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11 Cool, Creative and Totally Crazy Barbecue Grills

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It’s summertime, which means it’s time to start burning hot dogs grilling! If you’re in the market for a new one, maybe one of these strange grills will spark your interest.

Tired of grilling your meat with boring old wood, charcoal or gas? Well then, ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. This grill runs on a 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI engine. It can cook 240 hot dogs in only three minutes—we'll let you calculate the dogs-per-gallon ratio yourselves.

This muscle car grill might not run on an engine, but it is designed to look like a classic car motor, complete with exhaust pipes for ventilation and pistons for knobs. It also has a CD/MP3 player with speakers so you can rock out while you char steaks with your own custom grill brand.

Sure, motorcycle sidecars are pretty cool, but you know what’s even cooler? A mobile barbecue that’s big enough to feed a hungry motorcycle club. It may look like it was built for a biker with a big appetite, but it's really a custom build for New York restaurant RUB, which hired OC Choppers to make the bike.

The Baby Carriage Pit is exactly what it sounds like—a barbecue built inside of a vintage metal baby carriage. We're not sure why this exists. On the upside, it’s totally portable and would be easy to move through a crowded park.

The Texas Six Shooter Grill does not actually shoot food bullets, which is a shame.  But after loading the meats in the general chamber area, the barrel serves as the chimney, so there is a pretty cool smoking-gun effect.

One of the many failed merchandise concepts George Lucas was considering prior to the launch of the Star Wars prequels was a Death Star grill. The concept art made it to the 'net, where sheet metal worker Bryan Tate discovered it and decided to to make the grill into a reality. When it was all completed, Tate sold it on eBay to a lucky Star Wars fan.

You can always tow a small cabin or a large grill behind your pickup truck, but with the Bar-B-Q Log Cabin Concession Trailer, you can do both at the same time. That’s because this 8 x 12 log cabin comes with a built-in 6’ smoker or a 4’ smoker and a 2’ grill. Now that’s convenient.

The intricate details on this one almost make it look fake, but this dragon grill is in fact more real than dragons. Its creator, Ed McBride, dubbed it “Guardian of the Beast” before he sold it off for $65,000 at the Safari Club International 33rd Annual Hunters' Convention

Not every grill also serves as a work of art, but the sculptural ‘Circle’ grill by Fire and Steel certainly does, with its circular frame supporting the ash bowl and a hanging grill. While it looks like the grill could be dangerously wobbly, two support beams work to ensure it stays in place while you cook. If nothing else, this beautiful grill is an excellent conversation starter.

This space-saving wall barbecue folds up while not in use. The plate protects the wall from smoke and the bowl is designed to catch the ashes so it won’t spill all over your wall if you fold it up without cleaning it first.

Technically, this isn’t a grill, but a grilling accessory that converts your standard kettle grill into an oven that can be used to make smoky, gourmet pizzas.

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Food
Does More Fat Really Make Ice Cream Taste Better?
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iStock

Cholesterol. Sugar. Carbs. Fat. As diet-trend demons come and go, grocery store shelves fill with products catering to every type of restriction. But as any lifelong snacker knows, most of these low-sugar/carb/fat options can't hold a candle to the real thing when it comes to taste. Or can they? Scientists writing in the Journal of Dairy Science say fat may be less important to ice cream's deliciousness than we thought.

Food researchers at Penn State brought 292 ice cream fans into their Sensory Evaluation Center and served each person several small, identical, unlabeled bowls of vanilla ice cream made with a range of fat levels: 6 percent, 8 percent, 10 percent, 12 percent, or 14 percent. The participants were asked to taste and compare the samples.

The researchers had two questions: Could participants tell the difference between varying fat levels? And if so, did they care?

The answer to the first question is, "It depends." Taste-testers' tongues could spot the fat gap of 4 percent between dishes of 6 percent and 10 percent. But when that range moved to 8 percent and 12 percent, they no longer noticed. 

More interestingly, reducing fat levels didn't have much effect on their interest in eating that ice cream again. They were equally interested in having a bowl of ice cream that had 6 percent fat and one that had 14 percent.

It's a bit like plain and pink lemonade, co-author John Hayes said in a statement. "They can tell the difference when they taste the different lemonades, but still like them both. Differences in perception and differences in liking are not the same thing."

Co-author John Coupland notes that removing fat from ice cream doesn't necessarily make it better for you. For this study, the researchers used the common industry trick of replacing fat with a cheap, bulk-forming starch called maltodextrin.

"We don't want to give the impression that we were trying to create a healthier type of ice cream," Coupland said.

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CasusGrill
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Design
A Cardboard Grill You Don't Have to Feel Bad Throwing Away
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CasusGrill

Just because a product is built to last doesn't necessarily mean it's good for the environment. In the case of barbecuing, disposable can be a good thing—if it's designed right. The Danish CasusGrill is a cardboard grill made from ingredients that break down quickly without causing environmental damage, as opposed to the aluminum versions (both disposable and traditional) that take hundreds of years [PDF] to decompose, as Co.Design reports.

The exterior is fashioned out of recycled cardboard, with the bottom lined with lava rock to protect the box from burning—and to insulate your hands against the heat, should you want to pick up the grill. The gridiron is made of bamboo, which has a higher ignition point and thus is less likely to catch on fire while grilling than regular wood.

Steak, sausages, and bacon cook on top of the cardboard grill.
CasusGrill

The grill is fueled by bamboo charcoal that gets hot enough to use in five minutes. Traditional charcoal briquettes usually have additives like coal and borax that make grilling a smoggy affair, while bamboo charcoal is a little more human-friendly. (It's the same kind of charcoal that's used in beauty products and those striking black charcoal-flavored foods.)

Based on the instruction video, it seems like the grill is just about ready to use straight out of the box. If you've ever put together an IKEA coffee table, the CasusGrill will be a breeze. You just have to fit a few cardboard pieces together to make the base, attach it to the grill, and light it up. Give it a few minutes to heat up, put the grate on top, and it's ready to go, cooking for up to an hour. When you're done, you can toss it on your campfire, leaving no trace of your cooking process. (Except the full stomachs.)

It's not available on the market just yet, but should be out sometime in August 2017. Go ahead and add it to your summer camping must-have list. You can pre-order the CasusGrill for $8 from The Fowndry.

[h/t Co.Design]

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