Some of the best memories come from around a campfire, especially for food lovers who enjoy the smell of campfire-cooked goodness. The problem is camp grills don’t always provide the best workspace for tasty, grilled food. The right campfire grill grate can change all of this.
Throughout history, humans have adapted to cooking their meals over an open fire. Luckily with today’s technology, campfire grill grates make grilling meats and veggies super easy. We’ve taken a look at some of the best grill grates on the market and rated them to help you choose the best for your camping experience.
If your mouth isn’t watering already, it soon will be.
Campfire Grill Grate Reviews
Campfire equipment is an investment, and you want the best value for your money. One of the best all-around products is the Texsport Camping Rotisserie Grill. You get double benefits with this adjustable campfire grill that includes a cooking grate and rotisserie stick.
With this setup, spit-roasting, grilling, and searing are all possible. Both the rotisserie and grill grate are adjustable for any campfire or fire pit, making the Texsport a versatile option for outdoor cooking. With ample cooking surface space, this Texsport campfire grill can feed more than just two.
- Stainless steel rotisserie and heavy metal grill grate
- 16’’ x 24’’ cooking surface
- Four height adjustments
- Two arms for hanging pots to keep food warm
- Versatile grilling options
- Best for singles, couples, or small groups
Sometimes camping means working with an open fire pit with natural flames. In this case, you need a fire pit cooking grate that will withstand high temperatures and outdoor conditions. The Sunnydaze X-Marks Cooking Grill Grate fits perfectly over a pit fire with the surface space to feed many hungry eaters.
This grill grate is constructed with 3 mm thick steel and coated with a heat-resistant spray, making it a reliable option for the heat of an open flame fire pit. Although this grill grate is lightweight and easy to transport, it can hold up to 200 lbs of food!
- Heat resistant coating for high temp grilling
- 15’’ x 36’’ cooking surface for large quantities
- Mesh pattern creates gorgeous grill marks on food
- Lightweight fire pit grill grate for easy transportation
- Best for lighter grill items
Coghlan’s campfire grill grate is a good choice for backpackers and those wanting to avoid unnecessary weight on their outdoor excursions. Coghlan’s grate is made of steel and has corrosion-resistant properties. This product is also one of the best campfire grill grates, considering the price.
The grill grate has foldable legs giving you ample space when backpacking without compromising the total cooking surface. While this grill grate is not adjustable, the structure should work for most campfire grills with 7’’ of height.
- Nickel-plated corrosion-resistant material
- Thin steel design weighs just a few pounds
- Legs fold for easy storage
- Simple set up for backpacking, camping, and RV trips
The Perfect Campfire Grill 18-inch Round Grill Grate is the whole package. This two-piece stake and grate combo make height adjustment easy for optimal heat control. The grilling grate is 18 inches in diameter and includes a rim to prevent food from falling into the fire.
The bells and whistles don’t end there. This grill grate includes a carrying bag, hot pad, and heat-resistant gloves. You also receive a pair of wrenches to assemble your swivel grill set. The cooking grate and stake are constructed of stainless steel and weigh under 10 lbs.
- Height-adjustable swivel grill set with 360-degree swivel
- Carrying bag, glove, hot pad, and wrenches included
- Lightweight material for easy portability
- Raised edge to prevent falling food
Smaller surface area than other campfire cooking grates
If you’re looking for the perfect grill for two, the Adjust-A-Grill is an excellent choice that is smaller and more compact than most campfire grill grates. The Adjust-A-Grill is a swivel grill with a 16’’ x 16’’ grilling surface; the perfect size for car camping or a fire grill for two.
This campfire cooking grate is made of heavy-duty steel and can support plenty of meat and veggies, but when it comes to placing an object like a dutch oven on this product, the smaller frame and material don’t perform as well. As far as small grates go, this might be the best campfire grill grate for you.
- Stake and campfire grill grate swivel design
- Heavy-duty steel material
- Canvas Storage Bag
- Compact design for a smaller campfire grill
The Stephen Raichlen Best of Barbecue is a sturdy, reliable, and durable grill grate made of cast iron. Most grilling grates on the market are made of stainless steel or high-quality steel, but this product transfers heat effortlessly and will last a lifetime of campfire cooking.
The Best of Barbecue grill grate would work for any camping grill, including open flame fire pits with wood or charcoal. While this cooking grate is on the small side, detachable legs make this tool extremely portable for any camping trip.
- 14’’ x 14’’ cooking surface
- Durable cast-iron grilling surface
- Attachable legs for easy storage and transport
- Creates stunning grill marks on your campfire food
Best for singles, couples, and small groups
Types of Grill Grates
There are three main types of grilling grates – tripod, flatbed, and swivel. The tripod grate is a good choice if you’re looking for height that you can adjust easily. The tripod grate dangles over your fire with three legs for support, giving it good stability. However, keep in mind that most tripod grates are small to medium size, so they work best for smaller camping trips and fires.
Flatbed grates are extremely popular amongst camping enthusiasts because they’re easy to pack and assemble, saving you the hassle during your trip. These typically fold down and have limited height adjustment abilities.
