I am sad to say that I will be pushing my CG trio to the curb tomorrow. I gave her about 10 years worth of work in only 2.
Grilled on her about 6 days per week during those 2 years. She provided me with some extraordinary meals.
About 2 weeks ago, I uncovered it for the first time in several months...maybe a year... The porcelain grates were all shot, the burner guards on the gas side were shot, the charcoal tray in the MC was shot, side burner was shot, etc. I decided though that I wanted to grill up some Turkey Brats on the gas side, placing them on top of my WSJ's grill grate since the porcelain grates were chipping so bad. I looked at the base of the chamber and it looked pretty clean....I'd seen it a lot worse when I used it regularly...a little bit of dirt, goo and grime, but not a lot.
So I fired it up and was going to let it cook off and clean up for about an hour before putting the brats on. About 15 minutes later, it was engulfed!!!
It got so hot that the temp gauge was wrapped around 700 f, and the paint was burning black. There were flames rolling out from under the lid, burning the paint and the handle. Smoke was everywhere. So my wife quickly ran into the kitchen and threw me the fire extinguisher. Looking back, I think that the grease solidified with time, and what I thought was just dust and dirt was actually more solidified grease. Doh!
In hindsight, I should have just gotten my hands dirty and cleaned it out manually instead of trying to burn it out. Oh well, it was time anyways.
But the CG will forever be in my heart.