How to Replace the Heat Plates in your Gas Grill
Most gas grills on the market today use what is called a heat plate to protect the burners from grease and food drippings. Over time, heat plates can rust and deteriorate resulting in uneven heat distribution, flare ups, and increased risk of grease fires.
If your heat plates have deteriorated and you are getting uneven performance from your barbecue, it’s time to consider replacing them. Luckily, replacing your heat plates is easy and only takes a few simple steps.
What is a heat plate?
Also known as a heat shield, flame tamer, briquette tray, or heat tent, heat plates rest above your gas grill burners and help to disperse the heat produced by the burner. This prevents uneven cooking, reduces the risk of flareups, and protects your burners from damage caused by dripping.
Heat plates have one of the toughest jobs of any grill part, bearing the brunt of the heat from the burner below as well as dripping grease from above. This makes them one of the most important grill parts, and also one of the fastest to deteriorate.
There are several styles of heat plate that are used across different types of gas grills—they may rest on the edge of the burner box, or there may be a peg for them to rest on or a slot for them to slide into. Don’t worry—the replacement process is essentially the same for each style.
When should I replace my heat plates?
When grease drips through the cooking grates, it is incinerated on contact with the heat plates. This helps to reduce grease buildup in the bottom of the burner box. Depending on the brand and design of the barbecue, you may have one large heat plate or several individual ones sitting just below the cooking grates above the burners.
The short video below explains how to replace the heat plates, step by step. This is one of the simplest repairs you can do and it shouldn’t take more than ten minutes to complete including clean up.
How to replace the heat plates in your gas grill
Replacing your heat plates is easier than you might think. Follow these steps:
- Ensure your grill’s propane tank or gas line is turned off.
- Lift out the cooking grates and set them aside. This is a great time to give them a good clean, as well.
- Lift out the old heat plates and set them aside. Thoroughly clean out any food remnants and waste from the bottom of the burner box.
- When you’re ready, set the new heat plate in the burner box directly above the burner, then slide the end into the slot or set it on the peg if there is one. If you have multiple heat plates, repeat this process for each one.
- Once the heat plates are in, replace the cooking grates, and you’re ready to grill!