Heatlie Barbecues were built on a foundation of solid, flat plated BBQs. It's what we're known for and over the years we have become the go-to for this style of BBQ. So it may surprise you to find out that we do actually offer a grill plate as a fresh alternative.
Grill Plate Installation
The Grill Plate is only available to be fitted to the Island Gourmet Elite, not our traditional BBQs. It can either be purchased factory fitted from the get-go or later on to replace an old plate. This is only possible with IGE models built after 2017.
Island Gourmet plates can be exchanged simply by lifting the plate up and pulling outwards, the new plate then slides into the hinge grooves on either side of the firebox.
The Heatlie IGE Grill actually only features a half grilled plate. The back half is grilled, the front half remains flat. We couldn't resist but keep some flat plate in there!
The grill will come with the necessary fat drip trays to sit on the bottom of the firebox and catch all the fat drips, as well as a small cover for the thermocouple and leads.
They are only available in 5mm thickness, as a 10mm thick grill would defeat the purpose of 10mm thickness. They can be purchased as either mild steel or stainless steel.
Cooking with a Grill Plate
It goes without saying that a grill and a solid plate provide completely different cooking experiences. Flat plates hold and capture more heat within the plate, and cook food through pure surface contact. This can result in a far more thorough and efficient cook.
Grills rely on very hot, open-air flowing through the grills to cook food, while the smaller solid plates in between result in a grill mark that so many people desire. They look cool and that's it, they're purely aesthetic, but hey, you do you.
As for taste, it can vary depending on the food, but grilling food will give you a more flame-grilled taste, especially if it's highly fatty food. It's the fat dripping down onto the open burner flame that creates this flare-up. Be wary though, too much can ruin your food for good.
Grilled plates can provide much better airflow. So if you have a roasting hood and an IGE roasting rack, a grill plate can be ideal for creating that ideal convection, oven style airflow.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The one downfall of a grill is the fact that all your foods fats, juices and marinades will drop down into the firebox of the BBQ. You do have fat drip trays that sit neatly underneath the burners, but fat has a habit of splashing everywhere, so it's no secret that a solid plate provides a far cleaner and easier to maintain BBQ experience.
The grill comes with a built-in 'flame tamer' that stops fat from directly dripping on the burner. However, this is imperfect and your burner will continue to take a bit of a beating from fats and oils. This can reduce the lifespan of any burner, but can be combated by regular cleaning after each cook.
You may be thinking, this isn't making the grill sound very enticing. That's fair enough, we are here to educate you on our products, and at the end of the day, any BBQ is going to require a lot of cleaning and mess, it's part of the business. Our grill plates are fairly new to our product range and we are still feeling out for adequate customer feedback.
Grilling with a Heatlie
Bet you never thought you could grill with a Heatlie, but here we are. If you have a post-2017 model IGE, why not try it out. Purchase on our online store today with free shipping!