A couple of weeks ago someone stole my brand new barbecue. Â Wendy had to work that Saturday so we had the Friday off together and decided to take a trip out to Gardiner Dam. Â The boys had a good time seeing the dam with the spillways open and had a nice swim in Lake Diefenbaker.
I made the mistake of ordering a quick lunch at the cafe there and it tasted bad. Â Within 45 minutes I was in pain and realized that something wasn’t right. Â We got home and I laid down for a nap while Wendy went grocery shopping. Â There was a city crew working in the area and I never thought much of it when I heard some noise outside the house. Â Little did I realize it was someone cutting the lock on the barbecue and stealing it in the middle of the afternoon.
After getting mad and then filing my police report, I had a problem. Â Mainly no barbecue. Â
I had an old one in the backyard which I hadn’t taken to the dump yet (thanks to my brother and his truck being busy) It was nice back in the day but had been traded into Weber who donated about 100 of them to the Salvation Army. Â I bought it for $20 about 8 years ago. Â We had just gutted it to fix the barbecue at the cabin so it needed some work. Â Two new grills, new briquettes, a new handle, nob, and tank. Â About $100 worth of repairs but cheaper than the cheap barbecues that Wal-Mart was selling and with the deep bowl, it would do a better job. Â As Wendy pointed out, we do cook some things that do need some space and that factored into my decision.
My first step was to empty out the barbecue of all of the dust, grease, and briquettesÂ pieces that were left. Â I took the scraper and wire brush to the barbecue and really cleaned it out. Â I will paint it next summer (perhaps a colour) with heat resistant paint but for now, I just need to get the job done.
After looking around, I decided to purchaseÂ GrillPro Porcelain Coated Heat Plate which converts you from briquettesÂ to a dispersed heat plate. Â It took 5 minutes to assemble and works as well as my stolen barbecue did. Â It was $23 at Home Depot and in the end saved me from having to replace the bottom grill and the brickettes.
You can drill some holes in the bottom your barbecue and mount this in permanently but mine set right in and we don’t move it at all so I decided against it. Â I had originally bought two of them but then after taking one of them out, I only needed one of them.
For the upper grill, I also picked up a new universal replacement grill. Â It took about 30 seconds to fit and insert but it holds the heat better then the stock grill.Â
I fired up the barbecue and let any of the chemicals burn off. Â We then cooked a couple of beer can chickens on them and the cooking experience was fantastic compared to the briquettes (it was as good as my stolen barbecue). Â If you have not moved from briquettesÂ to one of these heat plates, you really need to. Â It really is a better cooking experience and for $25, it is so cheap to do and easy to install. Â Not only did I save on theÂ briquettes but also the replacement bottom grill. Â
The total cost was $45 to refurbish the barbecue with the upgraded head plate and grill which wasn’t bad. Â I still had to purchase the new tank but in the end, it’s nice to be able to cook outside again. Â If you have a barbecue that you don’t love nearly as much as when you bought it, consider swapping out your briquettes for a new heat plate.