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Vortex and Grate Discoloration

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    Vortex and Grate Discoloration

    Hey all,

    This isn't meant as a criticism, per se, but more of a data point.

    For reasons that are still obscure to me, I decided to use my brand-new never-cooked-on SnS Easy-Spin grate with my Vortex. (Also the first time I used the Vortex.)

    The SnS Easy-Spin grate is a heavier-duty (SS 304) grate than the stock Weber grate. As this was my first cook on the SnS grate, any effect the Vortex would have on it would be obvious.

    I just finished cleaning the grate and, yes, after just one Vortex use there is an area of significant discoloration in the middle of the grate, directly atop where the Vortex was. The diameter of the discoloration is the same as the top of the Vortex cone. The discoloration is worse and more obvious on the bottom side of the grate than on the top. It is that amber-purple dullness that looks like I took a high-powered torch to the thing. (Which, basically, I did!)

    The bars nor the cross bar have any detectable warpage. The only "issue" is the discoloration.

    I'm not sure how much of an issue this is, if any. I don't know if I'm going to use this grate further with the Vortex, as the SnS grate is a relatively expensive grate and I don't want to weaken/damage it prematurely. SnS does market this grate for their cold-grate searing technique, which subjects a third of the grate to extremely high heat; however, that area of the grate is only subjected to the high heat for 2-3 minutes rather than the 30+ minutes of the Vortex.

    Or maybe I've watched too much of Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke/Fire and think that every cook should start with a grate that appears brand new.

    I have used stainless steel (not chrome) exhaust pipes and mufflers on motorcycles for many years. They don't rust out like chrome will.

    the hottest places are on the pipes immediately exiting the cylinder heads.....stainless steel there turns solid blue. A little further back turns sort of a burnished bronze, then normal shiny steel toward the back away from the heat. Not an issue as to durability. Nothing for you to worry about I think. Just means you are using it!


      Probly not an issue, but rather jus that Th Vortex is Intensively, Concentratedly, So Very Dang Danged HOT

      I has 'a few kettles, an accessories', an I'd haveta reckon it would take cookin one whole HAIL of a buncha wangs, to cause any structural deterioration of that SnS Grate... (I have several, none have failed, much less died...)

      OTOH, I have, over th decades, Roached stock weber plated cookin grills, an charcoal grates, literally by th scores...
      Last edited by Mr. Bones; December 28, 2020, 05:18 PM.


        The discoloration is perfectly natural, and absolutely nothing to worry about. Just go ahead and grill/smoke as much as your heart desires. It's 304 SS, so it's gonna outlast the grill by plenty.


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment

        • bbqLuv
          bbqLuv commented
          Editing a comment
          Yup. +1

        I see my source of confusion! I thought that the stock hinged grate on the Weber was stainless; it is not....it is plated steel. That certainly explains the rust I keep getting on the portion of the stock grate that has sat above the slow and sear for two years now. (I got the Easy-Spin to replace the stock grate.)

        The exhaust pipe explanation helped.


          Yep. Nothing to worry about. The next non-vortex cook you do will restore the "discoloration". My Easy Spin grate "discolors" every time I use it with the vortex. I just think the intense prolonged heat from the vortex kind of sterilizes that area and leaves it kind of ashy looking. I get the same thing if I burn off the grate with the SnS basket. There is no way the grill can get hot enough to damage that grate.


            Click image for larger version  Name:	D761511E-5618-40D7-B03E-DD43A2D9A002.png Views:	0 Size:	796.7 KB ID:	964387

            First time I used the Vortex with my
            standard Weber Kettle grate it discolored and warped it a bit. It still worked fine.

            I’ve upgraded to a SnS grate since then


              Reckon, My very best advice, as a' Kettle Whisperer', is to jus Vortex on, Amigo...

              They's a Whole Wide World of Yardbird, an other Epicurean Delights , yet to be discovered...

              Throw alla dat OG, chrome-plated junk to th side of th Road, an roll ya some 304 SS, fer Th Win...


              • Michael_in_TX
                Michael_in_TX commented
                Editing a comment
                Hehe....as I was cleaning my new SS304 grate today, I tried to also deep clean the old Weber stock grate. I gave it an hour soak in EasyOff, a soak in Dawn, and some serious love with an SOS pad. There's just some stuff I can't get off, or the metal is actually that corroded. I'll just replace it if I think I need another grate! (And it would be a SS304 grate in any case now that I know now what I know now.)

              • Mr. Bones
                Mr. Bones commented
                Editing a comment
                Jus even kinda havin any kinda, even remote inklin, of what ya know now, that ya know now, makes me feel all kinda better , leastwise, bout what I'd 'likedta' think that I do know, now, fer sure, or at least that I actually know now....

                Last edited by Mr. Bones; December 28, 2020, 11:05 PM.

              • ofelles
                ofelles commented
                Editing a comment
                Okay @Mr.Bones I think I have finally figured out your dialect.
                You spent time in SE Asia and picked up some ZEN speak there and you've been in Kansas for awhile now!
                Last edited by ofelles; December 29, 2020, 05:46 PM.


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