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Introducing 'The Tuff Guy'

calikingcaliking Posts: 7,138
edited April 2013 in EggHead Forum
[Disclaimer: I'm not trying to sell anything here.]

I got caught up in the Baking Steel frenzy, but held off when I saw the price. It seems like a great product, but I just didn't think that the discount was that great. But the wheels in my noggin started turning (they don't do that often) and I started thinking (I don't do that often either).

There was talk on the Baking Steel thread about using it as a griddle, and about a possible future version with a lip. I pulled out the old trusty cocktail napkin and started doodling. Found a steel place with a fab shop nearby and went to talk to them. A week later, I had these:

image

The Big Tuff Guy is 16" diameter. The Lil Tuff Guy is 12" diameter. Named so because they are practically indestructible, and heavy as heck. 

A36 steel ( I think), 3/8" thick. Handles are 2" high x 4"long to make them easy to hold with welding gloves on. I wanted handles partly to make moving them around easier, and partly to make them work as supports.  The side opposite the handles has flat bar wrapped around but welded on top of the plate. Continuous weld on the inside. 

The griddle (underneath the Tuff Guys) with the horseshoes is a tawa I  brought back from India some time ago. It is slightly concave and can be used to make all kinds of things. The horseshoes were welded on when I ordered the other 2 items, so  I could just set it on top of my Weber kettle. 

Seasoning the guys up on my Weber Performer:
image

image

image

Here's how the 16" Big Tuff Guy looks in the large egg. If I had done a little more homework, I would have made the handles high enough to raise the plate up to the gasket level. Oh well... can't win em all. i'll just use bricks or something to raise the plate up if I need to.
image

They don't look all that professional, but I have zero welding or metal skills, so its not like I could have done any better myself. I paid $150 for both of these, so its not like they were any cheaper than 2 Baking Steels form the recent group buy. I'm not sure what I have achieved, but I think the Tuff Guys are fairly versatile. So far this is what I came up with:

-the 16" doubles as a lid for my tandoor. The current lid (just the base of the clay pot cut out) doesn't have handles and is a little annoying.
- griddle with lip for frying all kinds of things: eggs, fajitas, pancakes, burgers, steaks,etc.
- pizza! Can cook high in the dome pretty easily.
- indirect setup. The plate itself acts as the heat shield and the cooking grid can be supported by the handles.

Just getting the discs plasma cut was not all that pricey, and would have been cheaper than the Baking Steels of equivalent size. Most of the cost was for labor, to make the lips and handles. I could have possibly found a cheaper place, but this one was not far from home, and they were willig to sell me the steel by weight instead of making me pay for a whole 4'x8' steel sheet like the other place I had talked to preliminarily.

I'll try to put these guys to the test in the next few weeks, schedule permitting. Thought I would post them here to hear what other folks think. Your comments/critique  would be much appreciated!

#1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.

Comments

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,368
    Don't grab those handles with bare hands. Pretty cool nonetheless

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 16,504
    edited April 2013
    Very cool. But what can it do that a large Lodge skillet can't? I an NOT poking fun (cool rig), just don't understand.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,138
    @Little_Steven: the handles are oversized so that gloved hands can fit easily. I'm sure if I happened to forget the gloves, that would only happen ONCE!

    @Mickey: Like I said, I'm not exactly sure what I achieved with this project. These are thicker than a Lodge skillet or griddle though, and both sides can be used for cooking. Maybe I'll find other uses as I play around with them. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Pretty cool!

     

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

    We invented the U.A.W. and carjacking!

  • chrisnjennchrisnjenn Posts: 534
    Interesting
  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,910
    I like the creativity  :-? 
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
  • FockerFocker Posts: 2,054
    edited April 2013

    Looks good!

    Always respect someone stepping up, and outside of the box.

    This lip may work against you when cooking pizzas, especially with the welded supports on the backside.  Very difficult to launch a pie with a raised lip.  You will also fight it during spin, and removal.  Kenji @seriouseats talked about this when reviewing the Lodge CI Pizza Pan.  He still gave it the nod over stone.

    I've used two old Griswold griddles(#16, #12) for my eggs with a lip, and the Baking Steel without the lip.  Only thing I would not cook is bacon without the lip.  I use a paper towel and tongs with the Griswold to catch the grease if needed.  Haven't had to use it with the steel.  I've cooked greasy ground chuck burgers, greasy cheesesteaks, and a t-bone with it....no problems.

    Have fun eggsperimenting!  Curious how the thicker steel performs?  Don't think anyone went big (1/2") when ordering?

    011.JPG 2.7M
    007.JPG 2.6M
    Brandon
    Quad Cities

  • FockerFocker Posts: 2,054
    edited April 2013
    Mickey said:
    Very cool. But what can it do that a large Lodge skillet can't? I an NOT poking fun (cool rig), just don't understand.
    Steel is so much better at searing than CI by being more efficient at transfering the energy, and it requires less of it.  For a griddle cook my dome was 400, IR of steel was 530 for example.  
    Brandon
    Quad Cities

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,138
    @Focker: I went with the 3/8 " to try and split the difference between the 2 Baking Steel options. One of the things I want to make on these is naan, which I may try this weekend. I know the lip may be troublesome for pizza, but I always make 14 " pies, so maybe the 16 " one will be OK? Time will tell.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • The Tuff Guy is the nephew of...

