Awesome responses everyone!
Gorgeous smoker cowgirl!
Let me stew over these replies for a few days! :-)
Ok --> progress already. I searched "Ace Hardware" for expanded metal. The big box stores don't seem to have it (even when I search online). One piece of this http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...ductId=1297076
is $31. It's 16" x 30". So I figure I can cut it in half for two 8"x 15" strips which can be formed into the basket. Assuming my bolt cutter can cut through this. This is 13 gauge, so maybe that's why it's cheaper.