For you folks that don’t like to read long articles let me give you the basic information now: The Craycort cast iron grill grates are amazing addition for your Weber kettle.
For you folks that like reading long articles let’s get going and I will show you why I love the Craycort grate system and how I have been putting it to use.
The Craycort cast iron grill grate is a modular grate system that comes with a base configuration of four cast iron grill inserts.
Why cast iron grill grates for your Weber kettle?
Because the standard cooking grate that comes with your Weber grill sucks.
The standard Weber cooking grates are made of nickel plated steel. The Weber grates look pretty at first but as soon as the plating falls off (it takes about two-three months) the grate will rapidly start deteriorating as the metal rusts and flakes away.
A standard Weber cooking grate will last about two years before it needs to be replaced. I suspect the heavy duty Craycort cast iron grill grates are going to last me 15-20 years.
Because cast iron is beautiful.
Most people either love cast iron or hate it.
I love cast iron.
I love the weight, the durability, the blackness.
The idea of combining classic cast iron with a classic Weber kettle just makes sense to me.
Because extra inserts increase your grilling versatility.
Craycort offers multiple inserts that will fundamentally change how you think about grilling.
Weber came out with a “heavy duty” grate capable of accepting inserts a few years ago. I do not like the Weber system for two reasons. The first is that the “Heavy Duty” grate is still made from nickel plated steel. The grate is heavier so I am guessing it will last 3-5 years before it falls apart. The second reason is that the grate can only accept one insert at a time AND the insert must be located in the center of the grate.
The Craycort modular system simply blows the Weber product away.
Inserts for Cast Iron Grill Grates
Let’s talk about steak.
Some folks insist that steak has to be cooked directly over live flames or you might as well be cooking in the kitchen.
Other folks say that grill marks are for suckers and that the only proper way to cook a steak is to caramelize the crust by searing it in a hot pan.
Here is where the Craycort griddle insert comes into play.
You can swap out one of the grill grates for the griddle and let the griddle get hot for 10-15 minutes.
You can easily get the griddle up to 600F and getting up to 800F just takes a little more time and fuel.
You can do some serious steak searing on a charcoal fired cast iron griddle.
I don’t care which camp you are in about how to cook a steak. The Craycort system will take care of you regardless of your preferences.
Of course you can do a whole lot more with a griddle than sear steaks.
Let me show you what you can do when you combine the griddle insert with the cast iron wok insert.
We used this setup to make the world’s best steak sandwiches. We grilled a two pound ribeye steak over the grate, caramelized onions on the griddle and sautéed mushrooms in the wok.
The onions were incredible.
To make the sandwich we added the onions and mayonnaise to a toasted bun….
Then piled on chopped steak and mushrooms….
Topped everything off with some Havarti cheese and Dijon mustard. The sandwiches went back onto the grill to melt the cheese. You can flip that griddle over and have an excellent grill pan at your disposal!
Nope, no finished pictures of the sandwiches…we were too dang busy eating them.
Another great use of the Griddle/Wok combination is for when you feel like grilling breakfast.
Pork chops, diced potatoes and a veggie omelet.
The griddle was so “non-stick” that the omelet was an easy flip.
The cast iron really put a nice crust on the potatoes.
I realize that firing up a grill isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do for breakfast.
I guess some of us just like to grill more than others.
Of course you can always take things further and add a third insert.
I went with a griddle, regular wok and a veggie wok. The veggie wok is great for when you want a little fire and smoke to hit your food and the pieces are large enough to not fall through the holes.
This set up was used to grill up some Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice 🙂
I cooked a couple of scrambled eggs on the griddle while the spicy shrimp (marinated in Teriyaki and Sirachai) went into the veggie wok.
The regular wok was used to sauté some diced onions.
Add your cooked rice to the onions along with some soy sauce, peas and carrots.
Let everything cook through then blend in the scrambled eggs and shrimp.
This beats Chinese takeout any day of the week.
So, do you really need cast iron grill grates for your Weber kettle?
Of course not.
You also really don’t need a Corvette Stingray or 20 year old single malt Scotch.
To be honest, you really don’t even need a grill.
But, if you are going to be in the grilling game then you might as well look at getting the best equipment possible.
Caring for Cast Iron Grill Grates
Although these grates are pre-seasoned and non-stick they will eventually acquire some rust. The rust is just a surface issue and is easily dealt with.
To minimize the formation of rust I do not scrape or clean the grates after a grilling session. I use the grease as a protective barrier until the next time I grill. When it is time to grill again I will add the charcoal, let everything heat up and then clean off the crud and grease from the last grill session with a wire brush.
When you do get some rust simply brush it off and season the grates. This is a simple process of heating up the grates on the grill and using a pair of tongs to rub the grates with a paper towel that has been soaked in peanut oil. This just takes a few minutes and helps the grates keep their shine.
Obviously it helps if you keep you grill covered and at a minimum keep the top vent closed when the grill is not in use.
If you think that a set of cast iron grill grates might be just the thing for your grill then here are some links wher you can pick one up.
Cast Iron Grill Grates for 14.5 inch grills (Weber Smokey Joe and Small Big Green Eggs)
Cast Iron Grill Grates for 18.5 inch grills (Weber Jumbo Joe and Regular Big Green Eggs)
Cast Iron Grill Grates for 22.5 inch Weber grills
Cast Iron Grill Grates for 26.75 inch Weber grills
Thanks for looking! I hope this post gets you fired up to get outside and start grilling!