Aftermarket Cast Iron Grates

SillyRabbit

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I feel guilty, but I did it. I bought off brand cast iron grates from Amazon for my EX4. Spec'd for Spirit 300, same as the parts that Weber now show as compatible with the SmokeFire. Thought I would share some pics and later follow up on how they perform\last. The are solid cast iron and the measurements 17.25" x 23.5" when side by side. They fit same as the stock grates with more slope than desired. Probably 3/4" gap if they are pushed apart. The short way, they fit with no issue. The obvious up side going this route over Weber is cost. These were $26.99 for the pair shipped. At one point I had a set in my cart that were only $20.89. I debated too long and the price went up, so I grabbed these. There are several brands out there, probably all made at the same China factory. This brand is Stanbroil. Here are some pics.

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JpsBBQ

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I feel guilty, but I did it. I bought off brand cast iron grates from Amazon for my EX4. Spec'd for Spirit 300, same as the parts that Weber now show as compatible with the SmokeFire. Thought I would share some pics and later follow up on how they perform\last. The are solid cast iron and the measurements 17.25" x 23.5" when side by side. They fit same as the stock grates with more slope than desired. Probably 3/4" gap if they are pushed apart. The short way, they fit with no issue. The obvious up side going this route over Weber is cost. These were $26.99 for the pair shipped. At one point I had a set in my cart that were only $20.89. I debated too long and the price went up, so I grabbed these. There are several brands out there, probably all made at the same China factory. This brand is Stanbroil. Here are some pics.

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I believe the Weber ones have an enamel coating which eliminates upkeep and potential rust. Thus the price difference. All the Weber cast stuff has enamel bonded to it. I have not had any issues with longevity. I think they have perfected this process. Think cast iron pot vs enamel coated cast iron pot. Lodge vs le cruset so to speak.
 
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SillyRabbit

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Now that you mention it, yeah, the Weber coating is the difference. I have a Weber cast iron griddle for my Genesis and I have never had to season it or do anything for its upkeep. I am going to season these grate like a cast iron skillet. A light coat of high temp oil at 400deg for an hour, 3 or 4 times. As they are now, they are just bare cast iron.
 

JumboShrimp

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New guy question here. Is there a difference when using the cast iron grates verse the stainless that come with the EX4? I mean, the stainless do feel/look pretty underwhelming. Is there an issue with smoking on Cast Iron?
 

JpsBBQ

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The stock grates are coated steel. They offer both porcelain coated cast grids and heavier stainless grids as an option. I run the stainless on my ex4. If I had a 6 I would probably do a combo with two stainless panels and one cast.
 

rwhapham

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After learning a bit more about the science of searing (any why "grill marks" = an incomplete sear) from a BBQ book I got for Father's Day, I'm considering options to up my reverse-sear method game. Right now I'm running stock grates on my EX4. I'm looking for more real estate than a simple cast iron skillet would provide, and came across this on Weber's site: https://www.weber.com/US/en/accesso...orcelain-enameled-cast-iron-griddle/7598.html. Of course, there is also the less expensive option of just getting a cast iron grate to use on the "sear side": https://www.weber.com/US/en/accesso...in-enameled-cast-iron-cooking-grate/7011.html. The griddle would definitely maximize the surface area of the meat in contact with the heat, but I'm worried that having to put it on top of the existing grate would mean the existing grate would steal too much of the heat energy for itself. The cast iron grate would solve that, but gives up contact area. Any thoughts from those who have experience?
 

rwhapham

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Well, I guess I should have looked closer at the pics. The Weber griddle doesn't sit on top of the existing grates. It replaces one of them. Now I can see why everyone becomes accessory junkies. I can see use for both the griddle and the cast iron grate. Adios $150. ;)
 

AHoneyman

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You can also turn a GrillGrate unit over and use the flat bottom.
 

Bruno

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This is my grilling set up, 2 cast iron and one stainless. I feel like the cast iron is amazing at getting a good sear. I love them.
The stainless grates are thicker than the stock and do a nice job as well.
All grates are Weber.
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This is my smoking set up, custom top grate.
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bbqking

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You guys need to stop showing pictures of these upgraded grates….I’m having a fit here trying to decide which one to get!!
 

rwhapham

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Well happy day...I found a Home Depot gift card I forgot that I had. Enough to cover a Weber cast iron grate. So I'll step up to that first and see how well that improves sear before jumping in on the Weber griddle.
 

SSSBBQ

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My bigger issue is where to store the extra things when not in use. Love the setup here.
 

Brad S

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After learning a bit more about the science of searing (any why "grill marks" = an incomplete sear) from a BBQ book I got for Father's Day, I'm considering options to up my reverse-sear method game. Right now I'm running stock grates on my EX4. I'm looking for more real estate than a simple cast iron skillet would provide, and came across this on Weber's site: https://www.weber.com/US/en/accesso...orcelain-enameled-cast-iron-griddle/7598.html. Of course, there is also the less expensive option of just getting a cast iron grate to use on the "sear side": https://www.weber.com/US/en/accesso...in-enameled-cast-iron-cooking-grate/7011.html. The griddle would definitely maximize the surface area of the meat in contact with the heat, but I'm worried that having to put it on top of the existing grate would mean the existing grate would steal too much of the heat energy for itself. The cast iron grate would solve that, but gives up contact area. Any thoughts from those who have experience?
Meathead book?
 
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