joe is the size and mass. It is not easy to clean as it will not fit in a standard sink. One could purchase a smaller piece of soapstone which would alleviate this problem. 

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I had grill grates, but eventually gave them to my son who has a gas grill.  I don't think he even uses them any more...he doesn't see a huge benefit over the CI grates his grill has.  I don't see why everyone raves about them to be honest.

 

I'd rather have 100% sear/crust using a piece of flat iron.  I have a 15" round 1/4" thick piece of steel I use for pizza and searing and also the KJ half-moon CI.

 

Sear marks, though they look nice in terms of presentation, don't provide the flavour of a nice total sear/crust....same reason a smashburger tastes so good.

 

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/mythbusting_grill_marks_and_flipping_meat.html

Edited by SmallBBQr
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7 hours ago, SmallBBQr said:

I had grill grates, but eventually gave them to my son who has a gas grill.  I don't think he even uses them any more...he doesn't see a huge benefit over the CI grates his grill has.  I don't see why everyone raves about them to be honest.

 

 

And we're supposed to take serious advice from a gasser and a guy who gave away Grill Grates?  ;-)

 

Note: this is supposed to be light hearted and is in no way meant to belittle any person, place, or thing.

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No offence taken by me...I've been grilling for 30 years and know what I know, and like what I like, and I know what works.  We all know the old saying right....Opinions are like @ss#####....everyone's got one!  I've got one too!

 

Pretty sure you have the same experience driven attitude about many things as well.

 

Grill Grates I think actually work TOO well...they transfer too much heat to the sear surface, while not allowing the rest to sear / cook evenly.

 

The one thing I always find amusing when it comes to Grill Grates though (and one of the reasons I stopped using them as well)....if you go look at most of the grill grate posts with the food porn pictures....half the time, the sear marks are not just a nice dark crusted sear, they are burnt.  Grill grates, like any other tool, need to be used properly.  For some reason I don't understand, people seem happy with "white" under-seared protein bordered by black char marks.  No thanks.  If I was served a steak in a restaurant that tasted like charcoal seasoning...it would go back.

 

Examples.

 

No thanks.

images.jpg

 

Yes...please!!

steak_crust.jpg

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