What are the differences in Steel Grades? Why are there different grades of steel in the same grill? The answers are just a little more complex than you might think!
304 is the superior grade and we use it in our burners because it simply lasts longer and holds up to heat and corrosion much better than other grades. The downside is that 304 steel is very expensive and drives up the price of a gas grill dramatically if used for the body. That is why the body of our stainless grills are 430 grade stainless steel, a cost saving for the customer, allowing us to offer a luxury grill under a $600 retail. 430 Stainless is still very corrosion resistant but less so than 304. To dispel the myth not all stainless steel is non-magnetic, 304 is not magnetic but 430 will attract a magnet.
Steel Gauge Impacts Life
The next most important thing is the thickness or gauge of the steel. Maybe the simplest approach to comparing gauge on 2 grills of similar size is to check the weight. A grill with medium firebox that weighs 117 lbs (like Monument's does and the Weber Spirit does) has a thicker gauge of steel than a competitor like say the Nexgrill 4 burner with a similar sized grill that weighs 85 lbs. More steel means that your grill is going to be sturdier and corrode much less and even if you do develop some corrosion over time, the grill with the thicker steel will last much longer. Additionally, our grill carts are made of powder-coated cold-rolled steel to offer extensive durability.
Wet Rolling, Offering Superior Protection, and a Deeper Shine
Finally for our stainless steel, we use wet rolled steel. The steel that we source is rolled with oil and in a way that gives a much deeper shine with a kind of a darker undertone. This is a look that you often see in higher end stainless appliances. The alternative approach that almost all mass market grills use has a really shiny surface with no depth to it. The oil in the rolling process gives our grills more life with less corrosion, acting as a barrier between the elements and our thick 430-gauge steel. We use this process to ensure that even as we are passing the cost savings of the lower grade steel on to our customers, that we are still offering a high-quality LASTING product that will serve them well for years to come.