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expanded metal Stainless VS Regular Steel

 
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ChicagoQ



Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Oswego, il

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11 09 12:06 am    Post subject: expanded metal Stainless VS Regular Steel Reply with quote

I am in the process of building a 300Gallon trailered smoker, and need to start my grates. i have a source for expanded metal, but there is a significant cost difference (almost twice) to get stainless steel expanded metal over regular steel.

I am concerned with the grates inside the smoker rusting and contaminating the product if I don't use stainless, but would love to shave cost if possible(considering the 3/8" steel for my fire box was $300.00)

any thoughts and experience with this would be great!
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WestTexAG



Joined: 10 Jun 2009
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11 09 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

most people use regular steel. Its going to get seasoned more and more every time you use it.
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ChicagoQ



Joined: 21 Jul 2009
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Location: Oswego, il

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11 09 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

do you know if there would be any problems with rusting, or should I season the grates with oil during my first few burns, like the inside of the tank?
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BabyHuey
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Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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Location: Lake Barkley, Ky

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11 09 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mild steel grates will last a long time, especially if seasoned well and protected from moisture. I used mild steel in mine and have no regrets. The stainless grates have obvious advantages such as easier to clean, and rust inhibitors. It really comes down to cash. As you stated the stainless is almost double. To me, I would pocket the cash and use it for another option on the cooker. Worse case in 15-20 years you might have to replace the mild steel grates, which is a very easy task.
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Toontroller
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 83
Location: North Central Texas

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11 09 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChicagoQ wrote:
do you know if there would be any problems with rusting, or should I season the grates with oil during my first few burns, like the inside of the tank?


Season just like the walls of the tank. If your worried about rust just re-oil after use as well.
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purplewg
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Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 1300
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11 09 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since there is not direct flame/heat the mild steel is more than sufficient given you season them and rub them down after any good scrub job. When I really scrub mine I wipe them down before putting them back in.

Mine are not that old. Only about a year and they look better now then when I put them in. Laughing
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11 09 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lie to burn off my grates with the weed burner at the end of a cook, then brush off any crispy debris and spray them with veg oil as they cool down.

It's worked so far on my cooker.
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11 09 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do as SoEzzy does. After each cook they get burned off with a weed burner then I rinse out the cooker and warm it up and spray her down with Pam. Most builds are done with #9 flat expanded metal, if you can afford the stainless then thats great, but I doubt I would ever buy stainless over carbon steel unless some one else is footing the bill and wants it.
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seattlepitboss
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Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 573
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11 09 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't burn gunk off my cooking grates. Rather, I pressure wash them with a small super-cheap electric pressure washer at 1500 psi. It knocks off all the food and a lot of the grease but doesn't remove any of the oxide (seasoning) and so the grates continue to season. Mine are black and shiny and it seems inconceivable to me that they would rust unless I were to ignore them for a long, long time. Certainly not over a winter, though.

I consider stainless cooking grates an absolute luxury, merely something to puff up an ego. In my opinion they add nothing to the functionality of the cooker. Sure, they're cool looking, but I bet in a short time they'll be shiny and black too, and then what have you really gotten for your hundreds of extra dollars?

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Haelix
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Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14 09 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there are some differnt kinds of expanded metal, one is completely flat and the other is like a cheese grater , the flat is better for cooking, but will flex more, I agree that stainless isnt worth it.
before you buy , look into preferated plate, the kind that I use is 1/8 thick with penny size holes spaced half inch apart, it works great, and only needs support every 2 feet, ez clean too
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luckyduk
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Joined: 26 Sep 2008
Posts: 487
Location: NE IOWA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15 09 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used stainless in my build, don't know if I would do it again. I know it will last, cleans up awesome after a lot of saucing and what not, but.....sure cost me a lot. I too think if you had carbon steel like everyone else said and just clean it after each cook you will be fine.
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