charcoal basket

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by mcp9, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. mcp9

    mcp9 Meat Mopper

    i was wondering where anybody got the material for their homemade charcoal baskets? and exactly what material is it?
  2. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's called expanded metal (diamond shaped holes). You can get it at metal suppliers or in smaller quantity at home improvement stores. For a 12" square basket you will need a piece 24" square and allow 6" high walls.

    There is some cutting involved but you don't have to weld it. It can be cut in a way as to fold ends through the holes to lock it together or use bolts and washers, or even heavy gauge wire.

    Hope that helps some.
  3. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What PigCicles said!
    Buy it at Lowe's, etc. Not cheap. You can cut it with good aviation tin snips and a strong hand. Bend it in a vise.
    Or, if you have a sheetmetal shop disregard the whole thing and go to work.

    You can see the basket I made in the SFB of my C-G Duo.
  4. teeotee

    teeotee Smoking Fanatic

    I got mine from Lowes for $12.00. It was a 12" x 24" sheet which i cut down to 6" x 24". Then made it the same way pigcicles said, by folding ends through the holes. Then i pounded the corners together.
    I can get half a bag of lump in there.
  5. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is a layout of how mine would look laid out flat, before bending. The extra inch on the walls is for folding around the corners to help add strength.

    This was drawn in MS Visio and converted to jpg.
  6. mcp9

    mcp9 Meat Mopper

    thanks! i plan on getting to work on that. i want to try a long cook using the minion method so i can get some sleep at the same time. i think this box is the best way to organize it. definitely worth a try for 12 bucks anyways.
  7. Cool baskets guys, I think I am going to make one too. Sometimes my itty bitty lump pieces fall through the grate. The basket would keep that from happening.

    Thanks for the pics and diagrams. [​IMG]
  8. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here's a shot of the basket showing in the left corner how the ends were folded through to lock it together. Nothing fancy needed to do this.
  9. teeotee

    teeotee Smoking Fanatic

    Just stopped in Home Depot and found they have the same thing i got fro mlowes for only $9.00. Also they had a 24" x 24" sheet for $16.00. It is only 20ga but seems to be holding up so far in mine.
  10. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I made one last week....used a hammer and 2x4 to bend it, folded the ends in and bolted it.
    I had planned on using hog rings but didn't have any the right size on hand.

    35 minutes and 2 bandaids later, I had this.[​IMG]
  11. teeotee

    teeotee Smoking Fanatic

    Cool, looks good, and LOL at the bandaids, i can appreciate that [​IMG].

    If there's something sharp, muddy or greasy you can be sure i'll find it.[​IMG]
  12. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    lol...teeotee, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one.[​IMG]
  13. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All All I can find in expanded metal with 1/2 opennings. The 3/4 openning were 16 way I can bend that by hand.Would the 1/2 be good for a charcoal basket, the 1/2 openning look kinda of small for the ashes to fall thru?
    Thanks Dan
    PS Tried 2 Home Depots, 1 Lowe's and a local store.
  14. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi all I did find online a place that has 3/4 opening 18Ga. expanded metal, but is galvanized. Would that be a problem for my charcoal basket?
    From there web site:Galvanized refers to a process that covers mild steel with a layer of zinc to provide good corrosion resistance.
    Plus they cold rolled steel that they can cut to my size for tuning plates.I'm thinking 14 Ga.
    From there web site:Cold rolled sheet is mild steel that has a nice smooth surface.
    Thanks Dan
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  15. tbjoebbq ss

    tbjoebbq ss Fire Starter

    Cold rolled would work, though it will come oiled to keep it from rusting. If they have a hot rolled product it should be cheaper.

    Basically when the steel sheet is made it comes out hot rolled. It then goes through a pickling bath to remove scale and then rolled again "cold" to finer manufactuing tolerance.

    For the amount you need for tuning plates though it may not make a lot of difference.
  16. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  17. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All Here is what my basket looks like.18Ga. Expanded metal 24 x 24 from Home Depot, You have look where they stock the angle iron to find it.
    Now that the basket problem is solved,next is the tuning plates.Im having a hard time find any that would cut my plates. One guy quoted me $50.00 for 5 PCs of 1/8 x 6"x 15". I told him that was way too expensive, he came Back and said it was the set up time.In my younger days I used to work in a sheet metal place in New York City, doesn't take much to set up. Just cut the length then cut the width
    I bent the tabs in to hold the basket together
    Here are my cuts on my forearm after handling the Expanded metal. Be careful lots of sharp edges
    Thanks Dan
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  18. After going to my local Lowes and finding out they don't carry expanded metal at that location, they won't order it either, then I found out they won't ship it to the store from the website. I checked to see if the closest Home Depot had some in stock before I drove 45 minutes and discovered that they will ship it for $6. I would spend more than that in gas. Mr. Postman should be delivering my future basket by the end of the week.
  19. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Rocco I went the same Home Depot 3x before I found the expanded metal. Yesterday I went to HD with the pic of expanded metal from HD web site. I was directed to same place I was looking at before, then I was told to check, by where the angle iron is stocked , and sure enough there were 4 pcs of the metal.
    Still haven't tried out the basket yet, showers are in the forecast for today.Right now I'm trying to figure out the best way to light it.
    1. Put unlit coals around the edges and place the lit coals in the center, with wood on top.
    2 Put unlit coals on the bottom 1/2 the way up and place the lit coals over them, then the wood.
    3. Mix in the wood split with the unlit coals.

    PS My Lowe's did have the EM but only in 12x24 sheets with 1/2 opening.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  20. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For tuning plates, either find some ungalvanized sheet metal or buy a big 11X17 aluminum baking tray - then just use a cut off wheel to cut it into strips.

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