The Claim:

“Get steakhouse results – superior heat conductivity creates perfect sear marks on your favorite steaks, chops, and burgers. Reverse the grid for a flat searing surface suitable for fish or seafood. Great for grilling veggies too!”

www.biggreenegg.com

Product Information:
The Big Green Egg Cast Iron Grate is made of 100% cast iron, measures 18.25″ diameter (fits Large BGE), and ships at a hefty 12 pounds. This item is a replacement cooking surface for your Big Green Egg. Before you get one, make sure it is the correct size for you Egg! This review is written for a Large Big Green Egg.

The actual grids are shaped like trapezoids, so that if you flip the grate over you will have slightly more (or less) contact area with the food. This is what is meant in the Claim when they say “reverse the grid.” The idea is that the “skinny” side is meant for grilling things like steaks so that you can get those nice grill marks. The “wide side” is meant for veggies, seafood, and other things you don’t want falling through the grates.

I actually only use the “wide side,” no matter what I am cooking. Especially for steaks, chops, and burgers where I want as much contact between the meat and the hot cast iron to get that perfect sear. In either configuration the grate will be screaming hot, so more contact between the grate and the meat will result in more caramelization and more flavor. You can easily see the difference in the cartoon below.

cast_iron

Why I Bought My Big Green Egg Cast Iron Grate:
I have had my eye on this accessory for some time. It seemed fairly popular among other Eggheads, so I thought that I should see what all the fuss is about. The purpose of this site, after all, is to provide information for other Eggheads. I had been using the standard grate that came with my BGE for a while anyways, so I was overdue for an upgrade. To be honest, it wasn’t a totally selfless purchase, because now I get to an enjoy an awesome cast iron grate!

What’s Good About The Big Green Egg Cast Iron Grate:
The main attraction behind cast iron anything is it’s ability to get hot and stay hot. This is the perfect quality for a grill grate. You want it to get screaming hot and stay that way so you can get the perfect sear on your steak. I am not sure that quality can be understated. I can replicate (even rival) those expensive steak houses from the comfort of my own backyard. And since this is cast iron, as long as you care for it, the Big Green Egg Cast Iron Grate will last forever. No doubt about it. I don’t know about you, but that is a big selling point for me. And to top it off, with a few bucks, you can take your old grate and re-purpose it into a DIY Raised Grid for double the cooking space!

What’s Not So Good About The Big Green Egg Cast Iron Grate:
There’s a lot to love about this product, surely, but there are also some downsides. The first thing I noticed is that this thing is heavy! You really need to be careful when pulling it out of the Egg, especially if it’s hot. One slip, or one wrong move, and you might have hot cast iron flying! When pulling it out of your Egg, always be sure you know exactly where you’re going to lay it. The other thing, and this goes for all cast iron products, is that it requires some TLC. Just like any grill grate, you need to scrape it clean after a cook but with a cast iron grate you also should apply a thin coat of vegetable oil. This will keep the grate properly seasoned, just like the cast iron pan all of our great grandmothers have. The final hurdle to get over is the price. It’s not exactly cheap, and if you already have a working stainless steel grate you should consider if this is an upgrade you need.