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Thread: Stainless Steel Grate Throwdown Challenge Results

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    TVWBB Emerald Member Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    Stainless Steel Grate Throwdown Challenge Results

    I am still hoping someday to make my first "This Old Grill" episode, but hurricane and family stuff make that unlikely for a while. So, I decided I should at least publish my findings here so that you all can review them and maybe ask some questions. I did a separate page on each set of grates. I tried to do a broad set of objective comparisons. The final analysis is obviously just my own opinion; you will probably draw some of your own differently:













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    TVWBB Emerald Member Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    Here are the rest:











    NEXT POST I WILL INCLUDE A FEW PICTURES
    Genesis Platinum Skyline 3200 CharQ,Q2200"Flat-top" 26 Kettle Red,Black 22 1Touch Platinum, Black '74 18, SJ. 2 many projects!

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    TVWBB Emerald Member Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    Here are some comparison pictures of the three "mid-level" price contestants. I am starting with these, because I felt they would be of the most interest to a broad array of members. However, I can post additional pictures based on requests.

    Here is Midwest Hearth on the left compared to Qlimetal on the right. I originally felt that the extra support bar was a positive, but I have had it pointed out that it can interfere with cleaning. I think that at over 7mm, a third support is probably not necessary. The Midwest Hearth grates are a hair longer, but maybe not enough to address the "sliding around" issue some have noted, especially with a firebox that is somewhat bowed out.



    Here is the same Midwest Heart now compared to Hongso. The Hongso grates are noticeably longer and not like to slide around. They do not have the same level of fit and finish, at least in my opinion.





    I hope this report will be of value as you are looking at stainless rod grate options!
    Genesis Platinum Skyline 3200 CharQ,Q2200"Flat-top" 26 Kettle Red,Black 22 1Touch Platinum, Black '74 18, SJ. 2 many projects!

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    TVWBB Hall of Fame Bruce's Avatar
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    Excellent write up Jon. Very nice. You have me really interested in those Midwest grates. I like the idea of no center cross member. It makes cleaning them with a tool like the Chargon a ton easier. As long as they are "longer" than the Uniflasy (Hiscen) grates, then I don't think there will be an issue with bowed out cook boxes as I have never had a set of the Uniflasy actually fall in. Just close to falling in.

    I think I would stick with Honsgo for flip grills as long as prices stay the same. But, I would find it hard to go with RCPlanebuyer grates at more than double what the Midwest grates cost. The Midwest grates, while not as thick of a rod, they make up for it with more rods to produce that highly sought after "small spacing" factor which for some people is critical. I own a set a RCP grates and I truly love them and I will own them probably as long as I am able to grill, but there does seem to be some nearly as good products out there for those who are price conscious. A Cadillac Escalade is great, but a Chevy Suburban will get the job done as well for a lot less.

    One thing to remember on this review is that prices on these kinds of grill parts tends to vary quite a bit and quite often, so if you are planning to buy a set of grates, you should probably check for current pricing before you pull the trigger.

    Thanks again Jon. I was looking for this review for quite a while and now I can be more confident in my choices for grill grates for my rehabs and otherwise. Also, thanks for the late entry of the Midwest grates. But now you need to get out there and rehab some grills to use all those grates on.

    I wonder if this review could somehow be included in the Weber Parts Source Sticky????? Chris? Maybe just add it to the list of sticky thread?
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    TVWBB Pro Greg M's Avatar
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    Very nice comparative analysis.

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    Thanks Jon, very informative. I appreciate the time you took to help us all out.

    Richard

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    TVWBB All-Star Dave in KC's Avatar
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    Wow Jon, that was an excellent and likely exhaustive breakdown.
    Thank you for posting.
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    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
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    Jon, that was a great comparison and very informative. Although I'm out of the flipping game due to a lack of suitable grills to flip I appreciate the information as I have a couple of gassers I want to upgrade.
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    TVWBB Pro Greg M's Avatar
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    Jon I know it's subjective but it would be interesting to know your ranking of these grates from best to worst.

  10. #10
    TVWBB Emerald Member Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg M View Post
    Jon I know it's subjective but it would be interesting to know your ranking of these grates from best to worst.
    Greg,
    I decided to not do that because I think it depends a lot on your objectives. For someone who highly values tight spacing and thick grates, it would be hard to beat Dave Santana/rcplanebuyer, but for me I think I would be potentially happier with the Summit ones of similar bar thickness but wider spacing that goes fine with what I typically grill and with my idiosyncratic love of cross hatch sear marks. Either view, I feel, is valid.

    Then there is the question of value. Are Dave’s grates worth 30 bucks more than BBQParts.com extremely nice ones? I kind of doubt it, but I know there are some others here who wouldn’t agree at all.

    Taking it to the other end, are the Hisencn/Uniflasy grates junk? I don’t think so, as long as your grill has a straight firebox. At 1/4 of the price, of course they are nowhere near the quality of the high end models, but for a flip grill or a budget oriented purchase they are still better than old rusted junk grates. I would be willing to say, though, that at this price range, Hisencn beats BBQ Toro in my opinion.

    In the middle of the road, I am pretty impressed with the Midwest Hearth entry. I am sure some will not give them the time of day, however, because they are 430 rather than 304 stainless. Of the mid price 304 entries, I personally like Qulimetal better than Hongso, but if your grill has some bow out, you will have a better experience with Hongso. They just don’t look as nicely finished.

    I hope my adventures with buying all these grates and doing this analysis will prove beneficial in helping other members in future purchases. Bruce is absolutely right that you need to verify current prices (and availability) because that changes regularly. I am sure, too, that new options will pop up as time goes by.

    I still hope to shoot some more video and pictures, but then I may offer a few of these sets for sale to members as I don’t see using all of them for grill restorations or even for my own grills.
    Last edited by Jon Tofte; 09-22-2019 at 12:26 PM.
    Genesis Platinum Skyline 3200 CharQ,Q2200"Flat-top" 26 Kettle Red,Black 22 1Touch Platinum, Black '74 18, SJ. 2 many projects!

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