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Top 10 Coolest BBQ Grills (And Then Some!)

Summer is nearly here, and with it comes the great American culinary tradition: barbecue!

BBQ is both a rite of summer and a rite of manhood (yes, BBQ is associated with male cooking, probably because any sane woman would not go near the combination fire, meat and beer). In some parts of the USA, BBQ is not just food, it's a religion. The fastest way to start a fight is not to talk politics, but to argue about the virtues of wood vs. charcoal vs. gas. Even the word itself is kind of controversial: is it barbecue, barbeque, bar-b-q, or BBQ? Just don't bring it up with a purist (or the one cooking your burger!)

There's no argument, however, about the popularity of BBQ. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (yes, it's a real organization - actually it is just one of many dedicated to barbecuing) did a study called "The State of Barbecue Industry Report". The 2005 study[pdf] stated that 4 out of every 5 US households own a grill - in fact, 1 in 5 own more than one grill. And not surprisingly, "the primary griller (male) in the majority of households considers themselves to be average or above in terms of cooking skills".

A central object in the BBQ world is the grill (or the smoker, or the pit depending on who you ask). These BBQ grills come in all shapes and sizes, but we're not here to talk about the grills you can pick up at your local home improvement store. We're talking about cool and unusual ones; if you're looking to feed your closest hundred or so friends at your next backyard party, this is the list for you!

So, without further ado, let's check out our picks for the Top 10 Coolest BBQ Grills.

10. Grills to Go!

Grills to Go makes grills that get up and GO! The one above is the 12 ft. model that uses wood for fuel - it comes complete with the company's distinctive "red wheel" that moves the grill up or down over 36" so you can fine-tune the cooking temperature. And oh, it also comes with standard installed tail-lights and removable hitch.

9. Nexo Fireplace and Grill

Is Nexo a fireplace or a BBQ grill? Why, both of course! This awesome outdoor fireplace is designed and built on the Danish Island of Mors by master craftsmen from "steel-reinforced, pumic-stone refractory core covered with beautifully colored sandstone rock or with stucco."

Think about it this way: it's the BBQ grill that your wife won't complain about lookin' ugly in the backyard!

8. Backwood Smoker's "The Competitor"

It's easy to mistake this Backwood Smokers unit as a safe, since, ... well, it kind of looks like one. That is, until you open the behemoth to reveal 8 shelves at about 20"x20" a piece to give a total of 22 square feet of cooking surface!

This model shown above, aptly called "The Competitor" (yes, men compete with each other to see who has the best grill) can cook 135 pounds of Boston Butts or 21 Slabs of St. Louis-style ribs at once. A steal at $2,445 list price. | Backwoods Smokers website

7. The Bar-B-Q Shack

Is it a mobile home that comes with a BBQ grill or is it a BBQ grill that comes with a house? Who cares? It's awesome and you absolutely gotta have one!

Actually, it's a Bar-B-Q Shack Concession Trailer with a Cabin and 4 ft. Smoker, built by Southern Yankee Bar-B-Q. The 8'x20' unit comes with:

  • 8'x11' concession building
  • 3 sliding windows
  • storage areas
  • 2 wet/dry hot food wells
  • range hood
  • 2 refrigerated food wells
  • refrigerator
  • 1 hand sink and 3-compartment sink with hot & cold water
  • air conditioning
  • 6 stereo speakers
  • water pump
  • fresh and waste water tanks
  • electric water heater | Southern Yankee Bar-B-Q website

6. Superior Welding's BBQ Swing-A-Way Grill

Superior Welding Services' tailgate BBQ grill is guaranteed to make you the center of attention at tailgate parties. Plus, the grill is convenient to use: no need to pull out the grill or smoker out of the back of your truck - just park your car and start cooking!

The unique Swing-A-Way Receiver Hitch also allows you to swing this tailgate barbecue grill away from your car and prevent it from blistering your paint job.


5. Traeger's Novelty BBQ Grills

Ah, the novelty grills - what's not to like about theml? Like all standard Traeger grills, the company's novelty lines come with Autostart, EZ-drain grease system, and a variable thermostat control. With 371 square inch of cooking space, you can grill to your heart's content.

With two models to choose from (the Lil' Pig and the Longhorn Steer), all you need is money. Lots of it, apparently, since they're $1,495 each!

And what is it with pigs and BBQ? Apparently, the irony of cooking pork in a BBQ grill shaped like a pig is irresistible to artists like Joel Haas, who made this Barbee Q. Piglet:

4. Kamado Ceramic BBQ Grill

Kamado's Ceramic Barbecue Grill is probably the most artistic and beautiful BBQ grill we've ever seen (and yes, it's from California).

The hand-made Kamado grill was invented by Richard Johnson, an American pilot who came across a ceramic rice cooker in Japan in the 1960s. He claimed that this method of cooking makes for better flavors of smoked, broiled or baked food.

Today, you can order a Kamado grill in various tile colors (so it'll match your decor, of course!), using various fuels such as wood, charcoal, gas, or electricity.


3. HEMI-Powered BBQ Grill

Tim Kowalec built this HEMI-powered BBQ grill for Chrysler's "What Can You HEMI?" contest in 2005. Tim's "manly man's barbecue grill" featured a 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI engine, and can cook 240 hot dogs in 3 minutes!

Link | Hi-Res Photos

2. Gator Pit's Texas Legend

The Texas Legend Smoker and Grill is so big that two adults can stand up in the upright smoker - now that's big. Texas BIG.

