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Saturday, August 20, 2011

My third experience with the volcano stove

So I decided to try the volcano stove as a charcoal grill, for bratwurst and corn on the cob.

I soaked the brats in beer for about 30 minutes before grilling. It was a shortcut from my usual recipe.

I first set up the volcano by placing the "bottom grill" on the bottom, to put the charcoal on.

Then I lit the coals in my charcoal starter, waited for them to be ready, and poured them in.

When I put on the top grill, I immediately realized that I'd made a mistake. The food would be a lot higher than the coals; you want them to be closer for grilling.

I should have put the center heat deflector plate in place, and put the coals on that.

They used to have a "middle grill", sold separately, that was used for charcoal grilling, but it's been discontinued.*

*I emailed the company to ask where I can get one, or if I can get one. Apparently they'll be back in stock next month.

So instead of trying to handle hot coals, I solved the heat issue by covering the food, using a cast iron skillet as a makeshift lid.

The company does sell a "volcano lid," which is a tent looking thing, to cover the food and retain heat.

There is no "lip" around the top grill, so you need to be careful to keep food from rolling off.

Other than that, it's fine as a charcoal grill.

Contrary to what I've read about it, the outside is not "cool to the touch." It won't harm you if you touch it, but it's still hot.

You can still use it on tabletops though. The legs get warm, but not hot enough to melt anything.


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