     

    image

    The Fall Guy!  The Guy Family is very proud!

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

    We invented the U.A.W. and carjacking!

  • Randy1Randy1 Posts: 373
    I have a stupid question about this.You can just go to the welding shop and have a 16" piece of regular steel cut with a plasma cutter and that is safe for cooking? The reason I ask is because I want to do this very thing , but I don't know how many times I have thought I understood something and there was a catch.
    Benton,Arkansas
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    I think 3/8" tghickness or less might warp at high temperatures??  And cast iron is going to be cheaper??  Rust will be another problem. 
  • FockerFocker Posts: 2,054
    edited April 2013
    So far no warping issues.  Would think CI would be more prone, warped a rectangular griddle on the egg.  Rust is a possibility with both.  With proper care/maintenance, it is not an issue.
    Brandon
    Quad Cities

  • chrisnjennchrisnjenn Posts: 534
    Considering that A36 steel has a melting point of +2600 degrees, I don't see how a 1/4, 5/8, etc. thick of A36 steel can warp at any temp in a Egg. Even after millions of uses on an Egg it wouldn't warp.
  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,951
    If you cut slits in it, it would make a cool Mangrates knockoff.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • Randy1Randy1 Posts: 373
    Ok, I am going to the ironworks shop and have one cut. Thanks for the info @Charlie tuna @focker @chrisnjenn
    Benton,Arkansas
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,138
    @Randy1: just getting a steel plate cut should be pretty inexpensive. Clean it up as best you can then season it in your oven or the egg. Rust shouldn't be an issue if you care for it like you would for cast iron.

    I did briefly think about calling them Manplates...

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Randy1Randy1 Posts: 373
    @caliking Manplates would be a good name! Thanks, this thread motivated to have one cut.
    Benton,Arkansas
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Would be nice if(?) the shop has a piece of scrap handy ???
  • bccomstockbccomstock Posts: 337
    You should create a new pool game.. Toss the 16" Tuff Guy in and see who can swim to the bottom to retrieve it.
    LBGE
    MS Gulf Coast - Proud member of the Who Dat Nation!
    My Not Frequently Updated Blog: http://datcue.wordpress.com
  • Randy1Randy1 Posts: 373
    @Charlie tuna that is what I thought, only to find out they don't have any scrap steel. I will have to buy a piece. By the time it is finished it isn't any cheaper than the group buy.
    Benton,Arkansas
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    IF(?) they have a panel, you will pay for the materials of two, out of a sheet of steel.  I was just saying , if the guy had a piece of scrap it would be cheaper.
  • Randy1Randy1 Posts: 373
    @Charlietuna I agree. I was just sure he would have a piece of scrap....oh well.
    Benton,Arkansas
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,138
    @Charlietuna: not necessarily. My guy sold me the steel by weight - $ 40 for both discs of steel. The rest of the cost was labor. First place I called wanted me to pay for the full 4 'x8' sheet, so I skipped them.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,138

    You should create a new pool game.. Toss the 16" Tuff Guy in and see who can swim to the bottom to retrieve it.

    Swimming back up with it would be the interesting part.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • bccomstockbccomstock Posts: 337
    caliking said:

    You should create a new pool game.. Toss the 16" Tuff Guy in and see who can swim to the bottom to retrieve it.

    Swimming back up with it would be the interesting part.
    Yep, I'd say so.. LOL.
    LBGE
    MS Gulf Coast - Proud member of the Who Dat Nation!
    My Not Frequently Updated Blog: http://datcue.wordpress.com
  • Surprised nobody mentioned,  then there is that WAY big plate-critter on the very bottom of that 1st photograph you posted....the one with the horse shoe's for handles!
    What's up with that set up? More doodlin' on a napkin, me thinks..

    Curious..(I like making stuff like this too!)

     Ricklesss in Oregon

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,138
    @Rickless - The big disc with the horseshoe handles is a tawa, basically a big Indian griddle. It is slightly concave, and is similar to a discada. I use it for fajitas and some other things on my Weber kettle grills. I lugged it back from India a couple of years ago.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 1,030
    Hey Tuff Guy  (had to say it)

    Was there a need to clean the raw steel before cooking on it?  On the baking steel thread, folks talked about needing to take raw steel and sand/grind off some coating that comes standard as it's not good (food grade wise).

    Alright, I'll stop, collaborate and listen. Cali is back with a brand new invention!  Will he ever stop? Yo, I don't know.  Weld up some steel, until it flows.


    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,138
    @sumoconnell - I think I remember washing all pieces with soap and water very well, then hit everything with the weed burner. Sprayed it all down with cooking spray and baked on the Weber for a while to season all pieces.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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