How to Make a Custom Outdoor Grill Grate

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Soldering iron
Metal saw
Metal rods

Building a custom outdoor grill is a common DIY project when ramping up for the summer season. However, this might mean your grill cannot use a standard size grate. Follow the advice in the article below for ideas on either ordering or creating a custom grill grate to suit your needs.

Step 1 - Measure Your Grill

Measure the area of your grill that you would like to cover with a grate. Also, decide how many grates you would like to have in that area, and then divide and measure each individual space separate. If you are still unsure if your measurements are correct, cut our pieces of cardboard with your exact dimensions and lay them out for a visual, mock layout of how your grate will sit in the space.

Smaller pieces have the advantage of being easier to clean than one huge grate. If they are smaller and more narrow, they will be able to fit in your kitchen sink easily and you will be able to make sure that all the grime and burnt food is washed away, making it safer and easier to use your grill on future occasions. Large, single piece grates will often have to employ other methods for a good, thorough cleaning.

Step 2 - Mark for Higher and Lower Grates

Make sure to distinguish between higher and lower grates. Some of these need to have specific markers on them so that they will stay up where they are meant to and will not fall on lower grills or into your fire. Make sure to write down exactly where the markers will be so that you will not make any errors in ordering or creating the grate.

Step 3 - Order a Grate

Many shops that sell fireplaces or outdoor supplies will be able to take orders for creating custom grates. This is convenient if you can afford it, as they will be able to make a quality product that will last for years and will look and function as it should. You will also have a selection of materials to chose from to create your grill. Custom grills can be expensive since they are made specifically for your grill, but it is worth the extra cash.

Step 4 - Prepare to Make a Grate

In order to make your own grill grate, you will have to purchase some metal smith tools, such as a very powerful soldering iron and a saw that will cut through metal. You may also need a way to heat or bend your metal.

Purchase metal rods that can withstand extreme heat and are not painted or coated. You will need enough that you will be able to cut them to the length you need and be able to set them side by side about half an inch apart until you have the total width of your grate. You will also need some for the bottom of the grate that will hold all the rods together. Make sure that the rods are skinny enough that they will properly grill your food, but that they are also strong enough to withstand the weight and heat of your food.

Cut most of your rods to the length of your grate size and three or four rods to the width. With your soldering iron, place a metal that will melt where the bottom and top rods meet and solder them together. Do this with each rod connect each top rod to each bottom rod. Make sure to work slowly to keep the rods sitting straight as you solder them.