Living the coastal life, as in Florida, is a dream, filled with beach barbecues and outdoor dining delights. But, the constant battle against the relentless salt air and humidity that devours our beloved BBQ grills is nothing short of exasperating.
Grills that looked great in the store lose their luster and function to rust within months, and what seemed rust-resistant initially may even become a safety concern.
It’s a struggle! But here’s the hook: it doesn’t have to be. This article will help you overcome the rust problem once and for all.
I’ll reveal the best rust-resistant grills for coastal environments, transforming your outdoor cooking into a truly rust-free, fuss-free, and delightful experience. So, let’s dive right in and conquer the rust together!
The 5 Best Rust-Resistant Grills for Coastal Environments
As coastal residents, we must make savvy purchasing decisions, especially regarding outdoor equipment. The salty air and high humidity present unique challenges, making rust resistance a critical feature when shopping for a grill. Below are the top 5 rust-resistant grills perfect for coastal living, each with unique points.
- Napoleon Prestige 500 RSIB: Best overall grill for an excellent balance of price, features, and cooking area
- Weber Summit S-470: Best high-end grill for its advanced features and exceptional performance
- Monument Grills Mesa 400: Best budget grill packed with features and a tasteful design
- Char-Broil 463370719 Performance: perfect for medium to large families
- Monument Grills Mesa 200: best for small families
To further assist you in making an informed decision, I’ve prepared a detailed comparison table below. This table lists key features such as the BTU rating, the number of burners, and the cooking area for each grill.
1. Napoleon Prestige 500 RSIB
The Napoleon Prestige 500 RSIB is a standout choice when you’re searching for the best grill for a coastal environment.
Renowned for its rust-resistant quality, this grill is a robust and reliable option, especially in salt air conditions.
It’s designed by a trusted name in the grill industry and comes packed with an array of impressive features.
The Napoleon Prestige 500 with four stainless steel main burners generating a powerful 48,000 BTU-per-hour.
These burners are made from heavy-duty 304 stainless steel, adding to their rust-resistant quality, making them particularly suitable for humid and salt air environments.
This is further enhanced by the layered stainless steel sear plates, contributing to the grill’s ability to cook delicious, flavourful food.
The gas grill also stands out with its infrared sizzle zone side burner, which heats up to 1800 degrees in 30 seconds, and the 18,000 BTU infrared rear burner.
These features, along with the heavy-duty rotisserie kit, offer a versatile cooking experience right at home.
The 7.5 mm thick stainless steel Iconic WAVE™ grates are a prime feature of the Napoleon Prestige, offering even heating and exceptional sear marks.
These wavy grates are one of two unique grill grates in shape and function on this list. They’re designed to prevent food from falling through and are virtually maintenance-free.
This rust-resistant grill provides the largest cooking space compared to its competitors. It boasts a 500 square inches main cooking area and an additional 260 square inches provided by a warming rack.
Additionally, it offers a spacious storage cabinet with interior lights and soft-close doors.
The backlit control knobs, which change from blue to red when the gas is on, add an extra layer of safety when grilling after dark. Only the Napoleon Prestige 500’s control knobs can display two states, On and Off, on this list.
While the grill has an impressive warranty, it has a few minor areas for improvement, such as a lid handle that gets warm during prolonged use, front doors that don’t perfectly align with the magnets, and plastic handles.
Despite these, the Napoleon Prestige 500 RSIB, with its rust-resistant build and extensive features, remains an excellent gas grill for coastal environments.
But don’t take my word for it. Just look at the image below and read the comment from a happy customer in Florida who uses this grill almost every night. They love the grill’s cooking performance, burner lights, and Canadian quality.
Click here to read more reviews from happy buyers of the Napoleon Prestige 500 RSIB gas grill.
|What I Like||What I Don’t|
2. Weber Summit S-470 Gas Grill
Weber Summit S-470 Gas Grill is a distinguished product in the high-end grill market. From a brand well-respected in the grill industry, Weber, the Summit S-470 is no ordinary gas grill.
With 304 and 430 stainless-steel components and an impressive range of features, it stands up quite well, even against other top competitors.
Burners and Cooking Area
Boasting a front-mounted lighted control panel with four stainless-steel burners, it employs a Snap-Jet individual burner ignition system, making it user-friendly.
The grill offers 580 square inches of total cooking space, with a robust 48,800 BTU-per-hour input. This ample space allows it to serve up to 10 people and fit 20 burgers, making it ideal for those fun beach house cookouts.
In addition to the main cooking area, it offers a 12,000-BTU side burner, a 10,600-BTU Sear Station burner, a 6,800 smoker burner, and a 10,600 rear-mounted infrared rotisserie burner.
These additional burners provide versatility in cooking, perfect for those who want to experiment with different grilling methods.
