Saturday, May 22, 2010

Old Home Place - Built in Barbecue on Back Porch with Chimney



This is my Mom's house and where I grew up in North Carolina. We moved in around 1965 after my Dad finished up his stint with the Navy.



In the back of the house was an old barbecue or probably better called a grill which was never used during our time living there. I'm not sure why we didn't use the built in grill. I'm sure it was quite upscale for the time period as the house was built during the 1950s, and none of the other houses around had anything like our built in barbecue or outdoor kitchen area.

Our family did grill and a lot, but my Dad use the Portable Kitchen Outdoor Cooker or PK Grill which is a cast aluminum grill. It went off the market for several years but is now being sold again. It's a great charcoal grill and smoker, and our old one still works great after all these years.



The barbecue area was built right in with the back chimney which we used over the years and where we hung our Christmas stocking that my Mom made. Mine was lavendar - my favorite color.



Looking at the grill area from the top, you can see tht it had adjustment levels. That included both for the top cooking grate and the bottom grate which I'm guessing was the charcoal grate.



Although the grill was never used or covered and seasoned, it is still if very good condition. I'm guessing that the metal is cast aluminum. It's heavy like cast iron, but I think cast iron would be rusted after all these years. I did not see any rust issues.



There are two chamber areas to either side of the main grill area. I'm thinking those were probably for storage, but again I'm just not sure. This was built before I was even born, and I'm just not sure what they had in mind when building this unit.



Here you can see the general set up. There is the center grill and then the two smaller doors which open up to fairly large areas.



Obviously the side areas haven't been used for anything for years. In fact, the other side is painted shut and would take some work to get back so that it would open up again.



Looking inside one of the side areas, you can see that there is space to the side. I'm not sure if that is just venting for the fireplace inside or if perhaps the side areas were designed to bank wood to be transferred to the center grilling unit.

Some of my barbecue buddies over on Twitter where I tweet as cyndiallison were curious about my Mom's built in barbecue grill chimney, so I thought I'd just post it up and see if they or anyone else knows more about circa 1950s built in barbecue areas.

I may try this grilling area out some time. Even after all these years, it is is good condition, and I don't think it would take much to have it cranked up again.

9 comments:

Wilfred Reinke said...

Wow that is so cool!

That would be so much fun to cook on for a family reunion or something, Cyndi, you must get it up and running again and do a few cook outs on it.

Julie Reinhardt said...

Great photos, Cyndi! Thanks for posting them. Can you build a fire in the side openings, for indirect smoke to the grill?

Grill Girl said...

Gary Glen who works in building said he thinks that the heat from the fireplace was used to come around the corners there and cook bread or smoke meat. I'm still trying to find out more info on how to use this outdoor grill set up. Will post more if I learn more.

Bob said...

Looking at the side doors, those are designed to control heat, you can see the vents. Normally wood storage doors do not vent. It looks like a combo wood grill/wood oven to me. With two options for heating. Possibly a dutch oven stove on one side. And those castings look like cast iron to me, the company that made those is still in business in TN.

kitchenguy said...

That is SO brilliant! Cook something and tell us how you get on. C'mon we're all waiting! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great photos. The grill you show is a Vestal model OF-56. As noted in an earlier post, Vestal Manufacturing stills sells this unit, and the doors and accessories. Vestal is located in Sweetwater, TN.

Grill Girl said...

I appreciate the extra information. I'll have to look up Vestal.

Mike in Rochester, NY said...

Where do I find a cast iron charcoal insert like the one pictured? I want to use one in a new outdoor barbeque island I am having made. I can't seem to find it on line anywhere! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Anonymous said...

I have the exact same setup on the back of my all brick 1920's home. For 15 years I've though, fix that thing up. I need parts as the main doors and frame are rough now. Mine was Majestic but It looks exactly the same size wise. I will look up Vestal in TN. Thanks for the spot on posts I was losing hope in finding any information.

Jim
Hamburg, NY