Porcelain Coated Cast vs Stainless

demarkMarch 27, 2006

We just bought a new Kenmore grill (16326). Sears had a good sale going on and we had collected a bunch of gift cards over the years which really got the price down.

It appeared that the 16326 replaced the 16327 model from last year. They had the same form factor and same MSRP, but the 16327 was not in the 2006 catalog and had a steeper discount.

The main differences are:

- The 16327's exterior is primarily porcelain coated with some stainless parts, whereas the 16326's exterior is primarily stainless with a few porcelain coated parts.

- The primary cooking surface is made of up 5 grates - one for each burner. The 16327 comes with stainless steel cooking grates, while the 16326 has porcelain coated cast iron ones.

So, for the new model year, it appears the stainless was taken from the inside and put on the outside and the porcelain that was on the outside was moved to the inside.

My question is which cooking surface is supposedly "better"? I might have an opportunity to change out the cast with SS - should I take it? Note, in doing so, I would not be getting rid of the cast grates, I would just not using them.


- Tony

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According to a recent issue of Consumer Reports, stainless is preferable to porcelain coated cast iron due to eventual chipping of the coating.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 1:03PM
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Coated cast iron is old technology and will last decades if not abused (e.g. dropped or wire bristle brush). Cast iron physical properties (thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity) make it superior to stainless steel for cooking applications. It's also significantly cheaper to produce and machine. That's not saying SS can't do as a good job; but either the burners have to be more powerful else the SS grates will have to weigh much more then the CI grates to get equal results in the same grill design.

From a practical perspective, searing beef is the only grill function were this makes any difference. If that's not something you care much about than go with SS if you prefer the easier cleaning.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 1:33PM
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