The grill also includes a Tuck-Away rotisserie system, equipped with a flip-up motor and distinct compartments for spit and fork storage.
The grill’s convenience features significantly enhance the user experience. For instance, the enclosed cart, two stainless-steel side shelves, and six tool hooks add to the practicality of the design.
For those who enjoy night grilling, you’ll appreciate the Grill Out Handle light and lighted control knobs.
The Grill Out Handle light is activated when the lid opens, providing enough illumination for nighttime cooking. (I quite like this feature)
Don’t worry about wasting energy during the day; you can simply turn off this feature when it’s unnecessary.
To make things even brighter, there’s the option to order a second light for the handle.
As for fuel management, this gas grill shines with its dual-function fuel check system, a convenience not offered by many competitors. These features ensure you’re never caught short on gas.
Electronically, you can press the tank scale button on the control panel’s right for 2-3 seconds, and an LED display will indicate your tank’s fuel level.
Alternatively, you can opt for a manual check by observing the color indicator line on the tank scale’s side.
However, it’s not without its downsides. The Weber Summit S-470 is undoubtedly a significant investment, with its “high-end” price tag.
Some parts are not made of stainless steel, which can lead to potential rust issues in salt air conditions.
The doors and some panels are made from thinner gauge metal, making them susceptible to dents.
|What I Like||What I Don’t|
3. Monument Grills Mesa 400 Gas Grill
The Monument Grills Mesa 400, known as the best cheap grill for salt air environments, is an excellent choice for beach houses. What sets it apart are its notable features and reliable performance, which confidently rival costlier grills.
The Mesa 400 boasts an extensive cooking area of 690 square inches. This ranks it second on my list and gives it an edge with 110 square inches more than the Weber Summit S-470.
This ample space comprises a primary cooking area of 480 square inches and a warming rack area of 210 square inches.
Its broad cooking space comfortably accommodates a variety of food items. Whether you’re grilling burgers, ribs, a whole chicken, or pork butts, the Mesa 400 is ideal. It’s perfectly suited to serve groups ranging from 8 to 10 people.
When it comes to heat output, the grill doesn’t disappoint either. It delivers a substantial 48,000 BTUs, powered by four main burners and an additional side burner.
These burners are constructed from 304-grade stainless steel, renowned for its corrosion-resistant properties. This build ensures that the grill maintains its longevity despite exposure to salt air.
Despite the overall construction using 430 stainless steel and cold rolled sheet metal, which may not be as thick as the top competitors, the grill’s build quality is still commendable.
For convenience, the electronic ignition system assures reliable startups at a push of a button, while the LED control knobs aid visibility during night-time grilling.
A unique feature is the Clearview glass lid with a lid-mounted temperature gauge, allowing you to monitor your grilling progress without losing heat.
However, it’s worth noting that while the Mesa 400 offers a range of attractive features, there are a few drawbacks.
The shelves don’t fold down, limiting storage options, and the absence of a fuel gauge could cause unexpected gas shortages.
Fewer parts are made from stainless steel, and the overall metal thickness isn’t as robust as the Napoleon Prestige 500 and Weber Summit S-470.
Despite being a relatively new brand, the Monument Grills Mesa 400 holds its own as a cost-effective, rust-resistant grill for medium to larger events.
|What I Like||What I Don’t|
4. Char-Broil 463370719 Performance Gas Grill
The Char-Broil 463370719 Performance grill is another budget-friendly option without sacrificing durability and performance.
Sporting an exclusive stainless steel finish, the grill showcases increased style and durability, using a combination of 430 and 443-grade stainless steel for enhanced longevity.
This type of steel is known to be more resistant to rust, which is vital for a gas grill used in a coastal environment.
Grill Grates and Cooking Technology
One notable feature that distinguishes the Char-Broil 463370719 is its TRU-Infrared cooking technology.
This inventive system transforms convective heat into radiant heat, which prevents flare-ups, ensures evenly distributed heat, and produces juicier food.
This is achieved through a unique emitter plate that collects the juices from the meat, evaporates them, and redirects them back onto the food. This process enhances the flavor and ensures the food retains its moisture.
In addition, the grill’s porcelain-coated grates add an extra layer of convenience. These grates are not only durable and rust-resistant, but also straightforward to clean.
To add a smoky flavor to your food, you can even place wood chips directly onto the grill grates.
The grill offers 24,000 BTUs spread across three top-ported stainless steel burners and a side burner that delivers 10,000 BTUs, perfect for preparing sauces or sides.
Although its BTU rating is lower than some competitors, the burners are durable for longer-lasting performance and provide a wide temperature range with precise control.
The Char-Broil 463370719 offers a sizable cooking area of 600 square inches, of which 450 square inches are designated for primary cooking, and an additional 150 square inches serve as a warming rack.
This total area surpasses the expensive S-470’s by 20 square inches, making it well-suited for medium-sized cookouts.