This behemoth of a BBQ grill, built by custom builder Ritch Robin of Gator Pit, is roughly 30 feet long by 8 feet wide by 10 1/2 feet tall. It has approximately 27,500 square inch of cooking space. Check out the mind-blowing specs:

  • 3/8" thick-walled, 38" diameter x 8 ft. horizontal smoke chamber, with 12 sliding food trays
  • 1/4" thick-walled, 38" diameter by 48" tall upright smoker, with 5 sliding food trays
  • 3/8" thick x 36" side grill, with 3 sliding food trays and sliding baffle for additional heat source to the upright smoker
  • Dual fish fryers/ burners
  • 15" stainless steel bar sink with cold running water
  • Two bay stainless steel sink with hot and cold running water
  • 3 x 4 ft. stainless cutting/prep table
  • 5,500 watt generator
  • Four custom 18" chrome wheel
  • Dual propane tank holder
  • Refrigerator & Freezer
  • and much, much more...

Texas Legend construction photos | completed photo & gallery of other pits.

1. Lynx Professional Grills

It's. Just. So. Pretty. Oh. So. Pretty. And its the one I want for Father's Day, OK?

Yup, that sums it up - this mouth-watering, budget-busting, jaw-droppingly beautiful backyard set from Lynx Professional Grills has a 42" grill with access doors, double burner, storage drawers, warming drawer, and beverage area with outdoor refrigerator, ice machine, and coctail pro (a bar area with sink and faucet).

If you have to ask how much, you simply can't afford it.


[Update 6/8/06] What did we tell you about BBQ being the object of passion? People have been writing us because apparently, we missed a lot of cool grills, so in the spirit of catching up, here are a few more awesome BBQ grills:

The Ultimate Smoker and Grill.

Trace Arnold designed a true monster of a BBQ grill: The Ultimate Smoker and Grill. The 55-feet long grill is the size of a tanker and is hauled by a semi.

The wood-fired grill is huge: 48" by 120 ". It can cook 2,000 pounds of barbecue, 200 steaks, or 1,000 hot dogs at once. The lid is 20 feet long and goes up and down using a hydraulic system.

And of course, the entire rig comes with 48-in flat screen TV with satellite hookup and Bose Entertainment system.

Best of all, you can rent it for $5,000 a day plus $3 per mile traveled (excluding the cost of food).

Link - Thanks DrinkKing!

Texas Lil's World's Largest Transportable Smoker.

Did you think that last one was huge? Think again: David Klose built this transportable smoker called Texas Lil's Monster Smoker.

The smoker is 57 ft. in length and 60" in diameter. It has 90,000 sq. in. cooking surface and weighs 25,000 lbs.


The King of Barbecues Grill.

And how could we missed David Klose's The King of Barbecues grill? Uber-Review writes:

The extensive list of features includes, (#1) a 160,000 B.T.U. propane burner that can bring 20 gallons of cold water to a boil in 5 min. The entertainment portion of the BBQ has a satellite radio, satellite television, Sony wega flat screen, DVD player and a DVR that are all solar powered. A (#3)low temperate smoker, (#4)a seven foot long, 90 lb door, that is counter weighted, making it a snap to open. The main chamber (#5) can smoke up 100 six-pound chickens, which is enough to feed 350 people. To ensure that everyone knows that you are the king of the BBQ, it comes with 24 karat-gold rims and door handles.

Link - via Uber-Review

David Klose's Baby Carriage BBQ Pit.

That last one was too hi-tech for you? How about yet another one by that talented guy David Klose: a Baby Carriage Pit:

This Baby Carriage was originally found in the countryside around Houston, this is believed to be a turn-of-the century baby carriage made in London, England.

When David Klose found this baby carriage, it was beyond recognition, totally crushed and completely rusted out. Then, after three weeks of restoration and a few beers. It was discovered to be an Allwyn Pramelator made in London Circa 1906. The hood folds down to complete the smoker effect, for cooking things like brisket, ribs, chickens and of course, Baby Back Ribs.

Link | If you like that, you'll like Klose's cookers that look like a Continental Airplane, Beer Bottle and Chuck Wagon. David Klose, you're awesome, dude!

BBQ Under The Hood!

This gives new meaning to the words "check under the hood" - unfortunately, it doesn't exist (yet, we hope!). via The BBQ Report

Texas Six Shooter BBQ Grill.

This awesome 6 foot 11 barbecue pit shaped was built by Joe Wood of Weimar, Texas:

The barrel is 10 feet long and 8 inches in diameter, and the entire rig is over 15 feet long. The pistol’s grips, which cover the firebox, are made of red oak. When cooking, the barrel acts as the grill’s chimney. It took over two years and 1,100 hours to complete, and used more than two tons of red oak, stainless, and carbon steel.


Handgun BBQ Grill.

While we're on the subject of handgun-shaped grill, take a look at this 19-ft long grill made by Spook and J.W. Holtman in Lubbock, Texas, who said "Heck, it's Texas, what did you expect?"

Link [Flickr]

Redneck Pool Heater.

Grills aren't just for cookin' meat, especially if you're a redneck! You can use it to heat up your pool as well!

Todd Harrison and his daughter Veronica Harrison (who's in 8th grade!), modded a gas grill into a working pool heater so he can use his pool in winter (with only $28 cost in propane!):

I wasn't teaching during the spring of 2005 so I spent the time modifying mybackyard barbecue grill into a pool heater. (Redneck, I know but it worked!)

