I'm sure you are wondering, "Why would anyone want to use an old rim for a grill?"
Grilling websites will say a good grill can cost anywhere from 150 to 2k dollars. While this grill may not compete with larger grills on versatility, it does compete on cost. For only 20 dollars, and about 2 hours of garage time, I had this thing up and going.
Open face grills such as this one are only useful for burgers and steaks. Luckily for me that's all I ever cook. While the ability to cook a brisket is appealing, I wanted something I could throw in the truck bed and hit the road.
There's nothing quite like serving up delicious steak, fajitas, or hamburgers on something you built with your own two hands. When people ask, you say, "Yeah I built this." Even God himself was proud of his work so you should be also. It's also a great conversation piece while at the lake.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
- Rebar 3x8x10ft $3.50@HD (3 pieces)
- Old Rim $10.00@Craigslist (I used a 16in Ford Rim)
- Any scrap steel you don't need for legs, shelves, or trailer hitch attachment
- I used an old metal stool frame and set my grill on top.
- Chop saw or Hack saw
- Metal something for drip pan.
- I used an old electric stove eye.
Not including the stuff I had, this only costed me about $20.00 dollars.
Step 2: Do Some Math
I used a 16in rim so I need a grate at least 16in. I chose a square design for ease of use but a circular grill would be a more efficient use of resources. I also chose rebar because I want my grill grate to last me 50 years.
For a square grill grate, Each rebar piece was 16 in. You'll need 5 to make up the frame and then about 13 to make one like mine or 25 total to get a fully rebar'ed grate.
25 x 18in = 450in
450/120=3.75 round up to 4.
Too much is good because later you can make handles out the remaining rebar.
(Note: I ran out of rebar but decided not to add more because the gaps made excellent handles/tool holders that remain cool enough to touch while grilling.)
Step 3: Make the Grate
Lay out the first five and tac weld them. Tac welding allows you to square up the sides and make adjustments. When you are satisfied, throw some heavy welds on for stability.
Using a measure tools such as a piece of scrap rebar, wood or your pinkie finger to space out the rebar.
(Note: Keep in mind if you are grilling hot dogs, wide grates will allow them to fall through but close grates may require more rebar.)
Step 4: Close the Gap (if You Want)
Use any method you want to close the gaps. Initially I used a piece of tin foil.
Later, I found an old grate with the middle rusted out so I cut off a corner. As you can see, I used a half a section with 5 bars on it and then the other bars to cover my gaps in the rim.
Step 5: Burn It!
Do a few test runs to burn off epoxy, grease, or any other contaminant you don't want to eat. I did this twice to be sure. Test runs will also show you any problems that may need working out.
A wire brush and a little heat will help clean the grill grate.
Step 6: Grill Use and Care
Once the grill grate is relatively clean, apply a coat of vegetable oil, canola oil, or olive oil. Much like a cast iron, this will create a rust proof coating that will last and last.
I found that using a basting brush and applying it perpendicular to the grate achieved the best results.
(Note: The heat from the grill may cause the coating to come off so at the end of each bbq, clean and oil the grate. It will give it a black clean look.)
Extra Tip: I've also included a dry rub recipe found on Food.com for use on steaks and burgers. Just use TBSNs instead of pounds and throw the mixture in an empty spice shaker. You won't believe how good it is. Just sprinkle it on front and back, minutes before grilling!!!