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grates made from a grocery cart?

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by thferret, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. My daughter's boyfriend came up with the idea of cutting up an old grocery cart for grates. They work at a local grocery store, lol!! I don't know what grocery carts are made of or what they may be coated with or how they'll hold up to heat.

    Has anybody thought of/used this idea? I don't know if I'd use it for the food grates but maybe for the bottom of the fire basket?

    And please, no posts about the legality or morality of "sacrificing" a stores grocery cart ;) Since they work there and I know most of the store managers I'm sure I'd have no problem getting a throw-away. Then I'd have wheels for the bottom of my UDS too!!
  2. Now I'm thinking, if I go with a square charcoal basket instead of round I can save the $10 for the expanded metal by using all grocery cart.
  3. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I don't see why not. I'm sure you can burn off anything that might be harmful on the metal. I would bet it is steel coated with chrome just like weber grill grates.
  4. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I personally would pass on using the shopping cart material for grate. The chrome plated steel may leach chemicals into your food.....
  5. Hello.  This is a "touchy" one isn't it?  I'll offer my opinion for what it's worth:  We don't know what they are coated with.  My instinct says should be ok but my "rule" says if you are in doubt, leave it out.  We are talking about the health of your family.  Is it worth the risk for $10.00?  Unless you can identify EXACTLY what they are coated with I vote no!  Having said all that; if you have a large amount of wood that needs burning,  build one H*** of a fire and throw the pieces of the basket on the fire and let 'er burn for a couple hours.  That would be the only way I might risk using it; depending on what it looks like after it cools.   Keep Smokin!

  6. The coating is what I'm concerned about also. According to the show "How It's Made" they are made of steel, dipped in nickel and coated with chrome.

    I'm not sure whether I'd use them for the food grates or not, but I think I'd be fine for the basket after heating up in a nice HOT HOT HOT fire?
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    They may be safe..... been done before......
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  8. Hello.

      Yes.  Has been done before but is "may be safe" good enough for your family?  When reading the fine print, a warning comes with electric hair dryers and such " DO NOT USE IN THE SHOWER".  So it must have been done before.  Just my opinion for what it's worth.

  9. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    High end SS cookware 18/10 is nickel and chrome...... Spatulas are chrome plated.... it's going to be used at temps below 250.... Oven racks are chrome plated.... same stuff......

    USE IT.....

    If the cart is an electric one, don't plug it in, don't take it in the shower.....:biggrin:
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  10. Hello. Thferret.  I do apologise.  I am apparently wrong.  Shoneyboy must also be wrong.  I didn't realise A.: the supermarkets paid  to have their shopping carts coated with quality food safe 18/10 nickel and chrome. and B.: They did exhaustive tests to insure that if someone decided to use a shopping cart to cook meat on there would be no adverse health effects.  Hey, it ain't the first time I have been wrong.  Good luck.  Keep smokin!

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  11. I don't see a problem with it. chrome plated steel is in commerical ovens and are in the racks of my oven. I cook as hot as the oven will go sometimes and the self clean mode is even hotter. Google the melting point of chrome. As Danny pointed out. If you can't prove it to your self don't do it.

    Happy smoken.

  12. Hello THFerret,  I am so very sorry.  Your post has been used for some schoolboy tit for tat.  I am TOTALLY responsible as I started it.  ( Long story ).  You should not have been caught in the middle. You asked a question and be damn site politics you just want an answer.  This is not the way we usually deal with members questions.  This one just pushed buttons from way in the past.  It should not have.  I am ashayour family sick if it is something nasty?med I was involved in this mess but we all make mistakes.  I do apologise.  To answer your question:  I don't know what shopping carts are coated with.  Is it worth risking family health to find out?  Keep Smokin!

  13. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would be worried about chrome?

    But what the heck?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  14. peddler

    peddler Fire Starter

    Just don't use the plastic ones ...:yahoo:
  15. 1beezer

    1beezer Smoke Blower

    I don't see a problem with it at all.  Now I need one to make a grate for my firepit.
  16. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    The grates in our electric over for household use are chrome plated. After about 5 years of infrequent self cleanings the chrome either is gone or just so blued, they look like gunmetal. I'd use it if I was making one.
  17. Wow. I really wasn't expecting this to be such a controversial subject, but thanks for the information and opinions. So, a couple of days ago a shopping cart showed up in my garage. I am told they had the OK of the store Director to take it :)

    As it turns out, these carts have some other type of coating on them that is gray and seems more like a type of enamel. Where it's scraped off the metal is rusting. 

    Does anybody have any idea what this coating could be? It's not chrome, but if chrome got everybody this excited I can only imagine what this stuff will incite ;)
  18. aland

    aland Fire Starter

    ThFerret- In '77-'78, I took a welding course and of course the first thing all wanted to make was a grill. The instructor said don 't use shelves from old fridges and the like as the chemical compounds are not the same as grates made for grills and are poisonous. Use only grates made specifically made for grills or make your own out of carbon steel rods or stainless, etc. As far as shopping carts, I would think the same would apply. Maybe things have changed since then. Maybe being used in a smoker at not near the temps used in grilling, they may be ok to use. Just food for thought and FYI. Good luck. aland(Alan D Hawkins).
  19. aland

    aland Fire Starter

    ThFerret- I should have read farther back in the posts. I was under the impression it was to be used as food grates. I agree with the others that after 2 or 3 good burnings, it would be ok as a fire grate. My apologies. aland