Whether you’re the proud owner of a backyard fire pit or planning on going camping in the summer, if you want to use your pit for cooking, you’ll need a fire pit grill grate. Choosing a fire pit grill grate for cooking might seem like a simple task, but actually, there are several key factors to consider before you settle your purchase. Selecting a subpar fire pit grill grate may lead to impractical, unergonomic cookouts, or worse, badly cooked food. Luckily for you, fire pit grill grates are something we know a lot about. That’s why we’ve reviewed the top 4 best fire pit grill grates on the market, together with some information on choosing and maintaining your new grate. By the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll be an expert!
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Overall, we believe that the best fire pit grill grate money can buy in most cases is the Sunnydaze Decor Fire Pit Cooking Grill. The Sunnydaze Decor Fire Pit Cooking Grill is made of heavy-duty steel, which ensures its structural integrity and wear resistance. This wear resistance is further enhanced by the heat-resistant paint finish that Sunnydaze has applied to the grate, minimizing the impact of heat on the grill. Sometimes, fire pit grill grates can be tricky to maneuver, especially as they start to heat up. However, this grill grate comes with built-in handles to help you get a firm grip as you adjust the positioning. The x pattern of the grill’s mesh is ideal for searing meat and leaving appealing grill marks for that authentic cookout experience. Plus, you can get this fire pit grill grate in a range of 6 sizes: 19 inches, 22 inches, 24 inches, 30 inches, 37.5 inches, and 40 inches. Therefore, whether you’re dealing with a small or large fire pit, you should be able to find this grill grate in the corresponding size. Our only word of caution surrounding the Sunnydaze grill grate is the fact that despite its steel construction and heat-resistant coating, some users have reported warping in the center of the grate.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to monitor the temperature of your fire pit if you can, to prevent structural damage during long cookouts.
- Heavy-duty steel – Highly durable
- Built-in handles – Easily maneuverable
- Heat-resistant finish – Wear-resistant
- X-pattern mesh – Good for searing
- 6 sizes available – Versatile
- Some reports of central warping – Temperature should be monitored
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While the majority of fire pits are round, square fire pits are also not uncommon. If your own fire pit is square in shape, we recommend the Onlyfire X-Marks Square Fire Pit Cooking Grate. Once again, this is a steel grill grate with a good amount of durability. The heat-resistant paint coating that has been applied to this grate makes it less susceptible to warping, although some warping is still to be expected when using over an open flame as opposed to coals. The Onlyfire X-Marks Square Fire Pit Cooking Grate comes in either 30 or 36 inches, meaning that it’s perfect for larger fire pits. Additionally, the pattern of the Onlyfire fire pit grill grate is ideal for searing those highly coveted x-marks into your food items. The large steel handles on either side of this square grill grate protrude far enough away from the heat that you won’t burn yourself when repositioning or removing the grate. However, the steel material used to construct this grill is prone to rusting when exposed to rain, so we don’t recommend leaving the Onlyfire grill grate outside on a permanent basis.
- Steel material – Strong build
- Heat-resistant paint – Minimizes warping
- Constructed with handles – Ergonomic
- Available in 30 or 36 inches – Ideal for large pits
- Cross patterned grate – Creates X marks
- Prone to rusting – Do not leave outdoors
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Rectangular fire pits are becoming more popular because, when combined with the right grill, they provide an extended surface area for comfortable dining.
A rectangular fire pit grill grate can also be useful if you want to cook multiple food types on the same surface while minimizing the risk of cross-contamination. If you’re in the market for a rectangular fire pit grill grate, our recommendation is the Onlyfire Rectangle X-Marks Fire Pit Cooking Grate. This is another steel grate grill that has been finished with a coat of temperature-resistant paint, so you won’t have to worry too much about the Onlyfire Rectangle grate warping during use. The Onlyfire Rectangle X-Marks Fire Pit Cooking Grate comes in four sizes: 32 inches, 36 inches, 40 inches, and 44 inches. Therefore, like most rectangular fire pit grill grates, it is suitable for larger fire pits and provides plenty of surface area for cooking. Two sturdy steel handles can be found on either side of the grate for safe and ergonomic maneuvering. If you like to sear x-marks into your meat when cooking over fire or coal, this grill grate will be perfect for you because the grill pattern allows for efficient and clear searing. Like the previous Onlyfire fire pit grill grate we reviewed, however, you can expect this grate to rust if exposed to excessive water or moisture. Because of this, the grate should only be left outside in dry weather.
- Steel construction – Solid and sturdy
- Built-in steel handles – Easy to maneuver
- Temperature-resistant finish – Helps to prevent warping
- X pattern – Sears meat effectively
- 4 sizes available – 32, 36, 40, and 44 inches
- Rusts when exposed to water – Only for use in dry conditions
Best for Camping
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Fire pits are a fun and satisfying method of cooking food while camping. If you have a camping trip coming up, you’ll need a portable, practical, and durable fire pit cooking grill grate. The Sunnydaze Foldable Fire Pit Cooking Grill Grate meets all of these requirements. Because this grill grate is made of steel and chrome-plated for extra durability, you can count on it to hold up against fairly intense usage for a long time.
The chrome coating can sometimes peel after a lot of use, however, so we would recommend being very careful and gentle when handling and maintaining this grill grate. What really makes the Sunnydaze Foldable Fire Pit Cooking Grill Grate stand out amongst the other products on the market, though, is the fact that it has hinges that allow it to fold in half. This feature is ideal for camping trips because it enhances the grate’s portability and makes it more efficient in terms of space. Despite coming in sizes 30 inches and 40 inches, meaning that the Sunnydaze Foldable grate provides an extensive surface area for cooking, this grill grate only weighs 10 lbs, so it’s easily portable and ergonomic to use.
