by Chris Grech
We're in the middle of summer and it's time to talk about grilling. I enjoy grilling year round but it's the most fun in summer since that's when the most people show up! I've always been a big fan of Weber gas grills for their legendary durability, consistent cooking temperatures and availability of replacement parts when needed.
My old two-burner Weber Genesis Silver needed some love about 5 years ago. At that time the grill had already taken 10 years of heavy use without ever having to replace or fix anything. At that time two of my five flavorizer bars, the V-shaped bars that sit between the burners and the cooking grates, started to fall apart. I did some research and found that Weber sells the same porcelain-enameled bars that came with the grill for $45 as well as an upgrade to stainless steel bars for $70. Naturally I wanted to upgrade to stainless so I did a little more research.
I found a seller on eBay named Rcplanebuyer. He sells stainless steel flavorizer bars that fit my grill for $35. Half the price? What's the catch? There is none. The guy is a professional sheet metal fabricator with over twenty years of experience. The only difference between these and the genuine Weber parts is that the Weber parts are made of a slightly thinner gauge of material, 18ga (.045"), while Rcplanebuyer's are made of 16ga (.062"). That works out to 37% more material. This thicker gauge will hold heat better and last even longer than the Weber parts. I purchased Rcplanebuyer's SS bars and have been extremely happy. They are still going strong after 5 years of hard use and show no signs of deterioration.
My original grilling grates were also starting to warp and fall apart. They unfortunately were not the more robust cast iron grates that come with some higher end Weber grills. Instead they were the stamped ones that could not handle the long term abuse. I contacted Rcplanebuyer on eBay and he makes a set of stainless steel grates for my grill as well. Talk about heavy duty, they are high quality 3/8" type 304 stainless steel rods. They are simple to maintain, hold a lot of heat for perfect searing and show no signs of warping or chipping. I am pretty sure that they will outlive me.
I recently got my hands on a used 15 year-old three-burner Weber Genesis Gold that I fully stripped and rebuilt. Naturally I contacted Rcplanebuyer and he had the right stainless steel bars and grates for my application. They have been working flawlessly since I put them in my grill this year.
Yes, I still have my original two-burner grill. Yes, I have two grills now. Yes, I grill a lot of meat.
Rcplanebuyer has about 30 items in production. He makes stainless steel flavorizer bars and grilling grates for most of the Weber Genesis Grills, some of the Weber Summits and a few of the more popular non-Weber models of grills. If you are serious about grilling and need some parts, I would strongly recommend looking him up. If you need something simply asks if he makes it.Prices vary
eBay user name Rcplanebuyerwww.ebay.com/usr/rcplanebuyer