Grooms Gifts – ManGrate vs. GrillGrate vs. Char-Griller: The Grill Off!

I only have a month left to go and I still have no idea what to give my groom. 😦 I’ve looked at several different things that I thought would be cool, but so far, not so good.

I took a few moments to try to figure out: What kind of things do ALL guys like? I decided that if I could figure that out, I could narrow the field down to specifically what MY guy would like. I went all around the mulberry bush and ended up at grills again. My fiancé loves to grill but told me he doesn’t want a new grill until we buy a house.

“This, child, is fire. It is what separates the men from the girls.” My fiancé speaking to a friends’ child.

I was really in a quandary when I heard an advertisement for grates that go on a grill. The whole idea this grate is that the reason that steaks and other meats taste differently in a restaurant than they do at home – due to different cooking utensils/actions/cook top. The reasoning given to the potential customer of the grates is that if the customer bought a grate, then they would be able to cook steaks and other meats like a pro. Once you buy the grate, you place in ON TOP of the grate that your grill came with. I decided it was worth some research and found THREE different types of grates! I found ManGrate, GrillGrate, and the cast iron grate by Char-Griller.

I’m not going to dither, I was(am!) overwhelmed by the options.

ManGrate is a cast iron grate. Being made from cast iron, it DOES need to be seasoned before use. It also claims to have “grease gutters” that catch and hold grease from the cooking meat, stopping flare ups. The ManGrate is the most expensive of the three grates.

The one thing I LOVE about the ManGrate is that it is an American made product.
The one thing I HATE about the ManGrate is it’s silly name. I mean, really.

From the ManGrate website:

Grill juicy, perfectly cooked steak, poultry and fish. ManGrates sear meats and vegetables with restaurant
signature grill marks for a professional look and taste.

Even Heat, Reduced Flair Ups!
ManGrate’s cast-iron design utilizes radiant heat – instead of convection heat or “hot air” – searing in the juices
but allowing the meats to cook evenly. The smoke rails are the angled ledges on each bar of the ManGrate.
These ledges are designed to trap and retain oils and fats released during grilling, and it’s these juices aid
in the natural smoking process, giving meats a rich, barbequed flavor. They also serve to reduce flair ups.

Easy Cleaning!
All you need to care for your ManGrates is a ManBrush and spray cooking oil. Clean off ManGrates before grilling,
spray evenly and thoroughly. After grilling, allow ManGrates to cool, brush clean, oil and close grill lid.
Your ManGrates will season over time; a well-seasoned ManGrate naturally resists rust and creates a virtually
non-stick grilling surface.

ManGrate’s American-Made, heavy-duty, cast-iron design is virtually indestructible and if well cared for, can last a lifetime. ManGrates can be transferred to any grill you may ever own. Each ManGrate measures 15″ long x 4 1/4″ wide x 1 3/8″ high. A pair of ManGrates covers 15″ x 8 1/2.”


ManGrate $89.99 (4)

One ManGrate is $25.00
Two ManGrates are $65.00 and they come with a ManBrush
Four ManGrates are $89.99 and they come with a ManBrush
The ManBrush by itself is $15.00

GrillGrate is an aircraft grade aluminum grate. It has interlocking rails so that the individual grates can be locked together into one grate. I’m sure this is very helpful when grilling. Since the GrillGrate is made of aluminum instead of cast iron, it does not need to be seasoned but it does say it is hard anodized (anodizing involves immersing aluminum in a bath of sulfuric acid, called an electrolyte, and running a low-voltage electric current through the acid solution. If the acid solution is cooled to the freezing point of water and the amount of electric current increased substantially, however, the process is called hard anodizing.). The GrillGrate is designed to let the grease drip into the grill through holes in the grate itself.

GrillGrate is also made in the good old USA. GrillGrate also received an award for the Top New Product 2009 from the National Barbecue Association, the “Hot Stuff 2009” award from, the Best New BBQ Accessory 2009 award from Hearth & Home Magazine, and the Favorite Find Award from Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

GrillGrate is also cheaper and lighter (which means more portable) than ManGrate.

From the GrillGrate website:
Interlocking Raised Rail Panels Create a New Grilling Surface On Any Grill
• GrillGrate panels are 5.25″ wide x 13.75″ long, constructed of aircraft grade aluminum
• Hard Anodizing creates an ultra-hard surface for easy cleaning with a grill brush. Anodizing is harder than stainless steel and it will never rust.
• Clean hot GrillGrates in the traditional manner with a wire grill brush during warm up. Use a bit of water on the brush or sprayed on the GrillGrates for steam cleaning. Periodic cleaning in the sink will keep the searing surface of the raised rails perfectly clean.
• OK for open flame & camp fire grilling Grill Temps 1000F+
• GrillGrate panels eliminate flare-ups and act as a heat shield to protect foods from burning and drying out.
• Juices sizzle in the valleys and steam back up into the food for juicier more flavorful grilled foods.
• The raised rail design delivers perfect sear marks every time
• Grilling is healthier as fats drip through the holes and burn up on the bottom of the GrillGrate not on the outside of your food. Charring is also prevented.
• The GrateTool coupled with the raised rail design make it much easier to grill and handle fish, vegetables and pizza.
• GrillGrates smooth out grill hot spots for more even cooking.
• The hard anodized panels provide enhanced cooking via conduction, convection and infrared.
• hard anodized finish is 2x harder than stainless steel and will never rust.
• GrillGrates season with use.
• Easy to wipe clean on the grill or in the sink with sponge or brillo.

GrillGrate $39.99 (2)

One GrillGrate is $15.99
Two GrillGrates are $39.99 and come with a “Grate Tool”
Three GrillGrates are $54.99 and come with a “Grate Tool”
Four GrillGrates are $69.99 and come with a “Grate Tool”

The Cast Iron Grate by Char-Griller is similar to the ManGrate in that both are made with cast iron and both need to be seasoned before use. That is where the similarities stop, however. Unlike ManGrate and GrillGrate, Char-Griller is NOT trying to sell you grates to go on your grill. Char-Griller is a grill company that sells a wide variety of top of the line grills, char-grills, and smokers for your outdoor pleasure. Since Char-Griller is a total grill company, they sell their cast iron grate as an replacement piece for their grills. This means that the cast iron grate by Char-Griller is SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive than either the ManGrate or the GrillGrate.

The cast iron grate does not come with extra instructions or comments. It doesn’t come with special guarantees or anything of that nature. I think it is fully expected that if you buy this grate you already KNOW what you’re doing.

That makes me like this grate a lot. My fiancé is a typical man – he never reads directions, lol.

Cast Iron Grate - Char-Griller $8.99

One Cast Iron Grate is $8.99.

My man would LOVE that price. I think we’ve found a winner!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Casey Knox
    Sep 10, 2010 @ 15:43:54

    I’d personally go with the GrillGrate. Best grilling accessory on the planet!


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