Expanded Metal for grate, Stainless vs Mild Steel

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by mikechenry1, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. mikechenry1

    mikechenry1 Newbie

    What is everybody's preference? This has probably been asked a bunch.  Are there any benefits to using one over the other? Getting ready to order and was wondering which one I should get.
  2. lancep

    lancep Master of the Pit

    Well, I wouldn't say I have preference but my expanded grates in the new smoker can rust if they get wet where as my stainless grates in the wsm never rusted.
  3. motolife313

    motolife313 Smoking Fanatic

    Stainless is nicer but expanded stainless is no joke on the price. 4x8 is usually around 300+ for the stuff I was looking at from mc Nichole's I think is the company that sells it. If u can afford if go for it. Won't have to worry about the rack rusting. I'm using 3/4" 16 gauge square tube for my frames then I'm Gona try and find good deal on some expanded, my smoker is all stainless
  4. kam59

    kam59 Smoking Fanatic

    Unless you need it for HD purposes or have a sweet deal on SS plain old carbon steel  #9 x 3/4" flat expanded is the way to go in my opinion.
  5. fatbastard09

    fatbastard09 Smoke Blower

    I agree with kam59, I used #9 3/4" flat expanded with 1" tube frames and they are working out great (pardon the pun).  The day I finished welding and grinding them I sprayed them with cooking spray and haven't seen any rust on them since.  With 4 burns on them, they are nice and seasoned.  I can't see them ever rusting after I get finished with this summer's cooks.
  6. Is there a difference with meat sticking to ss expanded metal vs regular expanded?
  7. kam59

    kam59 Smoking Fanatic

    Once seasoned I have no problem with regular steel. SS sticks just as bad as regular steel it just doesn't rust. Considering the price difference there is no way I would buy SS.
  8. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My grates are #9-3/4 black carbon steel. I keep them clean and well seasoned. They are never a problem for me. Be sure you get the flattened expanded metal. Otherwise, you will have slivers of steel sticking up that will cause your meat to the grate and can also cause a nasty cut on your hands while handling them.
  9. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    If your just going to cook on it for your family, it shouldn't matter.
    If your going to do some catering gigs. You might want to check your local regs. As some require stainless steel grates.
    big eata 9 likes this.
  10. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not saying that anybody before me is wrong, I just want to show you what I used. I went to a salvage yard that sells partial lots of new material as well. I picked up some gnarly raised expanded metal that forms a real strong grate with no frame. With all my strength I can barely get them to bow down 1/4 inch in my smoker.. They took a a seasoning with some pam and away we went. I like and prefer the raised expanded over the flat for the increased rigidity, less surface area, better air flow and easier cleaning.

    I don't recall the gauge but it's pretty thick.

    Sits on my supports well too. 

    Good luck with whatever you choose.
  11. sputnik15

    sputnik15 Newbie

    I would think the 'raised' would chew up your meats when moving them around. (and leave indentation marks on the meat)

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