Grilling on picnic grills

Discussion in 'Grilling Tips' started by anubis2k7, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. anubis2k7

    anubis2k7 Newbie

    I've been trying to look into methods of grilling on typical picnic grills like this one

    As we all know, these grills tend to be pretty nasty/not really taken care of well. So I was looking for a cleaner way of grilling. Here's what I've come up with:

    1) Use tin foil, but poke holes so that the fat/runoff has somewhere to go: I've tried this before, but it doesn't really work well. The tin foil burns/gets torn easily and it's still a mess

    2) Use a camp grill like this

    Not really sure if this will work though, since the grate will be on top of the grill and will be really far from the charcoal.

    3) Use grill liners, like the ones made by Clean BBQ. Seems like a good idea, but on a lot of the reviews, it says they melt. Not sure if this works

    4) Use frog mats. Another good idea, but they also have melting issues and it is explicitly stated that they are not designed for direct heat.

    5) Use grill toppers like these:

    Of all the alternatives, this seems like the best solution, though I'm not sure about potential pitfalls, such as uneven heating, or the topper gets too messy after only grilling a small amount of meat, etc

    Has anyone tried any of these methods, or do you have any other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
    noboundaries likes this.
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah, I don't trust those campsite grills either.  I used to have a Weber Little Smokey we used but it walked away from a campsite one night.  Our Camp Chef combo propane stove has a grillin' side that we use now, and we can throw it back in the truck before we turn in so it doesn't grow legs.

    I like your grill topper idea.  Just spray all sides with olive oil and it should clean up easily.  I use one shaped a little different for veggies on the Weber here at home and see no reason that the ones you showed wouldn't work great on those nasty campsite grills too.   I like it! 
  3. oddball

    oddball Smoke Blower

    Spare or cheap grills work.  You just don't need the legs.  Simply lay flat.
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What he said.

    And really, a nice hot fire is gonna take care of any bacteria, then a grill brush will clean the grates of any debris left stuck on there. I know what you mean though, it gives me the heebie jeebies to use those grills.
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've used those using sticks found in the area.
    Get a good hot fire, set coals to side, toss on foil with a bunch of pokes.
    Keep feeding with sticks.
    Food can be foiled individually as well.
    I try and stay away from connifers once the coals are going.
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  7. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    They've been removing those grills from a lot of the local parks. However they do allow grills so you can bring your own.

    I organize volunteer events in the parks, and lunch is part of the deal. After blowing ~$200 on pizzas I got a pop-up gas grill and now I just cook basic burgers and dogs for more like ~$30.

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