How to Shop For Replacement Grill Grates By Size

It is a fact of grilling that your grill grates will eventually need replacing. Thankfully, cooking grates are one of the easier grill parts to replace.

Grill grates are so simple to replace that you can do it even if you’ve had your barbecue for so long that you can no longer read the model or serial numbers and you aren’t sure what kind of replacement grate to buy. As long as you have a measuring tape, you can quickly and easily replace your grates.

In this post, we’ll explore:

  • When to replace grill grates
  • When to shop for grill grates by size
  • How to measure grill grates
  • Does brand name matter when buying new grill grates?

When To Replace Your Grill Grates

Grill grates usually don’t need to be replaced often, but eventually—even with proper routine care—you may need to get new ones. The longevity of a grill grate depends on a few key variables:

  • The grate material. Cast iron grill grates typically last longer than stainless steel grates, for example.
  • How often you grill. Frequent grilling can cause your grates to wear out faster simply because of greater use.
  • What you grill. Acidic foods can prematurely degrade your grill grates.
  • How you care for the grill. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your grill grates, but if you don’t regularly clean your grates, you’ll need to replace them sooner.

If your grill grates are looking a little worse for wear, try cleaning them up before you buy replacements. How you clean them depends on the type of material they’re made of, but in general, you’ll need to heat up the grill and scrub them with an appropriate cleaning tool for their material type while the grates are warm. If you’re desperate, you can even clean your cooking grates with an onion.

If, even after thoroughly cleaning and reseasoning your grates, they’re still showing these three signs, you may need to pick up new ones:

1. Rust

All grill grates, regardless of their material, are susceptible to rust—especially if they aren’t being cared for regularly.

If you do spot rust on your grates, try cleaning them off first. Surface rust can typically be scraped away with an abrasive tool such as steel wool or a nylon brush, but deep rust that has permeated the surface layer and started deteriorating the inside can’t be cleaned. If the rust doesn’t disappear with a cleaning and has penetrated deep into the metal, it’s time to replace your grill grates.

Read our troubleshooting guide for rusty grill grates.

2. The finish is chipped

Grill grates that are coated in porcelain enamel are susceptible to chipping. Chipped grill grates are a problem for a few key reasons:

  • They can be a health risk if any porcelain chips end up in your food.
  • It creates an uneven cooking surface, increasing the likelihood of food sticking and making it harder to grill
  • It creates an entry point for moisture, increasing the likelihood of rust
    If you notice your grates’ porcelain finish has a significant number of chips in it, it’s time to replace the grate.

3. It can’t be cleaned

There are myriad tools and solvents to help you clean your grill grates, but if you’ve tried them all they just will not clean no matter what you throw at them, it’s time to replace your grill grates.

How To Replace Grill Grates

Physically, grill grates are one of the easiest components to replace. Grates are designed to be removed for cleaning, so all you have to do is lift them out and replace them with the new ones.

However, finding the right grill grates to replace your current ones can be more challenging. The good news is that grill grates are fairly brand agnostic, so you don’t have to worry about finding a branded replacement, as long as they are the right size.

When To Shop For Replacement Grill Grates By Size

You should shop for replacement grill grates by size if:

  1. You can’t remember the model number of your grill and the serial number and model number sticker has faded or fallen off. When you’re replacing a grill grate, we recommend looking for a replacement grate that uses the same dimensions and materials as your grill’s original manufacturer. As long as the measurements are correct, a replacement grill grate will work well in any barbecue.
  2. You’re looking to save a bit of money. Grill grates vary in price by manufacturer and some are much more expensive than others. If the OEM replacement grates for your grill are too expensive, shopping by size is a great way to look for less expensive alternatives.
  3. You’re shopping for grill grates because you are building a DIY brick oven or charcoal grill and you need grates of a specific size.

How To Measure Grill Grates

Grill grates are measured by their depth (front to back) and width (side to side) or diameter (side to side at the widest point) if they’re round grill grates.

Once you have your measurements, it’s easy to shop for grill grates by size:

Shop for replacement grates by shape:


Replacing your grill grates by size is one of the easiest ways to select new cooking grates, saving you from having to figure out the brand model or serial number of your grill—and saving you money as well

Need new grates for your grill?