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Stainless grate max temp?

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    Stainless grate max temp?

    I read somewhere over the weekend that if you took a stainless steel grill grate above about 700F, it would lead to it starting to rust. I am wondering if this is why I can't seem to get the charcoal grate or the main level cooking grate on my SNS Kamado nice and shiny again, even with steel wool, while the much older Easyspin cooking grate on my Weber Kettle shines up nice and pretty with some steel wool. The difference would be that the Weber, other than the grate being directly above the SNS for searing steaks, can't really get above 700F, and I've had the kamado over 700F for doing pizza. The hinged part that I tend to leave over the hot SNS until I start spinning during a reverse sear on a steak is duller even on the kettle grate.

    I also noticed when cleaning the Genesis II after the recent grease fire fiasco that I had the same issue with the upper warming rack on that grill, which is stainless. I took it inside to the sink and spent a while scrubbing it with Brillo pads, and it almost seems rusty, and if not rusty, discolored and won't shine up.

    So is this a thing? Does 304 stainless get damaged by high heat, and start rusting?

    If so, I am speculating that the Vortex I have arriving via UPS tomorrow is going to damage the center of my Easyspin cooking grates on my kettle and my kamado.
    Last edited by jfmorris; September 13, 2021, 03:21 PM.

    My wife forgot to remove the racks in our kitchen oven before starting the self cleaning cycle, and they were permanently discolored to a sort of brownish yellow.


      Dunno, but my MAK parts will go to 600, which is well over 700 at the grate and difuser... I can get them clean if not shiny. Have you tried Break Free (It's the same or nearly the same as mr muscle) works best when metal is warm but not blazing hot.


        It depends upon the grade and thus the percent of chromium present in the metal. Typically our bbq stainless is 304 but I've seen some 316 as well. The chromium oxide formed in the metal comes to the surface and that's what makes it rust resistant. That said, you can wear down that surface with abrasives or high heat. I'm not sure 700*F would do much damage but 1000*F or more eventually would. I usually don't get much over 700*F in my cookers but have seen discoloration on my grates. With a little care I think they should be okay for quite some time.


          I’ve seen specs on McMaster Carr for 316 and 304 that claim operating temperature not to exceed 1500F.

          SS grates over my SNS or ones I use on too of chimneys get rusty even though they are SS. I’m hitting really high temps of 1000F+.

          I hit 700-800 regularly with no ill effects. If you’ve got seasoned CI or carbon steel, 850F+ will remove the seasoning.
          Last edited by Polarbear777; September 13, 2021, 06:43 PM.


            The grates in my kamado normally look like a well seasoned CI skillet. I brush and wipe them at the end of each cook. When I do my semiannual high temp clean it will get to 800F and stay there for at least an hour. The grates are a dull grey after one of those, but are still smooth, no sign of pitting or rust. The grates are the originals so they are 5 years old. Other than discoloration i can see no problems.


              Thanks for the responses guys. I guess I am just seeing discoloration due to the heat. It is certainly discolored where its close to the charcoal such as over the SNS. I won't worry about it unless it actually starts to rust or burn up.


              • Mr. Bones
                Mr. Bones commented
                Editing a comment
                Reckon if'n I was to be heated to 700°F+, I'd be discolored, some, as well...

              My SS grate on the Napoleon infrared burner rusted bad and I haven’t decided if it’s the high temp, the rusty CI pan I use for searing fish, or both.

              I bought another SS grate from Napoleon (for IR burner) and clean it and immediately put it away in the garage until next use. It’s still shiny bright SS………I’m leaning toward Fe inpregnation. Got Fe?


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                I have used cast iron on the kettle and kamado before, but not on the stainless warming rack of the gas grill.

              • Troutman
                Troutman commented
                Editing a comment
                I knew a Chinese girl named Fe. Didn't impregnate her though

              jfmorris Companies today are really big on disclaimers and warnings. It seems to me that IF hi heat (700+) was known to cause damage, the grill companies would be putting warnings on the grill, the packing, or in the manual.


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks. I was mostly asking to see if other folks were seeing the discoloration or whatever I have seen, and if it was heat damage. Maybe I'm just bad at scrubbing too?

              Because there are different grades of stainless steel, you get the idea. Not much help am I.
              Stainless steel will discolor if not kept clean, and I also read depending on the grade it will rust also.
              As long as can get them clean, the shine is less important. Just my opinion.



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