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Old 08-02-2011, 11:51 AM   #15
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Just found this thread.

Have a question/concern. I'm guessing that the cooking grate is also aluminum. This makes it a no-go for me. I do not cook on anything aluminum. No pots/pans/whatever.... Aluminum has been linked to Altizers so it makes this one a no go.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:21 PM   #16
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what is an altizer?
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:23 PM   #17
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I think it's what you get when you drink too much beer out of aluminum cans.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:25 PM   #18
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oh o.k.......i've had that!
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:34 PM   #19
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What a kool looking grill!!!

Does "portable" mean it's easily broken down for storage?

Been looking for a Stream'n charcoal grill.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
What a kool looking grill!!!

Does "portable" mean it's easily broken down for storage?

Been looking for a Stream'n charcoal grill.

If you are referring to the PK, then, yes it will come apart for storage: the two pieces simply lift apart once the grill and the grate have been removed. But all of these are dirty after use. I simply move the item whole [once cooled] into a plastic lawn/leaf bag (canvas would be better) as I haven't yet built a box to move it plus charcoal and other tools; a crate I can leave in the truck. I figure weight at about 50-lbs total -- grill & stand -- so "portable" is relative to ones' idea of same. Newer ones may be lighter as the grate in this one is cast-iron. Also, mine is rounder, more ovoid than the current offerings (more room under the hood, possibly more grill area), and may weigh more.

I think that the crate/box lid may be built with a metal-lined cradle that I can use in lieu of the stand (such as on a heavy wood or concrete picnic table top).

I also don't separate the pieces as I nearly always have charcoal left over to use again. After shutting the vents the fire extinguishes, and, as the PK is well-made, no air gets in. I use very little charcoal, overall.

I also use a galvanized bucket under the lower vent to catch ashes and to clean the unit interior with a garden trowel (Sears Craftsman, ca. 1965; tools bring back memories). I mention these other items as I figure that people don't always consider the tools that are accessory to the equipment.

For someone using one or more Dutch Ovens, the "problems" are similar as to bulkiness, dirt, storage and tools. There are always smaller and lighter alternatives. I choose economy of operation, some weight/size, and longevity over them. This, for me, is a great outdoor stove/oven.

I think my next Dutch Ovens are also going to be aluminum -- as we used in Boy Scouts -- for I value being able to slide crates, etc, around in my 8' pickup bed on the plastic bedliner. The box/crate would be large and I imagine I can easily get it to over 100-lbs with the PK, Dutch Ovens, fuel, tools, misc, in a hurry. Some of our cast iron cookware also travels in the truck, so it may be included.

"Portable" is a loaded question. Cooking is the real pleasure of RV'ng in my book, so it isn't at all a burden. None of this goes in the trailer as you can see. I would do some measuring and kalkerlatin' about the back of the Suburb you have to see if one or more "boxes" will suit the PK oven (and other outdoor "fire equipment").

PK Review with Pics

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Old 08-02-2011, 03:04 PM   #21
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Prior to a bit of restoration (as with above pic). Still haven't used an aluminum brightener, but stand polished up and some TLC makes it good.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:49 PM   #22
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Where is the new PK made?
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:25 PM   #23
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Arkansas

PKGrills.com

Another review


In 1953, Hilton Meigs designed the world famous Portable Kitchen® outdoor cooker.

The immediate popularity of the grill inspired the Meigs family to move to larger operations in Tyler, Texas from Beaumont, TX after a year. Using Tyler as their base of operations, Mr. Meigs and his son, Douglas, loaded as many grills as possible in their 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air (removing the back seat to accommodate more grills) and traveled all across the Lone Star State to pitch their cooker. (How my father got his). Sales soon spread to retailers across the country and to several countries overseas.

By 1958, demand for the cookers was so great that Mr. Meigs decided he could no longer manufacture, market and distribute the grill by himself and negotiated his rights to a group of investors led by Lester Watson and Jasper L. Corley. The grill continued to be manufactured in Tyler until Lewis Hamlin moved the operations to Little Rock and Jacksonville, Arkansas circa 1963. The cooker was then sold worldwide to barbeque aficionados in a variety of models and sizes, painted and raw.

The cooker gained international stature with thousands being exported worldwide. Records show that over 8,000 of the popular Portable Kitchen® cookers served along with our forces in the front lines of Vietnam. One army cook wrote that over 2,000 meals had been cooked on his unit cooker during stationing in three foreign countries and at home in the US.

Unfortunately, the advent of cheaper stamped metal charcoal grills and trendy gas grills of the eighties led to an early retirement of the heavy duty cast aluminum cooker, despite its superior design and manufacture. Tired of rusted out, cheap charcoal grills and convinced that a propane flame could never produce the flavor of charcoal-fed hickory smoke, Paul and Sarah James retrieved one of Mr. Meigs’ Portable Kitchen®cookers at a garage sale.
The rest is history.

