Stainless steel is a great corrosion resistant material, leading to its use in many barbecue grills. However, many of the "stainless steel" grills on the market only feature stainless steel on the prominent exterior surfaces (like my mid-range grill). Much of the interior metal and support pieces are made from regular steel and will rust out well before the shiny stainless steel surfaces. Even worse, these pieces are often made from light gauge steel (20 gauge or thinner) that simply doesn't last. One of the first pieces to rot through on my grill was the large drip pan under the cooking area. I couldn't bring myself to buy another light gauge replacement pan for $70, so I made my own out of heavy 16 gauge steel. This heavy duty piece will likely outlast the rest of the major components of the grill, and it gave me an excuse to play with a bunch of sheet metal fabrication tools.
I made this at TechShop www.techshop.ws
Step 1: Materials and Equipment
16 gauge sheet metal (approximately 24" x 24")
1/4" x 3" bar stock
High temperature grill paint
Sheet metal break
(Okay, you can get by without a bunch of these but they sure made it easier)