Sunday, December 16, 2012

Share Your Holiday Grilling Plans & Pics!

Up Load Photos to Holiday Grilling Album
I'm already excited about our holiday grilling plans! We get to spend over a week together as a family and the meal planning has been underway for quite a while. After yesterday's Costco trip, it looks like the grill will be active every day! No complaints from me!

So far the Big Day Meals are set:
  • Spatch-cock Turkey on Christmas Day
  • Beef Tenderloin on New Years Eve
  • Pork Shoulder one day in between
We also stocked up on salmon, brats, and pizza crusts. Non-stop grilling ahead at our house! We're also going to smoke a mac 'n cheese. We've never done that on that before on the grill.

We've put together a Holiday Grilling Photo Album to share ideas and recipes. You'll see a couple of classics from Amazingribs.com, Weber, and Smoking-Meat.com. 

Please feel free to post your favorite recipes and signature holiday grill fare in this album or on our Facebook page.  We hope this interactive photo album can become a reference tool and a place to show off your grate holiday meals.  

Remember to click a couple of pics when you are at your grill during the holidays.   We love hearing from you!  And it helps us share great recipes, grilling ideas, and mouthwatering pictures.

Best wishes for a warm, wonderful and delicious holiday.  

GrillGrate, Eat Well!

What are your holiday grilling plans?  link to holiday grilling survey  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sear Marks. It's A Matter of Taste & Style!

Dial In the Sear on Those Steaks! 

Great grill marks aka sear marks are a treat for the eyes as well as the pallet.  First feast your eyes and then your taste buds.  Dial in your sear marks from golden brown (not charred) to dark crunchy black- all the way to Pittsburgh Style.  With GrillGrates sear marks are a great indicator of cooking temp while delivering that perfectly grilled look.   The temps in the chart below are at the GrillGrate and highlight the range of grilling temps to dial in searing and the amount of char you prefer.  Remember GrillGrates are likely to be 100F higher than indicated on the hood thermometer of your grill.
  • 350-400F  Roasting temps for vegetables and for longer poultry cooks such as spatch-cocked chicken
  • 400-500F  Golden brown sear marks on steaks and ideal temps for most fish and poultry, and hamburgers
  • 550-650F  Darker near black sear marks- This is where most of our championship buddies are cooking their steaks.  Primarily steak and tuna temps above 550F.
  • 700-850F  Black and crunchy sear marks on steaks- for those who like more of a char that lingers on your pallet.  Also great for quick searing Tuna and wahoo.  Otherwise these temps will overwhelm most other foods and leave a very rare center.
This collage featuring Brett Gallaway of USA Cook Team highlights the delicious range of sear-marks and varying degrees of char on steaks. No photoshop on these pics either!
I've been wavering from a super hot and fast seared and charred method back toward golden brown sear marks with less char.  This also gives the meat more time on the grill for the magic The Malliard Reaction!  I figure I've got another 30 years of R&D to do!   

Friday, August 24, 2012

SEAR-iously GRATE Recipe WINNERS!

I've been challenged getting the latest recipe winners announced because I've been pressed to get the recipes posted on our website. So I figure while I am holed up in a hotel room in Tulsa-its no dinner until I at least get the announcement out and contact our grate winners!

Some really great recipes were submitted and most are already published on GrillGrate.com. I'll post the remaining recipes soon but its more important to thank our winners!
  • Larry Byer- is a repeat winner with Tequila Lime Grilled Shrimp and Calamari. Three of Larry's recipes are now published on grillgrate.com Thanks Larry!
  • Shawn Beaulieu A grate customer from Canada has been prolific with his Kamado Joe even getting the Canadian Navy to put Kamado Joe's on their ships. What a morale booster. His grilled scallops recipe is a winner and highlights how easy it is to grill scallops with GrillGrates.
  • Bob S- submitted GrillGrate “Poppers” and used an innovative approach by elevating his GrillGrates on an angle to make sure the poppers would not lose the stuffing while grilling thoroughly. Innovative approach Bob!
  • Lorraine Hartung joins this all-star cast! Her fabulous photos have been gracing the GrillGrate Facebook page since she got her GrillGrates less than 2 weeks ago. We'll wrestle a few recipes out of Lorraine and get them on our website soon.
AND...
  • Andy Scalzo wins a GrillGrate T shirt for his bacon bowl. Andy could put out a cook book with his amazing culinary talents and I just had to recognize this unbelievable photo.  Andy- I need this recipe!
Thank you to these GRATE Customers!

