Stainless steel, magnetism and the quality of a BBQ
There are more than 150 types of stainless steel, so it’s easy to get lost. All the stainless steel type, called inox, are made of iron and contain at least 10% of chrome, which make them rust resistant. They contain other elements like nickel, that will affect the resistance, the durability, the look but also the magnetism. There’s a myth in the BBQ world that says that stainless steel is magnetic and that it doesn’t have a good quality to resist to high heat. Keep in mind that this way of comparing the different products is easy and that it’s not enough when comes the time to choose a BBQ.
The 304 stainless steel is used in a lot of domain, including the BBQ. It worked on spreading the myth because it’s highly used in the high-end BBQ and it’s not magnetic. It is now a staple. The mix is composed of 18% of chrome, between 8 and 10% of nickel and a max level of carbon of 0.008%. It is a highly resistant to exterior elements and high-temperature cooking. All of that, at a cheap price with a very nice look.
The 443 stainless steel is rare, but it’s getting notoriety in the BBQ world. It has a good level of chrome, but mostly titanium that guarantees stability when exposed to high temperature. This special mix allows an even greater resistance to external elements like humidity, salt, and rust. It’s the most rust-resistant type of stainless steel and contrary to the general thought, it is magnetic due to its high level of chrome.
The 430 stainless steel is usually used as a finishing material for the BBQ doors and panels. Its high level of iron makes it fragile to high temperature because iron expands and it makes it prone to rust. It’s a high-quality mix, but it should not be used for the tank or the burner.
The 201 stainless steel is used in the build of super high-end BBQ. It’s a mix that gives a super nice, economic and durable look because nickel has been replaced by nitrogen. On the other hand, nitrogen is less resistant to rust than nickel, and that’s why it’s not used as much. This stainless steel is not magnetic, even though it’s less durable and contain chrome.
Magnetism doesn’t represent the quality of the stainless steel used. However, it’s good to know the type of alloy that’s used. For example, we recommend 304 or 443 stainless steel instead of the 430 for the pieces in contact with heat.