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Thread: Comparing Restoring a Broilmaster to a Weber

  1. #1
    TVWBB Diamond Member Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    Comparing Restoring a Broilmaster to a Weber

    I have been pretty busy working on my so slow, but steady Skyline project and on a first generation "flat top" 26" kettle on which I am also swapping in the ash pan from a 22". And, I have also worked on that 22 with the goal of selling to make room (somewhere!) for the 26. In between these projects, and my never ending honey-do list, I have started working on my Broilmaster grill parts.

    I previously posted that I purchased a beautiful Broilmaster from a really nice couple which had an unused hood, firebox, burner and grates.



    In addition the seller included several cases of more stainless grates and 2 more burners, one never taken out of the box! On top of that, he threw in the cart pieces, hood, and firebox from an older broken down Broilmaster:



    As I mentioned, before, I decided to restore the old one, canibalizing parts that I needed from the "good" one. The final goal will be to replace these used parts with new ones so that the "good" grill will be essentially all-new. I then hope to sell and recoup as much of my investment as possible. Meanwhile, the "old" parts are making for a fun project.

    The cart was in two pieces and appeared to have perhaps fallen over at some time, wrenching out the stand from the rolling base. To Broilmaster's great credit the stainless was all high-grade, non-magnetic and despite laying out in a pile beside the seller's house were in readily restorable condition. (See my "Does Bar Keeper's Friend Work?" post.) I did have to wire brush the caster holders, but they were still in solid condition. The plastic large wheels are heavy duty and much more robust than the Weber plastic wheels.



    I am working hard to keep my cash outlay on this fix-up low. This will be my keeper if it works as well as advertised. First I had to shear off the remnants of the old bolts:



    I went ahead and picked up some stainless hardware, including large washers to help reconnect the cart base and stand:




    So, now I had a rebuilt frame. Compared to Weber, working with this simple all high-grade stainless was really pretty easy. It is maybe a little comparable to working on the 2005-6 Genesis Platinum frame that is also all high-grade stainless. No rust removal, no sanding, no repainting!

    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Jon Tofte; 06-24-2018 at 06:13 PM.
    Genesis Platinum Skyline 3200 CharQ,Q2200"Flat-top" 26 Kettle Red,Black 22 1Touch Platinum, Black '74 18, SJ. 2 many projects!

  2. #2
    TVWBB Pro Jeff MA's Avatar
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    Jon,
    I'll be following your Broilmaster restore as it appears to be a quality product. It sure looks a lot easier to assemble than a Weber grill.
    Can't wait to view the finished product.

    Jeff

  3. #3
    TVWBB Diamond Member Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    Comparing Restoring a Broilmaster to a Weber

    PART TWO:

    With a frame to now mount the firebox to, it was time to go to work on that. The Broilmaster firebox is a lot like Weber's, solid cast aluminum. Some say it is thicker, but I don't have calipers to compare. The firebox on this "P4" Broilmaster is more square than the rectangular Weber Genesis ones. Probably comparable in total square inches. The Broilmaster firebox is VERY DEEP. This apparently is part of what makes them such good grill, overcoming the flare-up issues in spite of not using flavorizer bars. In the old days, they used lava rocks, and the seller even included a couple bags of them. What a hoot to see those after so many years! Now, Broilmaster promotes ceramic tiles with holes in them; as a lesser option they offer the ceramic pyramid "briquettes". I purchased a set of the tiles that Broilmaster offers to use in the "new" grill to help with resale. I think I used some Amazon points; I hope so because they were pricey. Later I found a different brand for $27, so I am going to use those on my "old" keeper grill. I was going to reuse the "briquettes" but these tiles make a lot more sense to me and get excellent reviews.