Please choose from:

Share your Grate Creation to WIN and thank you for helping us build our recipe data base for our customers.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Meet GrillGrate Customer Craig Jones- Master of the Grill!

 Even though I've not met Craig and his wife Gay in person (yet), it feels like I know them well. We met a couple of years ago on the GrillGrate Facebook page. Now I follow Craig's culinary adventures!  Craig is a perfect example of a master griller. Grilling is a big part of his life and his deck is a working Weber museum!

He grills over live fire 300+ days a year. No small feat living in Kansas City- not known for mild winters. He and his wife share great recipes and dinner ideas for two. His recipes are only rivaled by his photography. It seems that a lot of grillers are also good photographers. GrillGrate Porn! It's good for you and your marriage!

Here are a few of Craig's Gratest Hits that he has shared with us to post on the grillgrate.com website:


Craig is in the running to win a trip to NY and go backstage with the Food Network this fall! Vote for Craig to be on Food Network! Master of the Grill!

Number of Grills Owned: 6 Webers and 1 Kamado

Craig's Go To Grill: Weber Performer. “To me its like a gas grill... I can get it up and running quickly, and I can do ANYTHING on it. That being said right now I use the Kamado a tlo, because I am trying to learn how to cook on it... it truly is a different animal.

Craig's TIPS:
  1. Get to know your grill and use it in direct and indirect methods. Almost any recipe and cooking technique can be performed on the grill. Don't limit yourself to just the normal "grilling" and BBQ recipes. Challenge yourself to make gourmet meals on the grill. Any recipe that you can do "inside" can be converted to cook "outside"....which is a heck of a lot more fun...and of course tastes much better.”
  2. Even though it's just the two of us, we grill meals for 4-6 people so that we can have great tasting lunches that we called "planned overs".
  3. GrillGrates have added a new dimension to my grilling. Before I had to limit my direct grilling exposure, because the meat would dry out or burn.

Craig and his wife are the proprietors of Savory Addictions- Gourmet Smoked Nuts! I know I'll have the pleasure of grilling chilling with Craig and Gay in person, but until then I enjoy their wonderful posts and recipes! Don't forget to vote forCraig, you can vote daily.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Seariously Grate Recipes!


What do a retired funeral home director, a South African teaching high school in New Zealand, and a nutty entrepreneur from Kansas City have in common? They all have a passion for grilling; they are legitimate foodies with great recipes, and they are outstanding photographers to boot. And they use GrillGrates when they grill of course! Add it all up and it's a formula for Seariously Grate Recipes!
Fourie Joordan
Craig Jones
Andy Scalzo











 
Meet Andy Scalzo, Craig Jones, and Fourie Joordan. First, meet their grills! For the next several weeks we'll be featuring some of their gratest hits (I could not resist). Each has their own distinct grilling style and expertise which we will share in more detailed profiles in upcoming blog posts. We're publishing several of their recipes on GrillGrate.com and it has been a pleasure getting to know them.
  • Fourie Joordan is a computer science teacher in New Zealand with a serious passion for BBQ. He goes under the moniker Hog Wild BBQ and his recipes, photos and videos share his passion. His Facebook page and blog is a culinary tour of South Africa grilling fare by way of New Zealand.
  • Craig Jones is a computer IT guy, grill-master and entrepreneur with Savory Addictions Gourmet Nuts as well. Craig is a Weber man, but recently joined the cult of the Kamado and is a disciple of Jamie Perviance noted griller, Weber spokesman, and cook book author.
  • Andy Scalzo Retired Funeral Home Director from Spooner, Wisconsin. Andy is a Kamado guru, a genius with smoke and wood flavors and prolific with his camera! His work caught the attention of Kamado Joe and Andy now works with them as a social media consultant- and indie photographer.
I look forward to sharing their grate culinary creations and their passion with our customers.  If you are not already Facebook friends with Andy, Craig, and Fourie you should be. Their posts will delight you with great grilling fare and how to's. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Love People. Cook them tasty food.


