OT - Grill Heat Plates - Stainless Steel, Porcelain Coated or Rocks

I need to replace the heat shields on my Gas Grill. My grill uses individual "tents" over each of the 3 burners. The ones I am replacing were porcelain coated but are now beginning to rust out.
I can get 3 porcelain coated heat plates for $43 or 3 stainless steel plates for $19 - less than half the cost of porcelain coated.
Question 1: Will porcelain coated last twice as long as plain stainless steel? Neither choice lists the gauge of the heat shields so I can't use that to compare the two choices.
Question 2: I've seen some opinions that a rock plate is better for heat distribution than heat shields. That makes sense. However, I assume I will need a grate to hold the rock plate. A quick search showed some galvanized steel rock grates. Can I expect these to rust out just like the heat shields? Buying a rock grate and a rock plate is going to be more expensive than the heat shields, but if they work better and last longer, I wouldn't mind spending the extra money.
Opinions sought!
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

I have a Weber Genesis grill (barbeque) and it has these "tents" formed out of plates of stainless steel bent at a 90 degree angle, with each arm being about 2" wide. Weber calls them "flavorizer" bars.
https://a6b4a8e9ecc9e0dce095-44a90a86b1b5ec791874e1fc2282d18b.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/9813_lg.jpg

I'd get the stainless steel.

You can buy bricks or some sort of synthetic stones to put in your barbeque to hold the heat better. I've been thinking of getting some and drop them in-between the "flavorizer" bars.
http://www.rona.ca/images/1666198_L.jpg
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I just rebuilt my 30 year or so sears gas grill. it uses lava rock. the rock holding grate and grill plates were rotting away..
replaced now with 304 staninless which should out live me.. i had my best friend do the stainless welding.... he did much of the rebuild in 2000.....
i am giving serious thought to having him make the burner out of that stainless its non magnetic.
my grill was my moms kept around for largely sentimental reasons, but i think it wrks far better than the cheap chinese grills sold today
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On 10/27/12 9:03 PM, bob haller wrote:

I had to go to Home Depot for some stuff so I wandered down the grill aisle.
I found an adjustable width porcelain cooking grate that was the perfect length for my grill - $15.99. I found a bag of ceramic briquettes - $6.99.
I removed the rusted heat plates, sized the grate to fit on the heat plate brackets and placed the briquettes on the grate.
I'm going to try it a few times and if I don't like the way it cooks, I'll order some replacement heat shields and put it back the way it was.
While I was out I picked up a chicken which will go on the rotisserie during the football games tomorrow. SWMBO bought some Jerk seasoning that I've been wanting to try.
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SWMBO and I finished a rotisserie chicken with Jerk seasoning. It came out fantastic!
I won't know if the briquettes will help even out the heat or prevent flare ups until I grill some sausage patties or burgers, but I'm glad I cleaned all the grease and other crap out of the grill so I didn't have any problems while doing the chicken.
Time to carve some pumpkins.
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I have put my gas grill,parts in my gas ovens high temp cleaning cycle, they come out looking like new:)
Although I put the alunimum body lower half and top in cleaning cycle once, it came out looking great, but tad bit melted, lid didnt shut right.. but I solved that:)
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OK, so I've found one drawback of the briquettes vs. the heat shields/ tents.
The metal heat shields kept the gas at the bottom of the grill so that lighting any one of the 3 burners with the igniter would eventually light any other burner that had the gas turned on.
Now, since there is nothing to capture the gas, only the burner that is lit with the igniter starts. Since a couple of my igniters are intermittent, I either have to fix them or use a fire stick to light any burner that doesn't light with the igniter.
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wrote:

I'd go with the stainless. Well, actually, I'd probably still use the ones in there. Rust is not really a factor in how they perform. Clean them as best you can. Soaking in an ammonia solution will get the crud off, but do it outside and watch for the fumes.
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Rust can inhibit the performance when they're so rusted that they aren't solid anymore and the flames are coming up through them.
One is so rusted on one end that it barely reaches the bracket that holds it up. If it drops down on top of the burner I'm sure it won't perform very well.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

"Galvanized" means the steel has either been electroplated with zinc or (better) dipped in molten zinc. The zinc prevents the steel form oxidizing (rusting). You can easily melt zinc on a kitchen stove so I would expect it to rapidly disappear on your grill leaving plain old steel. Steel rusts.
--

dadiOH
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wrote:

Not to mention that breathing in the fumes from the galvanized is bad for you too. I'm surprised they would sell galvanized for a grill.
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On Sunday, October 28, 2012 8:23:50 AM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

The melting point of zinc is almost 800 degrees F. Maybe you're thinking of lead? Then again, I have a wimpy stove. (Zinc will certainly flake off over multiple heat cycles though.)

Yes, but to get zinc "fumes" takes over 1600 F. It's a problem in welding but I doubt it is on a grill.
However, I can say from experience that my homemade galvanized heat plates for our grill hardly lasted long enough to have bothered...
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On Sun, 28 Oct 2012 09:05:37 -0700 (PDT), Larry Fishel

lead? Then again, I have a wimpy stove. (Zinc will certainly flake off over multiple heat cycles though.)

I regularly grill steaks on my Weber Summit at 800 to 900 degrees at the cooking grate level.
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If your are breathing the fumes, you are also probably cooking yourself and don't care about the fumes<g>.
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http://www.bbqguys.com/search_sstring_Rock%20grate_a-filterDeptPost_7346.html
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