A vast majority of households in the United States own a grill or barbecue. Most of the components of this grill you can replace with new grill parts, which increase the life and performance of the outdoor appliance. Charcoal grills need the least maintenance and typically need no more than new charcoal grates and cooking grids. Gas grills, however, are more complex and many components wear down over time. Replacement grill parts for a gas barbecue include burners, valves, and heat shields. Here’s a quick look at the main parts of the grill and when they need replacing.
The burner of a gas grill is the source of heat. The burner is hollow with gas inlet and outlet ports, each with separate control. Some grills have only one burner while others have dual burners with corresponding controls on the control panel. Most burners in a gas grill are H burners or oval burners. High-end grills even have three or four separate burners, called pipe, tube or rail burners. Some are made of cast iron or aluminum steel, although stainless steel gas burners last the longest. If you have a gas grill with cheaper burners and want to extend its life, try replacing these gas grill parts with stainless steel.
2. Cooking grates
The cooking grate, or grid, is the surface the food sits on while it cooks. Cheap grates are from chrome-plated steel, which doesn’t last long. Stainless steel is the most durable, followed by porcelain-coated steel and cast iron. Grates that aren’t made of stainless steel will eventually begin to rust when the coating wears off, at which point replacement grill parts are necessary.
3. Rock grates
This grate sits right above the burner. It serves to hold lava rock or briquettes and keeps drippings from hitting the burner while dispersing heat. This is one of the cheapest replacement parts for a grill and you need to replace it as soon as it can’t hold rocks. Most are made from carbon steel, which begins to rust rather quickly.
4. Heat shields
The heat shield has other names like a heat plate, heat tent, heat angle or burner shield. This part keeps drippings from the burner and distributes heat throughout the grill. Heat shields are usually preferred over the rock grate because they don’t hold bacteria and are easier to replace.
You need to replace the valves when they’re not working properly or begin to rust. Unlike burners, the replacement valve for a grill must fit exactly and parts can be harder to find. Faulty valves are one of the most common reasons people dump most grills, although you can replace them easily if you find the parts for your grill.
Virtually all grill posts eventually rust and need fixing, although it’s easy to buy this part that mounts the grill head.
Other grill parts include heat gauges, trays, handles and other small grill accessories. Most of these are available from the original manufacturer or an after-market company