Our pool is between two tall homes and is shaded for all but 3 hours a day :( Normally you can't swim in our pool until June because it's just to cold (68F - 75F). I like swimming in about 80F to 85F myself, if it's sunny and warm out. I created a prototype heater coil that seemed to work for its size. I then create a large heater coil out of 180 feet of copper tubing that connects to my pool pump using a garden hose and fits inside the grill. The hose runs from the pump through the grill heater coils and then into the pool. I heated my pool from 68F to 89.4F in 48 hours using 3.5 tanks of propane.

Link - via Make Blog


Bucking the trend toward ever-increasingly large BBQ grill is the Q BBQ - a grill that looks like the "cross between the Starship Enterprise and a jet engine":

... the Q BBQ can be carried around like a briefcase, but opens up Transformer-style to become a stylish, stand-alone, gas-powered grill.

Not surprisingly, the Q BBQ won the Bronze Award in the 2003 Industrial Design Excellence Awards. - via Boing Boing

The Table Is The Grill!

With Cook-n-Dine flameless cooking grill/table, you can cook and eat at the same place, literally! The center of the table heats up to form a cooking pit - you simply place your food and cook it there without the use of any pots or pans (the heated portion will turn into a concave pit). The price? $1,600 - worth it considering you will have fewer dishes to wash.

Link - via Appliancist

Austin-Healey BBQ Grill.

That old vintage Jaguar Austin-Healey not running anymore? Let's turn it into a grill! (This is not the automobile "grill" you're used to seeing, huh?) Found at Classic Jaguar

Jeppe Utzon BBQ Grill.

The Jeppe Utzon barbecue by Electrolux was created by the grandson of the legendary Jorn Utzon [wiki] (the guy who designed the Sydney Opera House). This stylish, minimalist BBQ grill is the perfect outdoor accessory for your ultra-modern house. - Thanks Andy Hansson!

Real Grill's Submarine BBQ Grill

No, that's not a submarine - that's Real Grill's TRG 500 BBQ grill!

This custom made oh-so-shiny grill boasts 46 square feet of cooking area with 3 available fuel sources (gas, wood, and coal), diamond plated doors, and ... a fire extinguisher!

SmokinTex's Pro Series Electric Smokers

SmokinTex's Pro Series Electric Smokers look like small dishwasher but they cook like a champ. According to the company, these smokers are so easy to use (just load 'em up with meat, shut the door, and set the temperature - that's it!). The food is slow-cooked "gently" over a real wood smoke.

Southern Pride's Commercial Ovens

Unless you're a restaurant, or you always have really, really hungry friends at your backyard barbecue, you probably don't know Southern Pride's ovens.

Well, here it is: the XLR-1600-4. I'll skip the technical details to focus on what's important - its cooking capacity:

  • Pork Butts (7 lb): 192 total/1344 lbs total
  • Spare Ribs (3.5 lb): 210 total/735 lbs total
  • Beef Brisket (12 lb): 96 total/1152 lbs total
  • Whole Chickens (3 lb): 312 total/936 lbs total
  • St. Louis Ribs (2.75 lb): 294 total/808 lbs total
  • w/ Optional Rib Racks: 432 total/1188 lbs total
  • Turkeys, Hams, Shoulders, Prime Rib (14 lb): 120 total/1680 lbs total

I dunno - maybe it's just *too* small.

Link | Southern Pride website

J&R Manufacturing's Smokemaster

For over 30 years, J&R Manufacturing, Inc. has been making custom heavy-duty wood-burning BBQ pits. This one above is their Smokemaster E Series, a "very serious barbecue machine" and convection oven.

According to the company, Smokemaster is very efficient due to its air and smoke control system. The machine can cook over 500 pounds of meat per load, at an energy cost of only 3 cents per pound!

Grand Hall's Monster BBQ Grill

Not satisfied with a regular grill, BBQ enthusiast Alex Komarnitsky got this super-sized "beta model" Grand Hall (which he said is not yet released to the public).

The monster grill has ten 20,000 BTU primary burners, a 30,000 BTU infrared burner, and a side burner (yet another 20,000 BTU) for a total of 250,000 BTU cooking capacity. With almost 2,000 square inches of cooking surface, you can surely feed a hundred people (or probably four us fat Americans) at the same time!


The Big Green Egg.

When we first saw this BBQ, it seemed like a large dinosaur egg that the Flintstones would adapt to grill meat!

If you think this one looks like the Kamado (see above) - you're right:

Our technicians and artisans have carefully retained the nearly perfect cooking characteristics of the Kamado, while creating a stronger and longer lasting Big Green Egg.

You can clearly see the Daisy Wheel Top and lower damper that allow you to precisely control the inside temperature. Nearly closed—for lower temperatures and slow smoke flavored cooking, wide open—to quickly bring up the fire to sear meats, and anywhere in between to meet any cooking need you may encounter.

Link - Thanks bbum!


What do you get when you cross a BBQ grill with a beer keg? A Keg-a-Que, the perfect BBQ grill for all beer lovers. The best thing is about this grill is that it's only $49.95, so have more money to buy meat, and of course, beer! - Thanks Ray!

Piet Hein Eek's Sleek BBQ Grills.

If modern's your thing, then you'll like Piet Hein Eek's Grills. Link - Thanks SMQT!

