By Dave DeWitt
This is an on-going article–more weird smokers and grills will be added as I find them. If any readers out there have photos of them, please attach them to an email and send it to me here. Be sure to tell me the name of the unit, if you know it, and where and when you found it. We start off with a clever grill from Maine, at left. This drummer grill was built by college student John Campbell using car parts and other miscellaneous mechanical pieces. His next project, he says, might just be a keyboardist for the band. Not to be outdone is an oddball smoker from Texas.
I shot this at the Best of the West Rib Cookoff at the Nugget Casino in Sparks, Nevada in 2005 and later learned that the North Main Street Barbecue in Euless, Texas uses this rig for catering. Next up is a much larger commercial unit.
It’s a Bar-B-Q Shack Concession Trailer with a Cabin and 4 foot smoker, built by Southern Yankee Bar-B-Q. It measures 8 feet by 20 feet. Next is perhaps the funniest one of all.
Called the “Hot Squat Smoker,” this unit really works. It was built by Hawgeyes BBQ of Ankeny, Iowa, and food editor Gwyneth Doland shot it at the BarbeQlossal Pork Cookoff in Des Moines in 2007. How to follow this? Let’s go Hemi!
Tim Kowalec built this HEMI-powered BBQ grill for Chrysler’s “What Can You HEMI?” contest in 2005. Tim’s “manly man’s barbecue grill” features a 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI engine, and can cook 240 hot dogs in 3 minutes! Speaking of technology…
Barbecue expert Mike Stines shot this at the 2005 American Royal cookoff in Kansas. It was built by the Swine Flew BBQ using the fuselage of a Cessna airplane. I wonder if it could carry The Bomb?
I shot this at the Best of the Best Invitational Barbecue Cookoff in Douglas, Georgia in 2004. Unfortunately, I neglected to write down the name of its designer. It certainly looks ominous. Here is another unusual smoker from the same event.
Built by the Bar-B-Q Bandits of Eddy, Texas, this unit combines the appeal of a Model T Ford with classy modern smokers.
Now, here’s some cutesy smokers.
Traeger Industries produces the Lil’ Pig and the Longhorn Steer smokers for a mere $1495 each. Much more expensive and a bit larger is this one:
Billed as “The World’s Largest Grill and Smoker,” this semi unit made an appearance at the Great Superbowl BBQ Cookoff, just prior to the Super Bowl XXXVII in 2004. I was a member of the Cackalacky Team but had enough time to shoot this unit. It was built by Trace Arnold and can cook an amazing amount of food. The wood-fired 48″ by 120″ grill cooks approximately 200 steaks simultaneous or 1000 hot dogs. Its smokers can smoke 2000 pounds of meat at the same time!