Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hot modified BBQ

Original Magma BBQ
Some of us have BBQ's on our boats, which after time, seem to not perform as well when new, and in my case had an annoying feature. Mine progressively produced less heat and had  grill bars which allowed fluids to drip into a "catch tray" but often overflowed and dripped on my deck. In the end I couldn't bbq any way, because the heat from the element just seemed to die.
With the cost of new BBQ's being very expensive, I decided to rebuild the unit myself and hopefully save some money.

So, first I "gutted" the heating element from the BBQ. Then I purchased a 5.5KW, two ring propane burner. This I purchased in New Zealand for about $30USD from a hardware store, but I remember that these where very common in the islands at most of their hardware stores. They use them to put large pots on to cook with.

Two ring burner

Next I cut the end of the BBQ with a Dremel to open up to allow the valves of the burner to protrude through and allow gas hookup.

Next I purchased a BBQ plate with it's own raised ridges and channels for fluid to drain away from the meat. The BBQ plate was a generic plate and wasn't quite the right size for my

Control valves for gas. Comes with burner.

Magma. I used a metal cutting wheel and cut to size. But to keep all fluids produced while BBQing, I welded a metal strip along where I had cut. The BBQ plate came with handles at the sides, which proved to be a bonus for handling the plate. Plate cost $15USD from the BBQ Factory Store.
Finally, I purchased a small 3KG propane tank along with a new regulator and hose. The tank had a bracket made for it so that it could be mounted on the railing close to the BBQ.

BBQ plate in place. Metal strip at front.

Finally, to "season" the plate, a coating of oil, was rubbed into the plate and the plate "cooked" to allow for the burn in.
It is now important to heat the plate and then turn down the heat, because it actually gets too hot and burns off the seasoning. Cooking steaks is now a great success, with the steaks being seared on the plate with ease, rather than a slow broiling which use to happen. All guests have declared my BBQ steaks  to be wonderfully cooked.
All fluids seem to "evaporate", including fats, so it is important to spray periodically with oil to keep the "seasoning" up. Otherwise the plate will just turn rusty.

Bottle to BBQ
Cost for the BBQ mods. $45USD and about a days work looking in the stores and the workshop work. A small piece of scrap mild steel strip I had lying around and a welding machine was needed in addition to the dremel and steel cutting wheel on the angle grinder.

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