What is a Camping Grill?

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  • Written By: Ron Marr
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 January 2020
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A camping grill is the simplest type of cooking device one could ever imagine. It may be homemade, something handy that people can toss together when they are spending time in the deep woods, or it may be purchased in virtually any grocery or hardware store. Many people purchase a camping grill for backyard meals or picnics, and they are also popular to take along on any sort of boat that features a table. A camping grill is quite commonly referred to as a tabletop grill, as it is light, compact, and can easily fit in a cooler or backpack.

The most popular types of camping grill are fueled by charcoal or propane. The charcoal version is often available for under $10 US Dollars (USD) and is comprised of a lightweight pan roughly three inches deep and 14 inches in diameter (7.6 and 35.6 centimeters respectively). A cooking grate fits across the top of the pan, and the entire contraption stands on either three or four detachable metal legs. Charcoal is poured into the pan, set alight, and allowed to burn down. The items to be cooked are placed on the grate, but due to their close proximity to the heated charcoal the grill needs to be monitored lest the food catch fire.


Propane-fired camping grills are a bit more expensive than their charcoal counterparts, and tend to run in the $18 to $40 USD range. They are considerably deeper and longer than the charcoal grill, perhaps five inches deep (12.7 centimeters) and up to two feet (61 centimeters) long. As a rule, they include a single propane burner that runs the length of the bottom of the pan, and are power by a 16-ounce (453.6 gram) propane container. Many propane camping grills have rudimentary heat controls, and they are perfect for cooking half a dozen hamburgers and a dozen or more hot dogs.

For some people, especially those who plan to stay in the woods for an extended period of time, only building their own camping grill supersedes the joy of cooking over an open fire. All one needs to carry is a small roll of thin, flexible wire and a square, metal grate, such as the type that can be salvaged from an old oven or refrigerator. Building this grill requires only three or four steps, and can usually be completed in less than 30 minutes.

First, build a fire ring by stacking up rocks in a circle. Find three sticks of about two inches (5.08 centimeters) in diameter and roughly 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length. Securely wire the tops of the limbs together in an overlapping fashion, and set the device over the fire ring. Make certain the bottom ends of the sticks are outside the ring, not inside. This device is now a tripod.

Taking some more wire, connect four strands to the wires that bind the top of the tripod and let them hang straight down. Hook one wire to each of the four corners of the grate, making certain that it resides roughly two to three feet (60.96 centimeters to .91 meters) above the fire ring. Start a wood fire, allow it to burn down, and place food on the grate. When one leaves the campsite, he may simply undo the wires and return them to his backpack.



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