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Fabricating Gas Grill Parts

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  • Fabricating Gas Grill Parts

    I've previously documented here about how much a fan I am of my Weber grill. I even paid a printing company to make me some Weber stickers to put on Red's back glass to run at Arkansas. Nobody there asked me about my sponsor. I mean, I've had that grill for over 20 years because they make replacement parts for it. Grates, burners, flavorizer bars,etc.

    I did fall victim when the gas header rotted off if it. I couldn't get an exact replacement, one with an extra fitting that goes to the side burner. So I rigged up the side burner to an extra bottle with some fittings I had and....WHOOF when I lit it. Nearly burned the house down and I would have if I wasn't already standing there ready on the gas bottle valve. Oh well, a perfectly good side burner and no way to get gas to it (safely). I filled in the hole with a wooden work surface.

    Well, I went to clean the grill and the catch pan sort of fell right off if it. It slides under there like a drawer and the little ledges that hold the pan were kaput. I didn't bother to even look for the new parts, I can fix this. And so I did, from 1-inch aluminum strips and some drilling and measuring. Exhibit A:

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    Man that was fun. I fixed something! In less than a whole day. The drip pan is held up and it slides in and out like it's supposed to. I am proud of the workmanship. Aren't YOU proud, too? well, you should be.

    This evening I fired it up again. What you do is to get all three burners going wide open and let the thermometer tach up and it burns all the stuff off of the grates before you turn it back down and cook on it again. I can look straight out of the window over the kitchen sink and watch the temperature on the grill as it heats up or cooks. I looked out there and rue de le merde, the grill is on fire. There's a fire UNDERNEATH the grill - that catch pan is on fire and I don't mean a little bit.

    I went out there with the fire extinguisher (for the just in case) and turned the gas off. It burned and burned and the grease in that little catch tray was boiling. It was one hot puppy. I had never seen or heard of a drip pan catching on fire. I was astounded. It finally went out and let it cool off to begin the impromptu investigation. What happened? The grill wasn't all that dirty, maybe 12 or 14 cooks on it since the last major cleaning. I've let it go twice that long before, and I swear I've never heard of a fire like that one.

    When I contrived that repair on the catch pan arrangement, I modified the dynamics of the whole system. That catch pan used to slide in there just like a drawer. A drawer that was closed. Look at this, what I did to it after so much careful thought about how to make the pan hang on there. Exhibit B:

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    That as-replaced gap between the catch pan and the grill body lets a whole heap more air in there while the burners are lit. Enough to combust the stuff in the catch pan, obviously.

    I still don't want a new grill, I've got completely all new parts on this one and it cooks just fine. If I remember to clean it more often.

    Deaf Bob likes this.
    Charter member of the Turd Nuggets