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CHARCOAL BASKET
October 22, 2008
8:15 pm
brower
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Forum Posts: 3
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October 22, 2008
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i don't have the resources to make my own.  does anyone know where i can buy one?  i found a place that would custom make one but it was $100 cash!  if anyone could weld one up to a certain size, i'd gladly pay for time and supplies.  i want one for my fireboxe because the grate it came with sucks.  i get two lump woods where i live, kingsford and cowboy; they both have such tiny pieces that i really need a basket.  any ideas on where to find one?  i've looked at the hardware stores, bed bath beyond, sams club, just about everywhere.  i'd like stainless or just some good ole' carbon steel.  any help?

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bbq, homebrew, paintball my perfect weekend!
October 23, 2008
3:26 pm
Big Dan
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Forum Posts: 13
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June 26, 2008
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browser,

You do not need to weld to build a charcoal basket.  I don't know where you live, but most major metropolitan areas have companies that sell raw steel products (sheets, etc.) and most of them sell what is called expanded metal.  Determine the size pieces you will need for the sides and the bottom and most places will cut it to size for you.

Purchase some angle iron with the holes already drilled (if they don't sell it where you buy the expanded metal, Home Depot and Lowes sell it) -- if you don't have a hack saw you'll need these cut to size for you as well.  You will need 8 pieces -- one for each edge of the basket except for the top edge (rim).  Use nuts, bolts and oversized metal washers to construct your basket.  Be sure to get a heavy gauge expanded metal or the basket will burn through over time and the bottom will tend to sag in the middle after a while.

If you do build a basket, be sure to build two because refueling for long cooks is a snap with two baskets -- when the fire starts to die down, fill the 2nd basket with charcoal and fire up a chimney full.  When the charcoal in the chimney is burning good, quickly remove the old basket and put in the filled basket -- dump the chimney full of burning charcoal on top and your off and running for several more hours.  The whole process should only take a minute or two and you'll barely lose any temp at all.

IMPORTANT:  Be sure to use only untreated steel.

I hope this helps.

Big Dan

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October 24, 2008
12:38 pm
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October 22, 2008
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you the MAN big dan!  i'm on my way to ask the hardware store if they'll cut it for me.  i didn't even think about nuts and bolts.  i found a place that will rent me a mig welder for thirty bucks for four hours.  thanks for your help, you gave me some good ideas!

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bbq, homebrew, paintball my perfect weekend!
October 24, 2008
12:54 pm
Big Dan
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June 26, 2008
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That's why were here!!!!

Big Dan

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October 28, 2008
1:34 pm
beltwaybbq
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July 10, 2008
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Browser -

See my earlier post under "modifications".  Many folks use the basket sold at Lowe's.  Not all are fans of this mod, but I can tell you from experience, it works like a dream for my Char-griller off-set smoker.  I also recently purchased a large, metal container with handle that's used in baking.  That thing is awesome!  I dump my hot coals directly into the container from the charcoal chimney.  This lets all the little pieces of coal go into the basket or side firebox instead of all over my patio or worse, onto my feet.  Ouch! 

Enjoy!

JAC -beltwaybbq

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October 28, 2008
5:51 pm
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October 22, 2008
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beltway, thanks for the info!  i read your post on the stainless basket.  how has it held up?  can you fit more then a chimnet full into it?  has it weakened since cooking a few times in it?  thanks for any info.

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bbq, homebrew, paintball my perfect weekend!
October 29, 2008
9:14 am
beltwaybbq
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July 10, 2008
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It has held up well and has not worn one bit.  This basket is deep enough and can handle a fair amount of coal.  You could certainly use the Minion (sp?) method of layering lit coals on top of unlit coals to extend your burn time which allows you to do other things besides babysitting your cooker all day.  I have not tried that method myself just so you know.

The deal is that I don't have the time to mess around with welding or trying to find raw materials.  Lowe's and/or Home Depot have plenty of parts you can use to jury rig your cooker to make it run at the most optimum possible.  If you want to make your fire basket a project and cut and weld sheet metal, fine.  If not, the Lowe's basket is an almost out of the box solution.  What's more, if it does degrade over time, you just go back up to the store and buy another one.

Let us know what you ended up doing.

Good luck!

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