    So, I tackled the firebox:





    It was pretty crusty, but no worse than some Weber ones I have worked on. It cleaned up similarly, although the deep firebox takes longer. Also, there are some crevices that I finally gave up on when even my drill-mounted small brush couldn't get to them. I probably could have gotten it with a wire wheel brush, but I had enough and was happy overall with how it turned out:



    I painted the outside black as it was originally. Speaking of paint, I tried out something I hadn't seen before: Krylon High Heat. It comes in a very nice satin black. The best part is that it drys in a half-hour - a huge blessing when you are doing a project like this!



    The Krylon paint went on well, and I really like the satin sheen. It is much richer black than Rustoleum's regular High Heat, and I like it better - so far - than Rustoleum's Ultra, too. I think it came out decently:



    TO BE CONTINUED
    Genesis Platinum Skyline 3200 CharQ,Q2200"Flat-top" 26 Kettle Red,Black 22 1Touch Platinum, Black '74 18, SJ. 2 many projects!

  4. #4
    TVWBB Diamond Member Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    Comparing Restoring a Broilmaster to a Weber - PART THREE

    PART THREE

    So I installed the firebox. The box attaches to the stand with four bolts. (I bought new stainless ones since the old ones were long gone.) It is a solid connection, but I think Weber's frame design is stronger. The firebox has a drain hole in the back. I noticed when rinsing out the aluminum residue that the water did, in fact, find its was to this hole. It is a much different arrangement than Weber's large and removable drip tray. It will be interesting to see if the extra deep box and ceramic tiles does enough to prevent a quick accumulation of sludge at the bottom of the grill. The hole feeds to a removable drip pan underneath. It is stainless. Like Weber's it is intended to hold foil replaceable trays.



    It was hard to find these! (Maybe that's why I found a piece of foil shaped to fit into this tray. As you can see, it didn't work so great.) Broilmaster now uses a stainless cup to collect grease, so the foil trays aren't readily available. One place wanted $9.95 for ONE!!!! I finally found a place that charged only $.70 each and since I found some other parts I needed there at a very good price I didn't get hammered with shipping.

    I took apart the control panel and manifold from the "new" grill. These parts were not new, so replacing them later with new ones will hopefully improve the saleability, while the "used" parts are certainly fine with me. Compared to Weber, the manifold and control panel (stainless, at least) are much smaller and lighter. I have no idea what this really means for long-term viability.





    Then it was time to install the control panel. This was also an old part, and over time, the label had worn away. The seller used a marker to indicate the burner settings. I think this hurt him in his advertisement for selling what was otherwise a beautiful grill:



    (Well, when I say “beautiful” that is in a relative sense. The Broilmaster is not a very flashy or particularly attractive grill. In fact, it is kind of homely and looks a lot like those cheap 1970’s grills...)

    I was able to find a replacement decal which I will be putting on soon. Meanwhile, I removed the worn-out old one and cleaned off the residue:



    The control panel has four little "stick" extensions that I guess are what you are supposed to use as tool holders if you don't spring for the additional side or front tables. I thought they were kind of a joke. A couple were bent so I straightened them:

    Last edited by Jon Tofte; 06-25-2018 at 07:08 AM.
    Genesis Platinum Skyline 3200 CharQ,Q2200"Flat-top" 26 Kettle Red,Black 22 1Touch Platinum, Black '74 18, SJ. 2 many projects!

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    TVWBB Diamond Member Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    Comparing Restoring a Broilmaster to a Weber - PART FOUR

    PART FOUR

    Under the control panel is a protective cover that goes over the bottom of the manifold and regulator hose. This part is also high-grade stainless, but unfortunately, it is held to the cart stand with two flimsy side extensions. One was already gone, and the other broke off in my hand while I was examining it. Again, trying to keep the cost down on this project I decided to forgo an expensive replacement part and fabricate my own repair. I found brackets at my local Ace that were the perfect size. All I had to do was drill some holes in the sides of this shroud. My Harbor Freight special step drill bits got their first real test:



    They worked like a charm, and my patch job came out pretty nice, I think:



    I am waiting for a "wind deflector shield" for the bottom of the firebox. Then it will be time to reinstall the burner and then the briquette rack and ceramic tiles.

