DIY Cooking grates

Discussion in 'Cooking & Water Purification' started by Scratchthejeepguy, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Scratchthejeepguy

    Scratchthejeepguy Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Lately, I've been thinking of a lighter, smaller way to cook with out in the woods. I have a sheet metal stove that works great, but it's not the lightest thing. I want to use wood for fuel since I'll never run out, and am realizing that I don't really need an actual "stove" since I can make a "box" out of logs, rocks, dig a hole, etc...
    I was thinking about the Purcell Trench grills http://www.purcelltrench.com/index.htm and like them a lot.

    image.jpeg

    but I was also wondering about using just regular mild steel as I have lots of it, and can weld.

    My concern is about cooking directly on rusted mild steel?

    For heating water, or anything with a container, mild steel would work grate (see what I did there...) but I know the heat and moisture will cause it to rust eventually, and what if I wanted to cook a steak or something on it?

    I'm thinking maybe about seasoning it with oil or something...? but I'm not a big grill guy so I don't know about that... Any suggestions?

    I know I could just use Green wood like this:
    image.jpeg
    But I like the idea of the steel better.


    I'm also thinking that maybe I should just bring along like 5 pieces of mild steel rod, like 3/16" thick and 15" long, then just put them across some rocks or logs over the fire. It wouldn't take up hardly any space, and should be fairly light still. I could even carve notches in the logs to hold them in place.

    I know Purcell sells "stix" of SS tubing which is also an option that I might go with as tubing should even be lighter than the solid steel rods that I have in my shop, and I wouldn't have to deal with rusting issues.
    Here's an old thread that a member here posted on them. http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/2-5-oz-campfire-grill.70014/
    I really like the split ring design, but I'd like it with multiple sticks for grilling.
    image.jpeg

    I do know about the copper pipe/bike spoke grill too, but I don't think the copper pipes are even really needed. I suppose I could just use bike spokes though... Are they stainless steel?

    Anyone else do anything like this?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
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  2. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    First grills are nice but $$$$$ I would see about making one.
     
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  3. Scratchthejeepguy

    Scratchthejeepguy Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    i know... If they were like 20 bucks, I'd probably just get one of those, but it seems pretty expensive for something I could make.
     
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  4. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Yup true even $30 .
     
  5. lowenBhold

    lowenBhold Supporter Supporter

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  6. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    You can find tons of actual bbq grates for free especially in the spring when bbq's show up on the curb side for free. Snag a few and cut em to the size you like, it's worked for me for years now. Plus, you can usually get 2-3 grates out of a single bbq grate.
     
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  7. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That's one of those ideas that you hit yourself for not thinking about. Thanks.
     
  8. Scratchthejeepguy

    Scratchthejeepguy Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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  9. 66drifter

    66drifter Scout

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    many refrigerators have stainless steel racks in them

    goto a used appliance dump/rebuilder/recycler and take a magnet w/ you

    most good stainless aint magnetic

    and as mentioned above one full sized rack could make several personal grills
     
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  10. 66drifter

    66drifter Scout

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    if you do want to go the spoke route some m/c spokes are stainless
     
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  11. lowenBhold

    lowenBhold Supporter Supporter

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    Possibly. I haven't ever used one, but I'm sure an inspection and a wire brush would take care of it if so. Just a thought. I actually just use the grill grate from my little webber personally.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

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  13. Isnalawica

    Isnalawica Supporter Supporter

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    Your first pic looks a lot like mine. I broke off part of a stainless "shower shelf" (for storing shampoo, soap...) I found on a flea market and obtained this:
    IMG-20161222-00458.jpg
    Smaller than the one in your link but really cheap.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  14. Back Off

    Back Off Supporter Supporter

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    I too just use an old small weber grill grate.
     
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  15. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    I scavenge grill plates from old BBQ's
    they work great
     
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  16. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Refrigerator grates are sometimes made with a galvanized coating.
    You do not want to use those.

    I also use old BBQ grates and cut them to the size I desire.
     
  17. clanmaki

    clanmaki Supporter Supporter

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    I posted this before but Goodwill has all kinds of grates usually from small convection ovens and toaster ovens. I bought one for a toaster oven for about a dollar and cut it in half. super light and sturdy. and got two out of it.
     
  18. Doubles

    Doubles BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    I bought some SS skewers, they work well. I like the idea of SS spokes, too P3170027.JPG
     
  19. PeteA

    PeteA Scout

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    I used the upper warming shelf from an old BBQ grill. Cut it down to 4.5" x 11.5". All stainless steal. It's a little heavy but works great.
     
  20. bumma

    bumma LEAP...the net will appear Supporter

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    This what I did. I got two small, lightweight grills for nada!
     
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  21. lowenBhold

    lowenBhold Supporter Supporter

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    Picked up this 2 pack of cooking grates from the grocery store for $3.50

    [​IMG]
     
  22. P40

    P40 Tracker

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    I have to share what I have been using. A hot trivet from Ikea. Sans the little rubber feet that pop off. It is stainless and comes in two sizes. They are hollow stainless tubes fyi. but sealed on each end.

    The larger size also fits perfect on top of the rectangle BBQ pits in parks here. They are always dirty and nasty and this fits right on top.
    (this kind: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2022/2466023275_9de0256b44_z.jpg )

    I have considered chopping the width on the larger one to be a bit slimmer for a pack but haven't.
    I have also considered making a wire suspension contraption for the small one to hang from an improvised tripod. It's on the list.

    20x11" for $6.99
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30111087/

    7x7" for $2.99
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00186041/
     
  23. PeteA

    PeteA Scout

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    I also use the 7" x 7" grate over my Ikea hobo stove. It fits perfectly on top.
     
