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Upper Cooking Rack for Jr.


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First off I have to say I love the Akorn Jr.  I take it to my cabin often.  Ithaca become my everyday cooker for the two of us.  I've cooked for 6 depending on what we're eating.  I was looking to make a second cooking rack much the same as the Akorn or my Keg.  They are of benefit in many cooking situations.

I started with a 1"X4" threaded pipe nipple.  These nipples are found in any hardware store or plumbing supply.  They are threaded on both ends.  I've seen them made of steel, cast iron and galvanized.  If you are going to use galvanized make certain you research the methods of removing the galvanizing before going any further.  No matter which one you choose they will rust.

Next I sanded the threads on one end of the nipple in order to obtain a snug fit in either of the two holes cast into the Jr. cooking grate.  It is important that the pipe nipple with stand securely and be perpendicular to the main cooking grate.  A loose fit will reduce the clearance of the rack.   Also I was careful not to allow the nipple to extend much below the depth of the grate so as not to interfere with any drip pan I might use.  

I calculated 4 inches would give me the maximum useable area in the upper dome and still provide reasonable clearance for various meats on the main grate.  The food items on the upper grate will cook faster due to their proximity to the dome so depending on what is being cooked you may find it necessary to move items from one to the other.

I purchased a Weber charcoal grate #7439 10.5" in diameter.  With a file I cut two slots in the opposite end of the pipe thread to as to allow the outer ring of the grate to sit into the pipe nipple. This way the grate could be tack welded in two spots.  The next step was to create an additional support for the rack so it would not bend or break the welds.  I choose an allan key.  It was blued steel.  This was welded to the grate and the pipe nipple as how in the photos.  I have used this upper rack now for over 6 months with no issue.  All the components will rust so care must be taken to prevent that.  I find cooking grease to be the best protector now but in the beginning I would spray PAM on the rack to prevent rust.  I am intended on make one change to the design.  I will turn the allen key the other way next time so as not to take up space between the two cooking surfaces.   Even with the key as it is I cooked spatchcocked chicken and vegatables above.  It's also a great bun warmer.

Here are some photos.

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First off I have to say I love the Akorn Jr.  I take it to my cabin often.  Ithaca become my everyday cooker for the two of us.  I've cooked for 6 depending on what we're eating.  I was looking to mak

Thanks for posting the pictures and for the inspiration K'man.  I was able to obtain the rack from Homedepot.com for $6.99 with free shipping model #7439 and I'm lucky to have a friend who is an excel

The new and improved version of the upper cooking rack for the Akorn Jr.  This rack was built by a person I met, on line as a result of my original post.  He has since joined this site.  This rac

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42 minutes ago, K'man said:

First off I have to say I love the Akorn Jr.  I take it to my cabin often.  Ithaca become my everyday cooker for the two of us.  I've cooked for 6 depending on what we're eating.  I was looking to make a second cooking rack much the same as the Akorn or my Keg.  They are of benefit in many cooking situations.

I started with a 1"X4" threaded pipe nipple.  These nipples are found in any hardware store or plumbing supply.  They are threaded on both ends.  I've seen them made of steel, cast iron and galvanized.  If you are going to use galvanized make certain you research the methods of removing the galvanizing before going any further.  No matter which one you choose they will rust.

Next I sanded the threads on one end of the nipple in order to obtain a snug fit in either of the two holes cast into the Jr. cooking grate.  It is important that the pipe nipple with stand securely and be perpendicular to the main cooking grate.  A loose fit will reduce the clearance of the rack.   Also I was careful not to allow the nipple to extend much below the depth of the grate so as not to interfere with any drip pan I might use.  

I calculated 4 inches would give me the maximum useable area in the upper dome and still provide reasonable clearance for various meats on the main grate.  The food items on the upper grate will cook faster due to their proximity to the dome so depending on what is being cooked you may find it necessary to move items from one to the other.

I purchased a Weber charcoal grate #7439 10.5" in diameter.  With a file I cut two slots in the opposite end of the pipe thread to as to allow the outer ring of the grate to sit into the pipe nipple. This way the grate could be tack welded in two spots.  The next step was to create an additional support for the rack so it would not bend or break the welds.  I choose an allan key.  It was blued steel.  This was welded to the grate and the pipe nipple as how in the photos.  I have used this upper rack now for over 6 months with no issue.  All the components will rust so care must be taken to prevent that.  I find cooking grease to be the best protector now but in the beginning I would spray PAM on the rack to prevent rust.  I am intended on make one change to the design.  I will turn the allen key the other way next time so as not to take up space between the two cooking surfaces.   Even with the key as it is I cooked spatchcocked chicken and vegatables above.  It's also a great bun warmer.

Here are some photos.

IMG_0795.JPG

IMG_0796.JPG

IMG_0799.JPG

IMG_0801.JPG

IMG_0738.JPG

IMG_0547.JPG

That's well done, and thanks for responding as quickly as you did to ckreef request! This is a game changer for Akorn Jr owners adds needed space to grill and goes to show that they can do this at the factory!!

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6 minutes ago, Garvinque said:

That's well done, and thanks for responding as quickly as you did to ckreef request! This is a game changer for Akorn Jr owners adds needed space to grill and goes to show that they can do this at the factory!!

 

Thanks Garvinque. tried to edit a couple of typos but can't seem to get the edit button to come up, no great deal.  

 

The thing is anyone who is a little handy can do most of this and for the little bit of welding required it should not be costly to take the parts to a shop and have them make up the rack.  

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21 minutes ago, K'man said:

 

Thanks Garvinque. tried to edit a couple of typos but can't seem to get the edit button to come up, no great deal.  

 

The thing is anyone who is a little handy can do most of this and for the little bit of welding required it should not be costly to take the parts to a shop and have them make up the rack.  

How much weight do you think can be placed on rack?

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...well it's plenty strong.  I can't think of anything that it wouldn't hold.  Remember you are limited by the size of the food item up inside the dome.  It would easily hold 5 lb. but I doubt you'd have the space to put 5 lb. of anything up there.

It's best suited for things like burgers, chicken pieces, chops and veggies.   I did a spatchcock chicken the other night and roasted a whole head of cauliflower on the upper rack.

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20 minutes ago, K'man said:

...well it's plenty strong.  I can't think of anything that it wouldn't hold.  Remember you are limited by the size of the food item up inside the dome.  It would easily hold 5 lb. but I doubt you'd have the space to put 5 lb. of anything up there.

It's best suited for things like burgers, chicken pieces, chops and veggies.   I did a spatchcock chicken the other night and roasted a whole head of cauliflower on the upper rack.

That's impressive still, and doing three tri-tips isn't out of the question two on the bottom and one on top. The only issue would be searing them but minor issue at best or worst not sure which one-lol!

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