If ever there was a mantra to live by! I got that bumper sticker and a whole lot more when my wife and I visited Penzey's Spices manufacturing facility outside Milwaukee, WI last week. We went there to meet a GrillGrate customer, and wound up meeting a great company- a real American story. Our timing was perfect too.
 
Rob,  Quality Control by day, Grill-Master every Wednesday
For the past 15 years every Wednesday Penzey's grills lunch for their employees. When they started the Wednesday tradition they were feeding 50 people, now its over 200 who dine in a comfortably furnished dining room. And they serve sandwiches on Tuesday, soup on Friday and donuts on Thursday morning- all free to the employees. 

George Van Valkenburgh,  GM of Penzey's gave us the nickle tour and by the time we got outside to the Eight smoking Weber grills, Susan and I were overwhelmed by everything we'd seen and heard.    

Love People. Cook them tasty food. Penzey's lives it in every aspect of the company:
  • Penzey's has established relationships with small growers / farmers around the world and ship spices whole to the US to preserve freshness. Spices are not ground until they are ready for production. The entire production is done in house. Grinding, blending, packaging, labeling-- even photography. I recognize those sear marks!
  • Penzey's offer a summer job to every child of every employee who wants a job. “We'll find them something to do” explained George.
  • A magazine quality catalog is published 8x a year that features heart-warming stories from customers, their recipes, photos, even drawings from their children! It's a great read. Each issue has 15 new recipes including two letters from Bill- second generation owner and chairman of Penzey's. 
A company favorite Turkish Kabobs
Is Love a spice? It is at Penzey's! Penzey injects a healthy dose of love into everything they do.  Bill signs off his letters in the recent grilling issue with two great thoughts:
  1. Kindness works.
  2. Love People. Overcome Obstacles.
Thank you George, Rob and everyone at Penzey's for sharing your great story with Susan and I. Just like a good meal, if your still thinking about the experience the next day or two- you know if was mighty good!

Love People, Cook them tasty food.

Sign up for the Penzeys Spice Catalog: Love to Cook, Cook to Love.

Thanks Penzey's for sharing the love with Susan and I. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grill Steaks like a Champion! The Steak You Save Just Might Be Your Own!

There is little room for error when grilling steaks. Alton Brown says it succinctly- “fire is bad!” It does bad things to food not just from a health standpoint but from a taste standpoint too.  Burned is not better!  Perfectly seared steaks are caramelized not singed. The natural flavors and juices can easily be overshadowed by char or a sooty taste. Nor do we want to see the exterior of the steak scorched while the center is purple! 
Bumper to Bumper Rare!  Grate Customer in  Germany.

Everyone has their own definition of a perfect steak.  For me it's bumper to bumper rare to medium rare!  
 
Brett Gallaway's Formula to Grill Steaks like a Champion:
Time to take them off for a brief rest.
  • GrillGrates
  • Instant Read Thermometer
  • Good Piece of Meat 
Preparation:
  • Liberally salt steak and allow to sit out of the refrigerator
  • Bring steaks to room temperature, as the salt opens the meat and brings the myoglobin to the surface (not blood- see Meathead's review on this subject)
  •  After 20 minutes, blot the surface of the steak dry removing some of the salt.  (Many people suggest oiling steaks- we don't.  We oil fish filets for grilling but not steaks.)
  • Pepper and season to taste. Go easy on the seasoning. Note if the steak seasoning has salt in it be careful not to over-salt.  Most of the time we just use salt and pepper on steaks.
  • Continue to bring to room temperature and allow seasoning to penetrate the meat.  
Grilling:
  • Get your GrillGrates HOT! 500F-650F (not 800F unless you want crunchy sear marks)
  • Lay steaks at an angle on the GrillGrates and note your time.
  • In TWO minutes LIFT and TWIST 90 degrees to create a cross hatch (do not turn yet)
  • In TWO more minutes TURN to reveal nicely seared and diamon marked steak- cook to finish
  • Use an Instant read to measure internal temp. Pull steaks 10 degrees lower than target temp. I pull my steaks at 125-130F anticipating them to rise to 135-140F
  • REST the steak for 2-3 minutes, (Meathead has debunked the resting period for steaks.) 10 minutes for extra thick steaks (do not tent with foil- as they will cook more and overshoot doneness)
  • Serve, Observe and Listen for guttural sounds of gastronomic joy!
For More Steak Tips: watch Brett Gallaway of United Steaks of America Cook Team in this recent video created by Walmart. 
 
