Saturday, 31 March 2012
Craycort Cast Iron Grates review!
Last week I was given the opportunity to write a review on the Craycort Cast Iron Grates for the BBQ. I gladly accepted and yesterday by UPS I received my complimentary Craycort Cast Iron Grates, Small griddle/hotplate for cast iron grate, and a Cast Iron handle (lifter).
They sent me there 18.5" grates so it would fit on my Large Big Green Egg and Large Kamado Joe ceramic cookers. They are also available for the XL Big Green Egg, 18.5" Weber grills, 22.5" Weber grills, 26.75" Weber grills, Go anywhere grills, 14.5" Smokey Joe and Frykat style grill. These grates are manufactured by Barbequer BBQ Innovation also known as 4GrillersJoy folks. They make top quality cast iron products which I find they are the best out there!
Here's a little history of the Craycort company from their website:
" My name is Rolf Buerkle, I came up with the modular grate idea in 2008 because there are few other options for producing a full cast iron grate. Lodge used to make a split grate in the 90s but it wasn't as easy to use.
Craycort llc got founded in 2009 to distribute 4grillersjoys award winning cast iron grates in North America and now we sell to the US, Canada, and the UK.
Our grates combine the advantages of cast iron with the ease of use of a flip up grid. Stoke the fire and refill charcoal by removing just one insert. While the rest of the food stays on." Source: http://www.cast-iron-grate.com/about-us/
Ok let's start this review shall we!
These cast Iron Grates already came pre-seasoned which is real nice! The quality and craftsmanship of these grates are extremely good and it definitely shows that they paid attention to every little details. They are built solid like a tank! I filled my Big Green Egg Dutch oven with water and place it on top of the warm cast iron grates and they didn't even bow which was totally impressive.
The outer frame that hold all the cast iron grates is a half inch in thickness. Also each grill plates is 5/16 of inch in thickness! Now you can see why these are built pretty rugged.
What I also really like about them is that they are beyond practical for the following reason:
1. The ability to remove only one portion instead of the entire grate during a cook which is a real convenience and time saver! This allows you to remove one section at a time to add more charcoal or wood smoking chunk or chips;
2. If you only use only one section of your grate you just have to clean that section which is also pretty convenient;
3. These grates are the best at getting the perfect sear marks on your steaks plus they are non-stick surface when kept well seasoned;
4. Cast Iron Grates gives you a more even heat and holds it for a lot longer than steel, aluminum or porcelain which solves the issue of hot spots on the grill. The key benefit to remember in using cast iron grates is that it's such a great conductor and retainer of heat which make a night and day difference when cooking on the grill;
5. They can sustain a higher temp then regular grates which means they are the best for searing stakes and sealing the juices inside your steaks;
6. The versatility of these grates allows you to be able to remove individual grate section and add other modules like the cast iron griddles, Cast Iron Vegetable Wok, and Chicken holders. It is very nice to be able to griddle some vegetables at the same time as your cooking some chicken or grilling a steak;
7. I also personally found that surface of these cast iron grates makes a huge impact on the flavor profile of your food which was real nice to see. You basically get the high end restaurant Grill marks and flavor of the grill!
The secret to maintaining these Craycort Cast Iron Grates so they look like new for a lifetime is to scrape these grates after each cook with a wire brush and give them a light coat of Canola oil or Vegetable oil using a basting brush which gives you a better coverage. Some users feel it can leave a sticky residue on the grates, so they opt instead to use bacon grease or lard. They are both good to use on these grates but just experiment and see which is best for you. I personally like using the oil better. A few friends of mine also said it good idea to put a very light coat of oil on them as well after they are cool down if you plan in not using your grill for extended period of time.
I was also told by fellow eggheads that if these grates are left in a moist environment that rust can build up on them! The easy way to get rid of the rust is to brush it off and re-season them with oil according to many users.
Source of video Youtube uploaded by: SD4547
Also here's the preferred method which I got in email on how to perform this task from Craycort in removing rust on them. If it ever happens to you which it shouldn't if your grates are well maintained and kept away from the elements inside your BBQ!
"If your cast iron grill grate sits out in a moist or wet environment for long enough to gather rust, use a wire brush or fine grit sand paper to get the rust off. One trick for getting rust off of the area between the rods of your grill grate is to mix some pork fat (lard) with some salt and coat the grates with it.
Fire up the grill and the fat and salt mixture carries away much of the rust, dripping down into the grill. After the fat has been rendered off, brush the grates down with a wire brush. It is a quick fix, best to not let your cast iron grates get rusty in the first place."
I wish I would of know about the Craycort Cast Iron Grates a few years back when I first got my large Big Green Egg. I definitely say that these grates are must have for all Big Green Egg, Weber, and Kamado Joe users!
I also learn that a quick way to add some oil during a cook with the griddle unit is to use Pam and it works like a charm!
Well I did a few cooks so far using the Craycort cast iron grates and so far I am beyond impressed with them! I also talk to a few eggheads about their experience with them on various forum that I belong to and they were all impressed with their experience in using them! I also have a couple of friends that have been using them for a while on their Weber performer grills and said it improved the quality and presentation of whatever food they cook on their Weber. The grill marks you get out of these cast iron grill grates on your food are of restaurant quality. So far I find these are grates pretty easy to maintain with a little TLC after each cook. It is very important to not forget to clean you grates and to oil them with a light coat of oil after each cook. It's pretty simple to do and it only takes about five minutes of your time. I definitely rates these grates without a doubt in my mine a 5 stars out of 5 stars! I definitely say these are the best investment you can get for your grill and another bonus is that it will pimp up the look of your grill! They are definitely the best built cast iron grates I ever used or saw and extremely versatile!
Also here's a good video on the Craycor Cast Iron Grates made by The BBQ Pit Boys!
Source of video Youtube uploaded by BarbecueWeb
Important note: Always use your Cast Iron Handle and a good pair of insulated gloves when handling hot grates!
Here's were you can aquire these grates:
You can order your Craycort Cast Iron Grates here: Craycor cast-iron-grate US store
In Canada you can order them from here: Canadian Craycort Store