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 Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$)

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bartl

  • Total Posts: 1208
  • Joined: 7/6/2004
  • Location: New Milford, NJ
Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Thu, 06/24/10 1:50 AM (permalink)
About 21 years ago, I was in the market for a cast iron hibachi. I had learned a few things the hard way about them, but loved the way they held the heat, and worked VERY well on hambugers, hot dogs, chicken pieces, kebabs, and steaks. I found one at Macy's for $12.  It was a folding, portable cast iron hibachi, that had a few interesting features:

1) It was a double hibachi, with the advantages thereof.
2) It had an interesting design; there was a slide so that when open, it allowed the hibachi to act as a chimney, and lit up in about 10 minutes. When closed, it snuffed out the charcoal, but it got so hot in the meantime that the food on the grills just burned off.
3) It took an hour or two to cool down, not a good thing for a portable hibachi. The instructions advertised an insulated "snuffer bag", but it was made of asbestos, and, as such, was no longer in production. Still great for backyard barbecues.
4) Putting it out with water would cause a pretty much irreversible rust. That's what happened when my wife and I left for a few days, and my teenage daughters FAITHFULLY PROMISED to follow the directions should they use it. Needless to say, they didn't.

Well, a few years back, the company FINALLY came out with a snuffer bag. I'm assuming it's the same gadget. Problem is that, for the grill and the snuff pouch, it's running about $70 on Amazon and Ebay. A bit more than I would want to spend on it, based on the use I'd get from it these days (I use a Weber Smoky Joe Gold; only recommended if you want a full sized portable, because there IS  a bit of a problem with the venting). Here's the home site. http://www.sonofhibachi.com/index.html

If anybody owns one or buys one, please post. I would like to be convinced to buy another one...

Bart


 
#1
    mar52

    • Total Posts: 7596
    • Joined: 4/17/2005
    • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
    Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Thu, 06/24/10 2:03 AM (permalink)
    I'm thinking this son of is not made of cast iron.  Appears to me to be a copy of design made of inferior materials.


     
    #2
      bartl

      • Total Posts: 1208
      • Joined: 7/6/2004
      • Location: New Milford, NJ
      Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Sun, 06/27/10 11:42 PM (permalink)
      mar52

      I'm thinking this son of is not made of cast iron.  Appears to me to be a copy of design made of inferior materials.

      Thanks for the head's up. I have written to the company to ask them; I will pass on their answer.

      Bart

       
      #3
        mar52

        • Total Posts: 7596
        • Joined: 4/17/2005
        • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
        Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Mon, 06/28/10 7:32 PM (permalink)
        Cast Iron is what made the hibachi such a great grill for steak.  It has sear power!
         
        #4
          Twinwillow

          • Total Posts: 4896
          • Joined: 4/15/2006
          • Location: "Big D"
          Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Mon, 06/28/10 8:52 PM (permalink)
          This thread brings back memories for me. Way back in 1965, the first Mrs. Twinwillow and I moved to San Francisco. We had a cute little apartment with a tiny patio. I bought my first BBQ for that tiny patio. It was the original cast iron Hibatchi. We enjoyed many a steak on that little grill.    
           
          #5
            ScreamingChicken

            • Total Posts: 4715
            • Joined: 11/5/2004
            • Location: Stoughton, WI
            Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Mon, 06/28/10 9:32 PM (permalink)
            Lodge has a hibachi that's caught my eye but it looks to be around $120, so it'll remain a pipe dream for now.

            Bart, a somewhat common mod to the SJG is to drill out the bottom for a 3 or 4-hole daisy wheel vent.  Personally, I find a full-size 18" kettle to be more portable because the legs can be removed while the SJG's legs are fixed and it's too tall for the car trunk.

            Brad
             
            #6
              bartl

              • Total Posts: 1208
              • Joined: 7/6/2004
              • Location: New Milford, NJ
              Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Wed, 06/30/10 3:09 PM (permalink)
              To Mar: Still no word from the SOH people about the construction. Does not bode well. I have seen on youtube a commercial for a British version of the product, which claims to be cast iron, however.

              To Brad: My car's trunk is big enough for the Smokey Joe Gold; I will research the mod you talked about and give it a try. Thanks.

              As for the Lodge, I remember seeing it for more like $60. It's a shame that cast iron hibachis are so hard to find these days; I got my first one from a supermarket for a couple of bucks back in the mid-70's; I've tried the steel ones, but really don't see the point. The Lodge, of course, doesn't have the built-in chimney starter or the self-cleaning advantage.

              I just checked out Chef Central in Northern New Jersey (which generally has good stock and mediocre prices), and they're charging $90. I see on Amazon, that they have the kind of cast iron hibachi that I originally had for $25, but there are complaints of major quality control problems. To me, the main advantage of the original Son of Hibachi were the quick setup and takedown, but, as I said to Mar, if it is not cast iron, then I withdraw any recommendation.

