I'm currently pining for the old fashioned type of BBQ, which was just a slab of metal over a fire. No lips on the edge, no hole in the middle - just a roughly cut slab. It sometimes wasn't very flat, and the BBQ itself certainly wasn't level.
The beauty of that design is it allowed all the fat to drain off the edge, either into the fire, onto your feet or onto the grass behind the BBQ. Once you got the tilt setup properly, you had a self draining BBQ.
I spent yesterday cleaning our fancy modern BBQ. It's got a tiny drain hole in the centre, and it clogs faster than Peter Slipper can fill out a taxi voucher. The fat drains into a container underneath that holds less than half a cup by volume. That means crawling under the BBQ on a regular basis to empty the fat container.
BBQ design needs to go one way or the other - either build a fat trap that is so small, it needs to be emptied after every use, or install one the size of a large bucket; one so large, you throw it out when you get rid of the BBQ, and never have to bother emptying it.
You know it makes sense.
My best friend uses a plough disk as his BBQ plate, It is shaped the same as a wok but three times the size and has an appox one inch hole in the centre, all the fat rolls straight into the wood fire beneath it. Perfect for a BBQ plate.
Disc, from a disc harrow. Available with notched or smooth edges.
Just Back from Lord Howe Island where I saw the perfect BBQ. There is a photograph here:
unfortunately it does not do it complete justice.
It is simply welded out of about 7.5mm plate, has a slot at the back of the hotplate where the fat can run into the firebox, and is mounted with a bit of tube onto a 75 mm gal pipe driven into the ground allowing you to rotate it to suit the breeze.
Given sufficient incentive I could probably draw it up so any moderately competent home handyman with welding experience could make it.
They are everywhere on Lord Howe - brilliant.
One of the best BBQ plates I ever used was not exactly a plate. It was a large-ish flat section of fabricated stainless steel that is used as a screen in large, deep, water bores. About an inch thick, but as it is a sort-of mesh, not that heavy
Haven't seen one for a while, but now you've reminded me....
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