Hinged Cooking Grates
Standard grates are fine, they do their primary job of keeping your food several inches above the fire! But an added feature is a hinged section at each end of the cooking grate. Hinged cooking grates can make your BBQ experience a lot more convenient. Depending on what you are cooking, you may need easy access to the charcoal during the cooking session. This may be to top up the fire with fresh charcoal, or to add wood chips for a smokey flavour. Trying to get under the cooking grate after the charcoal is lit and the food is on can be a tricky procedure, made much easier with hinged cooking grates.
Depending on the cooking technique you are employing (direct or indirect) the location of the coals will vary (more on this later). In the picture below, I’m using an indirect method of cooking, so the burning coals are pushed to one side of the grill. This makes the hinged grate perfect for easy access to the coals, without having to disturb the food by lifting the entire grate. It also makes things a lot safer.
For safety, always use a metal tongs to flip the hinged section open and closed.