A lot of people ask us this question, cast iron or stainless steel hotplate?
If you are near the ocean, buy stainless to avoid quick deterioration of your hot plate. Otherwise, there’s a few factors to consider:
Rust on your hot plates
Cast iron rusts. Even if you don’t live by the ocean, you might just want to avoid the complication of having to deal with rusty plates. In this case go stainless.
Most BBQ guys simply leave the fat on their hot plate after a cook up and close the lid. This keeps the hot plate oiled and protected from the rain. It’s a messy solution, but it works. With a Flare Fire, there’s no lid, and even if you have a chimney cap, some water will still get in the outdoor fireplace and rust the cast iron hot plate if it’s left in the fire.
Really the only way to keep your cast iron plate rust free is to clean it down after use and rub on a light coat of oil, then store it out of the rain.
Heating things up on your hot plate
Whilst stainless actually heats up quicker than cast iron, our stainless plates are quite thick and take a bit longer to heat up then a cast iron plates which are slightly thinner. Both are similar in speed to heat up and heat retention.
Stop food from sticking on your hot plate
Our cast iron plates have no non-stick coating. This is good, as cast iron plates are naturally porous – they absorb oils and fats from the foods you cook. As this happens, they season, with the oils filling the pores, giving the cast iron a natural non-stick property.
When cooking on stainless, even with oil it is trickier to keep food from sticking. Not to the point it’s a drama, just something I have found I need to bear in mind when cooking.
A well seasoned cast iron plate is pretty much like cooking in a teflon coated pan, they are that non stick.
Have your outdoor fireplace hot plates last
We cut the stainless hot plates ourselves, from quality stainless steel, here in NZ. One of these plates will last forever.
Our Cast Iron plates are the Gasmate brand. If kept well seasoned, the Gasmate cast iron plates can last for many years.