Just go to any hardware store and pick up some chicken-wire (the fine kind), wrap it around your coal grate, and that should stop any coals from falling through (double wrap it if you have to). It’s cheaper than buying another grate and it’s easier to install.
But you might want to try hardware cloth instead. Same cost smaller holes.
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one trying to squeeze every BTU outta my charcoal.
Be it lump or briquet.
I've used the double charcoal grate trick for at least ten years. Seems like at the end of the season they have lotsa charcoal grates left over so they're cheap. Once bought two 22" Weber grates for a buck!
Last Spring I wrapped a grate with hardware cloth and the only thing that fell through was ash.
If you think your fire is being choked by as residue that hasn't fallen through give it a gentle kick.
Nothing wrong with being frugal (not the same as cheap! Look it up!)
It even helps save those little bits of unburned stuff for the next firing!
What is hardware paper? Never heard of it. (Only 21. Still live in an apt. so a lot of home and mechanical stuff I've never heard of)
I wanted to give an update on my grilling last Saturday. I love getting to stay outside and smell smoke while you cook. It was awesome. My pulled pork turned out well. I had to pull out it off before it was as done as I wanted it because I had to cook the steaks for that night's dinner. It didn't pull as well but it still tasted incredible (I soaked it with Steven's vinegar sauce and put it in the refrigerator. I eat a sandwich of it everday and it seems to get better every time). The steaks turned out ok. I am still in the process of learning the art of cooking a good steak (I think I learned for the first time that night that it is an art). I had ribeyes that were sliced too thin and so they came out cooked more than I wanted but my wife loved them. My friends brought some NY strips that turned out perfectly medium, but they liked theirs well done so that was another flop. Anyway, I enjoyed it all.
I cooked some steaks again on Tuesday (My grocery store had a sale) and they turned out incredibly. I tried the two chimney starter thing that you talked about and it worked great. I had a fire hot enough and big enough to cook both NY strips and 2 ears of corn.
Thanks for the ideas for my grate. I never thought of that! If I wanted to get a second grate, what would you recommend putting the two grates together with?
One trick I find that helps is if you place briquettes (6 or 7) in the bottom of the chimney then fill the rest of the way with lump. Be careful not to have a too dense fill of lump or the air flow will be restricted.