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Cheap/easy fire "box"

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
It just dawned on me last night that looking through the UDS section that there are typically quite a few questions about fire boxes and I had not posted my cheap solution to it. I searched all over for good expanded metal but everyone wanted an arm and a leg for it. So I decided to experiment with a few things I found at farm and fleet here in iowa.

First I started with a 12" pepper roaster like the one below. They had them on sale for $9 at the time.


I removed the handle because it was only in the way. Next I bought a roll of 3'x5' 1" heavy gauge wire panel for about $5. I rolled a piece to fit snug inside the roaster ring then drilled holes in the ring and bolted it in place using short bolts and washers. I cut it down to 11" tall.


Next I put three 2.5" 1/4" bolts in a triangle pattern and marked the hole positions on on a Dollar Store pizza pan that I had laying around for an ash tray. It hangs freely on the bolt heads, no need to tighten it down. I then sandwiched the nuts and washer to hold it to the bottom of the roaster and tightened the hell out of them. And voila! It's done!




I think I have about $18 in it total and it is actually very stout. It only took me about 20-30 min to make once i had everything. I have since put a wire handle on it but don't have pictures. It holds almost a full bag of royal oak. Is it pretty?...of course its not! Does it work?...hasn't failed me yet! Hope this helps someone out. Thanks for looking.

Shelton
Edited by shelton573 - 8/4/15 at 8:27am
post #2 of 12

It looks good. The only concern I have is whether or not the wire is galvanized. I used the expanded metal that was plain steel on mine. 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmaddox View Post
 

It looks good. The only concern I have is whether or not the wire is galvanized. I used the expanded metal that was plain steel on mine. 


It didn't say it was galvanized on the tag and it doesn't seem to have a galvanized coating like chain link or irrigation center pivot pipe (I use that example because I have worked with more of that in the 12 yrs I worked on the farm than I ever care to again lol).  It is a real smooth finish steel.  Thanks for the heads up though, I have some scrap left that I will check out when I get home!  Worse case scenario I take it off and my neighbor has some like it that has a stainless type finish.  Thanks again!

 

Shelton

post #4 of 12

You can check it by hitting it with a torch. If it is galvanized or zinc coated the flame will turn green as the coating burns off. 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

You are correct.  I will give it a try when I get home this evening!

 

Shelton

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

I forgot to follow up on this.  I hit the wire with a torch and it burned off normal.  It just started glowing red.  Keep bmaddox's advice in mind though when finding your wire if you do this method.  Thanks!

 

Shelton

post #7 of 12
Hey bud, I just got a Brickman smoke n grill. So you know if anybody has tried this approach for the fire pan replacement?
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshgrillinlawn View Post

Hey bud, I just got a Brickman smoke n grill. So you know if anybody has tried this approach for the fire pan replacement?

I will be honest, I am not sure at all.  I don't know why it couldn't be done as long as your height don't interfere with your water pan or anything.  Is the smokers pan a solid bowl type pan or is it perforated?  If I recall correctly, I have seen some in the past out of that type of smoker that is solid.  If so, you might just be better off Grabbing a drill and sitting down one day and start punching holes.  Got any pictures?

 

Shelton

post #9 of 12
I haven't had a chance to take any interior shots yet. Yeah it's a solid plan. Maybe I'll do the drilling holes method.
Thanks man.
Josh.
post #10 of 12
I got a question for ya bud.
If you use brickets, do you have any issues with to much ash building up in the pizza pan to cause problems, especially during long smokes?
Thanks,
Josh.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshgrillinlawn View Post

I got a question for ya bud.
If you use brickets, do you have any issues with to much ash building up in the pizza pan to cause problems, especially during long smokes?
Thanks,
Josh.

I have never used anything but lump to be honest. I have about 2"+ between the bottom of basket and the pan. I would think it would not be an issue but could be wrong. I know other folks use a similar setup but with expanded metal and different pan (a bit fancier) don't have issues that I know of. With lump I have let it burn for 9 hrs and pulled it out and only had about 1/2" of ash/grease on the pan and never had issues.

Shelton
post #12 of 12

I used an air filter out of an excavator. Ripped all the paper filter out and used the steel cage that remained. It's slightly smaller than the normal fire basket that people make and it works well.

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