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Cast Stainless vs SS rods

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    Cast Stainless vs SS rods

    Hello grillers,

    Just posted this in twitter - it is a fair summary of my question.

    "@meathead Big question. @NapoleonGrills cast stainless grates (Phantom Prestige 500) vs 9.5mm ss rod grates (Prestige Pro 500)? Reading your thoughts, I'd imagine the answer to be "rod". Do the cast grates have excessive surface area? Style over substance?"

    Here is my slightly crazed decision spreadsheet.
    Priority Phantom Prestige 500 Prestige Pro 500
    1 1 1 0.5 = 3.5 1 1 1 1 1 = 5
    Grates 2 1 Cast stainless 1 9.5mm SS 1
    Under lid lights 1 2 No Yes 1
    Colour Black 0.5 Silver 1
    Design 1 Overall nicer design 1 Afterthought chrome
    No wires Power cable - tripping?
    Nicer thermometer Less nice thermometer
    Material 1 440 SS 304 SS 1
    Warranty 1 Lifetime, but 2 years for the matt blk finish Lifetime 1
    Warming rack SS fancy SS
    IR side burner Yes Yes
    Cast alu tub Yes Yes
    I would really appreciate the thoughts and expertise of the users and moderators on this site.

    My initial thought was that cast SS was super desirable, the future, etc. But reading all the stuff on here, it seems that it might just reduce the surface area exposed to radiant heat which is undesirable. I also slightly prefer the silver look over matt black.

    Thanks and hi from the UK,


    Welcome to The Pit.


      I think you slightly gave yerself the answer. The little word prefer was in the final sentence. I’m glad I didn’t see this when I was lookin at my Napoleon. I thought I drove myself crazy, this would have sent me over the top. 🙃
      Welcome, eat good & have fun!


        To throw another curveball at this discussion, I immediately ordered a full set of replacement Grillgrate.com grates for my Prestige Pro 500. I have been using GGs on almost every grill and smoker since my old Weber Summit 450 gasser (now replaced by the Napoleon). While the delivered Napoleon SS grates are very nice, and provide a very nice grilling surface, The GGs just up game. The full GG replacement set comes with 5 full panels and 1 gap panel. I find that leaving the gap panel out lets me easily create multiple heat zones for indirect grilling.

        Especially good for spatchcocked chicken: 1 full panel on far left, 1 full panel on far right and the other 3 panels linked together in the middle, not touching the outer panels. Turn the 2 outer burners on full an you get the perfect setup for indirect chicken grilling, that produces moist meat and crispy skin. Similar technique for any cook like tri-tip for roasting to IT of desired temp, then sear on the outside panels which are screaming hot. I use the flat side of the GGs almost exclusively now. Makes it a snap to clean up with a paint scraper.

        Regardless, you can start with the Napoleon grate of choice and switch them later as well. Happy grilling!


          I have 10 year old Napoleon with the SS rod type grates and I am very pleased with them, if it was up to me I would go with the 304 SS rod grates as they should last for a very long time. Generally 400 series SS is not as corrosion resistant as 300 series SS.


            I would go with SS over cast iron for grates any day. And I am a huge cast iron cook.

            For grilling, SS is just a better fit for grates.


              Originally posted by Spinaker View Post
              I would go with SS over cast iron for grates any day. And I am a huge cast iron cook.

              For grilling, SS is just a better fit for grates.
              Thanks but the phantom is cast stainless! Agree re cast iron.



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