Jump to content
underthehood

Mod for Older Genesis Grills

Recommended Posts

So I have been looking at some of the modifications Weber made to the new style Genesis grills. One thing I found intriguing are those heat deflectors found under the burners with the "tent" running in the same direction as the burners.

So I got to thinking what these things accomplish: First I believe they accomplish putting more heat "upward" to make the grill more efficient (hence the lower BTU compared to earlier models) but another thing I think it did (as Broil King did something similar after Consumer Reports made them into blazing infernos) is help eliminate flaming grease dropping into the grease trapping system and causing the meltdowns we read about so many times when someone got forgetful :rolleyes: or a little careless in maintaining their grill(s). Simply this would act as a second layer of "vaporizer" and catch this problem BEFORE it happens. Think about it: Since the redesign have we read ANYWHERE about someone having one catch fire? I know I haven't.

So having a "walkabout" yesterday (couple NEEDED vacation days) at Menard's I came across an idea to modify the older Genesis like this. So I found these items Char-Broil Drip Vaporiser Bar Universal Fit. High quality SS and made in USA model 4544 (see all photos). I bought 2 sets.

I also just recently (because I forgot to clean the grease funnel) had a pretty good conflagration going in it. So I left it as is and did this mod (see photos) and decided to cook up a big bunch of freshly ground chuck burgers and do my best to make a fire. Voila' none zip nada. Added benefit I could cook effectively at lower BTU (heat setting) got GREAT sear and again NO FIRE even with all the grease and fuel I left behind from the last time :)

All this cost me was about $20 and 5 minutes of my time. I will keep reporting on it but I think I hit on something so good I am going to do a similar mod to my Summit and my little Spirit 500 and also recommend it to my neighbor who bought my other Genny from me.

I apologize for the crappy photo quality but I used my cell phone. Notice all the grease stains on the tents BTW. I REALLY think I hit on something great!

post-8321-0-34440600-1344606749_thumb.jpg

post-8321-0-99484300-1344606769_thumb.jpg

post-8321-0-05631000-1344606779_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks like a great idea, hood! The only thing I can think of to check would be if there is any excessive heat being directed toward the hoses or the more delicate parts at the ends of the burners. I wouldn't think so.

 

I mention that because I just read an article that said people today should NEVER clean their grills by wrapping their grates in HD aluminum foil as the heat produced can cause unexpected (and severe) damage. Apparently the idea was to turn the grill up high and let the extreme heat build and reduce any drippings, etc. to ash. But today's grills aren't usually built of cast iron, and thus the heat can be damaging.

 

Rich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far so good. Ran it today again to cook some breakfast sausages. It got plenty hot, plenty fast. I even left it way up figuring it may force it to trigger a conflagration but nope just lots of heat. I checked everything to the sides and all and again no issues. I really think this may have hit on something. I also noticed the heat is more even front to back side to side. I will use it long term and not clean it. But really my theory on the grease fires is the burner tents do a great job protecting the burners and directing grease away from them but I think that same grease can flare up or be at a critical ignition temp, than drop in to the deposits in the pan and it's like a match to gasoline. Add in the heat under those tents (some reflected downward) and you really have a potential problem.

Not sure why it took Weber so long to see this and install what they did but I am sure this is why. Seems to me with as many complaints as I have seen around the net about it and threats of legal action they would come up with a mod kit. Either way I think I will reduce my gas jet sizes now and save fuel along with cook very efficiently.

I will keep the group posted as I do this.One thing I think I may do is change the angle of these tents to be a little more shallow. Hence a slightly wider spread. I want to take some measurements and calculations before I mod my mod. But I think a slightly (1/4 to 1/2") wider spread per piece will be beneficial

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unsure if you are retaining the original 5 long "tents" with your cooking experiment.

 

An observation after having 100+ used grills pass under my nose, If you don't keep those burner tubes covered they can soon develop long rusted out slits running along the factory opening, making huge flames, & requiring replacement.

