This grill has different functional characteristics than large grills but the results are very good. What appealed to me was the rugged, simple, efficient design of this grill. It obviously is small, but the whole cooking surface is exposed to the fire so can all be utilized for cooking. The heavy nature of cast iron evens out the surface temperature. I had six skewers on at one time which completely covered the top.. I had to be careful but they all reached a cooking temp. If you do use skewers, you will get much better results if you keep foods of the same cooking time together. Meat on one, mushrooms on another, onion/ green pepper / pineapple/ apple on another, etc... Then you can properly cook each skewer. Brush foods that easily dry out with marinade or oil. It takes a lot less charcoal than a full sized grill. Start up time is therefore shorter since there is less to burn but holds enough to give you plenty of cooking time. The damper controls the rate of burn of the charcoal keeping them at a efficient level. The access door is large enough to manipulate the charcoals, add if necessary, and I found I can set a small amount of wood for smoking in this area and easily control their smolder next to the coals. The grill can be flipped with the "legs" up to increase the temperature by lowering the grill's height above the coals. To make it easier to clean, you can line the floor /fire box with HD foil.. to catch grease and ash. Also, treat all surfaces with a vegetable oil.. Flax is one of the best, but I use olive and that seems to work ok. You want to "season" the grill surface so it becomes non stick as possible. don't let it get so hot it burns off the seasoning or your food will stick. Not just the cooking surface but the exterior for rust prevention. When you use the carry handle, be aware that the grill's front will hang lower than the back so do not pick up the grill when there is food on top or you may have just done your dog a big favor. Make sure your grill is on a solid/ secure surface. Cast iron is brittle and you can crack / break if dropped. Also... if you rapidly cool not cast iron it can crack too... so cover it if there is rain.. and do not extinguish the fire with water.. let it burn out and cool. I am not 100% sure but I found my firebox cracked after the first use.. it rained on it as I was in eating... Thanks to Walmart's return policy, they are replacing it at no cost to me.. but it is less than a week old. I am single, so will mostly be cooking for myself. Of course it depends on the size of each person's portion but you could serve four people. What I've cooked so far has been some of the best flavors I've ever made. I've always used gas grills but charcoal does give you superior flavors... I doubt I'll use gas again. This little grill will give you many great meals with proper care. If you understand its limitations you will not be disappointed with what it can do.
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