Four of Five Money Winners at the 23rd Annual World Championship Steak Cook Off grilled their steaks using GrillGrates.  

Thanks Brett! 
PS- Brett & his Team have won more than a dozen championships in the past three years!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ouch, I Stuck the Hamburgers on My GrillGrates Bad!

I am trying to better utilize the GrillGrate Blog and make this a place to find more detailed information, ask questions, and join discussions about using all things GrillGrate! In addition to Grate recipes and other news from time to time I want to share stories and I hope you will too.

The other night we had friends over we had not seen in a while and I was not as attentive to the grilling job, I didn't want to miss the conversations. I pre-heated the grill and frankly don't remember how long it was pre-heating but it was hot! My grill was pegged over 750 on my vent hood dial. I open the lid and turn down the gas and rejoined the conversation. The stuffed burgers were made before our guests arrived and I was not even on auto-pilot, there was no pilot!

I grabbed the burgers and went outside to the grill and did not use any grill spray or canola even though I had just thermally blasted the GrillGrates clean and dry like a self-cleaning oven. They needed a little slicking up. After depositing the first burger- I knew but just kept going! I was in denial or in a trance as I rejoined the conversation. 

A few minutes later I grab my GrateTool and when I went to flip the burgers-- they were like cement to the GrillGrate. No wiggle was going to loosen up this mess. The Tool did rescue me a little bit since the burgers did not disintegrate they just lost an ounce of flesh stuck to the rails. Reverse sear anyone? I was not laughing at myself then as I am now but I did manage to take a picture to tell on myself. Further to the point, this is not the first time I've stuck hamburgers on my GrillGrates. The last time was a video shoot- I knew it then as soon as I did it too. Brand new GrillGrates fresh out of the box- HOT with no seasoning what so ever, and no grill spray or canola by yours truly.

Morals and Lessons from the story:
  1. Don't let the GrillGrates totally lull you to sleep! Pay a little attention.
  2. Use Weber Grill Spray, Pam or Canola oil the first couple of times you use GrillGrates so you won't stick your first hamburgers
  3. If you burn off your seasoning, see #2!
  4. RTFM... Read the Freakin Manual. Something I and many men(especially) are guilty of not doing unless we hit a problem...
I watched this video and winced when I witnessed another unsuspecting soul stick his hamburgers good.  He falls under # 4 and we had a good chuckle about it. Thanks Mike! We decided to yellow highlight that one sentence in the user guide!  As Paul Harvey famously said. Now you know the rest of the story!

Monday, June 4, 2012

GrillGrates Dominate World Championship Steak Cook-Off in Magnolia, AR

 
Magnolia, AR May 19th 2012


Four of the five money winners in the hotly contested World Championship Steak Cook-off® grilled on GrillGrates, the award winning new grilling surface.   
WTF Team 2012 World Championship $4000 First Place
The 23rd annual competition saw 78 teams competing for the $4000 grand prize and money was paid through fifth place. The WTF Team (Walker Tree Farm) won this year's contest followed closely by the two previous year's winners, United Steaks of America Cook Team, and Shorty Dunn and The Cook-em Up Gang. All three teams have been consistently winning steak competitions in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas with GrillGrates.

GrillGrates are proving to be new technology at the grill surface that simply grills food better.” According to Brad Barrett, Founder and President of GrillGrate LLC. “GrillGrate won product of the year from the BBQ Pro's of the National Barbecue Association in 2009 and now they are helping win championships.”


Most teams make their own rubs, a few make marinades and they all guard their processes carefully. Johnny Joseph of Shorty Dunn's cook team commented after the awards ceremony that “A 'Steakment' was made in Magnolia!” “A steakment certainly was made and the secret is getting out that GrillGrates grill great steaks!” added Barrett.