Pyromid Stove.

No, that's not the Mars Rover - that's the Pyromid Stove, "the world's most portable grill" according to the manufacturer.

The grill folds to less than one inch thick when not in use and can be set up in seconds. Moreover, the grill reaches temperatures up to 1,100 degrees °F in less than 10 minutes using only 9 briquettes!

Magma Boat BBQ Grill.

Just because you're cruisin' on your boat, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy barbecuin', thanks to Magma Boat BBQ grills.

The company makes charcoal, gas, and combination grills for your boat, with optional boat stabilizer.


Evo Circular Flattop Grill.

If you like Benihana, then you'll probably like the Evo Professional circular flattop griddle, er grill. This model sports a 30" cooking surface, and two independently controlled burners for a combined rating of 48,000 BTU.


Tool Box Grill.

What do you give for that BBQ-loving DIY weekend warrior? A grill that looks like a toolbox, of course!

But don't let this unassuming grill from Hans Plads fool you: it is built from heavy duty, 20-gauge steel and sports a large cooking surface at only 19-lb. weight.

Bradley Digital Smoker.

BBQ Grill goes digital with Bradley's Digital Smoker:

Temperature, time, and smoke are now completely controllable so you can decide how much smoke you want, how long your food is going to be smoked for, and at what temperature. Perfect for entertaining, creating gourmet foods in your own home, or just enjoying the flavor that smoking brings, the new Bradley Digital Smokers offer an easier and better way to automatically roast, smoke and barbecue in the outdoors.

The perfect BBQ smoker for the nerd in you!

Muscle Car Grill

Muscle Car Grill builder Steve Barker used real car parts to make this V8 engine grill!

Neatorama reader Steve Barker of Muscle Car BBQ Grills told us about his awesome custom-made grills, shaped like a muscle car engine block complete with exhaust ports that let smoke comes out, powder coated grill box that can withstand 900 degree of heat, pistons instead of knobs, and of course, diamond plates for side tables!

Steve uses real car parts where he can, and can install optional nitrous purge system with remote control, a 671 Blower on top with a power lid, LED lights and switches for night BBQ-ing, as well as CD and MP3 player with indoor/outdoor speakers and remote control. The grills comes in either charcoal or propane.


Afterburner - C Fridge Conversion.

No, it's not just a rusty old fridge - it's actually a bbq grill! The inside had porcelain on steel inner liner, fiber glass insulation, and an "Afterburner" gas conversion kit.


The Supreme - Diamond Plated BBQ Grill

Outdoor Culinary Supply's shiny grill called "The Supreme" is all decked out in diamond plate! - via Fark

Talos Outdoor Cooking Suite

Got a spare $35,000? Then you can get the Talos Outdoor Cooking Suite by Frontgate. This sprawling behemoth of a grill has a 42" grill with 800 square-inch of grilling area, 16,000 BTU ceramic infrared rotisserie, 2 side burners, a warming drawer, searing station with griddle, bartender module and sink.


Old Smokey

Ah, a classic: the Old Smokey charcoal BBQ grill, perfect for camping! - via Fark

Gusto Ultra-Portable Wood BBQ Grill

Gusto ultra-portable bbq grill by Woodflame uses cubes of hardwood as fuel! - Thanks BeTuMan!

Oasis Fire Table

With Oasis Outdoor Furnishing's fire table, the table is the bbq - or if you want, the fire pit or the ice bucket. Link - via Fark

Kalamazoo Sculpture Gas Grill

Kalamazoo's Sculpture Gas Grill undulates its way to beautify your garden while kicking butt with a 50,000-BTU gas grill. Link

Cobb Portable BBQ Grill

The Cobb BBQ Grill and Cooking System was an innovation that came out of Africa. The first Cobb grill was designed for rural africa, with fuel of dry corn cobs! Later units use charcoal briquettes ...

It has an insulated plastic base that remains cool to the touch even while the internal temperature reaches over 500 degrees! - via Fark

Barbi Portable Barrel BBQ

Feeling too manly? Well, this pink portable barrel BBQ should take you down a notch!

Link - via Random Good Stuff

Weber Smokey Joe Grill - Simpsons Edition

This cute little grill is the Weber 10898 Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill, The Simpsons 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Grill.

Not available anymore, I'm afraid (D'oh!):

Bonus: Liquid Oxygen Lighter

OK, it's not a grill that's interesting here: it's the way it's lighted. You're looking at George Goble of Purdue University lighting the 60 lbs of charcoal with 3 gallons of liquid oxygen:

Started with 60 lbs of charcoal, and burnt up 40 lbs of it in 3 seconds. Result is a grill ready to cook in about 3 seconds, and all the old grease, etc burned off. Don't try this at home.

WARNING: an ignition source, such as a lit cigarette or one glowing coal, must be present before pouring on the LOX. If charcoal is PRESOAKED in LOX first, an explosion will result. One briquette presoaked in LOX is approx equiv to 1 stick of dynamite.

And oh, this goes without saying: don't try this at home. Please, or this may happen. (scroll down) - via Fark

USB Grill

Take 6 PCI USB cards with 5 ports each, connect the 30 USB cables to a hacked USB cup warmer and you get ... a USB grill!

Link | Translated Page - via Make and TechEBlog

Monster Pitt

Texan grill maker Pitt's & Spitt's made this cute train engine BBQ pit for the TV series Monster House (the "Ghost Town" house). - Thanks George Shore!