- Steel construction – High wear resistance
- Chrome-plated – Enhances strength and rust resistance
- Folding hinges – Space efficient
- 10 lbs – Lightweight
- Available in 36 and 40 inches – Large surface area
- Coating may peel over time – Handle with care
What Are Fire Pit Grill Grates?
A fire pit grill grate, as the product’s name implies, is a grill grate that is designed to cover a fire pit. By putting a grill grate over your fire pit, you can cook a variety of foods in much the same way as a barbecue. Fire pit grill grates are invariably made of metal. In most cases, either stainless steel or regular steel is used for durability. Once the fire is lit underneath the grate, the metal will conduct the heat, causing the grate to warm up. Eventually, the temperature rises high enough to cook meat or vegetables that have been placed on the grill. Fire pits and fire pit grill grates are perfect for those who want to enjoy the most natural outdoor cooking experience.
Best Fire Pit Grill Grate for Cooking Buying Guide
Because your fire pit grill grate will be responsible for safely and efficiently cooking your food, you want to make sure that you select a high-quality, ergonomic model. Below, you will find all the information you need to choose the perfect fire pit grill grate for your future cookouts!
Shape and Size
The most important factor when choosing a fire pit grill grate is the combination of shape and size. This is because the size and shape of your fire pit grill grate will determine whether the grate is compatible with your fire pit. Mant fire pit grill grates come in various sizes, so you can choose the one that best matches the pit you’ll be working with. Common sizes for fire pit grill grates range from about 20 to 40 inches, although you can find grill grates both smaller and larger than this. For example, there are 13-inch and 19-inch fire pit grill grates on the market as well as 44-inch grates. Additionally, you will need to think about the shape of your new fire pit grill grate.
The three standard shapes for fire pits are round, square, and rectangular. We have included all of these grate shapes in our product review section. Make sure that you select the corresponding shape for your fire pit so that you can ensure the best fit and stability.
The choice of material when it comes to your new fire pit grill grate is instrumental to a positive experience. You will need to ensure that the material used in your grill grate’s construction is durable, food-safe, and heat-resistant enough for your intended purpose. Usually, the material used to make fire pit grill grates is either steel or stainless steel. Both of these materials are durable and have enough heat resistance to prevent severe warping of the cooking surface.
However, stainless steel is more resistant to rust, so if you’re intending to leave your fire pit grate outside on a more permanent basis, stainless steel is likely to be the best choice. With that being said, most high-quality fire pit grill grates for cooking will feature some kind of coating or finish to increase wear resistance, including damage from corrosion. This is sometimes a chrome coating, or a type of heat-resistant paint. If your grill grate has a paint or chrome finish, however, you’ll need to take care when cleaning it to make sure the paint doesn’t peel away. For more information on how best to clean a fire pit grill grate, see our dedicated section below.
There are several elements of a fire pit grill grate’s design that should be taken into consideration beyond the shape, size, and material. For one thing, the pattern of the mesh inside the grill can impact the cooking process. Specifically, a grate with x-patterned mesh is more likely to leave x-marks on your cooked food (especially meat) for an appealing, seared effect. If this is something that’s important to you, it’s important to pay attention to the pattern of the mesh. Another key feature you shouldn’t forget about is the presence of handles. A good fire pit grill grate will have handles on either side of the cooking surface so that you can easily lift and reposition the grate as needed.
Ideally, these handles should protrude a fair distance from the cooking surface itself and should be made of a durable material such as steel to ensure longevity. If you’re taking your fire pit grill grate on a camping trip or vacation, we recommend selecting a hinged model that folds in half. This will allow you to be more efficient in terms of space when it comes to your luggage.
How Do You Clean a Fire Pit Grill Grate?
If you want your fire pit grill grate to stay in good condition for as long as possible, it’s essential to master the proper cleaning technique to enhance longevity and structural integrity. Before you even begin the cleaning process, it’s a good idea to start by removing as many leftover food remnants as possible through burning.
You can do this simply by lighting a fire underneath the grill grate as you usually would and waiting for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. This process should be able to get rid of most of the food left behind. If the fire alone isn’t working as well as you would like, you could try putting a layer of aluminum foil over the grill to increase the temperature. In the event that you don’t have a significant amount of tough or sticky food debris to deal with, you might be able to brush the leftover food away using a simple tool such as a wire brush. It’s best to do this when the grill has cooled down, however.
We also wouldn’t recommend this method if you have a grill with a heat-resistant coating, especially if this coating has already begun to peel. If you notice that your paint coating has been damaged after using a wire brush, it’s possible to replace the paint yourself with a grill-specific formula. Once you’ve cleaned the remaining food off your grill grate, you should also take care to complete the following maintenance steps. This will help to keep your fire pit grill grate in good condition for longer and may reduce the amount of work you need to do next time you clean the grate. Oiling is one of the most important things you can do for a fire pit grill grate. Brushing some oil onto your grill between uses will minimize food sticking.
Using any cooking oil that you have available, go ahead and apply a modest amount of oil to your grill grate surface using a folded paper towel. Be careful not to completely soak the grill surface in oil because this could cause your next fire to flare.
A fire pit grill grate is an essential piece of cookout equipment if you want to cook or heat up food over your fire pit. In order to make sure that you’re getting the best value and experience for your money when you choose a fire pit grill grate, you should pay close attention to the grate’s main features.
This includes the materials used in its construction, the shape and size of the product, and the other design features such as handle design and mesh pattern. Remember to prioritize fire pit grill grates with heat-resistant coatings. Burn, brush, and oil your grill grate after every use, if possible, to extend the grate’s longevity and make life easier for yourself.