Porcelain vs. stainless steel barbeque grills

Written by marc chase
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Porcelain vs. stainless steel barbeque grills
Stainless steel barbecue grills are more common than porcelain grills. (Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images)

Outdoor barbecue manufacturers commonly use stainless steel and porcelain in grill construction because of the rust resistant, durable and heat conducting properties of both types of materials. Both grill types withstand harsh weather elements, maintain even heat for efficient cooking and provide many years of grilling enjoyment if properly maintained.

The common types

Grills made from stainless steel more often than not are gas grills with multiple burners. The shiny look and rust resistant properties of stainless steel make it a popular feature in many outdoor kitchens, decks and patios. Porcelain coated grills, typically made from steel or iron skeletons treated with porcelain enamel, often are charcoal grills -- Weber kettle grills being among the most popular porcelain-coated grills on the market.

Heating properties

Because both are made from metal skeletons, stainless steel and porcelain grills retain even heat, making them well suited for both direct-heat and indirect-heat grilling. Porcelain-coated grills tend to maintain core grilling temperatures for longer periods of time than stainless steel because the porcelain enamel provides an extra layer of insulation.

Cleaning and maintenance

Soft, cotton-based wash clothes and a basin of warm water (light on the dish soap) typically provide adequate cleaning for both stainless steel and porcelain grills. Over time, commercially available stainless steel cleaners can restore spotted or dulled stainless steel grills to their original sheen.

Things to avoid

Both stainless steel and porcelain coated grills are susceptible to scratches from contact with wire grill brushes and contact with other sharp or abrasive objects. Porcelain coating also forms cracks when dropped on hard surfaces of struck with blunt objects. Avoid any abrasive scrubbers or cleansers, as scratches or chips can lead to rusted out grills.

Keeping them covered

Though stainless steel and porcelain hold up well to weather, grill stands, grates, nuts and bolts last much longer if you use a fitted grill cover whenever the grill sits dormant.

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