Santa Maria

This grill from Diamond Charcoal Island Grille is actually a new kind of charcoal barbecue unit that starts up fast with a blower and then has a garbage dispoal unit built into the bottom so you can just wash down all the ashes away! - Thanks Ryan Guy!

Bruce BBQ Grill

Got a balcony? Then this "Bruce" BBQ grill (that looks like those flower pots hanging off balconies) is perfect for you. - via Random Good Stuff.

Update 1/5/07: Grilling on your balcony may be illegal or cause you to lose your apt. lease - Thanks Don!

Locomotive BBQ Grill

This German locomotive BBQ grill is awesome! It sold on eBay for over $12,000: Link - via smidigt

Classic Holden Monaro GTS Grill

A classic Holden Monaro GTS, reincarnated as a barbie! - via Born Rich

Chevy V8 Grill

This Chevy V8 grill may not crank out 500 HP, but it does produce 60,000 BTU! - Thanks Trent Whatley!

RUB Restaurant's Mobile Barbecue Pit

When Andrew Fishel, the owner of New York restaurant RUB, wanted "the sickest, baddest thing in the world," he commissioned Orange County Chopper (of the American Chopper TV show fame) to create a mobile BBQ pit.

We have to agree: that mother is bad! Link - via Make

Dragon BBQ Grill: "Guardian of the Feast"

This is one awesome BBQ grill: a dragon-shaped welded steel grill and smoker called "Guardian of the Feast" by Ed McBride. Link - Thanks SteelisAlive!

Motor Head Grill

Here's the Motor Head grill by FAB Grills: - Thanks Russ Freeman!

Photo: Steve Stealey

Is that a 55-gallon drums or a BBQ grill/smoker? Actually, it's both! Steve Stealey of Steve's Services - BBQ division in Carthage, Mo. came up with the idea of using a steel drum as a smoker and BBQ grill when he was on his way to a cooking contest, lost his cooker in transit, found a used barrel and the rest is history.

Link - Thanks Steve!

Got any more? Leave a comment and let us know!

Somebody should enter these grills in that “Pimp My Grill” Contest and win the 10 grand.

I'll try :)
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Vic that BBQ looks pretty cool until you actually think about it. If you were actually BBQing smoke would be in the way of the tv and the solar panel that powers it and the radio. Plus all the greese and smoke and good stuff would play hell on all those electronics.
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I am a little suprised however that the worlds Largest BBQ was not included here

The pics kinda suck but you get the point
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Cool! The Kamado is awesome. I might have gotten one if I was aware of 'em before getting a Big Green Egg.

Whichever one, cooking in a round ceramic vessel is just amazing. No kettle grill can compare.


The huge x-thousand BTU "outdoor kitchens" are, frankly, kinda silly. Why bother? Might as well cook in a regular oven.
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The Keg-a-que is my favorite. It looks cool and it grills great. It only lets a little air in to avoid greese flair-ups.
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Here's a hi-res view (wallpaper-size) of a Brazilian government export tag for natural charcoal - it's beautiful & assuaged my concern over it beung from a south American source:
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Very cool... BTW: The Jaguar grill should be labeled the Austin-Healey Grill. (As in Austin-Healey Sprite) Found at the Classic Jag site, but not a Jag. Thanks!
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Lex10, thanks for the image! I didn't know charcoal is exported?

Rollmops, is there a background story to that grill? I'd very much like to update the post with it...

Bobby, thanks for the correction!
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Ha! Thanks for linking to my Flickr set! (For the "handgun" grill.)

But The Spook wrote me to let me know that he only desgined the grill (being a fabrication engineer), and a friend of his named J.W. Holtman actually built the rig, and has since added on to it.

Just wanted to state that for the record ...
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OK. This is bordering on unhealthy. You have to give up this obsession with BBQ grills. I'm serious. Your mental health is nearing a tipping point.

Up to you. Don't say I didn't warn you. Of course, once you lose your mind completely, you won't remember I told you so.
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I built Alton Brown's smoker from the Good Eat's BBQ special, "Q". It's a great episode and has plenty of good science on what makes a good smoker.
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You missed out on my Belson Mobile-SLPX. This trailer barbeque grill definately gets me bragging rights at the football tailgates. It's awsome...! They also have a pretty impressive mobile pig roaster on their website...Why grill parts when you can grill the whole animal :-)
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Dear neatorama for the past year i have been addicted to your site, until now. I have to say, despite my love this was the stupidest, longest,most pointelss post ever. Really disappointing.
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Great blog/site. Great grills!
I will say as a Big Green Egg owner I may be biased but the BGE may be the most versatile grill on the list.

Oh and Katrina??? You must not like meat...but what about the bone?
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THE most popular, best selling smoker-grill in the U.S. is the Brinkmann. I am on my 7th electric smoker. I buy them, use them, then for some reason, since my cooking is so good, my friends, neighbors or relatives want to buy it from me after I've broken the thing in. I take the body off and use as a regular grill year-round with hickory bark and hickory chips with the dome top on to confine the smoke, preventing flare-ups. YUMM
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Just to clarify...
The Ultimate Smoker AND Grill built by Trace Arnold is a remodeled version of Texas Lil's Worlds Largest Transportible Smoker which was NOT orginally built by Klose.
Adventure Alliance DOES NOT own the Worlds Largest BBQ, it is the USG and they make it available for their clients. They should have a link to (which is being updated.) The USG really doesn't make the competition circuit unless a sponsor wants to bring it in. The Ultimate Smoker and Grill is normally on tour.
All the grills in this blog are awesome,everyone has their 'Niche' in this nifty world of "Q"!
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Interesting list. However, before you publish lists like these, you might want to do a little research into the items you post and the companies that make them. The cookers from are notorious for cracking problems and having the tiles fall off. Also, the company's post-sales service is appalling. Unless you are a close friend of the owner, you are likely to be ignored if you have any problems. Heck, many prospective customers can't even get responses to phone calls and emails.

