GrillGrate makes for great backyard barbecue

By on June 21, 2014

grillgratefeatureOne of the best culinary experiences for Pacific Northwest carnivores pairs a glass of homegrown Cabernet Sauvignon with a ribeye sizzling off the grill, and the GrillGrate — an accessory made in the USA for backyard grills — removes frustration from the preparation.

Flare ups are virtually eliminated by the GrillGrate’s interlocking system of panels, and the anodized metal conducts heat evenly while blocking direct flames. Anyone who has cooked hot dogs on a barbecue and struggled to keep them from turning black will be grateful for the GrillGrate.

Brad Barrett, president of the Cartersville, Ga., company he founded in 2007, patented the raised-rail design, which features narrow troughs with holes that drain fat but allow for smoke to reach the food. The GrillGrates, tested up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit, not only even out hot and cold spots, but their infrared and convection qualities also heat more efficiently and reduce cooking time on gas, pellet or charcoal grills.

The rails, the even cooking and increased heat make it easier to sear meet and create beautiful grill marks on steak, salmon, vegetables and other barbecue fare.

Earlier this month, my lovely chef, who has mastered all the quirks of our 20-year-old old Sunbeam propane grill, put the GrillGrate through a series of trials — cod, marinated chicken breasts, New York strips. The results were delicious and attractive each time.

Those concerned about char-grilling and its link to cancer should also be interested in the GrillGrate. Charring meat does create some carcinogens, but flare-ups are a main culprit, and they are virtually eliminated with Barrett’s system.

An integral piece in the GrillGrate system is the GrateTool. Its wide tines perfectly fit the grooves of the GrillGrate, and this special spatula is especially important when barbecuing fish or other dishes that can stick and fall apart on regular barbecue grids.

The GrateTool comes included with the standard two-panel box of 13 3/4″ inch GrillGrates ($39.95). The two panels easily rest over the top of our Sunbeam’s 18-inch long and 11 inches wide grid. When they interlock, they provide complete width coverage. GrillGrate also offers panels for round grills and can provide custom cuts.

Don’t worry about replacing or cleaning those funky and crusty lava rocks on your old propane rock grate. The GrillGrates sit over the top of the your grill and can be easily slid to one side. Removal is easy, but it is not necessary for cleaning, which is quick and requires little more than a simple scrape of a narrow wire brush.

GrillGrate lists five retailers in the Pacific Northwest. In the Puget Sound, they are at J&S Grills in Kent and Ducks Lawnscaping Service & Pellet Grills in Woodinville. In the Willamette Valley, look for them at McMinnville Hearth & Barbecue and Team Green BBQ in Hillsboro. In Idaho’s Snake River Valley, check out Gourmet Grills & Heritage Safe Outlet in Meridian.

I was so impressed by this product, that I asked Barrett if he would be willing to create a limited-time offer for our fans. So readers of GreatNorthwestWine.com can receive a 10 percent discount on online orders of GrillGrate through Friday, June 27. Simply enter the following code — GNW — at checkout.

* As is the case with our wine reviews, Great Northwest Wine does not receive any financial consideration from these sales.

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for 15 years. He is a frequent wine judge along the West Coast and contributor to Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the region's longest-running golf publication.

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