Benny (devianttouch) wrote,


Since I intend on staying in my current apartment for a few years, and I have a really big porch, I would like to get a nice charcoal grill. It doesn't need to be highly portable (I have a tailgating weber for that) but it does need to be able to go up the stairs to my deck, which is on the second floor. It also can't be SO heavy that it's a threat to building integrity (the deck is actually a roof), but I doubt that would be a threat with anything I could afford anyway.

I am willing to spend up to $400 (perhaps more with REALLY good reviews and capablities). I would intend to make this purchase in May, so I have a few months to save for it. My car will be paid off a week from now, so I'll be able to have money again!

I feel strongly about using charcoal instead of gas. I want something that will serve several people, be easy to clean out (ash buildup was a huge hassle with my old one), and will last a long time.

Why do I want this, you ask? Because I love entertaining, but I no longer have a house to do it with. I no longer have a firepit, a yard, or even a TV. But I DO have a nice big porch and a telescope, so I figured I can throw a few good barbecues this summer, and show some folks a planet or two. It'll be nice to have people over again.

So if you have some suggestions for a certain grill to get, or even a good review website to suggest let me know. I'll spend this evening googling and looking, but I'm really interested in hearing if any of you have bought a grill in WI and have a good suggestion.

Edit: After doing some research I'm strongly considering the Weber 847001. Comments?
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I say you get your teeth plated with gold and put a diamond on your front left tooth.
I'm a fan of charcoal over gas as well - I'd recommend the big barrel-style grills - you get much more even heat, and they're designed to be used with smoking as well, for maximum deliciousness.
You know, I've never tried smoking. Resources would be appreciated. I don't even know... would smoking be a useful skill for a single guy to learn?
I'm far from a guru on the subject - what I know I know from a friend of mine who smokes meat a great deal - and it is a great feature at parties, single or not. I don't have any specific references, although I know that often one uses a special smoker unit (more of a cylindrical whassnam).
I didn't realize the rules were so different from single family homes as opposed to apartments. Annoying. Now I have to decide if I am to follow the rules, and not really entertain here, or break them, and enjoy myself.

Perhaps I need a smaller/transportable one and I can grill down on the yard. But that means running up and down stairs for things a lot.

I suspect I will simply break the rules a little. I can certainly place it 10 feel from the building since the porch is big, but it'll still be on a porch which is technically against the rules. I'm sure they don't enforce that often though - I grilled on a much smaller porch all the time when I rented before.
According to the fire code you can have an LP burner on a balcony if it has a small tank but you can't have a charcoal burner.

The grill safety article mentions that LP grills are a greater fire hazard than charcoal grills.

I love Madison ordinances.
On the subject of stupid Madison ordinances - my apartment is 400 sq feet, and has 3 tamperproof smoke alarms. There needs to be one in each room, and each walkway, which means there is one in my livingroom/kitchen (6 ft from the stove - I measured), one in the TINY hallway (7 feet from the stove) and one in the bedroom (2.5 feet from the hallway one, and therefore 9.5 ft from the stove). They ALL go off any time I cook, and since they're tamperproof I can't remove the battery.
a) i prefer LP over charcoal, but i was essentially raised in TX
b) swbmo prefers charcoal, but she can't ever get a fire started
c) my advice is to watch the curb/freecycle/clist for free grills. you'd be amazed how many are out there that you can get for free
and finally,
d) yeah. madison is really strict on grills in the firecode
I'm experienced with charcoal.

I really don't want a crappy curb grill. I usually LIKE free stuff, but this time it's something I want to have that's NICE. I'm trying to have nice things in my new place so I can stop feeling so crappy about it.
Maybe skip the curb then but Freecycle and Craigslist will often have very nice things, sometimes things that are basically new that someone just can't keep.
You're right about that. I've gotten some very nice things on CL and freecycle. Still, I may go with new simply because I have gone through several grills that I was not happy with, and this time I will want to get something I can be happy with for many years to come.

I always keep and eye on freecycle, so if something that sounds right comes up, great! I'll add grills to my CL searchterms too.
Have a good birthday this week! Good luck with the grill!