Tom's BIG GREEN EGG Mods Page
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BGE Mod #1 - Replacing the (too small) casters on the Large BGE
The first thing I noticed about my (large-model) BGE (which is housed
in the formed steel bar 'nest' support) was that it was (really)
difficult to horse around on the 2 X 4 slats of my back deck. The (too
small) casters which came on my model managed to catch in the groove
between floor slats and this made pushing pulling, or turning the BGE
rather difficult at times... to the point that a couple times, when I
had to PUSH it back under the edge of the roof (due to rain), I almost
turned it over because the back wheels 'caught' and almost allowed the
grill to flip backwards.
My solution to the problem was to go to a
local Harbor Freight
store and to purchase four (4) 4" casters with threaded mounting
studs. The casters all has ball bearing swivels, so I welded two of
the casters so they could not swivel.
I then removed the BGE from its 'nest' (a take
in itself, given the
weight of the BGE sections), removed the casters (one at a time),
drilled out the mounting holes to a size appropriate for the new
casters, mounted the (2) fixed-position casters at the rear of the
'nest', with the caster itself rotated as far to the rear of the nest
as possible (better stability), and finished by mounting the (2)
moveable caster at the front of the nest.
The steel bars in the 'nest' may be 'springy' to the
point that they won't want to stay in position once the original
caster is removed! Use a pair (or two) of ViseGrip pliers to hold
the steel pieces together while you drill them to the new mounting
hole diameter. Also beware that the drill bit may want to 'grip'
as it goes through the bar, so be careful that you don't beat your-
self up while enlarging the holes.
Once the BGE was reassembled with the new
casters, it has been
so much easier to move around on the back deck. Worth every
minute (hour) of my time.
BGE Mod #2 - Keeping the Fire
Grate From Being Displaced While
Agitating the (Cold) Charcoal to Get Rid of the Left Over Ashes
About the 3rd time I used my BGE, while
preparing for that evening's
grilling, I was busily agitating yesterdays unburned charcoal and
ashes to move the ashes into the clean-out chamber. I managed to
'hook' the device I was using to agitate the ashes under an edge of
the fire grate, lifting the grate up just enough that a few pieces of
charcoal were able to sneak between the grate and the side of the
BGE, allowing a lot more charcoal to be dumped down into the
clean-out chamber and not allowing the grate to be properly 'seated'
within the BGE body.
I wound up having to remove ALL of the
unburned charcoal from
the BGE in order to properly re-seat the fire grate.
This occurred again a few weeks later... but
this time I took steps
to ensure that it didn't happen again.
I removed the fire grate, measured the INSIDE
DIAMETER of the
throat of the BGE body at the point where the fire grate sits,
drilled (4) holes in the fire grate at the appropriate points,
installed some large/long screws (threads DOWN), so that when
the fire grate was installed, the screws prevented the grate from
being displaced sideways if I happened to catch an edge with
my clean-out tool.
to view a PDF of the modification to the fire grate.
BGE Mod #3 - Making the
(Plastic) Work Surfaces of the BGE
Removable, For Cleaning
If you have your BGE in a 'nest' with the
plastic fold-up trays,
it won't be long before you realize that the (dull) top surface of
the trays catches and holds onto every little bit of dirt/grease it
can find! And trying to do a decent job of cleaning the work trays
was (for me at least) a pain in the back side because I couldn't
remove them (easily) from the grill stand to take them inside for
a decent cleaning. I needed a way to be able to remove the trays
from the grill stand, but WITHOUT having to bring 'tools' into the
equation every time I wanted to remove them.
I looked at the tray pull-out and securing
method and decided
that there was a small chunk of metal in each of the tray supports
that really didn't do much work at all.. in fact, I thought I might be
able to remove it and still have full functionality of the tray, while
being able to remove the tray for cleaning. Here's a (small) picture
of how I handled the problem.
All I had to do was to remove a 1/4" wide
chunk of the BOTTOM
EDGE of each of the mounting screw slots for each of the (4) plastic
With the mounting screw slot now open, the tray (while is its laid
down' position) can be merely lifted up about 1/4" (vertically) to the
point the the mounting screw can slide through the slot, allowing
the tray to be removed.
For normal use, all I need to do is to lift the tray outward (with a
slight bit of 'pull' on it, to cause the mounting screw to remain at
the rear of the slot, and then to seat the trap once it's horizontal.
Reinstalling the trays once they've been
cleaned requires nothing
more than holding them vertically and sliding their (2) mounting
screws through the cutouts.
to see a larger image of the modification.
AND ANOTHER THING...
BGE Mod #4 - Repairing the Top Vent Cover
When purchased, I noticed that the moveable
'vanes' on the BGE top
vent cover were 'sloppy' in that the vanes part of the cover didn't
turn smoothly and that it 'slopped' around the screw which held it in
place on the main vent cover body. Then I realized that the hole in
the moveable part of the cover was (MUCH!) too large for the screw
which secured the two pieces of the cover together. In fact, the hole
was so large (oversized) that the entire moveable cover could be
slipped off, over the large washer which was intended to hold the two
To fix this problem, I disassembled the vent
cover, cleaned all residue
from grilling (grease/smoke/etc/) from the inside edge of the moveable
cover mounting hole, covered the TOP SIDE of the mounting hole
with a layer of black plastic electrical tape, and then mixxed and filled
the oversized mounting hole with J-B Weld epoxy. If you're not
familiar with with J-B Weld, it's an epoxy mixture which contains
metal in its mixture, allowing it to develop greater strength than most
epoxies. It can also be 'machined' and drilled readily.
Once the J-B Weld had fully set (24 hours), I
determined where the
'center' of the moveable vane cover should be located and I drilled a
new hole for the mounting screw. I reassembled the top cover, using
the original screw and washer. THIS time there was NO unwanted
'sloppiness' in the moveable cover and it rotates cleanly, as expected.
Here are some pix of the repaired moveable
vane cover. The 'gray'
material is the new J-B Weld filler. You can see how badly oversized
the original hole had been made.
And a close-up of just the filled hole (top & bottom sides).
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