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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 10-31-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
pigpen269
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Default Stainless steel or Black steel

I am building a Grill/Smoke pit, and i was wanting some feed back on a question my neighbor brought up. I was planning on making the grate out of 3/8 stainless bar stock. My neighbor works for a sheet metal company and he said that he wasn't sure if he would use stainless with the higher heat that a grill would put out. Something about the nickel in the stainless not performing well and leading to corrosion over time. I thought most grills that you buy off the shelf use stainless steel so i'm not sure that would be an issue. What do you think. should i use stainless or stick with black steel instead. Thanks.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:14 AM   #2
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As an engineer with some background in properties of metals, the nickel in stainless won't be affected by grilling temps. That said, there are many grades of stainless and some stainless grades can rust. Nothing like plain steel though.

I'd go for the stainless grills.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:26 AM   #3
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Thanks mark. I always like answers from those with a background on the subject.
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:55 PM   #4
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Go with stainless. Many high end grills come with 3/8" round barstock. My Komodo Kamado comes with 3/8" upper grate. As you can see, the 3/8" rods are only supported around the circumference of the 23" grate. Depending on the dimensions of your grate, you may not need additional supporting rods running down the center of your grate. That will make for easier cleanup, and I can't overstate the importance of easy cleanup.

You should be aware of grill scrapers made for oversized bar stock. The Billy Bar and the Grill Floss are two that will work very well. You must ask Billy Bar to make you an oversized unit for 3/8" because their standard one is for 1/4" stock. They'll do it, though.

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Old 10-31-2008, 05:22 PM   #5
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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I use mild steel in my grill grate builds for a couple reasons:

Price - Stainless is much more expensive. I just paid $510 for a sheet of 1/8" stainless and $128 for the same in mild steel.

Non-stick - Mild steel, when properly seasoned is a perfect non-stick surface. stainless is less effective at making nonstick without some sort of coating.
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:59 PM   #7
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Mild steel is easier to work with. Stainless looks cool though.
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:09 AM   #8
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Stainless for the weather and coolness factor.
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Old 11-02-2008, 04:17 PM   #9
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I have an outlet for stainless at a discount price. So i think stainless would be the way to go for me. Thanks everyone for your input.
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Old 11-02-2008, 05:30 PM   #10
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If seasoned properly, your carbon steel grates will last forever.
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