When we moved into this apartment, the landlords told us, "Oh, and feel free to use the grill," waving vaguely toward the back yard. The first time we decided to take them up on the offer, we stood looking at this strange assembly of steel and thought, "What the...?!"
Since then, we've learned to love the quirks and benefits of our retro backyard grill. In honor of the last days of Grilling Month, take a look!
The base of the grill is set right into the ground. It's pretty darn solid, so we're guessing that there's a concrete slab beneath a layer of soil. A thin sheet of metal to either side of the grill provide ample "counter" space for utensils and food waiting to go on the grill.
The grill itself is a wide, shallow basin. At almost two feet across, this old boy can cook enough food for a crowd without blinking an eye. At first the shallow bowl for the charcoal seemed cumbersome, but we quickly realized that charcoal can be piled to one side to create zones of direct and indirect heat. (Lining the bowl with aluminum foil is also key to tidy cleanup!)
We can also adjust how high above the coals the grill itself is placed. These ledges are set around the edge of the grill and the grill slides in and out.
The lid (pictured at top) is a cumbersome beast requiring two hands to lift and a few seconds of struggle before fitting over the lip of the grill. But once it's on, it insulates the entire grill perfectly. It can also be left slightly wedged to allow for airflow.
The grill was already here when our landlords first moved in, so information on the original manufacturer has been lost through the years. Despite it's peeling paint and lack of modern gadgetry, we have a feeling this grill will still be serving up burgers and kabobs long after we've moved on.
(Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)