For the Weber kettle – A Cast Iron Grate Replacement by Craycort

Big D emailed me more than a few weeks ago and had stumbled on this new product (came out in June). This new product is a cast iron grate that is a replacement for the old chrome grill in a Weber kettle. Cool, eh? He emailed the guy extolling Meathenge’s virtues and said I just had to have one for review. Who am I to argue about such things?
It showed up directly and I monkeyed with it, figuring on dusting off my old kettle and seeing what this new fangled thing could do on a Meathenge Review. The deal was, the following weekend the boys and I were due up in Calistoga for fun and merriment. I usually cook in a hole in the ground, makes things so much simpler and less expensive. Not only do I not have to haul a grill up, but Jeffrey doesn’t have to buy one just for me to have when I’m there. Just toss an old grate on a few rocks and we’re done. An epiphany, I’ll bring the cast iron grate and use that over a hole in the ground! Duh.
I’m glad I thought of it. Sunday afternoon found me cleaning out my hole, the rocks were in fine shape. A fire was started, let it mellow a bit and set the grate down. It’s pre-seasoned, all ready to go. I grilled sausages, chicken parts, country style pork ribs, bacon directly and a beef tri-tip roast and all came out perfectly. It was a dream to cook on, although squatting next to a fire pit for 3 hours does have its drawbacks. Ouch!
The inventor contacted all the major players for distribution of this grill and had no takers. Personally, I believe they really screwed themselves. Now it’s being sold directly, bypassing all the major corporations, go man go!
I will be doing another review wherein I install this to my kettle, but I felt this product really needed to hit the street sooner than I could get that ready. And this was a perfect opportunity to test its mettle, heh. It performs exceptionally well, the build quality is high and it’s a joy to use. I know the 2 guys that have weber kettles at the party will be ordering this very soon. Don’t even remotely wait to order yours, you need it. Remember, you’re not sending your hard earned money to some large corporation, you’re sending it directly to the guy who invented it.
Craycort’s Cast Iron Grate replacement for the Weber kettle grill. Price is approximately 85 bux for the 22.5″ one.

24 thoughts on “For the Weber kettle – A Cast Iron Grate Replacement by Craycort

  1. Looks like you’re cooking on a manhole cover! How cute. It sounds fantastic; Cranky wants one for our little Smoky Joe. Or we could redig that hole and use a big grate. Floor pizza.

  2. Hi Cookie!
    Oh, speaking of which and I forgot to mention it. After the meal was done and the fire had burned down a bit, we all sat around drinking beverages and talking. I looked over and their 3 year old boy was standing directly ON the grill! I didn’t want to scare anyone, the boy wasn’t in any real danger. I said a little loudly to his Mother and pointed, “That’s bad!”
    We all had a chuckle about it, later. Wish I’d taken a picture, but I thought warning everyone was a better idea.

  3. Count me in, Big Boy. My single biggest beef with my bare-bones, basic Weber kettle (I use it for all my best cuts), is that the guage of the stock grate is a little on the light side. Oh, it gets hot enough, but the heat retention just isn’t there. Of course a couple of big ribeyes will suck the heat outta just about anything, but this Craycort gadget looks like it’ll put a real big hurt on ’em first. Some of the “soon available add-ons” look kind of intriguing, as well.

  4. Hey Chandler,
    Oh yeah! The cast iron takes a little while to heat up, but once it starts rolling, sear away. It was so kind to the bacon!

  5. It looks like each quarter section can be lifted off to add wood chunks, etc. Is that the case?

  6. Hey Carol,
    Yes, exactly and should have mentioned that in my review. This was a preliminary one and accidentally left it out.

  7. Sirs,
    It occours to me that this would make for a nice top grate in the ol 55 gallon UDS (upright drum smoker). The individual grates would fit nicely under the broiler in the house to sterilize them before the long cold smoke. Rim should fit right into the ID of the drum……

  8. Could you explain a bit more about the advantages of this grate over the standard Weber grate? Also, is it better for indirect cooking or are its advantages only with direct cooking?

  9. Hi Weber-user,
    Absolutely! We all know what the standard grate is for a weber kettle, a chromed wire rack. Food sticks to it readily and for some of us, doesn’t last too terribly long. It’ll get the job done and provides years of okay service when properly maintained. But there’s certainly nothing special about it.
    The sheer love people have when cooking with cast iron cookware is certainly no secret, mystery or different than grilling with it. The cast iron distributes even heat so you’re less likely to have nasty hot-spots on your grilling surface. Your food gets the heat it requires without directly being over direct heat.
    The advantages for indirect grilling are at least as good or better than the direct. Here’s the scoop. Put the cast iron grate in your weber, remove 2 of the inserts. There are 4 and they just lift out. Start your fire on the side without the grates and install your food to the 2 remaining grates. This way you can cook your food indirectly and at the very same time, tend to your fire. Being able to tend to your fire over a longer time period is key to cooking your food well and not fussing over actually GETTING to the fire.
    After your meal is done, and before the fire cools completely, scrub lightly with a wire grill brush to clean the cast iron grates. Done.
    As with my cast iron cookware I expect this grate to last a lifetime or more. A standard chromed cooking rack will never last anywhere near that time. I have some cast iron cooking grates from a grill that was made back in about 1971. They perform today exactly as they did way back then.

