Gas Grills 101
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.
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 - This is the most well-known stainless steel and offers the most protection against rust (often called "commercial quality" or "commercial grade").
- 316 - Considered marine grade because of its increased resistance to corrosion. It’s a more expensive grade of stainless steel, but it’s applicable to all installation environments and is generally considered commercial grade.
- 316L - Is similar to 316 stainless steel, but it has a lower carbon content. This makes it less susceptible to cracking or corrosion at welded areas than 316 stainless steel.
- 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).
To find our more about stainless steel options, watch our video:
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.
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