              Update: I called up Son of Hibachi on the phone. The bad news: it's now stamped steel. Sigh. The good news: The man who bought out the old business also bought out all the old stock, so he has a bunch of the original cast iron ones. You'll have to deal with him directly if you want to buy one, though.
              <message edited by bartl on Wed, 06/30/10 3:25 PM>
               
              #7
                Foodbme

                • Total Posts: 9543
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                • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Wed, 06/30/10 4:41 PM (permalink)
                 
                #8
                  mar52

                  • Total Posts: 7596
                  • Joined: 4/17/2005
                  • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                  Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Thu, 07/1/10 12:24 PM (permalink)
                  Bart, I hope that you're able to obtain one of the old stock cast iron grills.  I just knew the new one looked like stamped steal.  

                  I have a cast iron hibachi made by the John Wright Company.  It's in the garage in case of an emergency like the Northridge Earthquake.

                  Normally I cook on a Big Green Egg.

                  After the quake I had a huge gas grill, but the gas was turned off.  I had to drive south of LA to find a store that had charcoal.  I needed to cook some of the meat in my freezer.  I didn't want it to go bad and I was able to share with neighbors.

                  My hibachi is the size that is good for 2 small steaks or 4 - 6 hamburgers.  It's never been used, but it is ready.  I also have charcoal stored for the same reason.

                  I've seen a lower priced hibachi at the Cost Plus World Market Stores.  You might want to check there.
                   
                  #9
                    ScreamingChicken

                    • Total Posts: 4715
                    • Joined: 11/5/2004
                    • Location: Stoughton, WI
                    Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Thu, 07/1/10 1:34 PM (permalink)
                    Foodbme


                    Here's the Mac Daddy of all Small Cast Iron Grills:
                    http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/11650-lodge-logic-sportsman-grill.aspx?cmpid=selects


                    That's the one!  Just can't justify spending that much, though.
                     
                    Bart, I think I was confusing the Smokey Joe Gold with the Smokey Joe Platinum, which is 18" in diameter.  It has the side vents and is sometimes modified with the daisy wheel vent, and it's the model that's too tall for my car's trunk.
                     
                    Brad
                     
                    #10
                      Russ Jackson

                      • Total Posts: 2257
                      • Joined: 11/28/2007
                      • Location: Xenia
                      Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Thu, 07/1/10 2:32 PM (permalink)
                      The Lodge Hibachi will last forever. So spend the extra money and buy one. Plus you will save alot of money by using way less charcoal instead of sparking up the Weber....Russ
                       
                      #11
                        Foodbme

                        • Total Posts: 9543
                        • Joined: 9/1/2006
                        • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                        Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Thu, 07/1/10 3:58 PM (permalink)
                        Brad_Olson


                        Foodbme


                        Here's the Mac Daddy of all Small Cast Iron Grills:
                        http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/11650-lodge-logic-sportsman-grill.aspx?cmpid=selects


                        That's the one!  Just can't justify spending that much, though.
                         
                        Bart, I think I was confusing the Smokey Joe Gold with the Smokey Joe Platinum, which is 18" in diameter.  It has the side vents and is sometimes modified with the daisy wheel vent, and it's the model that's too tall for my car's trunk.
                         
                        Brad


                        I googled "Lodge Logic Sportsmans Grill". There are other lower priced sources. Here's one:
                         
                        http://www.google.com/products/catalog?rlz=1T5GGLL_enUS264US264&q=Lodge+Logic+Sportsman+Grill&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=1677263540706018955&ei=ePIsTKPPFYW0lQec_4GsCg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDYQ8wIwAg#
                         
                        #12
                          Michael Hoffman

                          • Total Posts: 17815
                          • Joined: 7/1/2000
                          • Location: Gahanna, OH
                          Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Thu, 07/1/10 3:59 PM (permalink)
                          mar52


                          I'm thinking this son of is not made of cast iron.  Appears to me to be a copy of design made of inferior materials.


                          I've seen one, and it's sheet steel, I believe. Absolutely not cast iron.
                           
                          #13
                            bartl

                            • Total Posts: 1208
                            • Joined: 7/6/2004
                            • Location: New Milford, NJ
                            Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Tue, 07/6/10 10:54 PM (permalink)
                            Brad_Olson
                            Bart, I think I was confusing the Smokey Joe Gold with the Smokey Joe Platinum, which is 18" in diameter.  It has the side vents and is sometimes modified with the daisy wheel vent, and it's the model that's too tall for my car's trunk.

                            Nope, you got the right one. One of the features that sold me on my car is its rather large trunk.

                            Bart



                             
                            #14
                              knightda8

                              • Total Posts: 22
                              • Joined: 5/12/2010
                              • Location: Scarborough, ME
                              Re:Favorite portable barbecue (but $$$) Mon, 04/4/11 6:23 PM (permalink)
                              I actually have both an old cast iron son of hibachi and the new version. The new version does seem cheaper with its stamped steel design. The grates are the same cast iron product.... the new grates will work with an old hibachi. I dont have the old snuff out pouch, but the new one works just fine and is made of nomex. I even have the silly rotisserie... it doesnt work well by itself, but if you use two 13 by 9 cake pans in a tent over it... it works aces.... Ive made gyros multiple times using alton browns recipe and a couple chickens.  A 13X9 cake pan makes a great lid for regular grilling... I mostly use the new one, because it is in somewhat better condition being 30 years newer... I dont notice much of a performance difference between the two.... they both get ripping hot. A 13X9 cake pan makes a great lid.
                               
                              #15
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