The ample space on the grill easily accommodates a variety of foods, from burgers and brats to corn on the cob.
While the grill may lack certain extras, such as light knobs and hooks, and its side shelves are not foldable, it still stands as a reliable, affordable grill that won’t rust and delivers great cooking performance.
|What I Like||What I Don’t|
5. Monument Grills Mesa 200 Gas Grill
Diving into the features of the Monument Grills Mesa 200, it’s clear that it’s a compact version of the Mesa 400 with some distinctive characteristics.
This cheap rust-proof grill has carved out a niche in the market, especially appealing to those residing in coastal regions such as Florida.
Burners and Grill Grates
The Mesa 200 harnesses the power of two primary 304 stainless steel burners, each emitting 24,000 BTUs of heat, for a strong and consistent cooking performance.
Its grilling area stretches over 473 square inches, including 326 square inches for the primary cooking space and an extra 147 square inches for the warming rack.
This ample space allows for diverse cooking options, such as 15 burgers, a rack of ribs, two whole chickens, or a dozen chicken thighs, catering well to small families or gatherings of 4 to 6 people.
Designed for even heat distribution, the porcelain-coated, cast-iron cooking grates work alongside enamel flame tamers to enhance the flavors of your grilled foods.
The built-in Clear View Lid is a notable inclusion, enabling you to monitor your grilling progress without losing valuable heat, thereby maintaining consistent cooking temperatures.
Unlike the Mesa 400, the Mesa 200 offers foldable side shelves, each 13 inches wide, providing ample workspace when extended and saving space when not in use.
However, it’s important to note that the Mesa 200 does not include a side burner for searing due to these folding shelves.
The Mesa 200 also stands out with several stainless steel elements, including a 430 stainless steel lid, door, and side shelves. However, while the back and base panels are highlighted with a silver powder coating, their rust resistance is somewhat lacking.
The grill also sports a USB port, which supports an additional LED light (available for around $15). This light and the LED Control Knobs enhance nighttime visibility and add to the grilling experience.
|What I Like||What I Don’t|
Guide to Choosing Beach House Grills
Choosing a gas grill, especially for coastal environments, can be a bit daunting with the variety of options available. Here’s a guide to help you decide and choose the perfect grill for your needs.
1. Understanding Rust-Resistance in Grills
One of the key factors to consider while choosing a gas grill for the beach house is rust resistance. Salt air and humidity can make a grill susceptible to rust, hence the importance of materials and maintenance.
Stainless steel, known for its durability, ease of cleaning, and rust resistance, is a popular choice for grill construction. But be mindful that not all stainless steel is the same – the grades matter, especially when considering a grill that doesn’t rust.
304, 430, and 443 are different grades of stainless steel commonly used in grills, each with their unique characteristics and rust-resistance capacities.
– Grade 304 stainless steel is often considered commercial grade, characterized by its non-magnetic property and superior corrosion resistance. Its high chromium and nickel content make it highly rust-resistant, ensuring longevity even in coastal environments.
Owing to these attributes, grade 304 is typically found in high-end grills or specific parts of grills made of other steel grades. The downside is that it tends to be more expensive and harder to find.
– Grade 430 stainless steel is usually found in more affordable, low-priced grills. This grade is magnetic due to its higher iron content, which, unfortunately, makes it more prone to rust and stress fractures.
Grills made from grade 430 stainless steel often require frequent polishing to maintain their appearance.
– Grade 443 stainless steel is a recent addition to the grill construction scene. Containing more chrome and titanium, this grade is also magnetic but stands out due to its impressive durability and rust resistance, which nearly matches that of grade 304.
Another advantage is that it’s generally more affordable than grade 304, making it an increasingly common choice for affordable grills like the Char-Broil 463370719.
It’s essential to note that even if the main body of a grill is made of high-quality stainless steel, other parts like grates or burners might be made of different materials, such as cast iron or porcelain-coated steel.
These materials can rust if not adequately maintained, so checking all parts of your grill for quality before purchase is crucial.
A quick note about the “magnet test”: a magnet was once believed to determine a stainless steel’s grade. If the magnet stuck, it was assumed to be grade 430; if not, grade 304.
But this test has become unreliable with the introduction of the magnetic 443 grade. So, to reassure customers about quality, manufacturers often clearly state if a grill is made from the rust-resistant grades 304 or 443.
Contact the manufacturer for accurate information about the grill you are aiming for.
The quality and number of burners directly influence the grill’s heat distribution and temperature control. A grill with at least two to three burners can create different heat zones for versatile cooking (direct and indirect cooking).
Additionally, the BTU (British Thermal Units) rating should be considered, which indicates the heat output. However, higher BTUs don’t always mean better performance; around 80-100 BTU per square inch of cooking area is generally adequate.
