Where to find racks?

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by woodman6437, May 3, 2016.

  1. woodman6437

    woodman6437 Newbie

    Hello, I've been smoking ribs and fish for a few years now in my camp chef propane smoke. I sold it and now am in the process of building a homemade plywood propane smoker. I didn't think about the sizes of racks available for sale during the planning process. I'm trying to find racks 17 in wide and 20 deep. I need 6. Anyone have any suggestions as to where I could find racks this size. The only ones so far are commercial grade and are $60 a pop.

  2. siege

    siege Smoke Blower

    Go to your local steel supplier and look at 3/4" diamond expanded metal. You can get it cut to size, or cut it yourself with an angle grinder.
  3. wayne gray

    wayne gray Newbie

    Did you ever think of using an oven rack.
  4. woodman6437

    woodman6437 Newbie

    I'll check out the expanded metal. I have an angle grinder. As for oven racks, 17x20 is not a standard oven rack size.I've thought about cutting down an oven rack to fit but I want to see what other suggestions folks have first.
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds to me like expanded metal is the way to go.

    It would be a whole lot cheaper than oven racks.

  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Expanded metal works, however you may need to weld edge supports from flat stock to stiffen them up. I'd cut one out out it in your smoker then put 20# of weight on it to see how it reacts. The size of your racks may not defelect. You can get lighter gauge expanded metal in 1'x2' sheets at Home
    depot, Lowes, Ace hardware. These would most definitely need reinforcement.
  7. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Another thought I would get stainless steel expanded metal I have it in my large chicken cooker that can do 120 halves at a time.

  8. woodman6437

    woodman6437 Newbie

    Sounds like expanded steel is the way to go. This might also be an excuse to pick up a welder and learn welding. Thanks for all of the replies.
  9. siege

    siege Smoke Blower

    Sounds like you're headed in the right direction. Here's a couple of random thoughts.....A buddy of mine who welds a lot buys Hollywood bed frames at garage sales and thrift stores, for 5 or 10 bucks when he finds them. Great cheap source of angle iron. Frame up your shelves, make racks to slide them on, make doorways for the smoker, etc.

    Foe others who read this thread later, shelves from old ovens are OK. Shelves from old refrigerators are not recommended, as a lot of them were cadmium plated, and can be dangerous when heated, or when the plating starts to peel.

    To finish your expanded metal shelves, get your barbecue grill good and hot, put them in for about 45 minutes before you go to bed. Turn the grill off, and let them cool overnight, This will remove the oil and rust that may be on them. Spray them with some Pam or other unflavored cooking spray to prevent new rust. When you season the smoker for the first time, spray them again, and leave them in to smoke up. They should stay rust free, and be food safe.
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  10. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You could talk to a plastic surgeon!
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  11. woodman6437

    woodman6437 Newbie

    The plastic surgeon wanted too much money and looked at me funny when I told them I was looking for racks to smoke my meat on. I picked up 6 17x20 expanded metal racks. 90 for the material and cutting and got the leftover material. Seemed like a good deal given that I live in the far north where things are pricey. The racks seem sturdy enough to hold without a frame. Just need to clean the edges up a bit. Here is the almost finished product. Just need to put the sloped roof on, and figure out how to support the water pan.

    Probably need to find something to close up the gaps around the door as well.

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