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Modifying the Big Easy

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Post Wed Jun 23, 2004 6:51 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
This thread is in response to MReynolds pm about modifying the Big Easy gas grill by Charbroil. I thought I’d post it on the board incase anyone else was interested.
Her is how I did it:
I removed the three plates that were covering the burners and replaced them with one long grate. The grate has a solid piece of metal that extends along the entire center of the grate. Another word, it completely covers all three burners and protect them from food drippings. I bought it at Home Depot for $12.00. I also placed a disposable aluminum grill topper (perforated) over the grate, and then I placed few ceramic briquettes on top of it. The foil sheet has three functions: 1- it acts as heat deflector, 2- it act as flavor enhancer (when the food drippings hit it, they evaporate and create a lot of smoke), 3- it makes cleaning so much easier. The sheet keep a lot of mess off of the bottom of the grill and once it’s dirty, I just replace it. Here is the link for the source: http://66.70.210.249/grill-topper.html
Also I found the briquettes to be very helpful; they distribute the heat more evenly and also help in creating more smoke and flavor. Every since I made these mods, I’ve been getting so much searing power out of it. And the grill heats up so much faster. Also I added two warming racks to it. They were designed for an earlier model, but they fit on it perfectly. My grill did not come with a side burner, but I really didn’t need one anyway (my other gas grill has one). See pix for details. Please let me know if you have any questions. I’ve used this grill for two years, and I pretty much know everything about it.
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Post Wed Jun 23, 2004 7:05 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5365
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Hey Z! Do you have stock in Reynolds Wrap! :lol:
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Post Wed Jun 23, 2004 7:24 pm
Rump Roast rare
rare

Posts: 40
Location: North Little Rock, AR
Z, that is by far the best tutorial I've seen for the Big Easy. I too have the Big Easy w/ rotissorie and cannot wait to try this mod when I get home. Again, awesome detailed tutorial!

Since you're the many few who owns a Big Easy I have a quick ? for you Z, do you see more orange/yellow flames than blue on your unit? My uncle has the Charbroil stainless steel commercial series and I noticed he has the opposite effect, which is good and what I want. At first I thought it was the propane but we're both using Blue Rhino. There's nothing blue about this rhino :lol: Then I checked for leaks but everything checked out fine.
Thanks in advance!

Jimmy

Post Wed Jun 23, 2004 7:43 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
Jimmy,
I’ve never paid attention to the flames, as you see in the pictures, the burners are covered. But next time I fire up the grill, I will definitely look and let you know. I also use Blue Rhino gas (I get it at Wal-Mart). The tank lasts me a long time and the grill heats up very well, so I really never had to investigate the process.
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Post Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:23 pm
ryno23 medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 74
Location: Manitowoc,WI
I too have the Big Easy. I am looking forward to upgrading my grill the way you did. I will do it this weekend and try it out. Thanks for the help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:52 pm
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
Are flames going from blue to yellow-red a sign of a burner wearing out?

Z, I thought the vaporizor bars were prefferable to ceramic briquettes but it sounds like your having better luck with your system. It sounds like you get benefits from the briquettes and your grates both which are like modified vaporizor bars.
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:31 pm
Rump Roast rare
rare

Posts: 40
Location: North Little Rock, AR
Vinsect wrote:
Are flames going from blue to yellow-red a sign of a burner wearing out?



Oh man, I hope not. I just got it mid May. It's not that big of a deal. I remember someone here posted that it is better to see more blue flames than yellow/red. But like Z said, the grill heats up fast so and it does a fantastic job so I shouldn't worry too much about it. Sorry if I hijacked your thread Z.

Well, I picked up the grate from HD along with some ceramic briquettes but could not find the disposable sheet with holes. I guess I'll try HD in SW Little Rock tomorrow. Can't wait to fire her up with this new mod! Thanks again this site is the best.

Jimmy

Post Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:48 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
Jimmy,
This is the only kind HD has (see the pic), they’re $10/pack. This kind does not work as well, but you can use it until you get the other sheets. By the way, the only place I’ve been able to get the grill toppers from was on the Internet, here is the source: http://66.70.210.249/grill-topper.html
If you have Northern Tools in your area, you may want to check with them as well.

Vinsect,
I’m sure the vaporizer bars work very well. But when I made these mods I had two things in mind, Functionality and Ease of cleaning. Plus, the vaporizer bars will have to be custom made to fit on this grill?? I’ve never really research it.

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Post Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:58 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Neat Setup Z, you are truely and innovator!
I can add one bit here that I'm sure if you wanted you could find vaporizer bars for that grill. There are sets you can but as HD or Lowes that are generic and expandable and adjustable to fit any grill. Or if you spend a bit more effort buy the individual bars they sell and cut them to length.
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Post Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:32 am
MReynolds well done
well done

Posts: 394
Location: Missouri, St. Peters
Thank you for posting this info Z. Looks like my Big Easy is a newer model than yours, as mine has a stainless hood.(not completely stainless) I will have to take another look at mine to determine whether additional warming racks can be added. Unfortunately, it has a hanging basket for a warmer which has proven utterly useless as it keeps falling off of it's perch. I'll remedy that when I break out the torch to bend those hangers. :twisted:

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I have found the burner tents to be adequate for vaporizing the drippings, but have a feeling that I'm missing a lot. One modification I have been wanting to perform is to replace the burner assemblies with brass fixtures, but have had no luck in finding such a thing. I have seen a brass burner as a side burner on a unit at Wally World.

One more thing, where did you find cast iron grates for the 9000 series? I haven't had any luck finding these, so I've settled for the porcelain coated. I can find cast iron for the 8000 series all day long.
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Post Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:51 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
Thanks Grand,
I have tried the expandable/adjustable bars (they were made by Charbroil), they weren’t wide enough though, and the food dripping kept going to the bottom of the grill. And cleaning them was a nightmare. Now this may not be an issue for some people, but it’s very important for me (personal preference).

MReynolds,
My grill also came with a hanging basket. I agree with you, that thing was pretty useless. I ripped it out the first day I got it. As far as the cast iron grates, mine came with them. I did buy an identical pair for my other grill (they were also made by Charbroil); they were $25 at Home Depot.
This is the only place I know where they sell brass burners, but they’re not made for this grill (they may or may not fit??): www.gogrills.com
Also try this link: http://www.appliancefactoryparts.com/gasgrillparts/
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Post Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:03 pm
MReynolds well done
well done

Posts: 394
Location: Missouri, St. Peters
Z, thanks for the links. I'll check them out. (already seen the second link w/no luck) What is the model number of your grill?
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PETA - People Eat Tasty Animals

Post Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:40 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
I don’t really remember what number it was :oops: . It’s not written on it anywhere either. I bought a floor model, so I did not have a box or instructions. I got it at home depot for $187. I thought it was a good deal at that time.
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:56 am
MReynolds well done
well done

Posts: 394
Location: Missouri, St. Peters
That would be a steal at that price. IIRC, these retailed around $300 or more. I won't tell you what I paid for mine new, but let's just say it was under $100. :wink: Don't worry about not finding the model #, the Big Easy series isn't that old and I should be able to find the part numbers for the cast iron grates.
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PETA - People Eat Tasty Animals

Post Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:29 am
Rump Roast rare
rare

Posts: 40
Location: North Little Rock, AR
Under a $100 is a steal for a Big Easy. I got mine for $150 marked down from $350 new in the box and couldn't be happier. Plus it came with a free light :D .

Jimmy


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