The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

Grill Refurb Part 1

No sooner had I posted my blog entry Reinvigorating My Grill and the doorbell rang & I found all button on of the parts for my grill refurb had arrived - early as a matter of fact. That was the good news. The bad news was the 6 burners, which are buried the deepest inside the grill, are backorder for about 1 month. After thinking about it for a while I decided to go ahead and install theses parts.

The replacement parts for the grill were well packed, but all of the boxes stacked on my front stairs were a bit scary. This was one of 5 boxes that arrived.

Seeing all of the boxes on the front stairs was a bit scary actually, due to the large volume of space they occupied. Some of the items had shipped in boxes intended to hold a dozen or two dozen of that type part. The boxes were filled with inflatable plastic pillows and all of the items were well packaged. The biggest box was quite heavy since it contained the 3 cast iron grill grates and 3 flame tamers. I also received boxes with 7 new knobs, a new smoker drawer and a new top mounting rail for the 6 burners. I removed the existing items and brought the new items out to the back yard. I was glad to have my EZ-Up tent in place as it was an unseasonably hot 95 degrees (35 C).

The flame tamers were in tough shape & many of the slots were rusted closed. I need to check to see if there are any maintenance recommendations I may have missed the first time around

Four out of the 5 parts I was replacing were the keys to this grills great grilling performance. The smoker drawer allows me to add a touch of smoke to my gas grilled foods. The bottom of the drawer, which was painted metal, has rusted through. I am sure this was due to the continued presence of damp wood chips and high heat. While the mounting rails show some signs of superficial rust, they are in ok shape. It was simply a matter of sliding the new drawer in. The flame tamers help control flare ups as their name implies. I also feel they even out the heating by providing a uniform mass under the grill. This grill has never had a problem with hot and cold spots, other than those created by extremes of wind and cold. The existing flame tamers had severely rusted and it would not take much work to snap them into multiple pieces. I cleaned up the flaking rust I could get at, and plan to vacuum out the rest when I replace the 6 burners. Now the equivalent of both of these parts on the Weber grill I was considering were fabricated from stainless steel and would have lasted longer in theory. But this grill cost 8X what I am paying for this refurb, so this is short money to get another 6 years out of this grill.

Two of the replacement grill grate side by side. When mounted one way you have a broad almost flat surface that makes killer grill marks. Flipped upside down they come to a point, minimizing the contact area to help prevent food like fish from sticking.

The grill grates are on of the best features on this grill. They are enameled cast iron and have a decent amount of mass, helping them give killer grill marks. Once again the Weber grill used stainless steel which would tend to hold up longer and be easier to clean. This is a case where I like the cast iron. The grates are more massive and wider than the Weber version and I would imagine they give better grill marks. So in this case it is a case of having a material that performs better, but doesn’t last as long. I don’t mind paying the extra money for better performance. This grill give the best grill marks of any grill that I have owned.

The smoker drawer has been replaced & the new knobs have been installed

The last of the 4 key items were the burners. These burners were quite massive compared to other grills I have owned. I feel they are a big factor in the even cooking and great performance in the winter. The burners I tended to use more had started to have a different size and color flame which was not as easy to control. The burners were back-ordered and I won’t have them for another month. This is the only part of the operation I am nervous about, since there is a part that fits into the knob end of the burner that is no longer available as a replacement part. hopefully the existing piece is in good shape and I won’t damage the part making the switch. I held off putting in the rail these burners mount to until I replace the burners. I will also do a deep clean and vacuum once I have the burners removed. From what I can see though the body is in good shape.

With the new grill grates, flame tamers & smoker drawer installed the interior grilling area looks like new.

The last item I replaced were the knobs, which were a cosmetic item. Several years ago I found the cleaner I was using took the paint off the markings on the knobs. Fortunately I’d only sprayed a couple of the knobs at this point. I decided to replace all of the knobs for uniform appearance purposes. I recently picked up some stainless steel polish and I gave the exterior a good cleaning. After about 90 minutes work work I was left with a grill that looked almost new if I squinted a bit. The grilling surfaces were as good as new. I am looking forward to getting the new burners in and hopefully getting some more great cooking from my old friend.


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