The heavy cast aluminum construction of the Portable Kitchen® cooker reflects heat from all surfaces far better than cookers made from other materials. This reflected heat cooks food more evenly without constant turning or repositioning on the grill. The charcoal grate is made from raw steel and the cooking grid is nickel plated. Adjustable vents in the lid and dampers under the fire allow easy temperature control for slow cooking without flare-ups from dripping fat. Once the lid is lowered, the food cooks evenly - bathed in smoke for an unforgettable charcoal-fed hickory smoked flavor. Because of its aluminum construction, the Portable Kitchen® cooker will last for decades without rusting.

The PK Grill also comes with a full one year warranty! And, it's completely made in the good ole' US of A! Size & Weight: The cooking grid measures 14 3/16 inches by 21 1/2 inches and the charcoal grate measures 20 inches by 12 1/2 inches. Also, the cooking grid has rounded corners.

The weight is approx. 42 pounds.


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Old 08-02-2011, 05:01 PM   #24
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As a note, my father was in (as was called) Industrial Advertising. Oil & Gas Supply. His biggest client was Halliburton in those days, and I am speculating that -- as on every drilling rig extant there is a BBQ grill -- that Brown & Root's contract to build the naval base at Cam Ranh Bay brought some over. I'd imagine that his purchase of one (out of the backseat) was O&G related. They'd have been all over the East Texas Oil Field by then . . not hard to imagine the "sell" as a morale booster to the troops as they were light and indestructible. Or, use by REMFs if one was at the pointy end of the spear. The "story" is that those grills were in use by Vietnamese street vendors as recognized by ex-GI tourists a few decades later.

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Old 08-02-2011, 07:07 PM   #25
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No end of links. Several hundred reviews online. Weight appears consistently as 40 to 42-lbs (versus my 50-lbs above where I lifted the cooker and stand together).


Amazon: 35-Reviews

Buzzillions

Grill Girl Blog Review

BBQs Inc

BBQ Smoke Review

The Smoke Ring: Pics [probably the style most are familiar with]

BBQ Guys: 37 Reviews


TOOLS

Now, as to tools. One needn't have a bucket, per se, as the ash drop is low. But it's handy to keep any ash off the surface below; it's good for cleaning out the cooker; it's handy to store other tools & misc.

The trowel is handy in all sorts of ways. I use it to lift the grate if I'm adding more briquets, or, more likely, to shake them up and get the ash to fall off. It's mainly a scrape & clean tool.

Galvanized Bucket

Garden Trowel


COMMENTS

The Epinion link has my best take on this.

The PK is not small, it is not a tailgate cooker, it is what you want when you are planning to cook over a number of days (and, if like me, in conjunction with others), and cooking all day long be it several meals, several groups, etc. It is small enough for two, but large enough for an 11-lb turkey. Grill or smoke, it can do it.

I saw on several reviews that others had "burned through" the case. This would only happen if the charcoal grate were missing. We are warned NOT to allow charcoal against the sides, and to not use ordinary wood, etc. I mix briquets with all sorts of stuff and do not have a problem. Neither, obviously, did my father.

July 4th weekend last I loaded the oven with charcoal and cooked a pork butt Sunday and a brisket Monday. (I finish these in kitchen oven; about 2-hours smoke is enough). Still had charcoal left over the following weekend to cook 10-lbs of chicken: Load the prepped chicken on the grill, turn once and make room for sausage. Two hours. Keep lid closed and temps to spec. Done.

High winds and cold temps can be adjusted for without too much trouble (unlike propane and sheet-metal grills).


POLISH

Mine is going to need media blasting to smooth the surface properly. One can certainly sand (using finer grades of paper) down to a shiny surface. How well it will remain so is unknown to me. But I can't imagine that some care and preparation would make it terrible to keep up. I'd like to have mine near-shiny at least (exterior), and keep the interior a bit more clean than I have.

There should be end to inventiveness as to a cart [riveted aluminum] that, with cooker removed, could be a bar cart. On the factory piece there will be the need for ball-bearing wheels I'd say. Imagination could work wonders for this whole idea of Official Airstream BBQ.

.
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:41 AM   #26
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Stainless steel grate

Stainless steel grate, no Altizers issue here


Quote:
Originally Posted by Getaways View Post
Just found this thread.

Have a question/concern. I'm guessing that the cooking grate is also aluminum. This makes it a no-go for me. I do not cook on anything aluminum. No pots/pans/whatever.... Aluminum has been linked to Altizers so it makes this one a no go.
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