We all love good equipment, but certain things go beyond necessity and into the realm of passion. For me a charcoal-fired barbecue definitely counts as a passion. There are disadvantages to charcoal, to be sure, but nothing can touch it for flavor, and for me that flavor is worth the inconvenience involved in storing briquettes and disposing of ash.
My quest for the best portable charcoal barbecue ended when I found the Snow Peak IGT BBQ Box, which offers an ideal combination of excellent quality, compact dimensions, precise heat control, and easy cleanup. The construction is robust, starting with a stainless steel main box and a removable briquette tray. The tray has three positions, which allows, say, a fast sear followed by a lower heat for finishing. The lever that changes the height gets very hot and is impossible to adjust with bare hands. Fortunately, my multi-tool does the trick. The tightly spaced grill design will seem strange to Weber owners, but the advantages quickly become obvious. Never again will you watch in horror as a jumbo prawn slips between the bars and lands in a cloud of ash. I now fearlessly toss shrimp, steak strips and sliced veggies on the grill surface. The entire assembly packs up into a 9 ¾ x 14 x 5” package, and weighs 11 pounds. The compact dimensions make it easy to find a place to store the unit, but the resulting grill area does limit portion sizes to about four people. I like using the Snow Peak grill so much that is has completely replaced my big home Coleman grill, which now sits rejected in a corner of the patio, collecting spider webs.
Recipe: Argentine Rib-eye with Chimichurri
Recipe provided by Felipe Negritto, an Overland Journal reader from Argentina
Choice or Prime, aged for three to four days in the refrigerator. Add liberal amounts of sea salt to both sides. Grill over a hot bed of coals and mesquite (chips if necessary, soaked in water). Typically five to seven minutes per side, turn only once.
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Juice from one lemon wedge
- 1 teaspoon course black pepper. (fresh ground preferred)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Mix contents in a bowl and let sit for a few hours in the fridge for the flavors to blend and enhance. Use as a topping for steaks and game meat after they are cooked.
Other Delicious Options: Salmon
Expanding our menu beyond the hoofed variety, we grilled salmon on a cedar plank with a pepper and lemon glaze. I added extra mesquite chunks to bring out a deep smoked flavor, enhancing the cedar.
The lid includes an adjustable exhaust vent. The BBQ Box can even be used to cook bread, muffins and rolls.