I want to make a wood-fired grill...

Joined Jan 8, 2008
Here's the deal. I have a fancy Weber gas grill...it works great...for a gas grill. I made the decision to buy it after some lengthy discussion on this site a few years ago, and I'm very happy with the grill...when company comes over, bazinga, it's there and works awesome.


y'all know I'm a little maniacal. The restaurant I go to has a wood fired grill...and I went to a butcher in Italy who grilled on a kickass makeshift grill.....and I'm loooking to build one.  SURE I can spend 113948103$ on a big green egg and it will be worth it... or just get a weber kettle, but I want to make one.

Here are some pictures of the grill I loved in Italy (in the back alley of a butcher shop!) 

Looks to me like a steel cart with some welding.

So, my questions are...is it as simple as it looks? 
what steel would be best to use? 

is there any sort of ventilation on the bottom or is it just a steel tray with a rack on top?

I have a welder, and I have access to any sort of steel stock I want, so that's not an issue....the actual construction for me is not an issue, just the design. You hear so much about air flow, blah blah.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
You could use something along the lines of 304 stainless. 

Things like wood grates, side, front and/or back venting, hoods, slide out ash drawers, and hugely adjustable grill heights aren't essential but they're awfully nice to have.  Especially adjustable grill heights.

The main thing about cooking over wood is having a grill big enough to handle the fire.  You need fairly large pieces of wood to start with, because smoker sized chunks burn down too much by the time they've achieved coal status.

By the way, it takes a long time to get a good wood fire going.  Even with fireplace logs you're looking at about hour and a half from lighting to cooking. 

Some people use two regular sized Weber kettles -- one to get and keep a fire going to make coals; the other to cook on.  It's an economical system.  If you're going to be doing long cooks, with all but the largest grills -- one big enough to have keep a section going for fresh coals -- a second pit to use as a fireplace is not a bad idea.

Unless you're doing something along those lines, BGEs don't work well as wood fired grill -- too small.  It's not that you can't make them do it -- but it's an effort.

Most of the commercially available, high-end wood-fired grills are just "regular" 1/4" plate.   And yes, Virginia, there are high-end wood fired grills with all the features.  You might want to buy one or might get enough of an idea from looking at the pictures for you and your metal guy to DIY.

Here are a few links to great grills in a couple of different styles.

Santa Maria Outfitters;
Klose (you'll have to navigate to "backyard grills," then "open faced grills with and without hoods");  and
Peoria Custom Cookers

My Bar B Chef Texas Grill works pretty well, but they're no longer made.  I can't recommend Barbeques Galore new charcoal grill nor any of the inexpensive clones -- with one exception.  That's the old CB 940X which is sort of adequate.

Hope this helps,
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