GrillGrates are interlocking panels that form a new cooking surface on any grill. They lay on top of the existing grates or replace them altogether. The raised rail design allows for juices, marinades and sauces to sizzle in the valleys resulting in juicier more flavorful food. GrillGrates bring out foods natural flavors by protecting from charring flare-ups while vaporizing and sizzling juices and marinades back to the food for added flavor. GrillGrates are available at hardware, house-ware and outdoor retailers and on-line at grillgrate.com and amazon.com. They are available in several lengths as well as custom shapes for the Weber Kettle and Kamado style grills.
GrillGrates are New Technology at the Grill Surface

The Annual World Championship Steak Cook-off is part of the Magnolia Blossom Festival, held the 3rd Saturday in May in Magnolia, Arkansas. After turn-ins are made, 3500 steak dinner plates are served to the public. The teams grill rib-eye steaks provided to them by the festival and the public is invited to pick their championship steak from one of the teams. The award ceremony follows a sit-down dinner on the town square.

Contact:
Director, World Championship Steak Cook-off: David Nelson david.nelson@suddenlink.net 870-904-4126

GrillGrate LLC, Brad Barrett brad@grillgrate.com, 678-361-4491
Made in the USA. Cartersville, GA, Patents pending

GrillGrate Media Page

Monday, May 28, 2012

Replacing Old BBQ Grates with GrillGrates

Five 18.5" GrillGrates fit my Charbroil perfectly.
This is a long over due message and a story about letting your customers show you the way. When we introduced GrillGrate in 2008 they were designed to lay on top of the old surface to form a new one; much like resurfacing a road. We knew GrillGrate was more than grilling accessory to be used occasionally. Customers tell us they never grill without them. But, the demand and interest to remove the old surface and cover the entire grill with GrillGrates slowly grew until Meathead of amazingribs.com called two years ago. He asked if I would cut him a special length 18.5” for his gas grill. I knew better than to say no and cut 5 for his Charbroil. We also heard from many customers who were buying 20” GrillGrates (for commercial grills) and cutting them to fit their grills.

Meathead's enthusiastic response along with the barrage of pictures I was receiving from delighted (and handy) customers was enough to make me make cut GrillGrates for my grill. I have the same 4 burner Charbroil that Meathead does. I've had five of the standard GrillGrates on it for 2 years and never felt the need to cover the uncovered portion.  But from the moment I removed the old cast iron grates, I was amazed at the difference in how my grill performed. It ran much hotter a lot faster and was very responsive. I had a new learning curve too. Medium is the maximum I use even with steaks and the heat control and responsiveness is amazing.

GrillGrates cook food the same whether they are on top of the old grates or not. It was the difference in my grill that was the eye-opener. Here is a summary of the performance aspects of replacing the existing grilling surface with GrillGrates:
  • Gas Grills run much hotter with only GrillGrates: GrillGrates trap a grills heat much more efficiently than any other grate. Heat can only escape up through the holes in the bottom of the GrillGrate or via the metal.   GrillGrates act as a heat exchanger- capturing the heat of your grill and transmitting it up to the cooking rails. NOTE:  Be careful not to overheat your grill.  Stay below 900F!
  • Grills heats up twice as quickly: Light your grill just a few minutes before you are ready to cook No long warm-up needed or the grill will be at 700F or more. The cool down is equally fast if the grill does get too hot. Open the lid, turn down the gas and the aluminum is very responsive in dropping temperature quickly as well.
  • GrillGrate make Gas Grills incredibly efficient when the original grates are removed. Caterers cooking on large 8 burner grills that require two tanks have reported using 1/3 the fuel compared to grilling without GrillGrates.
  • A GAP at the edges is a good thing. The only other place heat can escape is at the sides. (as the front to back is covered) A small gap on each side allows for strong convection into the hood. AND
  • Veggies roasting at 350F on left, Steaks grilling at 650F on right
    A GAP in the middle by separating GrillGrates creates a two-zone grill. Disconnecting 3 GrillGrates on the left from two GrillGrates on the right in my case allows me to roast vegetables on the left at 350F with burners low or even off, while grilling steaks on the right at 650F with the burners at medium. We're creating a video and a separate post about this discovery which has made my gas grill even more efficient and versatile.
My Charbroil is a like a souped up Chevy Nova! Faster, Hotter and Even More fun!

