About 15 years ago Johns father gave us this amazing wood burning grill from The Grillery. He had ordered it from the J. Peterman Catalog before the current online incarnation of the formerly well drawn catalog. We didn't know what we had, this quirky stainless steel box with the contraption mechanics of a gopher trap. You build a wood fire in the bottom grate, then you crank the grilling surface up away from the fire or down towards the heat. There is also a rotisserie attachment that is ideal for poultry. A primitive effective technology. The cranks look like something from an old submarine or something you would find on a firetruck and there are piano like wires that guide the grilling surface near and away from the fire. Really the perfect way to control heat while cooking on an open fire: proximity! More importantly as soon as you have fire you can start cooking--No waiting for coals to get just right.
This fourth we grilled kobucha squash, corn and small onions that cooked in tin foil. We used hickory wood that wasn't too strong for our veggie burgers made of shelling beans from our garden, kidney beans and bulgar wheat. I was very concerned that the burgers would stick but Not only did they not stick we got gorgeous grill marks as the burgers crisped up yet stayed moist inside.
When we had the restaurant we where so into the purity of everything and controlling variables that I think we may have resisted a few technologies that could have been helpful... Some even sitting in our backyard.
The Grillery will make it's first Professional appearance at a sold out home restaurant we are doing this Saturday July 11...