For quite a while now (ok, since about a week after I got my Weber Silver (WS) bbq), I’ve been acquiring accessories. First was the rotisserie. Then the charcoal holders, then the Smokenator, then the Pizza Oven, then the hinged grates, then the IQ110 temperature controller, then the remote dual thermometers. Sheesh, it seemed like the draining from my wallet would NEVER end!
All these accessories, while really nice, didn’t address my main complaint about the WS. It only has 363 sq. in. of cooking surface. Put on a slab of ribs cut in half and you’ve pretty much filled up the cooking area. NOTE: I prefer either St. Louis style or flat ribs, not those wimpy baby back ribs.
Now at our house, we’re not exactly a 1 meat per cookout household. If I’m gonna do some decent bbq, I want at LEAST 2 kinds of meat. Ribs and chicken, chicken and pork chops, chicken and steak, brisket and ribs, hot dogs and burgers and chicken…..you get the idea. Sooo, I bought a second WS. Great! Now I’m up to 726 sq. in.! Hooray! Now I can do a slab of ribs and a split chicken. Or a small brisket (REAL small brisket) and a slab of ribs. Or a split chicken (split in half) and a small brisket. Whooppee!!
Well, not exactly big whooppee, though. What if I want to invite our friends who have 4 kids plus the parents? Yeah, I can cook in 2 batches. Burgers and hot dogs for the kids first, followed by the “real” bbq for the grownups. Only thing is,the kids usually really like my ribs, too. And I cook the burgers and hot dogs high and fast, but everything else low and slow, so I’ve got to let the grill cool waaayyyy down. What to do, what to do, what to DOOOO?????
After looking around, I found a cool accessory named the Rib-O-Lator that consists of 4 pans that attach to the rotisserie and go round and round ferris wheel style, cooking like the bbq joints cookers. Excellent idea! But, after reading a lot of reviews for it, it seems like unless you have the thing adjusted juuuuuuuuust right, it’ll flip your food out onto the coals. BUMMER! (Yeah, I grew up in the 60s and 70s with the hippies! LOL) Plus I’d need to get another rotisserie. Plus 2 sets of the pans (which are $100/set + shipping). I don’t think so!!
There’s another accessory that sits on top of the regular grill and is basically another complete grill rack. It gives an extra 247 sq in. cooking surface, for a total of 550 sq. in cooking surface. Now we’re getting somewhere! Only problem is, it’s almost $38 with shipping included. YIKES! Two of them, one for each of my WS grills comes to $76! OUCH! Plus, it only sits 2″ above the regular grill. You ever measured how thick a piece of brisket is? Or a half chicken? 2 inches? Heck, that’s nowhere near enough height to let smoke circulate!
OK, I looked around my bbq extra goodies and I had 2 old round charcoal holders from my old keg grill that were 19″ in diameter, but a bit rusty. That works out to 254 sq in each. Hmmmmmmm, they’re 19″, the WS is 22.5″, so they do indeedy fit on top of the regular grill with a bit left over. OK, but how to get them to fit on top, a minimum of 3″ above the grill? After looking around online, I saw several folks who had welded legs onto a similar grill and were using that. Outstanding idea! Only problem: I don’t have a welder. Drat!
I considered several possibilities. Bending some wire to hold it up. Flimsy, would probably fall over and dump my food Buying a little welder. More expensive than buying the HoverGrills. Using pieces of brick? Hmmm, not too bad an idea, but they’re only 2″ high. OK, 2 would give me the 4″ height I’m looking for. But I only have whole bricks. I’m not really good at splitting bricks evenly, so that was out. What to do, what to do, what to DO??
I mentioned what I was thinking to Sweetie late this morning. She thought for about 30 seconds and said “Why not use some long bolts?” BINGO!! 4 1/2″ carriage bolts, some 1 1/4″ washers, a few nuts. WOOHOO!! Sweetie’s absolutely BRILLIANT!
So off to the nearest hardware/lumber yard. I got 10 ea 4 1/2″ X 5/16″ carriage bolts, 30ea 5/16″ X 1 1/4″ washers, and 50ea 5/16″ nuts. Looked like this:
I got out the dremel tool and sanded off the grill and got it nice and shiny. Then I took a bolt, screwed a nut on all the way to the head, added 2 washers, another nut screwed almost to the washers, then I separated the washers, put one on the top of the grill, one on the bottom of the grill then screwed the bottom nut down, sandwiching the grill grate wires between the washers. I squoze the wires together a little to make a better fit between the washers. I did that 4 times, once at each “corner” and once again in the middle. After all, we don’t need the top grill to sag onto the meat on the bottom grill, do we?? Of course not! LOL
Then I put another nut on the bottom of each bolt, screwed it on about 1/2″, then slipped on another washer. Just one this time. Then another nut and tightened it against the lower washer. Did that for each bolt. What I ended up with was a grill that was held up almost 4″ above the bottom washers and adjustable in height using the bottom nuts. I slipped that on top of my grill on my WS and voila!! There it was! My very own GrillTopper (pat. pending! LOL)! Yep, I did 2 of them, one for each grill. 🙂 🙂
These puppies give me a total cooking area of 617 sq. in. per grill and adjustable height of 1″-4″. That’s a total of 1234 sq. in. of cooking space if/when I use both of the WS grills. Now we’re talking!! That’s enough for 4 slabs of ribs or 4 whole chickens (split in half) or 2 slabs of ribs and 2 whole chickens (split in half) or a couple of small briskets and 2 slabs of ribs or a couple of small briskets and 2 whole chickens (split in half) or 4 whole chickens (split in half) or a ton of chicken leg quarters or enough wings to feed an army or heat buns on the GrillTopper and burgers and hot dogs underneath or garlic bread on the topper and anything else underneath or…………..ok, you get the idea. 🙂
And I spent a whopping $14.50 for the parts to make my GrillToppers. WOOHOO!
Finally, if I want to use only one of my WS grills, I can put on the rotisserie extender (with or without the rotisserie?? Hmm, gonna have to check.) and stack the 2nd GrillTopper onto the 1st GrillTopper and have 3 surfaces to cook on. That’d be great for smoking stuff only, because I don’t know if the heat would circulate enough. Hmmmm, sounds like I’ll have to experiment a bit. Darn the luck!! LOLOL
Thank you Sweetie!