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RE: Great grate questions

King-O-CoalsKing-O-Coals Posts: 510
edited 12:16PM in EggHead Forum
I spoke to my metal fab man about the coal/firebox grate problems. He said the best metal to resist heat distortion was cast iron,,, but if it was made too thin, it would distort somewhat and possibly break down the road. He suggests a,, poop!,, I mean darn!,,, I forgot the number! It's something like a 4-10 stainless. It is stainless steel with a high carbon content. It will develop surface rust, but no deeper. It will last forever. BUT,, he warns that anything other than cast iron will expand and contract, so you will need a leg system of some type to keep the grate above the binding point of the ceramic opening. If it fits too far down in the opening (funnel) of the firebox,, it could expand and break the ceramic. He will build me a prototype whenever I want, so I'm thiking about it. I think a leg system may hinder the ash cleanout. Maybe a thick stainless grate with 3 short pieces of rod on the tapered sides that keep it from binding. That should allow additional space for air and auto-ash-emptying too. Just wanted to share some thoughts for a guy who installs metals in some very high temp invironments.. Whaddyall think?


  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    King-O-Coals, sounds like it be nice if he were to build 2 prototypes, one for your and by the way, my BGE is a medium. Have a great evening!

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    <p />King-O-Coals,
    The metal grate many of us have been using meets all those requiremnets- atleast the cast iron part. It fits very loosly so binding the ceramic to a point where it cracks is no concern. It will probably fail someday but at $8-9 I won't mind. After a few monthsI flip it over so it bends the other way.[p]Tim

  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    <p />Tim M, based on the 8 inch deminsion it would work great for a large BGE - unfortunately those of us with a medium (6.5 inch grate) have to look for additional altrnatives.[p]

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    I wonder - it would work. After the first heating it bends (droops) and might work perfectly in a medium.[p]Tim

  • Tim M , yep,, that price is right. If it were thicker cast iron it wouldn't warp,,, but it probalby wouldn't fit as well. I hate to change Humpty,, so if my current ceramic grate breaks,, I will just get a new one under the warranty, and may even lace it together with stainless wire while it's in it's un-used condition to keep it intact if it cracks again. Of course,,, that could void the warranty on the grate.

  • KamperKamper Posts: 41
    King-O-Coals,[p]I took "all y'alls" advice (plural of y'all)and received my warranty replacement grate today from BGE. I also went into the shop and made an expanded stainless steel grate and spot welded a stainless steel rim around the edge for strenght. It is sized to fit about an inch above the ceramic grate (or use alone) as Brant suggested. I'll see how it works...

  • A couple of years ago when we first discussed the cast iron trivet here, Char-Woody suggested a cast iron floor drain cover, which is similar to the trivet, and comes in different diameters. My basement floor drain cover is 6 1/2 in diam.... should be just about right for the smaller eggs. BTW, I used a cast iron trivit for about five years and it never showed any deterioration. It's still being used by an egg owner. [p]

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    King-O-Coals, without reading any post below, your metalurgist is correct. We have been testing a different approach to the expansion contraction theory. There are several BGE owners who will have next week the "donut" to evaluate and this is what I have been using the last 6 months. Diamond mesh is integrated with ceramic in a way to allow expansion and contraction of the metal without binding against the sidewalls. [p]Yes, we (myself and others) have used a configuration of a circle of diamond mesh, 8 1/2 to 9 inches in diameter, with a center bolt approximatly 2 1/5 inches long of Stainless steel thru a 1/2 inch bronze spacer tube. This bolt is fastened to another diamond disk cut to fit loosely in the hollow of the fire chamber ash pit..When the two are bolted together in the center they make a anti-cavitation ash filter for your charcoal. This is a very good method and the diamond mesh (standard extruded 1/4 x 3/4 diamond) will last indefinitely. Stainless isn't required. The diamond will take a curvature, but you simply have to step on it to flatten and use it over again. Works great..I have been doing it nearly 2 years now. Check the archives..:-)

  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    George, sometimes the simplest things can do the best job - I don't need one right now but I think I'll go see if I can find one and give it a try.

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    Tim M ,
    My cast iron trivet (same as yours) is still holding up, but it is a bowl shape now, and definitely is deteriorating somewhat. Still works fine, but I think its days are numbered!! Maybe I will order 2 next time.[p]Cheers
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
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  • MACMAC Posts: 442
    I'm the new kik on the block. I hope I get to USE my EGG enough to have GRRR..... ATE! ! ! problems. What a happy problem.[p]MAC

  • MaryMary Posts: 190
    Are you using galvanized metal? Folks have warned against heating galvanized metal and toxins being released.[p]Mary

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Nature Boy,
    Flip it over every month or so. The heat just softens it up. Let me know if you need one at Eggfest - the local hdw has them for $9 or so.
    I figure mine has at least another 6 mo or more.[p]Tim

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Mary, nope,,,just plain rusty diamond mesh. No galvanized. Good tip and suggestion tho..!~

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    Tim M,
    What a great suggestion to flip the grate!! Just like rotating tires[p]Pick me up one if you would be so kind. Mine is bowled a bit too much to flip now.[p]Cat's ribs are smokin away! Man I love that smell.
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
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  • BryanBryan Posts: 53
    King-O-Coals,[p]Just took my grate out to use it as a model for a grate I'm building for YB. It was rusted and a little warped but looked good to use. Try some 3" bolts for guides to center the mesh grate. The slope of the firebox should forgive any thermal expantion. The bolts keep the grate from moving to the side and dumping coals into the ash chamber. [p]I like the stainless idea. How much would it cost for a 8 or 9 inch piece? I can't seem to find any at the store.[p]BTW, how were the mushrooms? Never had any with real crab but I will bet that is miles away better than the imitation stuff. [p]Some guy's have all the luck.[p]Bryan
  • Bryan, I'm doing the mushrooms tomorrow as appitizers while waiting on the baby-backs. The stainless is a special blend of stainless and carbon. I can't remember but it's something like 4-10 Stainless. It will have to come form a metal fab shop. They may have a small piece. What my buddy showed me is plate. He will have to drill the size and number of holes where I want them. The stainless that other folks have mentioned will work fine,,, but as usual,, I am trying to find something that will survive for at least 200 years. I overkill everything. It's the perfectionist in me. I'm trying to quit being like that,, but it goes against my grain. I even figured if I could just wear the same underwear for 2 days,, maybe I could start scaling down some,,,,,,,,,,,,,BUT I CAN"T DO IT! OH GOD,,, HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT TO BE NORMAL!!!

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