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Idea for Lifting Grate off of Fire Ring

LFGEnergyLFGEnergy Posts: 618
edited 5:45PM in EggHead Forum
Bought these little vise grips at Lowes for $1.99 each. Using them for burgers,etc., to get my arm out of egg during direct cooks (but not steaks!). They are the perfect size when cranked down to grab the grate tight. Would not recommend them for a real heavy load, but for a few quick direct burgers or other items in evening they are a nifty gadget. Make sure you get them tight!

Dave in Keller, TX





  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
  • I like it.

    LaFayette, NY
    ~HOPE~ is wishing something would happen. ~FAITH~ is believing something will happen. ~COURAGE~ is making something happen......
  • What are those coated with? If they are galvanized or zinc coated, you risk releasing zinc fumes into the air, which are toxic if you breathe them in. If they are coated with something else, you also risk transferring potentially toxic heavy metals to the food you are cooking.

    I'd be really careful using anything but stainless steel, aluminum, or cast iron in a grill.

    They do look cool though.

  • if we could get them to the temps where off-gassing were possible (and we can't), stainless would be far worse than zinc.

    and there's no danger from stainless in the egg.

    this is my favorite (maybe least favorite?) of "the myths that will not die"
  • Stripsteak,

    I said 'risk', not 'would'. I personally know people who have gotten sick working with these materials, and I said that I would be careful about using them in a hot environment. Zinc fume poisoning is not a 'myth' - it may not be possible to get something hot enough in the Egg to cause the fumes to release, which is good to know, but why risk it is all I'm saying.

    The other issue as I see it is that you don't know what is in the $1.99 at Lowes vice grips. There MAY (not would) be something in there that could cause a problem. Not something I want on my food.

    Out of curiosity, what's the danger with stainless that you mentioned? I know people who weld stainless all the time without taking the kind of precautions you need to take for say welding galvanized. I know stainless contains Chromium - is that possible to release under certain conditions?
  • the danger in metals is gas that occurs at welding temps. in stainless, it's chromium, hexavalent chromium being the "bad boy" among other bad boys.

    i'm saying it's not a risk, that there IS no risk.

    you need to be literally at welding temps, not just the lump, but the actual metal istelf, up over 1800, 2000 degrees (varies).

    our cooking grates even fire grates don't melt or vaporize, vaporize, even at high temps. the cast iron fire grate can weaken and crack (and does), but that is after extend periods of direct contact with the lump. i also think it weakens and cracks long before it truly ever vaporizes.
    fears of galvanized fumes occurring are founded in a little truth. galvy fumes do occur during welding. but so do stainless fumes. so if the risk is there for galvy, it'd be there for stainless. of the two, you can get sick (short term, no long term harm, and you will get better) from galvy fumes. but stainless steel fumes are far more harmful, and directly linked to cancer.

    but in the end, there's no risk for wither of them. we just can not get our grid or grate to hit +/- 2500 (again, temps vary for the metal concerned).

    and if it did, the stainless would be the issue.

    i always ask (a rhetorical question); why is no one concerned about the carbon monoxide, which is there every single time in quantities that could easily kill you, but worry disproportionately about fumes that not only aren't there, but couldn't be
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    I always say that if you're inhaling the fumes coming out the top of your egg then you're doing it wrong.
  • Thanks for the explanation - didn't know that about stainless. You don't usually see the same warnings for welding stainless as you do for galvanized.

    And I'll answer your question anyway, even if rhetorical, at least from my perspective. I know how to deal with carbon monoxide generated by a fire - don't light a fire in an enclosed space and stay there with it. CO doesn't get absorbed by your food and build up in your body till it kills you. Toxic metals can. So from my perspective, I'd rather not take the risk of putting something near my food that could potentially hurt my family, just like I wouldn't use my Egg in my living room, even if someone told me I could open a window and vent out the CO. Given what you said about the temps that would be necessary to cause metals to go airborne, it sounds like there is little risk from a galvanized coating in the Egg, but given that I knew there was some risk from heating galvanized steel and other metals, I'd personally err on the side of avoiding them completely, rather than take a chance and be wrong. For example, I spent the (relatively little) extra money for some stainless bolts and washers to lift my grid to the felt line, rather than using galvanized.
  • i agree. but the standard response is "well, it will land on the food and i don't want to expose my family to it and anyway, why risk it".

    mentioning that you want to avoid "the risk" doesn't mean that there's actually risk ...
  • Hehe

    Guess that depends on what you're using for smoke ... :silly:
  • fieroguyfieroguy Posts: 777
    Excellent solution, Dave, but I think using 3 instead of 4 would be more gooder.
  • i guess all i;'m saying is that the assumption that stainless is safer than galvy is a fallacy.

    it's based on the assumption that stainless is "safe" and that galvanized metals are "unsafe". there's no reality to either of those, unless you start talking about what conditions they are under.

    again, though, the fumes that come from galvanized zinc (when the do come off) aren't harmful. you can weld and be exposed to the fumes for fifteen minutes a day, every single day, and there are no long term health effects associated with it. they make you feel sick, and that sickness would certainly be undesirable

    what happens is you get short term "flu like symptoms". respiratory issues, cough, etc.

    sounds scary, but hasn't been found to be anything other than a nuisance.

    read the same info about stainless, and the recommendations are for no exposure (using respirators), and that repeated exposure can cause deadly health issues.

    "stainless" is a pretty successful marketing term. we bestow all sorts of mythical properties to it.

    i'm not saying it is dangerous at all. just saying that the word "stainless" means literally nothing. it stains, rusts, and (in rare cases) could be very dangerous.

    it's not correct to assume it's any safer or better than other metals, certainly without a hard look into the manner they are being used and under what conditions.
  • ClamClam Posts: 117
    I think it's a very practical solution! and cool.

    My practical solutionIMG_0043.jpg
  • I tried 3, but found it hard to get them distributed such that top felt stable. Personal preference I guess.

    Regarding off gassing, interesting discussion from folks that know a lot more about these things than I do. One note, after 3 uses, they have taken on a brown patena as deposits from the smoke land on the metal. Not sure this would affect anything off gassing - just a point of interest.

    I also bought the stainless steel bolts, washers and nuts for a more stable base if the vise grip thing does not work out in long run...

    Wife sending me to store for jalapenos to be stuffed with cream cheese and chopped smoked pork, then wrappedd in procutto and dusted with rub. YUM! ;)

    Thanks to all for creating an interesting thread.

    Dave in Keller, TX
  • Neil,

    I saw your setup a few days ago on another of your posts. Innovative, to say the least.

    However, what is the background? Why the desire to be mobile? Just curious. Do you store egg in garage (I know you guys in WA get a little rain every now and then :) ), or use it to go to neighbors for parties? Like it!

  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    seems like a waste. Fire bricks works just as good.
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit for BRISKET HELP
  • fieroguyfieroguy Posts: 777
    Instead of SS, why not just use mild steel nuts, bolts and washers (non-galvanized)?

    Not only they cheaper, but they cost less, too.
  • ClamClam Posts: 117
    Yes, just in/out of the garage and try to steer any smoke away from the neighbors. I try to be as discreet as possible as I don't want to give anyone something to complain about. We live in a condo here in town, i got another large egg for the cabin and do long, smokey cooks there.
  • Cool!!! I admire your innovation and determination. Cook on!
  • Hey Clam,

    What garden center did you appropriate that buggy from?
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    Galvanized or zinc is fine. Those metals don't off-gas until they hit 1800 degrees so please stop that rumor.
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