Weber gas grills are known for being industry leaders in quality.
Though there are many different grill model lines, designs, differences in technology, and other variations, Weber grills tend to be associated with even heating and reliable construction.
Part of the secret behind the success is the use of Flavorizer bars. These bars are made exclusively for Weber grills.
They are inverted pieces of steel in a V-shape that are placed between the cooking grates and burner tubes. There are multiple Flavorizer bar purposes.
Stainless Steel Vs Porcelain Enameled Flavorizer Bars
|#1. Stainless steel
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|18 gauge and 16 gauge available
|#2. Porcelain-enameled steel
|1 model available
#1. Stainless Steel
The two main Flavorizer bar choices for a typical Weber gas grill are stainless steel and porcelain-enameled steel. Of the options, stainless steel is the more expensive of the two.
Stainless steel is a durable material that lasts for significantly longer periods of time than porcelain. The most expensive steel bars are constructed from 18 gauge steel.
When you purchase them from Weber, they include a five year warranty. With that said, they tend to last for more than five years before you need to get another replacement.
Third party companies may also make flavorizer bars that are compatible with Weber grills. These bars are constructed with extremely heavy gauge stainless steel, utilizing 16 gauge rather than 18 gauge.
Because the type of steel is so much heavier, these types of bars are likely to outlive your grill in terms of durability and resistance to wear-and-tear.
The less expensive option is to purchase porcelain-enameled steel bars. These work just as well as the stainless steel bars in terms of optimizing your grill’s performance.
However, they’re also likely to break down and need replacing much faster.
Each porcelain-enameled bar manufactured by Weber comes with a two year warranty. The majority of sets will last a minimum of five years as long as they’re treated well.
If you intend to have the grill for longer than five years, and don’t want to replace the bars again, spring for the stainless steel. Otherwise, porcelain will generally suit you just fine.
How Flavorizer Bars Work
There are four main reasons that Flavorizer bars are installed in each Weber gas grill.
The first is that it helps with safety and heat control by preventing flare-ups. The shape and material of the bars cause portions of dripping grease to vaporize quickly.
Anything that isn’t vaporized drips into a pan underneath the bars. When grills use lava rocks and other grease-control methods, it causes liquid to pool during the grilling process, which can lead to sudden fire flares.
Since Flavorizer bars are evenly spaced, they conduct heat efficiently and evenly throughout the grill’s firebox.
They also act as a shield to protect the grill’s burner tubes from falling debris, which would otherwise be at risk of blocking important ports.
And for some grill enthusiasts, the item of greatest importance: The Flavorizer bars enhance the flavor and aroma of grilled meat. You can’t get the same depth of flavor with a non-Weber grill. When Flavorizer bars cause grease to vaporize, it infuses with the meat being cooked.
Cleaning Flavorizer Bars
When it’s time to clean the bars, the first step is to burn the grill off at the highest temperature for at least 15 minutes.
This heat turns debris into ash, which can be more easily disposed of. If the grill’s grates are cast iron, make sure you remove them before the burning-off process or else you’ll burn your seasoning from the grates.
Let the grill cool. When it’s cooled off, remove the Flavorizer bars and use a brush to move away any remaining debris. If there’s tough residue, you can use a wide putty knife to scrape it away.
While the bars are removed, the interior of the grill will be exposed. Now is the time to clean your burner tubes, drip pan, and firebox.
Put all the parts back, and you’re ready to fire up the grill again. If some Flavorizer bars seem to be wearing down faster than others, consider changing up the order.
When New Flavorizer Bars Are Necessary
In most cases, the original set of Flavorizer bars will wear out before the rest of the grill does. However, you don’t need to replace the bars until they have become burned through or rusted through.
There are multiple bar sizes depending on the grill. You’ll need to know the name and number of your model to find the right size. Different grills have different dimensions and numbers of installed bars.
Most sets of Flavorizer bars will last several years, with the stainless steel being more reliable than the porcelain. With that said, stainless steel is not immune to rust.
It will become victim to the signs of aging inherent in metal, just more slowly than its porcelain-enameled steel counterparts.
Final Thoughts – Weber Porcelain Enameled Flavorizer Bars Vs Stainless Steel
Flavorizer bars are an integral part of the Weber gas grill design. Whether you choose porcelain-enameled steel or stainless steel models, the bars will help prevent hazards, distribute heat evenly, and increase infused flavors.
Porcelain-enameled steel bars are the more inexpensive option, but they also have a shorter warranty and tendency to wear out after around 5 years.
In contrast, stainless steel bars are heavy and have a 5 year warranty, though they typically last much longer before rusting through.
As long as you make sure to clean your grill regularly and keep it covered, the life cycle of your Flavorizer bars should be several years.