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Never having to clean cooking grates again?!


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Hey all! 

I am quite new fairly recent to grilling but very passionate about it! One thing I hate about grilling is having to clean it after cook, especially the grates. As I am a bit of clean freak, I have to do it after each cook. Also scared of getting my family members injured, so I don't use wire brushes.

 

My father is a product designer and I suggested to him making a new grill grate at his metal shop, that will help to eliminate the need to clean the grates. The grate is to consist of a permanent frame and disposable middle part made from thin stainless still that could be tossed away after one or a few cooks. We started drawing different options, but I am not sure if that's a problem for just me and it doesn't exist for most people? Please, let me know if you'd consider buying one.

 

If you could spare 2 minutes of your time and reply to the short multiple question survey, it'd be highly appreciated! Your honest answer could save us lots of time and money :)

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17kf3YJmiEY9g6pRlKxRFSYnHzlSz2IuV23rg_u6N6U8/edit

 

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Well, I completed your survey. It's an interesting idea, but I doubt I would buy the product.

 

I clean my grill grates every time I use the grill - but I find it really easy to do on the Kamado. If I am using hot temperatures I just bring the grill up to temp and then give it a quick wire brush. Also, once I have finished cooking I often bring the grill up to a hotter temperature to burn off any grease.

 

I would also worry that the disposable part of your idea would not be rigid enough to hold heavy items like a chicken or pork shoulder. You would need to add strengthening bars underneath, but then they would get greasy and you would need to clean those....

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4 hours ago, adm said:

Well, I completed your survey. It's an interesting idea, but I doubt I would buy the product.

 

I clean my grill grates every time I use the grill - but I find it really easy to do on the Kamado. If I am using hot temperatures I just bring the grill up to temp and then give it a quick wire brush. Also, once I have finished cooking I often bring the grill up to a hotter temperature to burn off any grease.

 

I would also worry that the disposable part of your idea would not be rigid enough to hold heavy items like a chicken or pork shoulder. You would need to add strengthening bars underneath, but then they would get greasy and you would need to clean those....

 

Many thanks, really appreciate your help! I do the burn after the cook too, but I am afraid to use the wire brush after seen reports about them ending up inside people. With the wire brush it is probably much easier. 

 

We think about making the disposable part strong enough (either because of the thickness or by using lock system) strong enough to hold heavy weigh and at high temperatures without adding bars underneath. If we find out that there will be enough people willing to buy them that is :) So far I have my doubts))

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2 hours ago, Golf Griller said:

I also clean my grates every time I use them the same way that @adm does. My concern with your idea of disposable grates would be how they would hold up to the high heat in the grill.

Thank you for your help! We thought about it and we will be looking for the material and thickness that will allow to withstand open flames 

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1 hour ago, chickenwings said:

I answered as well and like the others I don't find grate cleaning to be a huge deal.  Interesting idea, just not for me.

 

Thank you for replying and kind words! Yes, it seems like it doesn't bother most people as much as me((

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Try wadded up aluminum foil to clean the grates (when they are cool, or just a use them with heat resistant gloves or tongs or something). Safer than wire brush and just about as effective. Plus, I've usually got some foil I used in some stage of cooking, and it's better than throwing it out (the "reuse" thing). 

 

While I appreciate the innovative thinking, I also think it's a solution in search of a problem. You would need to contend with the high heat resistance issue, the strength issue, and with the fact that people like grill marks (so they'd have to be thick enough to make them and retain sufficient heat). Then there's the idea of throwing away metal that probably doesn't fly these days (despite my earlier comments about aluminum foil, and all the metal beer/soda cans people toss out). 

 

OTOH, most great ideas and entrepreneurs deal with naysayers and skeptics. Do your research, go in with eyes wide open, and then decide if it makes sense. Of course, you don't need me to tell you that. 

 

-Andrew

 

 

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1 hour ago, adauria said:

Try wadded up aluminum foil to clean the grates (when they are cool, or just a use them with heat resistant gloves or tongs or something). Safer than wire brush and just about as effective. Plus, I've usually got some foil I used in some stage of cooking, and it's better than throwing it out (the "reuse" thing). 

 

While I appreciate the innovative thinking, I also think it's a solution in search of a problem. You would need to contend with the high heat resistance issue, the strength issue, and with the fact that people like grill marks (so they'd have to be thick enough to make them and retain sufficient heat). Then there's the idea of throwing away metal that probably doesn't fly these days (despite my earlier comments about aluminum foil, and all the metal beer/soda cans people toss out). 

 

OTOH, most great ideas and entrepreneurs deal with naysayers and skeptics. Do your research, go in with eyes wide open, and then decide if it makes sense. Of course, you don't need me to tell you that. 

 

-Andrew

 

 

 

thank you, Andrew! Yes, the product will need to be all those things before it will be offered for purchase (strong, heat resistant, able to leave grill marks). The disposable part will be 100% recyclable, so I hope it will make it a bit better in terms of reusing. 

 

Yes, we just discussed it with my wife just recently - you hear a lot of stories, like "everybody said NO, but I still went ahead and now it is a big success", but it is kind of a survivor's bias, for each such case there could be a hundred when the entrepreneur didn't listen and lost money :)

 

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I really appreciate everyone's input, thank you very much!

 

So far 5 out of 6 respondents answered they wouldn't buy the disposable grate. If to take into account my friend, also passional grill guy, and myself - that is 2 out 7 who would not buy such a thing. But that's not very representative sample...

 

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As opposed to marketing it as replacement grates, maybe as a disposable, multi-use grate for those messy cooks.  BBQ chicken and ribs make the biggest mess on my grill, I would consider something like this for those cooks.  Use it a few times, do a quick burn off between uses, and then toss/recycle it when it burns or gets too nasty.  I would use the original grates for the majority of my cooks. The prices you have listed are pretty cheap for SS, but I think at the right price there might be a market for it.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks all for your extremely valuable feedback, much appreciated!

 

After collecting your opinions we realized that previous model with disposable section wasn't going to work. So we got back to the drawing board and decided to go a slightly different way - cooking grate with removable bars. They are much easier to clean compared to a regular grate, as they won't have many intersections where the food gets trapped. You could also remove the bars and toss them into the dishwasher (while the Mrs. is not looking :) If you are cooking something large (like a brisket or a big butt), there is no need to put but a few bars on the grate - which makes it even easier to clear afterwards.

 

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You could also wrap the bars in couple of layers of heavy duty aluminum foil and remove it after the cook - I tried it myself, works well even when cooking  on the open flames, which was surprising as I thought the fire will burn through aluminum easily.  

 

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If you could spare 2 minutes of your time and reply to the short multiple question survey, it'd be highly appreciated! Your honest answer could save us lots of time and money :) The first questions about grill experience, etc. are not required

 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe-oCi-eCGhnBuAmFwXcDWl8h21ySwcXGhe2IeNlxMsqJMx1g/viewform?usp=sf_link

 

Many thanks in advance!

A

 

 

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I admire the ingenuity behind this, but I agree with others that it's probably not something I'd buy. I don't find cleaning the grates to be difficult or time-consuming. I do the aforementioned foil ball method using tongs when the grill is hot, and it only takes a minute or two at the outside; probably more along the lines of 30 or 40 seconds. Alternatively, I will occasionally --VERY occasionally-- soak them in soapy water for a couple hours and then spray them off with the hose. Either way, it's just not such a big job that I'd spend money to get out of doing it. 

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