Is there such a thing as an old-fashioned grill anymore?
Nowadays we roll out the Weber or connect the Dark Star burner to a propane tank and fire it up. It does the job, but we’ve been thinking of building something permanent that won’t rust or blow away in a storm.We visited outdoor kitchen showrooms and searched Pinterest. Most of what we saw was too elaborate. First of all, we don’t have a lot of space. We don’t need storage for grill tools or pans out there; that all ends up filthy and buggy. We sure don’t need a wine cooler or a flat-screen tv.
We found what we were after in the Azores last summer. The place we rented in Flores had this simple old-style brick and stone grill. It reminded us of what we used to see in backyards or parks when we were growing up. After a couple amazing meals on it, Toby wanted to build something similar at home.
It all started with a good plan.
A brick base:We had leftover soapstone from our kitchen countertops, and our neighbors contributed the leftovers from their soapstone counters as well. (Thank you, Jennifer and Dennis!) Unlike granite, soapstone can withstand direct flames indefinitely. We could have used fire bricks, but they don’t look as nice.
The soapstone also made for some nice cantilevered shelves on the sides.The soapstone seams are epoxy except for the hearth, which is fire mortar.We’ve got a natural gas line running to the house already, so we ran the line to the grill. It was hard to find a natural gas burner; most are propane. We finally found one at a restaurant supply store next to our favorite Asian market. We connect the burner when we want to use it, otherwise we keep it stowed away so it doesn’t rust. The blue valve on the front controls the flame.
The grates are stored underneath, along with the chimney starter. The metal rods to hold the grates and the metal grate for the charcoal are marine-grade stainless steel from Online Metals (cut to size and shipped fast). It’s our take on an old-school backyard grill. We love it!