After 2 years of testing and customer feedback we now offer 5 standard lengths:
  • 13.75”- standard / universal GrillGrate
  • 17.375”   Ideal for many models of Weber gas grills
  • 18.5”  Fits Charbroil, Jenair, Treager and many others.
  • 20” GrillGrates for many event grills
  • 24” GrillGrate for restaurants and institutional grills. 

    Thank you to all our grrrrrate customers who are helping us improve GrillGrate and your grilling experience!

    Updated May 21, 2013

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My First Steak Cookoff was Darn Near Perfect!

I lef the Memphis in May World Championship BBQ on Friday evening and drove 5 hours to Magnolia Arkansas for The 24th Annual Magnolia Blossom Festival and the 23rd annual World Championship Steak Cook-off.  It was my first steak cook-off, and my first visit to Magnolia Arkansas.  Population 11,000 of the nicest people.  

I drove there to meet the two teams who have been using GrillGrates-- and winning.   The United Steaks of America Team in particular has won TEN 1sts or 2nds in steak cook-offs.  I had to go and meet these guys.  Little did I know I would be treated to a fabulous All-American event complete with a parade of pits and skits, and a steak dinner for 3500 around the town square. 

At 10:00am I parked myself next to a stand where the pits were judged for construction and showmanship.  78 Teams parade by many of them stopping to perform a skit for the judges.  The local funeral home was one of the more memorable.  The UnderSteakers performed a hot and fast funeral for Mr. Ribeye complete with casket, local pastor, and grieving widow.

After the judging stand the parade veered right and the pits drove straight and found their spots around the town square complete with a large courthouse in the center surrounded by towering Magnolia's in bloom.
Each team was given 40 rib-eyes (previous winners were given more).  They picked the best 2 or 3 steaks to turn in that one steak.  Prep begins and the remaining steaks are seasoned and kept on ice to grill for the public dinner later that evening.  Pits were lit and appetizers are grilled first before steak turn-ins start later in the afternoon.  There is a window of time for the 78 teams to turn in their championship steak, no garnish and no running en- mass.  Turn in when you are ready and when you want.

I bounced between The USA Cook Team and Shorty Dunn and The Cook'em Up Gang- both previous winners of this contest.  The USA Cook Team was the 2011 winner using GrillGrates and these two teams have dueled many times for the top spot.  I only found one other team using GrillGrates as  I informally surveyed the pits and enjoyed Mangolia's downtown square.  By now I had already decided I'm coming back next year with Susan- she'll like this town and the event.  

I watched the USA Cook Team get their Weber Kettle hot with lump charcoal and seasoned GrillGrates.  They grilled a test steak, stop watch and notebook in hand.  The "turn-in" steak must be medium- warm pink center.   Sometime in the middle of the afternoon the two best steaks went on the Weber and were seared to perfection on the GrillGrates.  The instant read thermometer guided them to the finish as the steaks cannot be cut or otherwise checked for doneness.  Into a plastic box no garish and off to the court house. 

After turn-in the teams all had time to take a break before cooking up championship rib-eyes for the public that was lining up at four points around the square to pick up their plate with potato, salad, drink and roll- all for $15 per head.  3500 people picked a steak from one of the teams and tables were set all over the lawn around the square- you could have filmed a movie- by now my camera was full and I was using my phone.

The award ceremonies were kicked off with prize money paid for showmanship and pit construction along with 5 places in steak with $4000 going to the champion.  5th Place was called then 4th was Shorty Dunn's Cook -Em Up Gang, 3rd was The United Steaks of America.  They were both thrilled to place and I was happy for them and did not pay much attention when 2nd was called and then the Grand Champion- was The WTF Team- (Walker Tree Farm) the nice family I met earlier today using GrillGrates.

Two years in a row The World Championship Steak Cookoff was won grilling on GrillGrates.  Luckily I was able to get a picture of these grate winners!   Later I learned that the 5th place team  Lake Erling Sizzlers used GrillGrates too.  That made it 4 out the 5 money winners used GrillGrates - a near perfect day in a superb town called Magnolia Arkansas. 
Four of Five Money Winners Grilled with GrillGrates!
Got a championship story to tell?  Tell us Your Grate Story here or on Facebook.