 

 

 

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah definitely NOT leaving burners uncovered. That would be dumb. BTW I just did this mod yesterday on my dad's old Genesis 2000. His is on propane. Same EXCELLENT results. I cooked salmon for dinner. It got rippin' hot FAST oddly it did not get any hotter than it ever did (something I noticed in mine too), Just got there faster. Got wonderful sear marks even though doing the cook with heat turned down. It seems the grills are able to hold higher temps at lower gas use but I think the venting on the lid maintains them not getting overly hot for the BTU put in. Don't know any better way to explain it. All I know is this works so well I wanted to share it with all here who like me may be a little forgetful on cleaning that grease funnel. I noticed too another benefit that not as much grease gets to the little drip pan underneath. It becomes more efficient at burning off drippings before they become goo in the pan. I don't know why Weber did not come out with a mod like this but I can tell ya I AM impressed. Another benefit I noticed is that as long as my dad has had that grill it has had a definite hotter side. I spaced those fillets out and found the grill was just about dead even side to side and front to back. Mirroring what I saw in my own Genny II.

For a mod so easy and cheap it's soooooooo worth it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the updates and observations, hood. Despite no longer having the earlier Genesis, I continue to be fascinated by how it functions and the engineering involved (or is that different ways of saying the same thing? :unsure: ).

 

I agree that the venting design probably keeps the heat maximum at about the same. The unobstructed flow of air from below that existed before adding these reflectors, may have had something to do with the slower rate of increase, but I suspect that just reflecting the radiant heat back is the bigger part of why it heats faster. In a way, having the same max heat is reassuring.

 

And your comments also bring me to say that anyone else who wants to do this is probably making a good and safe mod, but I would be careful about making this heat reflector mod AND the gasket around the front and sides mod (or any modification that affects air flow). Emphasis on BOTH at the same time. Assuming the venting is important to the max heat, then blocking some of that venting (around the front and sides forcing exhaust only out the back) could change the dynamics. Either one alone appears to be quite safe. It may be that doing both would be safe, but I'm remembering that when I did BOTH the gasket mod and another mod which ALSO reduced the REAR exhaust venting, THAT COMBINATION generated an unsafe condition which led to a significant FLAME BURST.

 

For my part, if I had my older Genesis I would still implement your mod as well as trying with the gasket mod -- but I know now to be very cautious and to test a variety of conditions including using the burners at MED levels and also using only one or two burners while monitoring the flame levels in the grill. (On the older models, flame can be monitored through the roto ports or the match port.) If any flame flutter is observed or ANY flame-out is seen, turn off the gas before opening. In my specific case with the gasket and partially blocked rear vent, air flow seemed to be impeded, propane collected and when I opened the lid an unexpected burst of flame came out at me. I used the above procedure to repeat the conditions and determine what I think was the problem (lacking air flow and impeding propane ignition).

 

I want to also emphasize to everyone that I think these grills are absolutely and totally safe as designed. But if you make ANY modification, YOU are responsible for ensuring you have not unknowingly introduced unsafe conditions. Frankly, I was lucky. Both underthehood's heat reflector mod and the gasket mod appear to be safe individually. If anyone does both, please use caution and let us know how it all worked out.

 

Be safe. :ph34r:

 

Rich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Under et al.

 

I checked, the nearest Menards is 510 miles from me. I'll have to foot an additional 10 bucks to pick these babies up. I like the idea and think i'll give 'em a try, but I will heed Rich's warnings as I remember when he tried to stop a flare up with his face.

 

Thanks for the concept,

 

elliot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far there has been no issues at all. No fires or flare ups. Nothing, zip, nada. Again though keep in mind this is an unmodified grill (no gaskets or back of hood closures). All I did was slip in these 2 pieces and the results have been outstanding. If you look at the photos you'll see they do not close off the bottom of the unit. There is still lots of ventilation space, flame propagation has not changed on the burners, no readjustment of any kind was needed.

As I use it even more with different foods I of course will keep the group posted. I think the biggest test is chicken . I think chicken is the hardest thing to cook without flame ups. I may do that this weekend. Right now only positives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've definitely had fires in my 330, but they've always been on the deflector shields (wait... isn't that Star Trek?....) and never in the drip tray itself. I think you're on to something here, Hood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was going to do an update here anyway. So far I have done everything wrong you could do to an older Genny with the idea to see if I can even get a fire started. Zip, nada nothing. I even tried cooking bacon in it which of course will flare up but other than some "flashes" nothing in the pan. Than later in the day I cooked a marinated chuck eye steak with rippin' high heat for my great "sear" still nothing. Note I STILL have not cleaned the grease funnel.

