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[UPDATED] The Secrets of Stainless Steel BBQs


 You know that a barbie is more than just an outdoor grill; it’s an instant de-stresser, babe-magnet and all-round mean machine. So you want the best money can buy - you might have heard that a stainless steel BBQ is the answer, but don’t be fooled into thinking that all stainless steel is the same, or stainless, or steel! We’ve pulled together everything you need to know about the best BBQ material out there.


The Science Bit


Stainless steel is a generic term for a steel alloy that contains a minimum of 10.5 % chromium. It’s the addition of this element that creates a protective layer on the steel when it is exposed to oxygen. This clever layer not only inhibits rusting and staining, but also quickly re-forms if the surface is scratched. Increasing the chromium levels and adding other elements reinforces the steel’s resistance to corrosion. There is a standard numbering system that will help you know exactly what you’re looking at when you consider buying your next BBQ.


400 series


   Adventurer 4 Burner Stainless Steel BBQ  Sizzler Deluxe 2 BBQ

 

Lower and medium priced BBQs are often constructed using 430 grade stainless steel (17% chromium). This popular steel has good heat and corrosion resistence properties and is used in a huge number of household products. It is more prone to rusting and staining, particularly if near the coast. It may be used for all or part of the barbie – a good way to test for its presence is to run a magnet over your BBQ, as 430 is the only magnetic stainless steel.


If this is what your budget allows for, then a quality product that looks reasonably good for a number of years is within your reach.  You will just need to use a little extra elbow grease and TLC. Check our excellent value Adventurer and Sizzler 430 grade stainless steel BBQs.


 

300 series


     Galleymate 2000 Marine Grade Stainless Steel BBQ   Galleymate 4500 Marine Grade Stainless Steel BBQ


Grade 304 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel and makes for very durable products.  This high grade of stainless steel will "tea stain" i.e. a light brown stain caused by corrosion, however it does not affect the structural integrity of the stainless steel. Tea staining occurs mostly if you live with in about 5km of the surf and increases as you get closer to the coast.


Tea staining is minimised on smooth surfaces and sloping surfaces that cannot trap corrosives as much. Tea staining can be easily polished off with a stainless steel cleaner.


The higher grade 316 steel comprises a powerful combination of 16% chromium, 10% nickel and 2% molybdenum.  It will not rust or stain even in marine environments and as such, is often referred to as “marine grade stainless steel”. In more recent times 344 stainless steel is also considered "marine grade stainless steel" and is used in manufacturing.


All our Galleymate range of marine BBQs are constructed using only grade 316 or 344 stainless steel, so you can be assured of the best quality products that will not be compromised by a coastal location. They are sold with five-year guarantee against rust, but we’re confident that you won’t be needing that.


Buff Up Your Barbie


Stainless steel is a low maintenance product but not totally maintenance free. A regular, light wash or rain to remove corrosive substances and environmental pollutants may be all you need. (A good way to remember when to do this is to wash your stainless steel BBQ every time you wash your windows).


Take care of your steel and it will repay you with years of service - never use wire wool, metal brushes or abrasive cleaning agents. Always rub with the grain of the steel using a soft cloth and mild detergent.


While stainless steel itself does not technically rust, you might see some red spots on the surface - this is most likely due to rusted iron particle contaminants. Remove this by using a stainless steel polish such as 3M Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish. Make sure you rinse the surface well with water after treatment and dry thoroughly. 

 

 
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