A barbeque with proprietary charcoal

But it might wind up on the boingboing store someday. Never say never!


I own a Bob mini-dishwasher. Around 90 washes worth of cleaning cartridges is around $30. A bottle of liquid detergent for it is around $5 and contain around 150 washes worth.

Took me all of ten minutes to repurpose a small container by putting a mark for 10 mL worth of detergent on it.
Some people really under-estimate the ingenuity of the lazy.
(Also there’s no way I’ll put this thing on a network: I know what 'the Internet of things" really is like)


Odds are it’s designed more to trick investors than making a product to sell. That’s how you make money noiwadays. It foesn’t matter if the idea is good as long as you can make it sound good to someone with a few million to put into your company.


Proprietary charcoal and fuel pucks are pretty common. And pretty unpopular. A lot small portables seem to exist. Often luxury products. Seem more common in Europe.

Also don’t seem hard to get around, or to last long.

Most of them are these sort of perfect fit perforated deals often in the name of fuel efficiency. And there’s a bunch of compressed fuel things that always tend to. Often enough you can just use any charcoal or wood that’ll fit.

I’m guessing a electric element to light it, then fans and a thermostat to provide temperature control.

You don’t need proprietary charcoal for that though. It’s how pellet smokers work. And this exists:

Barbequing in the American sense also frequently refers to grilling and other out door cooking that isn’t Barbeque as a food.

As well as commonly to the event involving outdoor cooking, grilling, or barbequing. Or grills and smokers themselves. All those usages are quite old.

It’s just pedants who insist otherwise. Usually pedants for the primacy a single style of regional BBQ.


And hey. Looks like Amazing Ribs recently reviewed this thing.

It is in fact an electric starter and fan system with a thermostat, temp probes etc. Along with the heat spreader. They’ve essentially borrowed all the tricks from a pellet grill, but added a charcoal format that can’t be auto-fed.

The company actually says that regular charcoal can be used, but it may not work with their temperature control system.

Apparently temperature is as much determined by the kind of fuel puck you put in. They’re individually wrapped and soaked in an alcohol lighter fuel, rated for fixed cook times and temp ranges.

The fuel is also apparently unreliable and inconsistent. And they don’t recommend reloading with food in the unit because of that accelerant.

These people seem to have overcomplicated the hell out of this.


I really like the clean, simple lines of the design for this grill. My question is if the charcoal comes wrapped in tissue paper so I don’t get my fingers soiled when I handle it?


$900, and proprietary charcoal? Yeah nah. I can get a Weber kettle grill that will do 20x more and still have enough left over to buy my weight in charcoal to run it.


A grill thread and no one posted this yet? You guys are slipping!



They appear to come individually wrapped in single use mylar bags.

The design is really similar to PK grills. Which are sort of the OG cult following, last forever charcoal grill upgrade from a Weber.


A Green Egg?

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Mm, nah.

Long before your math teacher was saying “you know. Those Webers are good but I have this thing called a green egg”. It was “have you ever heard of a Portable Kitchen?”.

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Here in Germany I have a small el-cheapo (€80) “smoke-free” grill which works very well with coarse beechwood charcoal (that you buy in a large sack at the DIY store for reasonably little money). It does indeed produce very little smoke, which means we get to grill on our balcony without bothering the neighbours, and most of the parts that need to be cleaned can go into the dishwasher.


FTFY :wink:


That was meant to say small portable grills reliant on proprietary fuel.

Either charcoal pucks or compressed wood. They seem to pop up regularly. And they seem more likely to be European products, or have a following there.

Shit like Cobb grills. Which don’t need a proprietary fuel, but do have one.

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I’m most surprised that somebody hasn’t already trademarked “Briq” for some other form of BBQ Brick.

And also “not as bad as I expected”: no (apparent) chip or RFID tag in the authorized Briqs.



Clearly this product could be improved by attaching it to the internet and using DRM to prevent unauthorized charcoal briquettes.

I can kind of imagine the pitch meeting for this thing: it’s the Keurig of barbecue grills. We will sell charcoal bricks like K-Cups!

Of course, that was probably also Juicero’s pitch, only for juice…


As the prophet Doctorow teaches us, there’s a difference between this and a cooker that will throw up a cryptic error message and shut itself down if you try to use anything other than a Grillablez™ Authorized Carbon Fuel Ingot.

Besides, it looks like the flat form factor and holes are functional to some extent. (I have no idea if it functions well; I’m just saying it looks like it was done with a particular means of working in mind.)

All kinds of products have non-interchangeable refills or fuels or replacement parts. Sure, it’s a consideration as to whether you want to lock yourself into a given product ecosystem, but since I’m not reading anything about Big Grill sending cease and desist letters to third-party charcoal makers, this is a pretty far cry from “dystopian.”


So when the conversation turns to capitalism, you reach for your Browning?