  24. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    i also use this stove for years, its cheap, like $4-$5 at walmart, also works great,
    surface area is small good for 1-2 people
    but small light and packs easily

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. Scratchthejeepguy

    Scratchthejeepguy Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    So I guess Crome plating is ok to cook meat directly on then right...? I don't really have to worry about the plating coming off and the steel rusting? Opens up a bunch of options then.
     
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  26. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    There's a few guys at my hunt camp that cook directly on chrome plated oven grates with no issues. I can't bring myself to do it when bbq grates are so easily accessible.
     
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  27. KFF

    KFF Tracker

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    The small coal grills have chrome plated grates as default, wouldn't worry too much.
    I don't think it has been the cause of death so far.
    I used to work at a shop that sold all kinds of stuff and every time I saw one of these cheap gas heaters come back as faulty they just screamed camp grill to me.

    http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/201711780929
     
  28. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    you can get ss bike spokes from bike shops, either buy new or if lucky get broken ones.

    i'm lucky in my job i have access to scrap ss rods, not the lightest things but do well and made my own grill
    [​IMG]

    going to make similar version from ss bike spokes as well

    as others have mentioned go to dollar store and pick up cooking grates or a great idea i didn't think of but the metal skewers would work great as well
     
  29. UAHiker

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  30. P40

    P40 Tracker

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  31. TN_Woodman

    TN_Woodman Scout

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    I use SS skewers. Light and cheap. I have also used SS welding rods from work that have busted up flux.
     
  32. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    haven't used it personally just pointing it out. ran across it when i was looking at their 2qt pot
     
  33. Bushcrafter420

    Bushcrafter420 Tracker

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    I also use cookie cooling racks super light/cheap. My wife makes canvas sleves to keep my pack clean.
     
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  34. Takeuscamping

    Takeuscamping Guide

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    I saw this a mal-wart. Could make two grills. image.jpg
     
  35. beacon

    beacon Simul justus et peccator Bushclass I

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  36. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Guide

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  37. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    i just bought the great and the 2qt pot. be curious to see what they weigh and see how it works!
     
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  38. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Guide

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    Did anyone else find the cheapest shipping option for that grill was $18?
     
  39. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    mine was $13, that's why i combined the 2qt pot with the grill. i also asked and they said b/c they are selling it at such a low closeout price they have to charge what UPS would charge them to ship to you.
     
  40. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Guide

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    I've sent bigger and heavier things through UPS for less than that. It's more like one of those $1 eBay deals where all the actual cost has been moved under the heading shipping. Shame, it looks decent enough.
     
  41. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    You have perfectly usable rocks all around your fire! Rocks are heavy but you don't have to pack them around. Set a relatively thin rock across the top of the fire just like you would a metal grill and sear the meat on that. Cooking straight on the coals is a good lightweight option as well.

    My favorite way to cook meats is using a stick with some skewers. Can't remember the exact name for the technique, I think its a french word that starts with P, but here is a diagram of different ways to do it.
    salmoncook.jpg

    A steak could be cooked in the same manner taking care not to overcook the outside. Use woods that arent too dried out or too soggy. If your sticks are catching on fire you're holding it too close. Only takes a couple minutes to make and gather the materials so it's not too labor intensive. Not exactly a cooking grate but you get the same end result plus get to practice carving/lashing skills :dblthumb:. Cooking with materials found on site means one less thing to lug around the woods.
     
  42. captbrian

    captbrian Bush League Urbanite

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  43. UAHiker

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    yeah when i looked to buy them seperately through amazon or else where the total cost was way more than what i paid for them combined even with the higher shipping so i went with it
     
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  44. Greebe

    Greebe Non ducor, duco.

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    The plating might come off after heavy use. However the rust is not going to hurt you. If anything is going to get you, it would be the carcinogens that you get from grilling over a fire. Think colon cancer. However, even that is not a concern unless you eat smoked or wood fired grilled food daily for your whole life.

    Do like you were thinking and make a nice mild steel rack and don't worry about it. Coat it with raw linseed oil and season it over the fire a few times and keep it oiled thereafter. You shouldn't get much rust and if you do wipe it off and start cooking. All will be well.

    Take care and show us what you come up with.
     
  45. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    Carcinogens from cooking over a campfire? Is it like specific woods that contain carcinogens or just wood in general? Pretty sure our ancestors (going back 100's of thousands of years) ate smoked or woodfired grilled food daily for their whole lives.
     
  46. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Guide

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    Of course our ancestors died significantly earlier than us. Cancer is the inevitable result of living too long.
     
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  47. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    Keep in mind, carcinogen just means 'something that causes cancer'. Even the sun's rays are a carcinogen. And as the NC living Brit said, life expediencies are vastly different now days. :)
     
  48. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    Lol you're 100% correct. I never thought of sunshine as a carcinogen but well, it is!
     
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  49. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Guide

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    Over time pretty much ANYTHING is a carcinogen, so the state of California needs to add that warning to everything, ever.
     
  50. Greebe

    Greebe Non ducor, duco.

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    Eating lots of smoked food and food cooked over a wood fire is pretty well documented in causing colon cancer. Like I said I do not think it is a problem with people who do not eat this for every meal. When we lived in bush Alaska, the Alaskan Natives had very high rates of colon cancer because of this kind of diet. I think pretty much any wood smoke is going to get you eventually if you live around it every day. There is a reason why people long ago did not live so long.

    Having said that, I do not worry about it personally, I was just making the point that the rust from the grill is less of a problem compared to other things that might get you when cooking over the fire.
     
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