Living with a vintage DIY grill - how do I use it? - BBQ Central

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Old 04-26-2013, 04:59 PM   #1
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Living with a vintage DIY grill - how do I use it?

Hi everyone! I hope you'll forgive the newbie questions; I am finding myself perplexed by this grill and figured I'd just go straight to the experts

I recently moved into a house with this backyard grill. My reactions ranged from, "cool!!" to "what the heck...?" as I'd never seen or used anything like it. Some research showed me that these were popular in the 50s-60s, but I haven't found any instructions on how to use it.

As you can see from the pictures, there're two grates and a lower area with a piece of rebar. Just guessing here, but I think there was probably a tray where the bar is, to catch the ash, and the bottom grate was where the coals (wood?) went. However, the bottom level is somewhat adjustable, which means the coals went... where?

So, does anyone have any experience with these things?
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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The two grates on the top both look like cooking grates.

I am perplexed.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:13 PM   #3
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Is that a wooden shelf below ?

The lower half looks like storage only.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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Is there some form of door or cover for the top half or is it all open / intended for grilling only?
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:21 PM   #5
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Yep, the bottom half is just for storage.

Maybe there was another piece where the rebar is that would have held the coals, with an ashcatcher below? But if so, there's no other ledge to hold anything up...

I could mod it, I suppose, to put a coal shelf in there, if there is, indeed a piece missing
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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Judging from the black ash on the back of the cooking chamber, I say it's for grilling chicken and such over hot coals.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
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Is there some form of door or cover for the top half or is it all open / intended for grilling only?
It's all open. No doors or hinges or anything.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:32 PM   #8
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Oh, I just went outside and found another bit of evidence:

There are no scorch marks on the bottom of the top half. The black parts all begin about 3 inches underneath the lower grill. So I'm wondering if it works something like this: http://envisioningtheamericandream.f...oesuburbia.jpg
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:41 PM   #9
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Similar gizmos were popular 70's but most of them were about the size of the entire assemblage. Hard to imagine a person go to all that stonework on the bottom to hold paper towels..lol. I betcha the bottom is supposed to be the main cooking part. Where they been cooking is a little steak griller gizmo. Just guessing..lol. I aint old enough to remember stuff like that.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:17 PM   #10
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That is a lot of sugar for a dime.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:06 AM   #11
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Yeah..good burgers were 20 cents..lol.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:47 PM   #12
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i would come down on the side of making a charcoal basket that would fit under that bottom cooking rack and try using it like a hibachi.
might work!
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:41 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone! Yeah, the whole thing is just do head-scratching, that modding it or making a charcoal basket might be the way to go. I'm renting the house, so I can't knock it out and build something more practical, so might as well figure out some way to use it.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:18 PM   #14
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Hey where there is a will there is a way..lol. Know you will do well.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:09 PM   #15
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maybe you could just build a plain old wood fire under there and try to cook on it that way....charcoal might be easier , tho.

check this out....i did a reverse google image search with that photo and got this website....its all in russian or some thing but theres a lot of rigs that are roughly the same as the one you have....strange , but they look like a real type of woodfired oven or grill . maybe popular in that part of world ?

http://www.krbykobr.cz/Reference_Ven..._Foto-600.html
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:18 PM   #16
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yeah, I was thinking of getting rid of that piece of rebar... or putting a couple of bricks at the same level in the back as a ledge for a charcoal pan. Then the grills could both be used and there would be plenty of air under the charcoals. There just doesn't seem to be enough space underneath for wood.

I kind of suspect that the builders found some DIY instructions in a magazine somewhere. Wish I could find the original plans!
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:30 PM   #17
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yeah, I was thinking of getting rid of that piece of rebar... or putting a couple of bricks at the same level in the back as a ledge for a charcoal pan. Then the grills could both be used and there would be plenty of air under the charcoals. There just doesn't seem to be enough space underneath for wood.

I kind of suspect that the builders found some DIY instructions in a magazine somewhere. Wish I could find the original plans!
check this out....i did a reverse google image search with that photo and got this website....its all in russian or some thing but theres a lot of rigs that are roughly the same as the one you have....strange , but they look like a real type of woodfired oven or grill . maybe popular in that part of world ?

http://www.krbykobr.cz/Reference_Venkovni-krby_krbv-034_Foto-600.html
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:37 PM   #18
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huh. cool site. Maybe the rebar keeps logs from rolling out? But if it's wood-fired, looks like it could be a cool pizza oven? I'll have to experiment. Science!
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:39 PM   #19
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Reverse google image search ?

I learn something every day.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Reverse google image search ?

I learn something every day.
Right click on the image you have, select "Copy image URL".
From the Google home page click on the "Images" link on the toolbar at the top.
In the search bar left click on the little camera icon, paste the URL in the box that appears and hit enter. All the websites which contain that image or similar will be listed.
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