I have also not heard of anyone setting my dad's old Genny on fire either. IMHO anyone with an old Genny who does not do this mod is missing the boat. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I am dumb. Do you still have the regular flame tamers in there at their normal positions, as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I am dumb. Do you still have the regular flame tamers in there at their normal positions, as well?

 

You're not dumb..................................the flame tamers are there just as always I only took them out for being able to take the photo. Otherwise you would not see the mod the flame tamers would cover it. BTW the difference in how well that grill behaves and cooks is so amazing I cannot describe it. Both mine and my dad's. They were fantastic grills before but this has elevated them to new heights. Cannot believe $23 worth of items can transform them like this. I now can truly see why Weber did this to the new Genesis line.

Yooper maybe you can tell us if they added those deflectors to the new Spirit line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morning gents,

 

I should be getting shipment of the reflectors from amazon sometime today (at least that's what the tracking says.) Looking forward to utilizing them. I will be cautious however, as i have the perimeter of my genny gasketed on three sides. I'll try to monitor the flame through the peep hole to make sure that its height doesn't vary. Looking at the factory heat reflectors, I see that they're slotted perhaps for air flow as well. I will post any findings after the installation. Should there be a difference, the reflectors will have to take back seat to gasket around the hood. It's crucial (imho) for the low and slo cooking I do on the genny, to obtain substantial smokey enhancement to the food.

 

Rich, have you gasketed your new genny without any airflow issues? I don't remember it you applied it to your new baby as well. You might have mentioned it at one point.

 

Anyways, as i said, I'm looking forward to trying your suggestion. As good as the genny is, it's still fun to improvise and draw as much performance from something as one possibly can. As long as it's reversible and caution is used throughout the process.

 

Thanks again and be well,

elliot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're not dumb..................................the flame tamers are there just as always I only took them out for being able to take the photo. Otherwise you would not see the mod the flame tamers would cover it. BTW the difference in how well that grill behaves and cooks is so amazing I cannot describe it. Both mine and my dad's. They were fantastic grills before but this has elevated them to new heights. Cannot believe $23 worth of items can transform them like this. I now can truly see why Weber did this to the new Genesis line.

Yooper maybe you can tell us if they added those deflectors to the new Spirit line.

I will have to give this whirl. I have to admit that I am intrigued.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FIGURES:

 

I received the incorrect part so it'll be a little while before I can evaluate this latest modification for an already perfect grill.

 

Speak to ya soon,

 

elliot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have too much trouble maybe I can pick them up and send to you. Funny only Menard's carries them I checked Home Depot, and Lowes and did not find them. I found a multiple V type made of porcelain steel that actually did the job pretty well using only one for the little spirit 500 I have. Performance improvement seems about like the Genesis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sears, amazon and a few others have them. Just a sample of America's finest workforce, someone messed up. Thanks for the offer mr. hood but at this point i don't feel like paying twice.

 

All of these years, I never inquired: Are you under your grill or automotive hood?

 

Enjoy,

elliot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morning gents,

 

...

 

Rich, have you gasketed your new genny without any airflow issues? I don't remember it you applied it to your new baby as well. You might have mentioned it at one point.

 

Anyways, as i said, I'm looking forward to trying your suggestion. As good as the genny is, it's still fun to improvise and draw as much performance from something as one possibly can. As long as it's reversible and caution is used throughout the process.

 

Thanks again and be well,

elliot

 

Hey, elliot. Yes, I have the gasket (actually a thicker gasket as that on the first grill got very compressed) and it's working fine as far as the smoke. No noticeable heat improvement as I think the new features on this grill have got it going about as hot as it can.

 

Regardless, there was no issue with the gasket on the hotter grill. I think you'll be able to safely use both the gasket and hood's upgrade, but as you say, watch carefully at first. And let us know how it goes.

 

Rich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sears, amazon and a few others have them. Just a sample of America's finest workforce, someone messed up. Thanks for the offer mr. hood but at this point i don't feel like paying twice.

 

All of these years, I never inquired: Are you under your grill or automotive hood?

 

Enjoy,

elliot

 

The "underhood" was meant with a nod to cars. I am an old gear head. Nowadays though I seem to be "underthehood" of my grills ;-) Still wrenchin' but not for pay any more. My bud who I ran my side business with died so I just kinda hung it up. Gettin' too old to crawl around on concrete any more anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×