Why design a new charcoal
We go looking for a new charcoal grill
Back a few years ago we need a new charcoal grill. We just
spent a bundle on our new deck and outdoor furniture, and wanted to get rid of the rusty
old kettle grill.
We're both avid grillers and amateur chefs, so
we want something to stand up to daily use, blend in with the new deck, and be
And it has to burn charcoal. We really don't like gas
So the plan was to go out and get a high-quality charcoal
grill—something as nice as our neighbor's fancy gas grill—and we're ready to spend more to get it. We just
have to find the right one.
We start at the home stores and are not impressed
with their charcoal grills. Wow! Borderline junk—thin sheet metal, crappy hardware, bad workmanship, and if
there was any thought at all given to design, it's not apparent.
So off to the patio store where we find that only a few
lower-end units even burn charcoal. All the nice grills are gas.
We really can't find one we
We surf the internet, read magazines and send for
There are some innovative grills out there. You
can get yourself ceramic eggs, rolling ovens, starship control panels, and grills that plug into the wall and
burn little wood pellets. Yikes! All we want is a solid, old-fashioned-quality charcoal grill. Why is this so
We know what we want, are willing to spend the money, and
we can't find a great grill? Can you guess what's coming next?
... so we design our own
We start asking around, talking to knowledgeable people about grilling—what they
grill, how they grill, gas vs. charcoal, how to grill the perfect steak, chicken, etc., etc.,—and we hear the same
comments over and over:
"I'd rather cook with charcoal, but
... Lighting it is a hassle."
... I hate the taste of that ligher fluid, and those chimney things are too
... it takes too long when everybody's hungry ... I only use charcoal on
... the grills are hard to clean, and there's more to clean because of the
... once it's lit, you can't really control the heat."
Almost everybody agrees that food tastes better with
charcoal, and with the right design, they'd switch from gas.
We read the classic outdoor cookbooks, study food
science, heat transfer, and grilling technique.We analyze charcoal grills, gas grills, and commercial kitchen
equipment. Then, through a fortunate career opportunity, we get to spend two years working in Germany. We spend
a lot of time checking out grilling ideas from around Europe. The list of features is coming
When we get back to the states, we hire a
professional, with a Masters in design from one of the finest schools in the country, to pull things together.
He puts all our requirements into a system of really cool features backed up with solid practical
The mission is clear, and there are no more excuses. Let's see if we can
actually build one of these things.
We set up shop and start cutting and
Twelve prototypes. Six rounds of hardware. Some of it works,
some of it's scrap metal, but eventually we perfect each feature and merge the prototypes into one core
And then, finally, we hand-build our ultimate grill, and fire
it up. (We call it "product testing" so the food is a business expense.) First we run through the
Everything actually works. And it's not
bad looking—functional and solid—like military equipment:
Charcoal lights fast and clean inside the
grill ... no smelly fluid or hot chimneys. Charcoal lights in windy conditions. Lighting is faster
than usual methods.
Heat control works smoothly and effecively. You can instantly
adjust it by raising and lowering the charcoal ... without touching anything hot. Heat control makes a
difference in how you can grill.
Easy access to tend the fire or add wood chips ... without
opening the cover. Access allows many more options for flavor, texture and timing of the meal.
Clean the entire grill ... including the cooking grate ...
without getting dirty. Grill opens wide for cleaning, disassembles easily, is easy to scrape
Check, check, check!
Let's do some
We start with the basic "grill foods" like steaks,
hamburgers, and chicken. Everything comes out just fine, in fact it's easy to get it perfect. So we
move on to more elaborate ingredients. We smoke, sear, and barbecue.
We experiment with heat adjustment and different
patterns of fire. We add hardwoods, smoke chips, and try all the brands of charcoal, and we're getting some
amazing results! So we get creative: pizza, fruit, shrimp, shish kabob, brisket, ribs all perfected using
the smokey flavors and dry heat as a flavoring ingredient. We find that by adding wood chips, vines, or
green wood to the coals, we get anything from a subtle sweet white smoke to a strong "burn down the house"
taste. You can tailor the smoke to the food. OR you can cook without any smoke at all - just pure, dry, radiant
heat for delicate, subtle flavors.
It's really fun!
For six months we cook almost every meal on the
grill. It's addictive, and we eat like royalty! We soon realize that these grills don't limit you ...
These grills take you to a new level!
Find out more
Please explore our website and learn more about our
grills. Notice the quality, design, and styling.
But also notice the way every feature and function is
"thought through" ... in typical German manner. You're in for a treat.