Converting Old Propane Grill to Charcoal

Post
jbones
Junior Burger
2012/06/07 18:52:50
The grates, burners and flame tamer bars need to be replaced on my six year old Char Broil grill, but I think the money would be better spent towards a new propane grill. The body of the grill is still in good shape and cleans up nice, so I'm wondering if I can use it as a charcoal grill.  If so, what's involved in the conversion?  Do the grates need to be of a specific material for charcoal?  Can the grill bottom withstand the heat of the charcoal?  Would there be any easy way to clean up the ashes?  Thanks in advance!
 
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Converting Old Propane Grill to Charcoal 2012/06/07 21:09:09
You really don't have to do much to use charcoal.  The grates, top and bottom can both be used.  You need to remove the burner and cover the hole in the bottom of the bowl.
 
With what you'll have, searing and then cooking indirectly would be the way to use it.  You can't adjust the level of the heat.
Re:Converting Old Propane Grill to Charcoal 2012/06/08 08:27:56
If the bottom of the grill body can be safely drilled a couple of Weber 3 or 4-hole vent discs could be adapted to provide airflow control.
Mosca
Filet Mignon
Re:Converting Old Propane Grill to Charcoal 2012/06/08 08:44:39
Although you can do it, I'm not sure it would work as well as a purpose-built charcoal grill. Unless it's just a "can this be done?" project, I don't see the point over just buying a decent Weber.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Converting Old Propane Grill to Charcoal 2012/06/08 15:01:40
Brad, the air adjust vents wouldn't work that well because I gas grill isn't sealed like a charcoal grill.
 
When the lid is closed, there are the two large rotisserie  slots on each side of the hood AND there is a real large air space along the back rim between the hood and bowl.  That's what allows the propane grills to breathe... and not explode.
 
Without sealing them the vents are sort of useless.
 
Mosca... grilling indirect on a repurposed grill will be very similar to the real thing.
 
Why add to the trash pile when it will work fine for a different purpose?
Mosca
Filet Mignon
Re:Converting Old Propane Grill to Charcoal 2012/06/08 17:37:41
I was thinking heat control would be almost impossible for indirect. Maybe for direct, put down a bed of coal and go at it.
Re:Converting Old Propane Grill to Charcoal 2012/06/08 20:46:53
Mar, I understand what you're saying but wouldn't vents on the bottom provide a more direct airflow path for a hotter fire?  For example, my Weber Smokey Joe Platinum has intake vents mounted above the coals and I generally can't get it as hot as a kettle that has vents below the coals; in fact, a common modification for SJP owners is the addition of a single disc vent like the regular Smokey Joe has.
 
I think we should bicker and argue about this until you invite me out to L.A. for a week of grilling.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Converting Old Propane Grill to Charcoal 2012/06/09 00:14:40
Bicker.