Updated April 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for best flavorizer bars

Gas grills are popular with homeowners because they make grilling fast and easy, but unfortunately, there’s one thing many people still miss about a messy charcoal grill — the delicious, smoky flavor the coals give your food. With flavorizer bars, you can improve the taste of the meats you prepare on your gas grill without any extra work.

Flavorizer bars are V- or tent-shaped bars placed at even intervals between your gas grill’s grate and the burner tubes. Their primary purpose is to divert grease and drippings that drip from the foods on the grate away from the burner tubes, allowing for safer grilling with fewer errant flames. They offer other benefits to help your grill operate more effectively and make sure your food is cooked to perfection.

However, flavorizer bars are particularly appealing if you feel like the foods prepared on your gas grill are lacking in the flavor department. Because of their placement and design, the bars help give your meat more of the traditional char-grilled flavor you get from a charcoal grill.

To add flavorizer bars to your gas grill, start your search by determining the best material for your grilling needs and the proper size for your grill’s model. Next, consider how many bars you need, how easy they are to install, and how easy they are to maintain so you wind up with the best flavorizer bars for your grill.

flavorizer bars
If your grill still has regular flare-ups with flavorizer bars in place, it usually means the grill needs cleaning. Debris and residue on the grill’s components can result in flames when cooking at high temperatures.

How to buy the best flavorizer bar

Flavorizer bar benefits

If you’re not sure exactly what flavorizer bars do, you may not understand how much they can help when you’re grilling. They offer several benefits that affect your grill’s performance and maintenance.

  • They add smoky flavor to your food. Drippings, juices, and marinade from your meats fall onto the hot flavorizer bars and turn to vapor. The vapor then circulates back up to the meats and helps infuse them with flavor you don’t normally get from a gas grill.
  • They cut down on flare-ups. Because of the bars’ position, they divert the drippings and juices your food produces away from the grill’s burner tubes. These tubes distribute the flames throughout the grill, so if grease comes into contact with them, flames can result. Flavorizer bars reduce the risk of these flare-ups so you can grill more safely.
  • They help provide even heat. The heat on a gas grill can be somewhat uneven, with hot spots in certain areas of the grate. The bars absorb the heat from the burner tubes and help disperse it more uniformly across the grate, so your food cooks more evenly.
  • They prevent burner tube clogs. Your grill’s burner tubes have small holes that can get clogged with grease, food particles, and other residue. Since flavorizer bars divert the drippings from the tubes, they’re less likely to clog, allowing your grill to heat more evenly and letting you go longer between cleaning sessions.

Materials

Flavorizer bars are available in two materials.

  • Porcelain-enameled steel bars are more affordable. They’re easier to clean than other flavorizer bars because they offer greater stain resistance. However, they generally don’t last as long as other options because the porcelain coating wears off over time. They don’t conduct heat as well as other flavorizer bars, either.
  • Stainless steel bars feature corrosion-resistant 18-gauge stainless steel, offering excellent durability. They also conduct heat better than porcelain-enameled steel bars. Stainless steel flavorizer bars are more expensive and harder to keep clean because they stain more readily.

Size

Getting the size right for your flavorizer bars is essential — they should span the length of the entire grill. Measure the existing bars on your grill to determine the size you need.

Manufacturers typically include a bar size rating, which provides the dimensions of the bar. Some bars are small, measuring approximately 15.3 by 3.5 by 2.5 inches. Other bars work best for larger grills, with dimensions of roughly 21.5 by 1.7 by 1.7 inches. You can also find some bars that fall between the two, measuring 17.5 by 2.25 by 2.375 inches.

When you remove your flavorizer bars for cleaning, check your grill’s burner tubes as well. You can clean them and remove any clogs with a grill brush and burner pipe brush.

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What features do flavorizer bars have?

Number of bars

Gas grills require multiple flavorizer bars, so most manufacturers sell bars in packs. Some packs include as few as three, while others have up to 10. While larger packs may have a higher overall price, you’ll generally pay less per bar if you opt for a set with more bars.

Ease of installation

It usually isn’t difficult to install flavorizer bars, but some are easier to set up than others. Some manufacturers include step-by-step instructions that help you remove the old bars and replace them with the new ones without any issues. The bars aren’t attached to the grill, so you just lift the old ones out when cool and set the new ones in place.