Grill grates can be made of various materials like cast iron, porcelain-coated steel, or stainless steel. While cast iron grates are durable and retain heat well, they require regular seasoning to prevent rusting.
Porcelain-coated steel grates are easy to clean and resist rust but can chip or crack over time.
Stainless steel grates are long-lasting and rust-resistant, though they might be a bit expensive and hard to clean.
Besides the grate’s material, you should consider both the material of the warming rack and the side burners.
4. Size and Cooking Area
Your grill’s size should cater to your cooking needs and the space you have available. For instance, if you often cook for large groups, larger models like the Napoleon Prestige 500 and Mesa 400 could be ideal.
5. Personal Preference and Style
Ensure that your grill aligns with your personal cooking style. If you’re someone who enjoys a diverse cooking range – from pancakes and eggs to searing a steak – consider grill and griddle combos.
Moreover, if you’re a fan of smoked flavors, grill-smoker combo models may be a perfect fit. Models like the Weber Summit S-470 come with a built-in smoker box and burner. Alternatively, you can customize any gas grill with a separate smoker box.
6. Additional Features
Don’t overlook features that can enrich your grilling experience. Side burners, for instance, can help prepare side dishes or sauces.
Some grills come equipped with a rotisserie attachment or a smoker box, adding versatility.
Features like LED lights in the grill lid or on the control knobs can facilitate night grilling.
Also, certain high-end grills offer smart features, including apps that allow you to control the temperature remotely.
The cost of grills can vary widely, so finding a balance between price and quality is essential. This ensures that your grill does not rust prematurely and remains functional over the years.
If you’re beginning to explore grilling and are on a tight budget, consider affordable models like the Mesa 200, Char-Broil 463370719, or even the Mesa 400.
However, if you have room in your budget, don’t hesitate to invest in premium models like the Napoleon Prestige 500 or the Weber Summit S-470.
It’s about making a smart investment that caters to your grilling needs while ensuring durability.
Tips to Rust Proof a Grill
Rust proofing your grill, especially in environments with salt air, is crucial to keep it in peak condition. The stainless steel used in grills can oxidize in the presence of chlorides and sulfides, abundant in coastal areas or near hot tubs and pools.
Here are a few practical ways to maintain your gas grill and guard against rust.
1. Regular Washing to Prevent Oxidization
Start by washing the grill’s surfaces regularly. Aim to do this every 3-4 weeks. Use warm, soapy water and a gentle cloth to remove any dirt or grime.
However, bear in mind that your grill needs to be cool before you begin, for safety reasons and to prevent surface corrosion from occurring due to extreme heat.
2. Maintaining the Aesthetic Appeal
Maintaining the grill’s aesthetic appeal requires more care. Post-use, wash it using a mild detergent and warm soapy water, then dry with a soft cloth.
Grease deposits might necessitate the use of an abrasive plastic pad. Apply this only in the direction of the brushed finish to avoid damage, steering clear from areas with graphics.
3. Grill Cleaning: Materials and Techniques
Cleaning your grill doesn’t have to be a struggle. Arm yourself with a soft cloth or microfiber cloth and a mild detergent. Stay away from steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or paper towels that might scratch the surface.
Always rinse with clean water and dry with a fresh cloth to prevent water stains. Remember to follow the grain of the stainless steel during cleaning to prevent unwanted scratches.
4. Polishing: Preserving the Shine
Next, consider polishing your grill. A stainless steel polish not only helps it keep its shine but also protects against stains and rust.
Alternatively, a light coat of vegetable oil or cooking spray can act as a protective barrier against moisture and salt.
5. Covering and Storage: Guarding against Elements
Remember to cover your grill when it’s not in use. A breathable and water-resistant cover is ideal as it curtails condensation and mold growth.
Lastly, store your grill in a dry, sheltered place during harsh weather conditions or the off-season. This simple action can help prevent rust and corrosion caused by exposure to elements such as rain, snow, or salt spray.
By employing these methods, you can preserve the longevity and functionality of your gas grill, ensuring many more seasons of delightful barbecues.
That’s a wrap, grillmasters! Remember that critical elements like the type of stainless steel, size, personal cooking style, extra features, and budget are vital when choosing the best rust-resistant grills for coastal environments.
The salty air in coastal regions like Florida is notorious for being tough on grills. But armed with this guide, you’re ready to make a savvy choice.
So, here’s to many sun-soaked cookouts by the coast – with the right grill, rust won’t dampen your barbecue fun. Happy grilling, friends!
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I’m Jackson. I’ve been experimenting with different recipes and techniques to make the perfect plate of smoked or grilled meat for many years. I started this blog to share my experience with others who love grilling and smoking just as much as I do. Here you’ll find recipes, tips, tricks, and everything you need to know about making mouth-watering grilled or smoked dishes.