Decisions...decisions...need help with new grates.

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Mike Myers

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I have a Performer with the original grate. I am interested in buying replacement grates but am trying to decide between the following three choices:

Grill Grates
Craycort CI

I know the drawback with the Craycort CI and the Performer as far as how the ignition tube is in the middle of the grill and will be blocked by the grate support frame but was wondering if I could get some other advice/pros/cons about these three choices.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and help.
Craycort Ci wins hands down. I use them on my performer and love them. Be sure to buy the handle to move them
Take a look at BBQ Galore. They have a 3 peice cast iron grill system for Weber Kettles that I believe would be better in the Performer.

I Have the Craycorts. They are well made & shipped out fast.

I believe Charbroil just started making a CI grate and the middle of it comes out in one piece, leaving a "donut". It's a thinner 'gauge" than the Craycort, but looks to be a good (and less expensive) option for Performer owners.
Posted June 15, 2011 06:51 PM Hide Post
Craycort Ci wins hands down. I use them on my performer and love them. Be sure to buy the handle to move them Smiler

I agree 100% love these grates!
I have a Weber gourmet system on my performer and the craycort on my 26. I prefer the Weber Gourmet CI system on the Performer because I have easier access to the coals in the middle where the ignition is. It's also a better set up for low and slow because of the hindged grate on the side (you can get at the charcoal without having to remove the meat). Another thing I like about the Weber Gourmet is it's cheaper than the craycort and the craycort is more likely to rust.

The craycort is great for the 26 because the gaps where the inserts sit are wide enough that you don't have to remove the whole thing to fit a chimney starter.

I like both and think you'll be happy with either but I prefer the Weber Gourmet for the Performer. Here is the big caviat though. I rarely cook more than 4-5 steaks at a time. The Weber Gourmet has a smaller cast iron surface so I'll typically cook the meat on the cast iron and the sides around the outside. Typically, I'm cooking for us and maybe another couple. If I have a party, I will usually pull out the 26. If you use the gourmet system for more than 4-5 pieces of meat, not all of the meat will have sear marks. That's the biggest downside in my opinion.
Originally posted by Corey Elks:
what is the advantage of the removable middle section?

The removable center section allows access to tend your coals, set your chimney on the charcoal grate (if the hole is big enough)
The Stok grills, as sold by HD, also have available accessories to fit the center hole, similar to the Weber Gourmet system accessories, like a griddle, pizza stone, and some other things I cannot remember right now etc.. (I was not that interested to make a mental note of them all, as I already have a CI grate)..


Do you (or anyone else) know if Home Depot sells the Stok grate by itself as a replacement grate? They have the inserts listed but I could not find the whole grate listed. I might be interested in this one...I like that the middle insert looks like a "normal" CI grate instead of a different grate design. I like the traditional parallel grates to get the traditional sear marks.

Originally posted by Kendall Cook:
This is the grate for the Stok grill that home depot sells, it has a removable center section like the Weber Gourmet

That's really cool. Thanks for posting it. What does that go for at HD?
I have been using Grill Grates on my Performer for a few months now, and I can’t quite decide if I like them or not. I bought the “fitted” set for a 22.5 kettle.


- Really does eliminate flare-ups hitting the food. This is probably my favorite feature. Most juices drip down and hit the metal between the raised grates and vaporize. If anything does hit the fire the grates block the resulting flame.

- Does give really nice sear marks IF hot enough (see below).

- After a couple of cooks I am getting very good non-stick performance.

- The Grate Tool does work very well for flipping fish and delicate foods.

- Chicken and burgers really do seem extra juicy with all that vaporizing happening.


- I have to build a much hotter fire then normal for some reason. Usually it is just my wife and I, so I am cooking two or three pieces of meat. On the stock grates, a half chimney is generally perfectly adequate for us (unless I am searing a steak or something requiring very high heat). With the Grill Grates, there is now a hunk of metal between the fire and the food. Sure, it heats up, but I have to use 3/4 to a full chimney in order to cook effectively. So I am burning through charcoal way faster then I used to which bugs me. If I try to get away with less, then cooking takes forever and sear marks are less then impressive. On the stock grates with the food directly exposed to the coals I don’t have that problem, so I can only assume that the grates are deflecting/absorbing a lot of the heat that should be getting to the food.

- Cleaning is a bit of a pain. Gunk collects between the raised portions of the grate. The Grate Tool gets a lot of it out, but not all of it, and then it builds up around the edge of the kettle, which I don’t like. The remaining gunk that the tool misses can sometimes give food a gross black film when hit with hot juices. Giving the grates a quick wash in the sink takes care of this, but it's extra hassle that I never had to do with the stock grates.

- A minor issues, but when lighting my charcoal I really like how I can hang the stock grate from the back of the Performer. Now I have to set it on the table, which makes a mess. This would certainly be an issue with any aftermarket grate, and it’s not that big a deal to just wipe it down, but something to think about.

So there are my two cents. Just last night I went back to my stock grates because I am sick of using so much fuel. I am wondering if I should have gone the cast iron route (I love my CI dutch ovens and skillet), but I really do like the flare-up blocking of the Grill Grates.

I just went through the same dilemma with my Performer. I went with the Char-Broil cast iron grate with the removable center. With a coupon, it was the same price as Weber's special-order stainless grate, and I don't have to futz with removing a Craycort support ring.

In other news, Home Depot's website has officially started to sell to Stok grate as of this week. I opted against it because of price.


ps...I know what you're saying about traditional lines. My eventual thinking was that I can spin food on the Char-broil for a crosshatch if I want to, but straight lines aren't worth $30 to me.
Originally posted by Kendall Cook:
Ethan, don't know what foods are flaring up on you but especially with steaks try the 2-2-2-2 Method, it tends to sear both sides early on, locking in the juices for less chance of flare ups and gives you your X grill marks

It's a myth that searing locks in the juices. Alton Brown showed this on an episode of Good Eats.

But to be fair, not drying something out is an entirely different issue than "sealing" in juices. And it's not just AB that debunked that one. Searing makes things taste good, but it doesn't directly make anything juicier.
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