Originally Posted by bbqgeekess
I am thinking about buying a 3/4" diamond 9 guage 4' x 8' sheet of expanded metal (carbon steel flat/smooth) for $67 including tax and 3 cuts (so I can fit it in the car).
I'd need about half of this ( 2 x 2'x4' pieces) to make 3 grates and the charcoal basket. So we're talking around $34 for the grates and basket.
Do you think I should go this route? Or go with the cheap 22" weber grates. I need 3 grates (2 for cooking and 1 for diffuser).
I don't ever see the expanded metal grates rusting because it's all low temperature and they should stay seasoned their entire life I'd think.
How hard is it to bend 9 guage expanded metal for the fire basket? The basket will be about 14" in diameter. Should I use a lighter gauge expanded metal for the charcoal basket?
I was lucky, given the basket...but did some minor work with light expanded steel. Miserable to deal with, really. If going to do over, I would find some expanded steel, long and light, bends (easier) around something right size, and bolt it together...then add pizza pan bottom, least that seems easy, but if you have the patience, review this thread because there is some excellent advice here, lots of it, IMHO.