Van Essential: Folding BBQ grill
Ever since I flattened my BBQ (way back in 2014, nearly a year before I met Kerri), I have been on the prowl for a replacement. OK, I admit my prowling about has been pretty lazy these past two years, and it may have been helped with the fact that Kerri had a little charcoal grill already. We abandoned that BBQ more than a year ago as it was too difficult to store in the back of the truck… being round and all, it tended to spill or end up wedged between bins. It was a pain. So for more than a year now, we have been BBQ-less.
Then comes a few weeks ago when Kerri finds a few options of fold-able grills. Easy to store and portability were both important to us, as 2018 will be spent primarily in the van so the equipment we purchase has to be able to transition to van-life with ease. This is what she found; the Fox Outfitters Medium sized folding grill. (I only gave my “yea, that looks cool” blessing, she made all the decisions and research).
As Kerri illustrates so well, the grill is assembled with just a few short movements. We both feared that it would be a pain and teeter wildly, but the grill assembled with no real use of our brains and was quite sturdy, especially so once you added coals. Once no longer in use, it quickly cooled (coals used to start the logs for an evening fire), and just a quick soapy-water bath in the sink removed the grime. Folded back up and placed in the bag, it is barely larger than a good hard-covered book.
It’s cooking ability was just like any other small grill, but thanks to it’s small size, I did not have to use up a ton of briquettes for a 2-person meal. And that’s really all we needed and that is about what you get out of this little guy; a meal for two. I could easily fit four good-sized burger patties, or a dozen hotdogs, on this grill though, so it could suit a small family is space is a premium.
One down side, thanks to the small size again, was that a small pile of coals generates a lot of heat and there was no cool side to move the meat too during the cooking process. This is something I can work on during the next BBQ meal, with less coals piled into one corner. Another issue was the lack of a lid. While there is ample heat from below, a lid to trap that heat is the way to cook. I went ahead and grabbed the dutch oven lid to place over our food which did the trick. A disposable aluminum food pan or pie pan would do the trick as well.
Below is both the large and medium sized grills from Fox Outfitters.
You can find more of my opinions on van essentials here.
And here are a few other brands with near-identical grills