Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weber Kettle Grate Conversion

Over the last year, I have gone from the traditional indirect cooking method of having coals on both sides of the kettle, to having the coals sloped to only one side of the kettle. The move is two fold. One, I find that I can push the meat further from the heat and two, I have had better heat control. Something that is incredibly important for grilling low and slow.

For adding coals to an already lit and active grill, Weber has constructed the kettle grates on my Performer and One Touch to hinge open at the sides. When I have cooked off to one side, the small opening of the hinged grate has never been big enough. Especially when trying to evenly add unlit coals and woodchips. In order to combat this problem, I decided to take a new grate and convert it to a dedicated indirect cooking grate. By cutting off 1/3 of the grate bars, if figured I would have the perfect solution when slow cooking ribs, briskets, chickens or pork shoulders. It was a simple, cheap and easy solution.




1. Pick up a standard replacement grate. I saved a few bucks by getting the non-hinged grate.

2. I marked with tape, the last grate I did not want to cut. Following the marking, I clamped the grate to my work surface.

3. Using a Dremel with a cut-off wheel, I cut off the grate bars.

4. The Dremel works fairly well, but because of the size of the cut-off wheel and the angle I was coming from, I could not get clean cuts all the way through.


5. None to worry. I flipped the grate over and finished the job from the bottom.

6. The last cut is the center bar of the grate. It was the easiest cut of the bunch.


7. My cuts were about as clean as I could make them...which is not saying much. There were some high points that I ground down to avoid cutting myself. I figure that in a few short weeks, any rough parts will be covered with soot and grease anyways.


8. Well, there we go. I figured I now have ample room for indirect cooking and I no longer have to worry about "flipping the hinge" to add coals and wood. Tomorrow will be the new grates maiden voyage. I will let you know how it goes!

3 comments:

dustin said...

Mike,

Awesome mod idea! Let me know how it works out. I'm still 3 weeks away from giving the Smokenator a try...

dustin

Anthony said...

Cool mod. I am planning on purchasing a One Touch Gold in a few months and think that is a great idea that you have shown. I will surely do that when I get mine.

Mike said...

Anthony - Glad you liked it. Good luck with your One Touch Gold, I am sure you will love it!

Mike