I won't even go into the history of the owner, but you can find out more details of how he abandoned his factory and workers and creditors in Indonesia here:

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WRT post #40 above, this is just not true. The service record is very good and almost eveyone that deals with the Kamado company is very satisfied. Yes there are a few disgrutled customers and the like but if you go the the Kamado forums you will see that most people are very very happy.
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About your #4 Kamado Ceramic BBQ Grill, The Kamado is 3000 years old and from Japan, it was not invented by Richard Johnson. [comment deleted - please, no ad hominem attack. This is not the forum to air your grievances for this grill].
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I own a Kamado. It *IS* cracked, and I still think its a great cooker. The Kamado company DOES have deplorable service (its a family business), and also has rabid supporters on their forum. Understand this, do your homework, and make an informed decision when considering ceramics.

Whatever you decide, a kamado-style cooker will undoubtably knock your socks off when you taste the difference.
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I have a Big Green Egg. Ceramics are the only way to go. There are many companies doing the ceramic thing now. If I buy another (and I will eventually) I may spend a few extra dollars on the KomodoKamado. It's a new company that's following the mold (literally it seems) of Kamado, but seems to be making some great improvements on the original and is on the cutting edge. I went there to investigate and from there I was pointed to every other company that makes ceramic cookers...for comparison. I felt like I was at that insurance company that gives you quotes on 3 or 4 other companies along with their own. How's that for not being afraid of the competition! Do the research, there's a ceramic grill for every income...ceramics rule!!!!!
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i can't speak for the biggreenegg or the kamodo but i do have an older ceramic grill that i got at yardsell many moon ago and love it. it is smaller and i am looking for another larger one and it wood also ne good to have a slow cook and grill going at once. the komodokamado website has been great as it lists all other places to get them. i am cuban and love tile work, my veranda is highly decorated by my late father. i will have to get one with tile...can't believe they make them tiled. que linda!
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I think no list would be complete without the famous "Cajun Microwave". Available commercially from a number of makers and easy to DIY, it is a simple, ingenious cooker. Using any fuel source and not requiring any form of power, it can produce excellent eats with a minimum of tending.
Not as bulletproof as the ceramics for cooking results; it is a whole lot cheaper and easier to move around and far less fragile.
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Ron's comment that ceramic cookers are expensive, fragile and have limited cooking space is rather humorous and somewhat ignorant.

Expensive? You get what you pay for. Ceramic cookers are the most versatile outdoor cookers around. You can make jerkey at 150 degrees, barbecue at 225, roast lamb and turkey at 325, roast chickens at 400, bake pizzas at 650 and sear steaks at 800. And of course, you can do anything at any temperature in between. They also are very efficient with fuel, cooking for 30 hours on a single load of charcoal. They can cook in sub-zero weather, when metal cookers cannot without rigging up insulation of some sort.

Fragile? Say what? Hardly. There are numerous competition barbecue teams taking their supposedly fragile ceramic cookers on the road with them. And, oh by the way, several of them are winning and winning big.

Limited cooking space? Again, hardly. Limited grilling space maybe, but you can cook loads of food in a ceramic cooker. You can do pulled pork for 60 people in a large Big Green Egg for example.

Consider the fact that many many ceramic owners own multiple ceramic cookers. No, ceramic cookers are superb cooking units. They may not be for everyone, but to label them as fragile, expensive and limited is just not a very informed opinion.
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$869.00 for a cooker with a 18" grid at

And how's your firebox? Cracked, I'll bet. Did your grate crack? How many gaskets have you fried? Does the lid on your cooker stay open?
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$650 is what normal people pay for a Large BGE. Yep, the firebox is cracked and gee, ya know, it works just fine that way. I can get free replacments for life if I ever feel like it. Grate never cracked. Yep, I've replaced the gasket a couple of times, so what? And of course the lid stays open. What a bizarre question, lol! Or should I say, ignorant question?
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Free firebox replacements? Really? It costs you nothing? They pay shipping too?

$650? For a cooker with approx 100 square inches less grill area than a $85 Weber. LOL!

What accessories does that include? Does it come with a nest? Oh, and careful, those wheels on the nest are tiny...hit a seam or crack on your patio and your egg will pull a Humpty Dumpty...

"All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again."
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Yep, I've never paid shipping for a replacement firebox. My dealer gets them free.

Well, Ron, it seems like you have learned well all the ignorant stereotypes about ceramic cookers. Enjoy your cooker and all the ceramic owners will enjoy theirs.
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"I’ve never paid shipping for a replacement firebox."

Has more than one broke on ya?

It must be convenient to keep running back to your dealer for replacement gaskets and fireboxes.
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"And of course the lid stays open. What a bizarre question, lol! Or should I say, ignorant question?"


