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GrillGrate is an essential kitchen gadget


by: SUBMITTED PHOTOS: GRILLGRATE.COM - This Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter was made on GrillGrates. Notice the bold sear marks on the foods.

Few kitchen gadgets I consider essential. I love my lemon faucet, essential for getting every possible drop of lemon juice out of a lemon. I love how a melon baller produces uniform rounds of fruit. And I love the curly strips my zester makes out of lemon and orange rinds. And nothing beats a mandolin for making piles of zucchini ribbons and cucumber coins. There are probably a few other gadgets I rely on, but I am not one to pack my kitchen with each latest and greatest invention that comes along. That said, when I do find a product that is pretty cool I want to share the good news so others might enjoy the find, too.

So here it is — you gotta try the GrillGrate, the hottest thing in grilling. It does exactly what it claims to do: It simply grills food better.

The GrillGrate is made of interlocking panels of hard anodized aluminum with a raised rail design that form a new grill surface that rests on your existing grill.

I asked GrillGrate president, Brad Barrett, to explain how GrillGrates work.

“The secret is aluminum: It’s one of the most conductive metals out there,” he said.

“Most grill surfaces are not conductive, so they don’t add anything to the cook. But this is like putting a lens on top of the heat source. It fires the heat up the rails so you have infrared, searing and conduction all working together.”

The hard anodized aluminum turns your grill into an infrared grill, amplifying the heat and evening it out over the grill surface. Because of its high conductivity, aluminum allows heat to travel through it much faster than poor conducting materials.

The raised rails cause what GrillGrate refer to as the “Sizzle Effect,” a major difference from conventional grills. In conventional grilling much of the dripped fatty juice becomes fuel for flare up, resulting in charred foods. With GrillGrate the juices sizzle just below the food, adding to the flavor of the food.

I put GrillGrate to what I considered to be an ultimate test: chicken hindquarters. Cooking bone-in chicken on the grill is a challenge for me; it usually ends up undercooked and charred.

I was proud and pleasantly surprised to serve up juicy, perfectly cooked chicken legs and thighs, with pretty sear marks. The GrillGrate cooked the chicken in record time, too.

I give GrillGrate two thumbs up.

Brad proudly reported that for the third year in a row the winner of the World Championship Steak Cookoff had used GrillGrate.

GrillGrate can be used on charcoal or gas grills and come in a variety of sizes.

You can learn more about GrillGrate or order one online at GrillGrate.com. Locally they can be purchased at Team Green BBQ, 21300 N.W. Cornell Road, Suite 1206 in Hillsboro or McMinnville Hearth & Barbecue, 245 N. Highway 99W in McMinnville.

I found these recipes on GrillGrate.com. Get your GrillGrate and give them a try.

Bon Appetit! Make eating an adventure!

Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter

This salmon recipe adds a zesty marinade and finishing sauce to grilled salmon on your GrillGrates. No aluminum foil again!

Marinade (prepare in a skillet):

2 tablespoons butter per 1/4 pound serving

2 teaspoons capers per 1/4 pound serving

1 teaspoon caper juice per 1/4 pound serving

2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice per 1/4 pound serving

Whisk ingredients together over

medium high heat, stirring constantly for 4 minutes.

Reserve half of the marinade to use as finishing sauce. Cool marinade and then brush on salmon. Brush again when you turn salmon on grill.

Finishing sauce:

In the sauce pan, reduce reserved marinade over low heat to about half the volume. Drizzle reduction over each grilled salmon portion.


If salmon has skin on, place skin side down on preheated GrillGrates for 8 to 10 minutes (on low/medium heat). For charcoal preheat GrillGrates after the red hot peak, gray coals only for 8 to 10 minutes, with lid closed. Turn and brush with more marinade.

Grill salmon approximately 16 minutes total time on low/medium with lid down. Timing depends on how hot your grill is and thickness of the salmon.

Cook’s note: Judge the initial sear marks to get an indication of how hot you are cooking. If the sear marks are dark to black on the first flip, you are cooking too hot; turn down the burners. Notice how the natural omega oils sizzle just under the salmon to enhance juiciness. Your grill never sounded so good.

Salmon cooks quickly because of its naturally high oil content — don’t overcook.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini

1 & 8 Balls

This recipe was submitted via Facebook to GrillGrates monthly recipe contest Sept. 2011 by Deb and Bob S. of Delavan, Wisc. They created 1s by slicing the zucchini in half lengthwise (like you would a zucchini boat) and used round squash for the 8 balls. Scoop out seeds of both to allow space for stuffing.


1/2 zucchini per person (or more)

Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice or your favorite rice pilaf mix

Ground pork sausage (regular or spicy)

Shredded cheese of your choice

Cook and mix rice, ground pork and cheese.

Slice a thin slice off the bottom of the round zucchini for the 8 balls and scoop out seeds. To make 1 balls, slice zucchini horizontally and scoop out seeds. Stuff with rice mixture.

Cook on indirect heat with top closed on medium heat for 10 minutes or until zucchini is heated through but still a little crunchy.

Recipes courtesy of GrillGrate .com.This photo illustrates how the raised rail design of GrillGrates prevent flare ups, which cause foods to char. The food on the left is cooking on a conventional grill, the food on the right is cooking on GrillGrates.

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow her on Twitter at @barbrandallfood.