Thursday, June 29, 2017

Craycort Cast Iron Grate for Large Big Green Egg, Grill Dome, and Primo

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  We are proud to have had Craycort as an equipment sponsor of our blog since 2009.

Craycort has redesigned their modular cast iron grate system for large Big Green Eggs for 2017.  I received one in January and have put it through 6 months of heavy use on our kamado grills, including Big Green Egg, Primo, and Grill Dome.


I've had my original Craycort for 8 years and it still works just fine. Why did they want to redesign it?

Albukirky pork chops grilling on my older Craycort cast iron grates.

That was the first thing I asked Rolf and he told me that originally these grates were designed for any 18.5" grill. The new models are designed specifically for the Large Big Green Egg for a more exacting fit when used with a plate setter.



Previous model for a large Big Green Egg shown on the fire ring from a large BGE. 
This specific grate is the one I have been using as my main grate since 2009.  Cast iron grates are prone to rust if you don't maintain them. The best thing you can do is use them frequently and spritz them with spray oil after every few uses.  That's all I've done for this one. 

You can see if you push the grate to the side, there is a significant offset in the picture above.  I've never had it "fall in" to the gap on a fire ring.  

However, when the grate is up on the legs of a plate setter, if you put a good bit of lateral force (hard scrubbing, pushing a heavy roast, etc) on the grate one side could come off of a leg and fall or lean in. I didn't have much issue with ceramic plate setters but absolutely did with a cast iron plate setter, since that has skinnier legs.  It wasn't a deal breaker for me, I would just take care not to push it too hard when it was up on the legs of a plate setter.  

To get a better fit, they expanded the sizes a bit.


Previous model on left, 2017 version on the right.
Here is a side by side comparison of the two models.  I apologize in advance for the formatting but I have a hard time with tables in Blogger.



original BGE Large Craycort grate
revised BGE Large Craycort grate
Diameter
17 3/8"
18 1/4"
Inserts length (tip to tip) x width (obtuse angle tip to apogee) 
13 5/8th" by 7 3/4"
15 1/8 by 8 5/8"
How does it fit on BGE when set on the fire ring (direct heat set up)?
  • fire ring is a stock BGE fire ring from 2008 (5 divot style)
  • when centered, about 1/2" of the fire ring was visible all around the fire fire ring
  • there is a good bit of play, so you can slide the grate around but you could not make it fall or even tilt 
  • fits to the outer edge of the fire ring for just about a perfect fit
  • gives you a little more grilling space than the original

How does it fit on a large Grill Dome Infinity Series?
  • about the same, just a little less exposed fire ring but their fire rings are narrower anyway
  • perfect fit

How does it fit a stock ceramic plate setter?
  • plate setter is a stock BGE plate setter circa 2010
  • fits pretty well but if the plate setter is not perfectly centered and if you are putting a bit of lateral force (scrubbing, pushing it), one edge can fall below.
  • I've had it happen once or twice but I've just always tried to be careful to not put much sideways pressure on the grate and I always make sure the 3 spokes are centered on the center of each plate setter leg. 
  • fits very well
  • I can push it around and try to make fall on purpose, it stayed in place

How does it fit a cast iron plate setter?
  • the legs are substantially thinner
  • sketchy fit.  It works but you have to be very careful not to push anything sideways or slide any big meats around on it
  • this has been the worst fit for the original Craycort, because of the skinny legs.  It's not difficult to bump the grate off of one of the legs, making everything tilt and fall.  
  • pretty solid fit
  • tried making it fall.  Best I could do was make it push over an edge where it caught the raised bump so it only tilted about 1/2" and that was with me TRYING to make it mess up.



Overhead view of the new larger grate on the large BGE fire ring.  Shown with a griddle plate insert in place but that doesn't affect fit. 

The new grate shown on my Grill Dome Infinity kamado grill, also a great fit.

Of course, the point of having a modular system like this is the accessory inserts.  You can still get the various accessories in the new size, including the reversible griddle plate, cast iron vegetable wok, and chicken throne.

The griddle plate is great for bacon, eggs, sauteing veggies, or searing a golden crust onto steaks, burgers, and chops.

Another small change but something that I noticed is the grill bars.  On the old model, they were flat and even with the edges of the insert.  As you can see on the new model, the grill bars are raised up just a bit from the rest of the grate system.  This just makes nicer looking grill marks where the inserts come together.  
The accessory inserts expand the functionality of my grills and inspire creativity with my recipes.


Summary

The new size of Craycort modular cast iron grate system ($79.90) for the large Big Green Egg is slightly bigger and is a much better fit for the Egg, including when used on the legs of a plate setter.  Would I go out and buy the new size if I already had the old one?  Probably not because it falling off really wasn't an issue for me.

But if you don't have a Craycort and you do a lot of grilling, I would highly recommend picking one up for your Big Green Egg or any other charcoal grill for that matter.  They have grate systems for most common sized grills. They have all the benefits of other cast iron grates but add the flexibility of their accessory inserts.

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