Listen to you! I know there were problems with the Extra Large Egg. I know that you know there were problems with the Extra Large Egg.
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With four Eggs, yes, I've replaced 3 fireboxes in 5 years. All of them free. Sorry, but no I don't know about problems with the XL. The one at my dealer and the one at Ace Hardware work fine. I vaguely recall a post on the Big Green Egg Forum about it, but that's the only report I've heard. All the other owners on the BGE forum haven't mentioned it. I'll give you another chance to exit gracefully before you run out of ignorant stereotypes. You enjoy your cooker and all the ceramic owners will enjoy theirs. Peace, bro....
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"Sorry, but no I don’t know about problems with the XL. The one at my dealer and the one at Ace Hardware work fine. I vaguely recall a post on the Big Green Egg Forum about it, but that’s the only report I’ve heard. All the other owners on the BGE forum haven’t mentioned it. I’ll give you another chance to exit gracefully before you run out of ignorant stereotypes. You enjoy your cooker and all the ceramic owners will enjoy theirs. Peace, bro…."

From the Naked Whiz Web site;

# The lid on my cooker won't stay open. What should I do?
Well, when the rear hatch on our mother's Plymouth mini-van wouldn't stay open, she used a broomstick to prop it open. However, this isn't such a good idea on the Egg, so we have two suggestions. First, if you own an Extra Large Egg, you may have one of the older hinges which had this problem. Call the Big Green Egg headquarters in Atlanta to see about a replacement. However, if you own a Large Egg, you may have installed the hinge upside down. Yes, this is possible and it happens. Rather than show you how to install your hinge here, we suggest you get the assembly instructions and check them carefully to insure you have installed the hinge correctly. If your dealer assembled the Egg for you, then of course, contact your dealer if necesssary. And if all else fails, contact BGE headquarters in Atlanta for help.

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Ron, If the ceramic cookers have so many problems and not worth the money, why does everyone fall in love the instant they cook on one? If they are so terrible why would we ever buy a second? I have had an egg for 5 years and yes the fire box cracked soon after I got it and now is cracked in 7 pieces. I cook on it several times a week and I have never replaced anything other than a few thermometers. I am sorry you can't afford one or two, so keep using your chemically enhanced matchlight and happy smokin. Oh I forgot you can't do that with your $89.00 Weber.
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Ah, Ron, you got me on that one, lol! Thanks for refreshing my memory. I had forgotten about that problem. I try to add new information to my FAQ as I see posts in the BGE forum asking for help. However, when a supposed problem like cookers not staying open arises, and it turns out to be a non-issue like this one, I forget about it and move on. One or two users assembling their cookers wrong, and old problems that were quickly resolved by the manufacturer just fade off the radar. I'll bet you can find a lot more information on my web page that I've totally forgotten.

So, if you are done posting all the helpful information in my Ceramic FAQ about solving problems that owners might have with a Big Green Egg, I think I'll go back to enjoying my four ceramic cookers and the comradery of my fellow owners. The real message here is that most owners of ceramic charcoal cookers are very happy with their purchase. I'd invite any prospective purchasers of ceramic charcoal cookers to visit any of the online manufacturer's forums and get informed about the cookers and the owner satisfaction levels. Links can be found at
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Wow my father posts here too! Err wait.... Ron's Dad...I get it! You're my daddy!!LOLOLOL You're so clever you should be a comedian!!!!

Who said I have a Weber? Who said I can't afford an egg? Who said I use Matchlight?

I never said any of that.

I have a FEC100 & a Grillworks by Grillery.

Go on keep cooking with your fragile cookers. We both know they're prone to breaking, the difference between me and you is that I wouldn't tolerate a cooker with fundamentally flawed design elements.

ummmm sure....the firebox is SUPPOSED to be broken!!!


And LOL@ you for thinking you're better than someone because you can afford a more expensive cooker.

You're a lot like your naked buddy....OWNED!
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Loved the list of cookers! I've owned various cookers - gas, wood, charcoal, smokers, etc. and *nothing* comes close to the quality of cooking that I get from my Big Green Egg. I own a small Egg (13-inch grate), but I am able to cook for more with one batch of charcoal (about 3 pounds) than I ever got out one of my 2000-square inch two-box, 200-pound cast iron wood hog which required hourly infusions of 20 to 30 pounds of charcoal.

The ceramic walls provide superior insulation, making it possible to maintain pinpoint control over temrperatures and to maintain those temperatures for hours on end.

Someone posted a comment about ceramic cookers being fragile, but I've yet to hear anyone talk about owning a non-ceramic cooker for more than 5 years, whereas it's quite common for owners of ceramic cookers to talk about owning one for 20, 30, even 40 years. Yes, ceramic will break if dropped on a hard surface, but how often does that happen? What one does hear far more frequently are stories of children suffering serious burns from getting too close to metal grills, smokers, etc.
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*drool* As much as I love some of the wacky and gorgeous ones (the shack, the Kamado), I'd go minimalist with one of the simple designs. If I had the space and money. *wistful sigh*
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You didn't mention Woodflame's Delecto. I have one, and to be honest, despite some quirks, it's the best grill I can think of for urban living, or even to take lot-camping/tail-gaiting.

It's not great for really long smoking as you have to refill the burning chamber every 10 or 20 minutes, and it's hard to keep the temp down.

The grill really infuses wood flavor, and even better there is so little ash to throw out. I'll never use charcoal again!
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I believe that the Johnsonville Big Taste grill is even larger. Having seen it, I can attest that it is big. According to their web site, it is 65' long and 6' diameter.