    Meanwhile, there is the hood that I still need to wirebrush and paint. It is, I mean WAS, green:



    The Broilmaster hood is also all cast aluminum. They claim it helps hold heat well. Being a one-piece construction, it is simpler and therefor probably easier to restore than a Weber hood with it separate sides, bolts, and badge. (Broilmaster's logo is cast into the aluminum itself!)

    Broilmaster currently paints the top and bottom of their grills black, and I am leaning that way, especially since I like the Krylon black paint. But, there is always the temptation to do something snazzy like maybe red...what do you think?
    Last edited by Jon Tofte; 06-25-2018 at 04:30 AM.
    Genesis Platinum Skyline 3200 CharQ,Q2200"Flat-top" 26 Kettle Red,Black 22 1Touch Platinum, Black '74 18, SJ. 2 many projects!

  6. #6
    TVWBB Hall of Fame LMichaels's Avatar
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    Those little "pegs" are not tool holders they are hinge points and catches for the front flip up tray and cup holder

  7. #7
    TVWBB Diamond Member Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMichaels View Post
    Those little "pegs" are not tool holders they are hinge points and catches for the front flip up tray and cup holder
    Thanks, Larry! That makes a lot more sense and probably why they were bent since there had been a front table installed. I still have a lot to learn about these grills. Most of all I really want to TRY ONE!
    Last edited by Jon Tofte; 06-25-2018 at 05:44 PM.
    Genesis Platinum Skyline 3200 CharQ,Q2200"Flat-top" 26 Kettle Red,Black 22 1Touch Platinum, Black '74 18, SJ. 2 many projects!

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    TVWBB Hall of Fame LMichaels's Avatar
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    Be careful Jon. You may end up liking it more than you think. One piece of advice I'll give from personal experience. Those non BroilMaster ceramic tiles are not all that great. They don't hold up and tend to break up and disintegrate pretty quickly. Honestly I found the ceramic briquettes to work the best overall. I can't speak for the actual BM tiles but the ones I tried from Amazon "meh no to hot"

  9. #9
    TVWBB Diamond Member Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMichaels View Post
    Be careful Jon. You may end up liking it more than you think. One piece of advice I'll give from personal experience. Those non BroilMaster ceramic tiles are not all that great. They don't hold up and tend to break up and disintegrate pretty quickly. Honestly I found the ceramic briquettes to work the best overall. I can't speak for the actual BM tiles but the ones I tried from Amazon "meh no to hot"
    Well, I am very open minded and very eager to find out. I appreciate the tips. I looked again, and the ones I got were not from Amazon but from eBay. If you can forgive their name, they are called Grill Greats . There were a number of options, but I chose this brand because of the great price and more importantly strong reviews. Out of 15 reviews on eBay, 13 were 5 and 2 were 4. Of course only time will tell. Maybe I will be lucky!

    The seller did include used ceramic briquettes. I am not sure if there are enough, but I will try them in some kind of comparison once I get this thing DONE!
    Last edited by Jon Tofte; 06-25-2018 at 05:50 PM.
    Genesis Platinum Skyline 3200 CharQ,Q2200"Flat-top" 26 Kettle Red,Black 22 1Touch Platinum, Black '74 18, SJ. 2 many projects!

  10. #10
    TVWBB Hall of Fame LMichaels's Avatar
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    The tiles have merit. My experience is they turn it into a giant infrared burner. (in a manner of speaking). What I saw was once the tiles became really hot the holes actually became like the "pores" of a ceramic IR burner. They DO work for the record just that my experience was they disintegrated pretty easily. I don't recall what brand mine were. Like you they intrigued me but I was put off by the price of the OEM products. So I gave them a try and IIRC these are what I bought https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...FYAJ7I/tvwb-20 The holes actually become like IR emitters and it's a pretty interesting cooking effect and experience. Definitely worth a try though I think the actual BM brand ones would have been better. They're thicker and have more precise coverage.

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