  10. Thanks! One more, about food sticking …
    I like to cook whole sides of salmon indirectly on the Weber. Sticking is an issue but I handle it by putting the skin side on the grill and if something sticks to the grill when removing the salmon it’s the skin. I’m wondering if the cast iron grill would cause more or less sticking with salmon.

  11. Hey W-user,
    When there isn’t enough lube between the grates and your food, food sticks. Hopefully at some point, between the grill, heat, food and the browning of the food, the item will release. At which time you can turn it or remove it. Cast iron has this uncanny ability to release food VERY nicely. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t rub a little oil on ANY grill before you start, or use the fatty side a piece of chicken skin. I didn’t with this one and after searing for 5+ minutes, the chicken just pulled right up without a hitch.
    Oh, I have a short story for you. When I was up in Calistoga cooking with this grill, one of the party participants was watching me carefully. There’s always at least 1 griller there to watch and make sure you don’t screw anything up. That’s cool, I get that. I used to do the same, but usually ended up tending the grill. So, today I keep my mouth shut. Anyhoo, while I was turning the food he made a remark, “Wow, hey, it’s not sticking.”

  12. Many thanks for your posting! If it weren’t for you, I’d probably still be grilling on plated steel. In short, our new cast iron grill grate arrived last night and it’s a beauty. In addition, the good folks at Craycort did an outstanding job in getting our order out instantly and in keeping us informed through every step of the delivery process. Elapsed time from order date to its arrival on our front porch: 3 days! That’s smokin’
    From the looks of this beast, I’d wager it will easily outlast 10 plated steel grills. It may look pricey up front, but in the longer run it’s actually cheaper. And besides, how do you calculate the value of those to die for grill marks?
    Thanks again, Dr. Biggles for spreading the word.

  13. Hey Bruce,
    Sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier! Yeah, I was equally as impressed and I’ll bet you (if the grill is oiled and stored for the winter months), that it’d last 3 times that.
    Cheers and glad to hear it!

  14. Also, one cool thing is that it’s modular and you can get other add-ons such as a griddle, hot plate, and chicken holder. I just got a smokenator for my weber so I have to use that a bit before my wife will let me get another upgrade for my kettle 🙂 Thanks for the great review!

  15. Hey Conrad,
    YES! And the griddle and chicken rig arrived the other day. This post was just to get the word out, will do a little more comprehensive one soon. I can hardly wait!

  16. I just saw the comment that mentioned the Smokenator and of course went to their website. My question, of course, is does it do what they claim? That is, hold enough fuel for 6 hours at 230°F. How good is it at holding the temp? How would you compare it to the Weber Smokey Mountain?

  17. Well we just recieved ours today. Let me say it looks like it would be great…..but when we opened it up it was broken. Thats right it is cracked at the top straight threw. My husband is very disapointed. We tried to call but no one answered. Well holly crap the guy just called back right as I am doing this coment. He is sending us a replacement part. That is great service. Now we are not disapointed anymore. Way to go!!!!!!!!!! We defiantly recomend this to anyone and everyone. Keep up the great work and service!!!!

  18. Hi Stacey,
    Ya know, as I was reading the first part of your comment I was saying to myself, “Rolf will make it right, he’ll take good care of you.” And POW, right there it’s taken care of. Woot!
    xo, Biggles

  19. For 10 years, I’ve been using cast iron skillets and a cast iron reversible (smooth flat on one side, ribbed for our pleasure on the other) griddle on top of the chrome grates on my Weber kettle grills. I currently have both a 19″ Weber Kettle and the 22″ Weber Pro (kettle with gas starter and work table attached) on the deck, and I’ll use my skillets to sear and cook steaks, burgers, chicken, and pork loins. Build the fire with charcoal on one side only, start with the cast iron skillet directly over the coals, and sear beef and pork. When your 2 or 3 minute sear is done, brush meat with baste, brush a little baste on the cast iron, move the skillet to the other side of the grill, and put the cover on. Presto! Indirect heat with beautiful cast iron keeping even heat on the meat along with smoke. You’ve got a sear-roaster-plus-smoker going. Awesome.
    I invented this cast iron grate for Weber Kettles in my head 5 years ago. Of course, I never did anything but wait for someone else to manufacture it! 🙂 I’m so glad to see that it’s finally available, and I will be ordering it this week!

  20. Hey Johnny,
    YEAH !!! I knew there was someone out there that really put the gear to the test. It’s great to hear from you and you will love the grate, it’s a dream come true.
    I believe most of us have been dreaming of having cast iron grates on our webers. Years ago I had a 30 year old charbroil charcoal grill, a rectangle rig, it had cast iron grates and they were perfect in every way. Thanks for stopping by, take care.

  21. What’s the difference between the regular grill grates and the mirrored grates?