Kitchn Love Letters

This Ingenious Grilling Tool Gives Me Steakhouse-Level Grill Marks Every Time — and It Can Be Used Indoors

published Sep 22, 2022
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Hot coals in a grill, holding hand over to gauge temperature
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

I love living in Brooklyn, but thanks to my comically small apartment and lack of outdoor space, I don’t get to grill much. However, since I’ve been staying with my folks in the ‘burbs for a few weeks, I’ve been taking the opportunity to put meat to iron as much as possible before it gets too chilly. Unfortunately, their old gas grill has seen better days — the pilot has gone, one of the burners is spotty, and the grates are more charred-on food than metal. Since the thought of trying to scrape the grates spotless was daunting (to say the least), I figured I’d just see if I could snag a replacement grate off the web. While I didn’t find an exact replacement for the model my parents have, what I did find was much, much better: GrillGrates

GrillGrates are exactly what they sound like: grates for your grill. However, they’re actually so much more than that. You can shop their site a la carte or look up your exact grill model to find either a replacement for your factory grates or models that simply sit on top of your existing grates. I opted for the one that sits on top of your grill since that seemed like the path of least resistance. 

I have to say, after slapping on a few GrillGrates panels, my folks’ old grill instantly transformed into a pro-level cooking tool. I gave them a few tests with some burgers and grilled chicken, but since I’m no grilling expert, I thought I’d consult the kind of person we all know to be a grillmaster: a dad. Specifically, my dad, who isn’t always the first guy to jump at a fancy new cooking tool (he likes what he likes — can’t blame him there). However, he’s absolutely fallen in love with GrillGrates for three particular reasons. For starters, these things cook meat fast, making them perfect for weeknight dinners and big-batch meal prepping, since they cut down on cooking time. They’re also removable and easy to clean, which is particularly important for grilling. (Just think: Would you want to lick your current grill grates? Didn’t think so.) Finally, the grill marks these suckers produce are unmatched. While I know that steakhouse-style grill marks aren’t super important when it comes to great-tasting food, man do they look good — and caring about your presentation is a great way to keep you engaged and having fun in the kitchen. (Even when it’s just you, a steak, and late-night infomercials on a Monday.)

Credit: Ian Burke

The best part? If you don’t boast a grill of your own, you’re not left out of the fun. GrillGrates are also available for indoor cooking purposes, with models for Air Fryers and skillets for easy grilling right in your kitchen. That way, even if your apartment is as small as mine (and I’m betting it’s not) you’ll still be able to achieve that perfect char flavor that only a grill can provide. My dad and I aren’t the only ones that dig the GrillGrates, either. “I am extremely pleased with both how they turned out and how well they grill!” one reviewer writes. “Like I said, these are not my first set of GrillGrates, and certainly won’t be my last. I LOVE THEM!” 

My advice? If you’re looking for a grilling gadget that’s affordable, easy to clean, and will take your meals to the next level, skip the fancy new spatula and “Kiss the Cook” apron and pick up a set of GrillGrates.