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Is it safe to cook on a steel charcoal grate?

horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 206
edited 8:55PM in EggHead Forum
I'm making a grid extender for my Large BGE since I did not like any of the off-the-shelf products, either due to design or cost. I have my stainless steel threaded rods, nuts, and fender washers, but I need a cooking surface.

I considered getting a BGE brand 15" stainless cooking grate but did not for 2 reasons. One, it is $50. Two, I think it will be too big once it is hoisted up into the dome by 6" or so.

S, I found a Weber #7440 charcoal grate:

Is this surface safe to cook on?

The Weber cooking grate that is the same diameter didn't have enough space between the bars to easily admit the 3/8" threaded rod, which is why I grabbed the charcoal grate. But then I had second thoughts about safety on the drive home... Any input?



  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    It is safe.
  • BBQ HippieBBQ Hippie Posts: 49
    I did just what you are doing. I did two a 15" grate and a 13" inch grate so that I can do three levels of direct cooking and get high in the dome. They work well for me especially the 13" with chicken thighs, they get crispy skin up high in the dome.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,163
    safe - sure - also since it's plated it will last you longer than the un-plated one I had a few years back. That thing rusted and scaled very badly and I finally just trashed it.
    L, M, S, Mini
    Dunlap, IL
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time!

  • James MBJames MB Posts: 356
    I think he means the unplated one.
    It's still safe - I use a carbon steel wok and an omelette pan - but it may corrode more rapidly. Hardly an issue if you are tweaking the design and it will depend on storage but heat and humidity rapidly accelerate the decline.
  • horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 206
    Thanks everyone for the help. Hippie, that is a great idea. Good to know I can add a 15" grid to my project if I need 3 levels. Hope I can find one that costs less than the expensive BGE product! Weber doesn't seem to make a 15" grate--at least my well-stocked Weber shops did not carry them.

    This all began when I wanted to make wings the other day... Most people said that it was better to cook them direct, but on a raised grid. Well, I didn't have the right gear for that job so I improvised...


    Despite the rickety apparatus the wings were crazy delicious... so I resolved to improve the hardware. Here is a slightly less appalling method of raising the cooking surface, today's project in stainless steel.


    And with the grate that I was asking about, I can now add a second story of meat when doing low & slow cooks.


    I have enough threaded rod and fasteners to permanently mount legs to this second grate but I am not yet sure how long they should be, so for now I will just re-use one set of legs and adjust the height with the fasteners. As shown here it's probably much too high, I assume you want the minimum height possible to reduce the temperature difference.

    The only thing that I am not happy with is how the nuts give a little, which put some play into the legs. I have to see if there is some kind of lock washer I can add to the stacks.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,163
    some lock nuts have nylon inserts which could melt in your egg - instead just run another nut up against the first. That's called double nutting and is an old nut locking trick - seriously!
    L, M, S, Mini
    Dunlap, IL
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time!

  • horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 206
    The link I posted says it is "plated" steel, but the packaging doesn't. Who knows what the real story is?

    If it dies quickly, at least it was only $10, and I can replace it with a stainless part if I am getting a lot of use out of it.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,163
    what you showed in your pix is a plated one - an unplated is raw gray metal
    L, M, S, Mini
    Dunlap, IL
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time!

  • horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 206
    Why didn't I think of doubling up the nuts? Thanks!
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,101
    Yes, doubling the nuts will do what you need to do.
    Also, if you want to increase your cook capacity a bit, just get 1/2" bolts, nuts and washers. Then you can go to the Weber 18.5" you mentioned and it will work just great. That is what I did.
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    The bolts,washers etc are a good idea.You better set them at the height you want to start with,after a few cooks and gunk buildup,you will never adjust them again.Don't ask how I know this.I made one and it is the LEAST used grid I have.TOO many other options.Firebricks,pizza stones/spacers etc.Good idea,just not as versatile as others as far as adjusting height. :)
  • nuynainuynai Posts: 101
    Just made some corned beef on BGE this weekend. Put on the cast iron grate, filled a stainless steel bowl with apple juice and set a stainless steel grate on top of bowl with Corned beef in the middle. Came out great. Kind of indirect heat. Juice adds moisture and flavor.
  • I am no longer in the market for an extended grid...from now on I will be lifting my grid using beer cans. That is AWESOME!
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