View Full Version : Expanded metal

01-02-2013, 05:16 PM
Hey everyone! does anyone use stainless expanded metal for their bbq grates? What do you guys use? I am thinking stainless is better cause it will not rust as easy. I went to a metal company today though and it is really expensive and they only sell it in large sheets. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

01-02-2013, 05:34 PM
It may be work asking the metal company if they have a bin of cutoffs you can check out - you may find something there.

01-02-2013, 05:35 PM
I picked up a 4x8 steel for 55.00, it's what I used in my stickburner. I was able to pick up some SS expanded metal "drops" from a local fabricator for cheap. Full 48"wide, various lengths, none over 16". Made a bunch of charcoal baskets for UDS's out of them. You might try going that route if you want SS and tacking them together to get your size.

01-02-2013, 06:47 PM
I used number 9 flat as it is known to build my fire rings for my UDS. Did not use stainless and it worked out great. It came in 4x8 sheets.

01-03-2013, 06:47 AM
follow above...look for cut offs at the local scrap yard...call all local metal shops...or just figure what you need and order the whole sheet, when figure your grates using the stock sizes to eliminate ALL SCRAP or drops...find someone else to split the cost of new sheets...If you are in the Buffalo area I have a couple sheets and some drops saved

01-03-2013, 07:17 AM
If you use your cooker often and season it properly before you use the grates, I don't really see any need to spend the extra money on the SS. In the cookers we build, we only use mild steel. If it is seasoned by spraying down with oil and baking it in at a higher temp for a couple of hours then you shouldn't have problems with rusting. If your cookers sits for long periods between cooks then you may need to consider the SS.

For the charcoal grate I think SS will stand up to the heat a bit better and fend off the rust for sure.

Just my $.02. Good luck with whatever you choose.

01-03-2013, 08:13 AM
Love my SS expanded metal grates. Been using them for 2 years and they look as clean and shiny as day one. Yes.. more expensive, but I made 10 of them, so I used up a whole sheet. If you only need one or two.. as said above, go look in the drops bin.

01-03-2013, 11:19 AM
None of my grates are SS. In my big RF, I've been using them for 6 years without issue. After each use, I burn the residual fat, spices, drippings off with my weed burner, wire brush it, then spray with cooking spray. I'm not saying I wouldn't use SS, but the materials to build my cooking grates haven't cost me anything.

mr dirts bbq
01-03-2013, 01:31 PM
i use #9 - 3/4 expanded steel, i get it for $42 delivered here in ny (total order must be $300 for delivery though)
i just use grill brush and crisco after each cook

01-03-2013, 01:39 PM
After a few cooks you wont be able to tell the difference