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
The first thing about making your own grate is that you'll need either a welder, a Mig or a brazing torch in order to achieve enough heat to secure a permanent bond between the surfaces and the brazing or welding rods. Soldering the parts with the use of fillers would also bond the parts with the melts but could never offer a bond as solid as brazing or welding. But unlike soldering, welding and brazing requires specialized equipment and skills and should not be attempted without those abilities.
In order to make your own grill grate, you will have to purchase or rent the equipment, and a saw that will cut through metal, and possibly 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.