Ease of cleaning

Keeping the flavorizer bars clean is key if you want your food to taste as good as possible and prevent flare-ups on the grill. Bars with a smooth surface are easier to clean because there aren’t any grooves for food and residue to get trapped in. Porcelain-enameled flavorizer bars aren’t as prone to staining, and the smooth coating encourages food to slide off more easily when you use a brush or sponge.

Warranty

Flavorizer bars last quite a while, but you still want some protection for your purchase. Some bars come with a warranty that covers any issues resulting from defects in the materials or craftsmanship. Warranty terms vary — some bars only offer six months of coverage, while others provide coverage for up to three years.

flavorizer bars
DID YOU KNOW?
Be careful when using a coarse cleaning brush or pad on porcelain-coated flavorizer bars. Harsh cleaning tools can scratch their coating and make them break down more quickly.
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How do you accessorize a flavorizer bar?

Grill set

You’ll get the most out of your grill and flavorizer bars if you have a grill set with all the proper tools to prepare your barbecued favorites. A set includes tongs, a barbecue fork, a spatula, skewers, and more to get your food on and off the grill with ease.

Grill brush

Keep your grill clean and well-maintained with a high-quality grill brush. These brushes usually have metal bristles that make it easy to scrub burnt residue off the grates.

How much do flavorizer bars cost?

Inexpensive

The most affordable flavorizer bars are sets of porcelain-enameled steel bars. They’re smaller bars, measuring 17.5 inches in length or less. The sets contain three to five bars and cost $10 to $40.

Mid-range

Mid-range flavorizer bars are sets of larger porcelain-enameled steel bars or smaller stainless steel bars. The sets contain five bars and cost $40 to $75.

Expensive

The most expensive flavorizer bars are sets of larger stainless steel bars. Most sets contain five bars, but some include more than 10. These bars cost $75 to $150.

Before replacing your flavorizer bars, note how many bars your grill requires as well as the dimensions of the bars so you find proper replacements.

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Tips

  • Clean your flavorizer bars regularly. It helps them last longer, improves their ability to prevent flare-ups, and ensures that your meat is safely grilled.
  • Don’t panic over slight rusting on your flavorizer bars. They’re more prone to rust than other parts of your grill due to their exposure to high heat and acidic marinades. You don’t need to replace the bars unless they’re rusted or burned through. If you see cracks or holes in the bars, it’s time for new ones.
  • Get extra flavor by placing wood chips over your flavorizer bars. Don’t just throw the chips on the bars; dampen the chips and add them to a foil drip pan. Cover the pan with foil with a few holes punched in it. Set the pan on top of the flavorizer bars, put the grate back in place, and grill as you normally would. The smoke from the chips infuses your food with flavor.
flavorizer bars
Don’t use citrus-based or acidic soap to clean your flavorizer bars. The acids in these cleaning products can cause rust and corrosion.

FAQ

Q. How long do flavorizer bars last?

A. It depends on their material, how often you grill, and how well you care for the bars. If you grill regularly and maintain the bars, porcelain-enameled bars last for at least two years, while stainless steel bars can last at least five years. With proper maintenance, some flavorizer bars can go up to 10 years without needing to be replaced.

Q. How often should I clean flavorizer bars?

A. For the best results, you should clean the bars every time you use your grill. However, you may not have time to do it after each grilling session. Aim to clean them after every two to three uses to ensure your food tastes its best and the bars last as long as possible.

Never put your flavorizer bars in the dishwasher for cleaning. Instead, allow the grill to cool completely, then use a plastic tool to scrape away any burnt-on debris. If the residue doesn’t come loose, you can use a stainless steel bristle brush to scrub the bars. Soak especially dirty flavorizer bars in warm, soapy water, and use a scrubber pad to remove residue. Dry them thoroughly with a towel to prevent rusting, and return them to your grill.

Q. How can I make my flavorizer bars last longer?

A. To extend the bars’ lifespan, avoid grilling at extremely high temperatures unless necessary. It also helps to switch the position of the bars every so often, because certain areas of the grill experience greater heat and exposure to drippings. Clean the bars regularly to keep rusting and corrosion under control.

 

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