Friday, May 25, 2012

Care & Cleaning of GrillGrates

 Cleaning GrillGrates is a bit counter intuitive as less is more especially in the beginning. During the first few uses avoid the temptation to over clean them or take them indoors to the sink. Just shut down the grill and enjoy your grate meal. Clean them as little as possible during the first several uses to allow seasoning to take place. GrillGrates will season quickly like a cast iron skillet. (without the rust and regular re-seasoning)
Tip: Use grill spray (Weber or Pam) or Canola Oil the first few uses while the rails are un- seasoned. (Focus on the raised cooking rails- no need to wipe or spray the valleys.) We don't want you to stick that first grate burger or fish filet. After a few grillings (especially chicken) grill spray will become unnecessary.
Well seasoned GrillGrates 
Over time GrillGrates will become nearly self-cleaning as built-up debris and carbonized juices burn off or release and brush away. 
Routine Maintenance:  Routine care is primarily brushing or wiping the raised cooking rails clean during the warm up of your grill.  Its better to clean GrillGrates during warm-up rather than at the end of the cook with hot GrillGrates.
  • Use either a grill pad or a basic grill brush. I like the grill pads because they wear out and force you to replace them regularly.
  • The popular triangular brush works well to reach into the valleys.
  • Steaming grill brushes also work well to steam clean hot GrillGrates. I find I don't use it as often because it tends to dry out the GrillGrates. Go easy on the water. Be careful of hot steam- spritz of water during warmup is best. Do not use a garden hose on hot GrillGrates- it is guaranteed to warp them.
This is my go to brush to get into the valleys.
Tip: Replace your brush regularly- just like your tooth brush they wear out or get too dirty

When GrillGrates Get Sloppy and They Will! 
Here are a Few Tricks to Clean Them Right Up:
  1. The GrateTool doubles as a cleaning device for the valleys. Use it like a shovel or a plow. The tines are turned upward at the tip so they won't catch in the holes of the valleys. Periodically shovel the valleys with the GrateTool either during warm up or on a cold grill. Shovel the valleys after particularly greasy foods such as chicken or a grill full of 80/20 hamburgers. The grease will puddle in the valleys and is easily shoveled away the next grilling with the GrateTool. A little grease is fabulous flavor, but too much grease in the valleys can ignite or send burned offerings up to your food.
Hot SOAK in JOY and a little Brillo 

I only clean the valleys on my GrillGrates when there is a reasonable buildup. Most of the time the build-up dislodges during brushing and the GrillGrates truly do become self cleaning.  Its only when I get sloppy with marinades or grill a lot of chicken or hamburgers that I tend to the valleys. 

 2.  SOAK GrillGrates in HOT water with Dawn or Joy dish-soapFocus on the raised rails with a scruby and use the GrateTool as a scrapper for the valleys and sides in the sink too.

grease gone, cleaning GrillGrates
Grease Gone
    • TIP: Its OK to use Brillo on the top of the rails but don't go crazy trying to clean the valleys or bottom. 
    • We are testing an organic de-greaser that is showing very good results.  Grease Gone is a coconut oil based all natural product that can also be used as a hand-cleaner, range top cleaner and added to hot water for a GrillGrate cleaner.  Includes a sanding block style sponge that is for the valleys. (Update July 10th- currently out of stock on Grease Gone- not sure if we are continuing to sell)
    3.  Burning OFF on the grill is OK-  but GrillGrates will dry out from the prolonged heat You may need to use Grill Spray or canola oil on the cooking rails the first cook or two. 
    • TIP: Several customers report success cleaning GrillGrates in their self-cleaning ovens. Do not use oven cleaner as it can pit and tarnish. They may be 'dry' the first couple of cooks.
    • Powerwash! Customers also report power-washing is very effective. One catering customer told me he bungee-cords his GrillGrates to a tree and power washes them after rendering pork butts on them!
    Do you have a special process or brush you particularly like- please tell us!



    Updated May 21 2013.  One year to the day...

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012


    Re-Charging My Charbroil Grill

    My 4-burner charbroil gas grill has been a year-round workhorse since I bought it grill 5 years ago. I should have kept count of how many gas grills I have owned in the past 30 years; no doubt its in double digits. I don't recall any of them fondly- but this Charbroil has been different. First it lasted more than two seasons and of course GrillGrates have made it a grilling machine with terrific control and consistency. I've become attached to this grill and a tune up was over due.

