Rusty Fire Ring Grilling Grate

Discussion in 'Pots, Pans, Grills, Other Cookware / Cleaning & Fo' started by strangiato, Sep 14, 2020 at 2:26 PM.

  1. strangiato

    strangiato Member

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    Hi All,
    We like to cook over the campfire, but as you all likely know, the built-in grating on many fire rings is rusty and disgusting. I have tried to use tin foil, but it's just not that easy to use because it floats on the updrafts, sticks to the meat, rips, and pulls off the grates when trying to flip.
    It occurred to me while cooking a skirt steak over the fire for some nachos this weekend to look for a grill grate to set on top of the rusted grates. It would have to allow smoke and flame through to get that delicious taste, but have the bars close enough together or sit high enough above the rusted grates so that the meat could not hang through and touch the nastiness. I also don't want to use one that has it's own legs to sit above the fire, since after cooking dinner, I move the burning logs and coals into the front of the fire ring to continue with our evening fire. It might work if the legs are removable or collapsible.
    Has anyone used anything like this? My first thought was to just buy some replacement grates for a backyard grill, but I wanted to ask if anyone has a favorite thing to use.
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    The cast ones will rust also. Maybe a stainless steel one? But they will also be a mess to transport. I would go with heavy duty foil. Wrap it around the grate, spray with pam for sticking. I tryed whst you are attempting, but i didnt have the patience.
     
  3. strangiato

    strangiato Member

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    I was thinking some porcelain coated cast iron grates. Maybe I could find a plastic container that I could store them in to contain the mess while transporting. I'm sure I'd have to replace them periodically, just as I might in my grill at home.
     
  4. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Porcelain coated might work, the difference is the grill at home gets used more. So oiled and cleaned more. Plus, its covered. When camping you might leave stuff out. I did vet the cast iron one, so definitely don't do that. Now it holds the corn, potatoes over the fire pit at home lol. Its doable. Just not for me.
     
  5. JiffyPopJunkie

    JiffyPopJunkie Active Member

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    If you want to be frugal, just drive ANY neighborhood and look for a gas grill that someone put out to the curb and take the grates out of it. If it doesnt work out at the campsite, toss 'em! At least youll know what you want going forward
     
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  6. strangiato

    strangiato Member

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    That's a good idea! I see them all the time on the various marketplaces and Facebook yard sale groups for free for parts.
     
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  7. Tom Jordan

    Tom Jordan Active Member

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    Yes. What you described is exactly what I do. I don’t recall where I got my grates; I’ve had them around for years (can you say, “pack rat”?). I have one that I just keep in a plastic garbage bag and it goes in the truck with other gear. At camp site, I can stick it on the grill. I use it for more than that. If I’m cooking on campfire coals, I will rake the coals between two pieces of firewood (bricks are better), then put my grate across that, laying on the firewood sticks. That allows me to put a pot, Dutch oven, or coffee pot over the coals. This has become more important since the National Forest Service has started putting in the tall fire rings where the cooking grill is 18 inches or so above the ground.
     
  8. strangiato

    strangiato Member

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    LOL, I don't consider it being a pack rat if you use them normally. Only if you keep them around and never use them. I also thought about using them in the fire as well. I assume that I would need to get fire bricks to make sure they don't break (or explode!) in the heat of the fire coals.
     
  9. Tom Jordan

    Tom Jordan Active Member

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    @strangiato , you just have no idea how long those sat in storage closets and garages before they got some real use. I have no memory of where I got them in the mid-1990’s. To be clear, I do not haul bricks camping, but have used them at home. I think my favorite use ever was one time when I needed some smoked brisket, but my grill was out of service. I dug a hole in the backyard, add charcoal, add bricks to hold grill grate (just whatever bricks are laying behind the tool shed), red oak for smoke, brisket, and cover it all with an old wheelbarrow turned upside down.
     
  10. Toxictom

    Toxictom Member

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    Our garbage transfer station has an area for dead appliances. I nabbed a grate out of an oven that I take along to put atop the fireplace grates.
     
  11. LongHammer

    LongHammer Member

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    Why not just get that fire hot and cook on it? Wipe it with oil start a raging fire and when you have coals cook. A little Iron oxide wont kill you.
     
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  12. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the style of the fire pit, you may be able to buy a grill that fits it. Or use an old bbq grill or even an old oven rack.. I have used both the latter and still carry a bbq grill with us.. I did buy a cooking grill that was designed and built for our Provincial Park fire pits.
     

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