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I was needing/wanting a bit more room on the upper grate and wanting to raise my pizza's up a bit into the dome since the swing shelf was just too high. So with a 17 inch Weber coal grate, 4- 5/16 carriage bolts, nuts washers ( I used 3/8 washers to span the opening a bit better because I had them, If doing it again I would get the 5/16 fender washers) You end up with 3 1/4 inches space from grate to grate so wings, legs, breasts, ribs etc have enough room for a double layer and a 16 inch pizza pan clears easily on the top grate for pizza. I'll be trying it out soon.

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In case anyone was wondering the same thing. I like the swing rack, but it is just too short diameter wise and in height for some of my cooks. I will still use the swing rack when doing multiple butts and whole chickens.

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Thanks, I would have gone higher than the 4 inch carriage bolts, but that put me to far into the dome and could choke/stop the heat from rising properly to the exhaust and cause problems. I'm hoping this works quite well, we'll see. If not I'll use it as another extended rack for my UDS when required.

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that lower wire grill, where did you get that - not standard, is it 19-inch?

Nope I am not a fan of cast iron grates, so I took a Weber 22inch grate, bent 1/8 X 1/2 mild flat stock steel from HD, bent it around till I got pretty close to the 19 3/4" . Welded the Weber to the flat stock, cut the grate around the top edge of the flat stock and tack welded the grate to the ring. Added a 1/2 pipe union drilled/reamed out with a unibit to 3/4? Pretty easy and welded that to the bottom of the grate in about the right location, quick cut an opening for the swing grate, cut off the original lift handles and welded them on. And there you have it. It was in the mid 20s' , 30 MPH winds and I was in a hurry to get it done and head to work so it is not perfect, but I do really like having a grate I can lift out with ease and easier cleanup. For my use, it makes the Acorn easier to use. I will probably add handles to the grate I just made also.

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So today I decided to make removing the 17in Weber grate/rack I use for my deflector pan/drippings catcher rack easier to remove. When it's warm out, it's not a problem, but when it's in the teens more or a lot less removing that grate is a PIA with heavy gloves on. I also have an expanded metal piece I place on top of that17in Weber rack for holding coals for searing. Similar to what John S. used to have in his video on the Acorn. I figured, I might as well knock off 2 things at once. So I cut some expanded metal I had lying around to make a ring to contain the coals when required for grilling/searing. Make removing said grate a lot easier. It is much easier to grab the grate now with gloves on a lift it right out of the Acorn. I wired some expanded metal onto the Weber grate to keep the small pieces of coal from falling thru so easily when grilling/searing. Lots of sharp edges with the expanded metal, but I will deal with that when it gets warm outside. Another requirement was the expanded metal ring had to still allow my large aluminum drip pan to fit, which it does, I just bent out the edges a bit from the top edge, I could have cut the ring shorter, but eh, this is what I ended up with. And the deflector fits just as easy as it did before.

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This modified Weber rack  worked really well, better than the previous piece of expanded metal I used.  Seared 2 giant flank steaks ( one almost did not fit on the grate without curling one end) Easy to lift out the left over coals so I can dump them into another coal basket for use.

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I was needing/wanting a bit more room on the upper grate and wanting to raise my pizza's up a bit into the dome since the swing shelf was just too high. So with a 17 inch Weber coal grate, 4- 5/16 carriage bolts, nuts washers ( I used 3/8 washers to span the opening a bit better because I had them, If doing it again I would get the 5/16 fender washers) You end up with 3 1/4 inches space from grate to grate so wings, legs, breasts, ribs etc have enough room for a double layer and a 16 inch pizza pan clears easily on the top grate for pizza. I'll be trying it out soon.

9and.jpg

je6s.jpgThis

In case anyone was wondering the same thing. I like the swing rack, but it is just too short diameter wise and in height for some of my cooks. I will still use the swing rack when doing multiple butts and whole chickens.

This is a great idea! I'm going to def. do this. Have you cooked anything using this configuration?

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Yes Mironccr345, the coal grate worked great for searing and easy removal !  The added grate, though a bit odd to move around to flip wings etc really upped the amount of food I can get on the Acorn for shorter food cooks. I prefer the ease of the swing grate,  I'm thinking about make this one into a swing grate also for the larger cooks. Already in the planning stages. :-D  

It depends on if I can wait till it warms up a bit or I just have to get er done. Maybe in a couple weeks it will be done. I'll use the same swing grate location, I'll use some tubing and flat stock, a bit of welding. I just need to make sure it can support the weight cantilevered that far out and not block the main grate. I'll probably support it from the top side of the grate not the under side like the original swing grate. If I don't think that will work fairly easily, I will just add handles to the grate and leave the legs/carriage bolts for easier moving. The legs will support a lot of weight and they give you something to set the grate down on and keep the grate off the table or ground.  

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From other posts on here I know a lot of guys love cast iron grates. For how often I cook, I find the cast iron grates heavy, no added value to the cook, harder to clean than S.S. It blocks more area of the skin/fat etc from getting a better char. For me I just prefer to not have cast iron. A majority of my past smokers came with cast iron grates and I stuck with them for many years, then just decided it is easy enough to make my own grates if I can not buy em and this makes using what ever smoker I have just that much easier to use for me. No special tools to lift the grates, If they do fall they do not shatter, doesn't take 2 hands to lift and move. ( I have arthritis in both hands).  

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