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Yes, Johnsonville Big Taste may have the "Largest Grill" in the World but the key word there is Grill. The Texas Lil' built by Klose is (or was before it became "The Ultimate Smoker AND Grill") a Smoker. There is a specific distinction between a grill and a smoker. Therefore allowing there to be more than one Largest in the World.
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Thank you for this great information, I have been smoking meat for over 35 years and the various Bar B Q's were
fantastic. I formerly owned a restaurant in Huntington Beach,Ca. by the name of Heeneys Weeney's which specialized in fresh sausages and weiners, Beef Brisket,Smoked Chichen and Pork Ribs with all sided served being home made. I miss the business but not the long hours, again thank you.
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The lynx island looks damn fine if you ask me, I want one for fathers day as well! :) Some of the novality Grills I couldn't help but get a kick out of ideas people have, great post! :)
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The naked whiz wrote;

"Ah, Ron, you got me on that one, lol! Thanks for refreshing my memory. I had forgotten about that problem. I try to add new information to my FAQ as I see posts in the BGE forum asking for help. However, when a supposed problem like cookers not staying open arises, and it turns out to be a non-issue like this one, I forget about it and move on."

From the BGE forum website

"To all XL Big Green Egg owners!!!

We are pleased to announce that we have developed an XL Spring Assist Kit which will greatly improve the opening and closing of your XL Big Green Egg."


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Y'all forgot !!!

A custom built Competition BBQ Trailer by Pitts and Spitts.
With a 1/4" thick solid stainless steel firebox, stainless steel cooking grates, and an fully adjustable Charcoal Grill on the back side. This rig has a Marine/Outdoor CD Stereo system, along with a stainless steel food preparation surface, wood storage, and burners.
Emeril Lagasse has used this same model smoker on his show.
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Once again, you seem to be confused. The original problem we spoke of earlier affected only a few early XL BGE's and was quickly resolved by the BGE company. Specifically, the lid would not stay open.

What you refer to now is a completely different issue. After the XL had been out for some time, BGE got feedback from XL owners that the dome top was difficult to raise for the first few inches of travel, until the springs kicked in and started to assist the opening of the lid. By the same token, when you closed the lid, as the lid approached being a few inches from closed, the spring assist dropped out and the lid suddenly became heavy again. It is this behavior that this new spring assist kit is intended to address, not the fact that a few XL's had problems with the lid not staying open.

Please, if you are going to try to "own" everyone who posts about ceramics here, try to get your story straight.
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Cool list of grills! Makes me want more and more grills. My kamado rules. The food I pull off is great and the smell alone makes you drool. I've had mine for 3 years and is my primary cooking tool these days.
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Diamond Grills has a new kind of charcoal grill that has a charcoal accelerator to get you cooking fast. On top of that each grill is built like a sink and has a garbage disposal for easy clean up in the bottom.
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I am looking for a bbq that i saw a couple of years ago
it was made of wood and it looked like a kitchen cabinet,it was about six feet long and it had a hotplate about two feet long plus a grate area about two feet long, and i think it had a side burner.
o yes it was a gas unit.
Richard L. Stephen
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Well if these ceramics are so superior then why has every world championship BBQ contest and there are 5-6 per year for the last 20 years plus or so been all won on steel cookers?actually we can expand x10 if we look at the top 10 in every contest.Seems to me the guys who are coking with propane end up trying a ceramic and think they found the holy grail.
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Seems to be lots of jealousy towards the ceramics; they must be pretty good.

Ron--you are a tremendous putz.

Steel--you are an old school doofus. Plenty of contests are won by users of ceramic. There's a fellow named Dr. BBQ that's done pretty well with ceramic.
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Yeah old school doofus? LOL.
seems the ceramic cooker users are jealous,try getting on the Egg forum when there's a JD or the American Royal World championship contest happening or any other major contest for that matter,they all on there waiting to win in the top 10,,ain't happened yet in 3000 years,bein so supperior to all the steel cookers must be nice.Dr BBQ? ,,what's he ever won? Now P.Kirk has done well with steel,many,many,many,many,many,many,many World BBQ Championships there,i counted 7 many's!Also runs one of the most succesfull BBQ restaraunts in the world.Always when prooven how foolish these ceramic hustlers are they turn to name calling.Can't wait.
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Interesting post there, thank you. If anyone fancies finding out a bit more about grills and BBQs, may I recommend ?
Ceramic vs. Steel certainly seems to fire some people up...
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You guys ain't seen nuthin' .. until you've seen some old Catskinners make a Bulldozer BBQ .. complete with 'fridge .. kitchen sink .. storage cupboards .. running water .. and moveable, with a forklift ..
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Ich finde Ihre Homepage sehr gut und fundiert. Die Informationen helfen mir bei einer Diplomarbeit für den Bereich der Medizinischen Dokumentation vielen Dank und weiter so.
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Good morning, I am new to this site. I have just learned about this site. I am going to read on and it's very interesting to know
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A very very nice site with helpful informations! So keep up the good work - I already added the site to my personal favourites. All the best!
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As #109 mentioned, for anything to be considered "BBQ" (or any of the variations on spelling), a pig must die! (Except in Texas where they BBQ beef, but what would you expect from folks who don't put beans in their chili?) All else is "grilling" or "cooking on the grill". The term is typically misused by those not from or living in the South(east and west) ... 8^)
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