Two words - heat retention.
There is more to it than that, but it sums it up nicely enough. When choosing between grilled and flat plate BBQs, customers should be aware of the differences, so read on to find out.
Let's look at the pros and cons of each...
- Even heat distribution
- Exemplary heat control
- Heat retention in the plate
- Higher efficiency (lower gas consumption or equal or better heat output)
- Easy to clean and maintain with a lot less mess
- No flare ups
- Can cook basically anything without restrictions
- Probably not as healthy, as food is cooked in its own fats with nowhere for the fat to escape.
- More direct heat on food for a flame grilled taste
- Char lines on food (purely aesthetic)
- Messy and hard to maintain and clean
- Poor heat retention
- Flare ups burning your food
- Can't cook eggs, or small things that may all through the cracks
What does this mean for the user?
A more even heat distribution on a solid plate means you can use the whole surface to cook almost anywhere on the plate. This gives you more room and flexibility in your cooking activities. A solid plate captures every last bit of heat that is being thrown at it from the burners, whereas a grill will suffer from heat loss into the air as it escapes through the grills. This means a solid plate is far more efficient at turning your gas into heat.
Solid plates allow more control of heat across the plate. This is especially true with a 10mm Mild Steel plate which conducts heat excellently. It will react to your temperature control efforts more actively and reduces the chance of hot and cold spots all over the BBQ.
Let's not forget the cleanup. With a solid plate all the fat, grease, marinades and oils are contained in a small area for you to scrape away into your fat catcher for easy disposal. With a grill, most of this will drop down below into the firebox, making cleanup a chore and potentially degrading the quality of the BBQ over time.
Disclaimer: When we mention grills in this article, we aren't necessarily talking about the grill available with the Island Gourmet Elite. This is more aimed at other brands where grill plates come standard.
We have designed the IGE Grill so it is up to standard with our product range and wouldn't sell it if we weren't confident that it is a great product to use.
Having said that, we do tend to recommend the flat plates for the reasons listed above.