Swivel Grates are a good option for those who wish to adjust the height to the fire they’re working with. You can easily cook and serve food with a swivel grate, and many can achieve a 360-degree swivel. Simply attach the grate to the stake and cook whatever your heart desires.
Porcelain vs. Cast Iron
There are plenty of grill grates that could be perfect for your next camping excursion. With so many options on the market, one factor to consider is the material it’s made from. With high heat and outdoor conditions, you want a product that will hold up against the odds.
Cast iron grilling grates can be uncoated or coated in porcelain enamel, but the difference between these materials can make a considerable change when grilling. Uncoated cast iron is soft, porous, and becomes seasoned when oils and fats transfer from your food to the grate.
The benefit of working with this porous material is that the cooked fats and oils give cast-iron grates non-stick ability. Of course, you’re also avoiding harmful chemicals when you avoid a synthetic coating.
However, porcelain enamel coating has some perks. Porcelain creates a smooth texture and finish, which some prefer when cleaning and handling. Also, a porcelain finished camp grill usually comes in many colors, so you purchase something aesthetically pleasing.
An important note with steel grates is the difference between steel and stainless steel. Steel doesn’t perform as well on a fire camp grill’s high heat and can be easily scratched, nicked, or rusted. Stainless steel, on the other hand, lasts longer and is less likely to rust over time.
Campfire grills can range in size, and sometimes you don’t know what grill you’ll be working with until you’ve already arrived at your camping spot. When buying your next campfire cooking grate, you might want to follow these tips to make the best choice.
A small to medium-sized grill grate is typically about 13’’ x 9’’ in size, but every product is different. A smaller grill grate is the best option for couples, small groups, or individuals.
We also recommend considering a smaller grill grate with a folding design for shorter camping trips. Convenience and portability is important, so you’ll want something lightweight with a smaller build for these occasions.
On the other hand, large campfire grates with more cooking area can produce enough food to feed large groups. These grates run around 15’’ x 22’’ or larger depending on the product. A large grill grate would be perfect for your next camping trip with the family or in the backyard when you’re inviting guests over for a barbecue.
Owning a portable grill grate expands your opportunities for outdoor cooking. You want a product that you can fold the legs in or easily assemble at your camping grill. A grill grate set that comes apart or folds in also saves space when traveling with camping equipment.
Some grill grates come with a heavy-duty nylon bag for easy transporting to and from your fire grill. A storage bag also comes in handy when you pack up your camping supplies for winter and store them.
Most standard grates for a campfire grill will run between $25-$60, depending on the material, size, and additional tools it comes with. For example, stainless steel is almost always cheaper than a cast iron product. However, heavy-duty steel and stainless steel products are more common.
Smaller grates are almost always cheaper than a larger product with ample cooking space. If you are working with a particular grill, a large grate might be worth the extra cost. Some grate sets include extra bells and whistles such as additional grill tools, storage bags, or pot hangers, increasing the price.
Stake support comes down to the setup and structure of each stake. Some connect to the grill grate by a single clasp, while others must be screwed together. While it can be annoying to have to assemble your product, a sturdy stake and grate are necessary for optimal cooking over your campfire grill.
Some stakes are better used for direct heat and are made with heavy-duty materials that will withstand an open fire camp grill. While a tripod campfire grill grate is more complicated to assemble than a flatbed grill grate, the most important key to getting the best campfire grill grate is one that can support the weight of your food.
Which is better, porcelain or cast iron grill grates?
This is a matter of personal preference. Cast iron is a popular choice because it’s durable, rustic, and it becomes “seasoned” with each use. Some prefer porcelain because it’s easier to clean, retains heat slightly better, and can look pretty if properly maintained.
What is the best grill grate?
We like Texsport Camping Rotisserie Grill as a good all-around, fire camp grill. It’s made of heavy stainless steel, has a decent-sized cooking surface, and is adjustable. For the price, this is one of the best, but it’s worth looking over all the options to find the one that suits your needs.
Are cast iron or stainless steel grill grates better?
Most people prefer cast iron because it holds up better to the high heat of direct campfire cooking, plus it doesn’t scratch or rust as easily. This doesn’t mean there aren’t some high-quality stainless steel options on the market. You just have to be more mindful of making sure you choose a good one.
Is it safe to paint grill grates?
It really isn’t a good idea to paint your grill grates. It’s tempting as your grate begins to show some wear and tear, but even paint that’s resistant to high heat isn’t food safe and leaches toxins into your food.
Camping grills aren’t always what you expect, and you want a product that will survive a variety of camping conditions that can wear and tear weaker grates. The bottom line is that quality matters.
Our top choice is Texsport Camping Rotisserie Grill, but the others on our list are all great in their own ways. Often, it all boils down to personal preference. Some prefer a tripod grill grate to a flatbed grate, while others want cast iron instead of heavy-duty steel. Overall, we recommend investing in the quality of your grate, so it lasts a lifetime of delicious campfire grilled goodness. Whatever you choose, we wish you well on all your future campfire grilling adventures.