What materials can I use for a charcoal grate/tray?

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jan 20, 2014
What materials are good to withstand the heat from burning charcoal?

I want to add a grate or tray under my fire ring in a bge so I can have the charcoals burning closer to the grill grate. Basically it will be this grate, fire ring, and cooking grate on top the fire ring leaving only about 4 inches from food to burning coals so I can really get a good sear on steaks. Bottom fire box won’t be used for these situations. I’ve seen some suggestions about removing the fire ring altogether but don’t want to risk it.

I’ve also seen just some regular replacement grates, but they all have really wide spaces in between and some of the smaller pieces of charcoal will fall through those.

Thought about using a spider but it looks like that’s only about a 1.5 inch drop. And I like making stuff myself and doing projects so want to see if I can make something first. If not I can always just get a spider.

So what can I use for a simple grate or tray to hold charcoals? here are a few things I’ve found that may work.

This says don’t use over 400 degrees or over open flame/fire. Would it melt under high heat? Collapse?

Heat resistant up to 1000 degrees. Porcelain stand up to high heat?
I made this up for my 26 " kettle . ( For a difference reason ) I don't know how a BGE sets up , but maybe you could do something the same and set the height above your heat source and use it as a cooking surface .

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I used a SS expanded metal. Sorry, I don’t know what type of stainless, it came from the scrap pile at our local metal shop. It is holding up nicely.

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For a more raised charcoal grate, several manufactures make heavier SS grates (like this one I made to replace the OEM charcoal grate in my LBGE), so maybe a 12" or 13" diameter would put the charcoal grate higher up in the fire box, and closer to the cooking grate. I add expanded metal, and wire it with SS wire. Here is what I'm talking about. You would want to cut a circle with the expando, but it's easy to do.
Just dont use a cooking rack. In a pinch during a party I used a cooking grate from my smoker in a wood fire pit and it warped like crazy 😭
''Flattened Expanded Metal'' is what they/I used... The FEM a Home Depot is to thin (it will work but won't last)... A fabrication shop will have the thicker... Must ask for flattened as there is just a regular expanded metal...
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