Column Design by the book

The role of advanced materials in barbecue design

From stainless steel to ceramic

By Mélina Tremblay, Industrial designer

| April 3, 2023

As part of her Design by the book column, Mélina Tremblay, industrial designer, shares her passion for the conceptualization and production of manufactured items. See behind the scenes of the reflection leading to the manufacture of everyday objects. Learn more about the details that make the difference. Indeed, throughout his articles, the invisible aspect of design will be explained to you to better understand the trends and fundamental aspects of the objects around you.


Barbecues have come a long way from their humble beginnings as a simple campfire used to cook meat. Today, they are sophisticated appliances and the mainstay of outdoor cooking culture. They are used to cook food in a healthy and tasty way while creating a pleasant social environment. Thus, the design of high-performance barbecues has become an important subject of research and development, in particular with the use of advanced materials such as stainless steel and ceramics. In this article we will explore how the use of these materials has revolutionized the design of high performance barbecues.

The unbeatable stainless steel

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, carbon, chromium and other metals. It is also a common material used in the manufacture of high quality barbecues. It is corrosion, stain and scratch resistant, making it easy to clean and maintain. This alloy is also a strong and durable material, capable of withstanding high temperatures. These properties therefore make it a popular metal in many sectors, including the food, chemical, medical and kitchen equipment industries. It can be used to build barbecues of different sizes and shapes, and can be combined with other materials, such as cast iron, to create unique designs. It is a popular choice for grates, burners and grease trays since these are the items that typically experience the most stress.

However, be aware that not all stainless steels are the same in terms of quality and corrosion resistance. Higher grade steels are made from a specific alloy, primarily what is referred to as ‘304’ which is designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions including exposure to water and moisture, salt and air at the seaside, as well as temperature fluctuations.

Additionally, it is important to note that stainless steel can still stain or corrode if not cleaned and maintained properly. It is therefore important to regularly protect your stainless steel barbecue with appropriate maintenance products to prolong its life and preserve its beautiful glossy appearance.

In summary, it should be remembered that stainless steel is a popular material in the manufacture of culinary tools because of its resistance to corrosion, heat and wear. Nevertheless, it is reminded to choose a premium stainless steel barbecue to ensure a long lifespan and to maintain it regularly to maintain its beautiful appearance.

The wonderful ceramic

Ceramic is also a popular material in the manufacture of high-end barbecues. It is an excellent thermal insulator, which allows appliances to retain heat and distribute it evenly. Ceramic grills or smokers are often used for low temperature cooking over several hours, as they are able to stabilize the heat for long periods of time. Ceramic is also resistant to wear, heat and impact, which makes it an ideal material for the manufacture of cooking appliances.

Specifically, high-quality ceramic barbecues are made from a refractory material that is fired at very high temperatures to create a hard, solid shell. Ceramic is an excellent thermal insulator, which means it can retain heat longer than other materials, such as steel or aluminum. It is also able to retain moisture thanks to its porous texture, which can help prevent food from drying out during cooking. Barbecues, such as those of the “kamado” style, are thus equipped with a lid which makes it possible to control the temperature inside the barbecue and to help that the circulation of the air is done in an efficient way.

With all these benefits and due to the complexity of their manufacture, ceramic barbecues are often more expensive than steel ones, but they offer additional advantages in terms of performance and durability. They are considered excellent value due to their ability to produce top quality food with slow, even cooking.

The barbecue industry’s supercouple

By combining stainless steel and ceramic in the design of barbecues, it is possible to create high performance appliances that offer advantages such as precise cooking temperatures, increased durability, resistance to corrosion and heat. , as well as an ease of maintenance superior to other alloys such as cast iron or aluminum. These barbecues are often in the so-called “prestige” category and cost more than conventional appliances, but they offer a unique and superior outdoor cooking experience.

In conclusion, the use of advanced materials such as stainless steel and ceramics in the design of high-performance barbecues is an important subject of research and development. These materials offer advantages in terms of performance, durability and ease of maintenance, making them perfect choices for the most demanding. High performance stainless steel and ceramic grills and smokers provide a unique outdoor cooking experience that’s well worth it.

Mélina Tremblay is a resourceful industrial designer with nearly 10 years of experience. Her creative and passionate approach to product design pushes her to constantly seek innovation, whether in materials, emotion or method. A writer in her spare time, she shares her expertise to inspire others to think differently. She is attentive to the latest technologies and market trends, which allows her to adapt quickly to changes in the industry. Lately, Mélina has been particularly interested in the integration of artificial intelligence in the field of design and art.


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