Posted by johngl
The other day I got a call from my new friend Lane, an independent metal fabricator that can be found at bobbercut.com. Lane got right to the point: the grate for my Big Green Egg was done!
I was so excited, I stepped out of my office to spread the word to my long-time friend and co-worker Rob. He laughed at me. WTF? Then he explained: You see, he gets all excited about geeky stuff. This guy gets juiced when talking about 16 gig of RAM in his home desktop. So when I was all jazzed about such a low-tech thing like a grill grate, it struck him as funny.
Now this is some Real Steel. I believe I am going to have to do a trademark search on RealSteel™.
No more whimpy grate for this Egg!
Each bar is 3/16″ thick and 1½” deep with an inch between each bar.
Compare this RealSteel™ creation to the whimpy thing that came with this rather pricy Egg:
The folks at Big Green Egg should be ashamed of themselves! Sure, they offer a cast iron upgrade, but even that is whimpy compared to my new hunk of steel. Interestingly enough, my custom job didn’t cost much more than yet another BGE upgrade.
While I was at it, I went ahead and upgraded grates on 4 other grills: three Weber Kettles (different sizes) and one 80,000 (+) btu stainless steel gas mother. I even upgraded the grate for my fire pit. Lane is still working on those.
I’ll bet you’re wondering why I would go through this kind of bother and expense for a stupid grill grate. Well, young grasshoppers, the grate you use is important and there’s a lot of folks out there that just don’t get that. It’s all about mass. The mass heats up and stays hot. When you throw your steak on that thing, it sucks the heat right out of it. If it’s whimpy, guess what? The grate cools quickly and you’ll kiss any added flavors from caramelization (actually the Maillard reaction) good-bye.
The extra mass also helps cook the steak faster helping to keep the meat from drying out. At the current prices of high quality steak, it won’t take long to amortize the cost of this grate when comparing the cost of my home-grilled steak to a steakhouse steak which can run up to $60 a pop these days.
I’ll be giving this baby a whirl RealSoonNow™.
My buddy Rob might laugh at my excitement over grill grates, but given his penchant for Flavor-Flav clock-sized wristwatches, he’ll get his just desserts soon enough.
Updated: Just for Mike who asked to see the underside of the grates!
Above, a closeup of the welds and below, the spacing:
Best wishes and Good Grilling!