120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
Choice of grates important,
This review is from: Weber 3741001 Genesis E-310 Propane Gas Grill, Black (Lawn & Patio)We bought this recently from a local home supply store (shipping from Amazon, even though essentially free, seemed a bit much). Works very well. Solid.
One point that needs to be made is the choice of grates. Since this is where the meat hits the road, it is an important consideration. Weber offers three choices, although that is not very apparent from this site. All offer pros and cons.
The stainless steel is certainly the spiffiest looking and cleans up well. Wear is not a problem with stainless steel. Low maintenance.
Likewise the porcelain covered cast iron. Not as bright as stainless. You're also supposed to use a special cleaning pad, according to the Weber instructions. I imagine that like an porcelain covered cast iron pot, the porcelain may chip over time.
However, temperature is an issue with these two options. Look to a Cook's Illustrated test of gas grills. They measured the recovery time for these two types of grates as well as cast iron. For the stainless steel and porcelain covered cast iron, the recovery time was slow. This means that the grate's temperature will drop when you place the food on the grill and not recover very quickly. This could be a concern for creating a crust or carmelization.
The cast iron grate is the third alternative (and the one I chose, after much searching). As the Cook's Illustrated test showed, the temperature drop for the cast iron was much less than the alternatives. This makes sense if you ever use cast iron skillets on the stove.
Cast iron has some downsides. You must season it and keep seasoning it for awhile. Again, if you've ever used a new cast iron skillet on the stove, you know that while the seasoning process is a hassle at first, persistence pays off with a virtually non-stick surface after awhile. Cast iron takes a bit longer to heat up (but retains heat longer). Failure to season or leaving exposed to the elements will result in rust (not the end of the world, just wire brush it off and re-season).
Update November 2012: This grill still works great. The cast iron has held up well. The only thing that doesn't work any longer is the electronic spark that ignites the gas. I just use a butane grill lighter. Otherwise, all as original. A hearty (re)recommendation!