BTUs, 304, cast burners, flame thrower ignition...Gas grill terminology can be intimidating if you don't have a basic understanding of their key components and how they work. In this guide, you'll find detailed explanations of the materials used in gas grills and the various types of components found inside a typical gas grill.
When we discuss material, we're referring to what the body of the grill is made from. Most gas grills have some type of stainless steel, but there are a few variations.
Stainless Steel - This is the most common material for premium gas grills, but it is not all the same. Stainless Steel is available in several different grades.
- 304 - Best quality and best protection against rust (often called "commercial quality" or "commercial grade").
- 443 - Newer grade but similar in quality to 304 but more affordable (in time, this grade could become the material of choice in the grill industry).
- 430 - Usually found on low price grills, this grade is the lowest quality and it's more likely to rust sooner than 304 or 443.
- Other - There are many other grades out there, but if the grill doesn't advertise what type of stainless it has, chances are it's not as good as 304 or 443 (Otherwise they would proudly advertise it).
Cast Aluminum - Since aluminum won't rust, this material is best suited for coastal environments. Manufacturers often paint cast aluminum black so it doesn't have the attractive shine found on stainless steel.
Porcelain Coated (painted) Steel - Least expensive material, lowest quality. Once the paint wears off, the bare steel underneath can rust quickly.
Read more articles by Chef Tony Matassa, ShoppersChoice.com, LLC.