As someone who grew up with a Smokey Joe, I thought that was the only small BBQ to have. Got my own when we got married, of course. Added the tamale pot to make my own smoker out of it. But I never really quite understood why anyone would take it anywhere. It's rather big for a portable grill, gets hot and stays hot forever.
On vacation recently, I was noticing a small red and black rectangular (very cheap) grill. My friend I was staying with said "That's interesting that you are checking that grill out. Do you know whose grill that was? That was your father's grill! I got it when your sister moved, your dad used to take that to the beach all of the time!"
Well that got me thinking. Like a message from Dad beyond the grave. Got back from vacation, started looking around at portable grills. Found the Weber Go Anywhere... 71 dollars new?! There is NO WAY my wife will let me spend 71 bucks on ANOTHER charcoal grill when I already have three (and a blackstone griddle besides).
Checked Craig's list... JACKPOT. Someone was selling one for 20 bucks... the photos didn't look good, but I checked it out anyway. It was in good condition! Brought it home, showed the wife, who rolled her eyes so far in her head it took her three and a half minutes to find them again.
That was Thursday. On Friday I smashed the corner into some steps and took the enamel off one of the corners.
On Saturday for the first cook I planned a fishing outing with the boys. Woke up the four oldest early and brought the WGA. We had scrambled eggs, breakfast steak (on sale, cheaper than the sausages I was going to get so why not), and hash browns.
I fired it up with 18 coals because I read a lot of reviews and someone said 18 coals is enough to cook a meal on. Looked like a mighty skimpy amount of coals, I'm used to most of a chimney for the Smokey Joe.
The whole time I was cooking, they were complaining. "Ugh. It's raining. I don't know why I bothered to come. I'm bored. I don't even like eggs!" (Or steak (!?), or hash browns -- depending on which kid was saying it, somebody didn't like something!)
By the time the food started coming off the grill they were hungry enough to eat it whether it was their favorite or not. They each ate their steak, even the one who said he didn't want one (leaving nothing for Dad, how rude).
Then while I cleaned up, they wandered down to the dock. Someone else at the dock had pity on them and gave them a few worms, and they started reeling the fish in (it was sprinkling a bit, and then the sun came out). By the time I got there they were flinging fish out of the water and all having a blast.
By the end of the trip, on the way home, they all agreed it was the best trip ever. From "I don't even know why I bothered to come" to "best trip ever".
Okay so I'm supposed to be talking about this grill. Here's the thing I love: it fits right in the back of the van. It lives back there full time now. The Smokey Joe does not fit in the back of the van. I have to put it up in with the passengers... and with seven kids and the wife it would have to be just about on someone's lap.
On the fishing trip, I put the WGA on top of a public grill, and when I was done cooking, I dumped the coals into the grill, set it aside, and let it cool down. Easy.
18 coals was barely enough to cook three separate things, one at a time. (I think I added three or four unlit ones, to be honest.) By the time the hashbrowns were on, there was not enough heat to really brown them, but there was enough to get them cooked, and they had plenty of butter and it was raining a bit so they got eaten anyway.
So yes... super happy with my new grill! Now I just have to remember to get it out of the van and pop some high heat spray paint on that corner where I chipped the enamel off.