    I have never repaired a gas grill before- just junked them. This Charbroil is a grill worth saving and I'm proud of the fact that it cost under $100 to make it as good as new. I'm even more proud of the fact of doing it myself since no one has ever described me as handy. I thought I'd share what I've learned about grill maintenance.
    1. Burners and cooking grates are the first thing to wear out on most grills. Broken burners are not hard to replace, contrary to my expectations. There are not even any screws or bolts involved. Replacement burners just seat inside an area behind the knob. I decided to replace all 4 burners even though only 2 were broken. I did not bother repairing the igniter as lighting with a lighter is just as easy and less chance of a ka-boom after lots of clicking on the starter.
    1. Replace the flame tents also known as flavorizer bars. They are there to primarily diffuse the heat around the tent to provide more even heating and to protect the burners from debris. I learned that If you let them go too long they'll collapse onto the burner and take it out too.
       
    2. Careful removing too much of the rust inside your grill you may not have anything left. I realized that the bottom of my grill will be the next thing to go so I gently removed some of the rust pile but stopped after realizing it was going to cave in. 
       
    3. Hats off to Charbroil for a super replacement parts web site that led me right to the parts I needed . They even sold me on a cleaner on the way out of the store.
    1. Replacing the existing grates with GrillGrates is a turbocharger for your grill!  I already knew this since GrillGrates have been on this Charbroil since day one. For the first 3 years I had 5 standard 13.75” GrillGrates across the grill with a couple of inches clear in the back and I was thrilled. I finally listened to our customers particularly Meathead Goldwyn who 2 years ago asked me for 18.5” long GrillGrates to replace his grates. I finally replaced my cast iron grates 18 months ago and the efficiency gain has been unbelievable. My Charbroil is like a souped up Chevy Nova! It gets hotter faster and uses a lot less propane. My Charbroil grill is better than new and may have another 5 years in it!  Grate Grilling Ahead!  Film at 11:00!

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Trying out the Reverse Sear with GrillGrates on my Charbroil.

    I've been on a quest to grill perfect restaurant quality steaks for the past several years and enjoying the process immensely! 

    I thought I had the formula perfected:  HOT GrillGrates grill steaks fast and sear them hard for bumper to bumper rare with a nice charred crust.   Now I'm hearing from competition teams winning with GrillGrate who are doing things a little differently and I'm getting questions about reverse searing?  I have to admit I've never tried it until last night. A little research led me to Chris Finney of Iron Pig BBQ who helped pioneer reverse searing in 2001.  This 'method' was validated by Alton Brown and America's Test Kitchen a few years later.  I contacted Chris and he ran me through his approach and we discussed how to do it on a gas grill.  I learned a lot about how to control and vary temps even better on my gas grill.  I can't believe I had not disconnected GrillGrates before now to get 2 zone heating!
    • First smoke and slow roast the steak at 200F or 190F - gentle indirect heat with a remote probe monitoring internal temps (I really enjoy the Maverick ET 732)
    • Set up gas grill 1/2 on low, the other 1/2 OFF
    • Separate GrillGrates on the low side so they are not attached to the heated side
    • Bring up to hood temp of approx 250F.  I noticed the heated side had GrillGrate temps of 400F while the non-heated side had GrillGrate temps of 200F- perfect!
    • Remove steak when internal reaches a few degrees below your target temp and loosely tent
    • Reset grill to HIGH all burners on- and get the GrillGrates as hot as you can get them
    • Grill 1 minute a side- turning only once to get that perfect seared surface
    video

    I was pleasantly surprised and will be "practicing" again real soon.  This may be the best of all worlds: low and slow followed by hot and fast.  I'm talking about grilling great steaks here!

    Please share your comments, secrets and ideas with us so we can keep practicing! 


    Don't forget to set your clocks forward!


    P.S.  My expertise took a big jump forward when Meathead Goldwyn of amazingribs.com convinced me to stop poking my meat and get an instant read thermometer.  I wonder why I was just guessing every time.  Now its precision grilling baby!