What is the Difference Between the Types of Cooking Grids?

When looking for your new Napoleon Grill there are many options to choose from when it comes to the perfect barbecue for your lifestyle. One of those choices includes what kind of cooking grids or grates you want to have. Napoleon has three amazing options to choose from: cast iron, stainless steel, and cast stainless. Find out the difference between these different types of BBQ grates and how you can take advantage of their unique properties.


Cast Iron Cooking Grids

Cast iron cooking grates are fantastic for retaining and transferring heat. They produce the best sear marks, so you will have sexy looking steaks and perfectly charred chops. This comes with a little extra work, however. Cast iron cooking grids need the same kind of TLC that your favorite cast iron frying pan needs. They need to be kept clean and seasoned regularly. If you can do this, they will last you a long time.

Learn more about cleaning and caring for your Cast Iron Cooking Grids.



Stainless Steel Cooking Grids

High-quality stainless steel is resilient and durable – that’s why we make our grills from it. Our stainless steel cooking grates are just as durable. These grids require virtually no maintenance other than keeping them clean. However, they don’t heat up like the cast iron grids will, so the sear marks produced aren’t as distinct. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t getting a fantastic cook from your stainless grids.

Keep those Stainless Steel Cooking Grids looking like new by following the tips in this article.



Cast Stainless Cooking Grids

These grids come almost exclusively on the Phantom 500 Series gas barbecue, but can be purchased as an upgrade for your Prestige PRO 825, 665, and 500 series barbecues. Cast stainless grids feature the best of both worlds when it comes to grilling. Providing excellent heat retention and transfer, these grids cook like cast iron grids. They are also durable and require little maintenance like the stainless steel grids. Cast stainless steel cooking grids can be cleaned by scraping them with a stainless grill brush while still hot. They can also be cleaned in hot soapy water when they are safe to touch.



What are the Differences


Cast Iron

Stainless Steel

Cast Stainless


Best heat retention/transfer

Heat quickly, loses heat fast

Heat quickly, excellent heat retention and transfer

Sear Marks

Best sear marks

Less distinct sear marks

Excellent sear marks


Sleek and black, can develop rust spots

Develops a yellow, orange, purple patina after use

Generally retains color, can develop patina


High maintenance

Very low maintenance

Very low maintenance


Need maintenance to remain durable

Very durable

Very durable


Now that you know the difference between Cast Iron, Stainless Steel, and Cast Stainless Grids, what will you choose? There are pro’s and con’s to all types of cooking grids and the biggest difference between them (besides material) is the amount of maintenance required to keep your grids like new. They all cook differently while giving you the barbecuing experience you deserve. What cooking grids do you have and how do you like them? Share your grilling greatness, your favorite recipes, and your success stories on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtags #NapoleonGrill and #NapoleonMoments.

Happy Grilling!