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*Based on 4" raw burger with 1/2" space on all sides

Portable Kitchen Grill aka PK Grill

By Max Good

Manufacturer: Portable Kitchen Grills

Portable Kitchen Grills began in Texas in 1952 and achieved modest popularity. Over the years the company changed designs and ownership and at one point was owned by Char-Broil. The brother and sister team of Martha and Paul James bought PK Grills from Char-Broil and brought back the original design. In 2014, they teamed up with new partners aiming to expand and grow. Although their website and brochures are getting a facelift, and we may hear and see more about PK, we are assured the original design with heavy cast aluminum body will not fundamentally change and manufacturing will remain in the USA.

We used a PK Grill in our Science of BBQ & Grilling With Meathead video series presented by Kingsford. Click here to see videos from that series and check out my Virtual Showroom vid below:

Portable Kitchen Grill aka PK Grill

Top Ten Charcoal Grill 2014The Portable Kitchen Grill is an elegant throwback resurrected from 1952. This rustproof, cast aluminum charcoal grill has a flat bottom making it easy to push the coals to one side for smoking and indirect cooking. There are adjustable dampers in the lid and under the fire. The 306 square inch grate is hinged for adding coals, and the oven can be lifted off the cart for cleaning, camping, or tailgating. It has a bottom shelf and side shelf.

The thick cast aluminum cook box has two sliding dampers on top and two on the bottom. Many people cook direct and indirect simultaneously with the PK. This versatility may be attributed to the rectangular shape, thick aluminum construction that retains and radiates heat, the tight fitting hinged lid and the twin dampers in both the top and bottom. Today most grills are made with thin coated steel or stainless steel, but when Portable kitchen began in the 50s, aluminum grills were common. PK will not rust; even the cart is aluminum with stainless steel fasteners. There are very few moving parts and no electronics, so many of these old grills are still in service today.

In fact, a lot of PK owners inherited their grills, or bought them used for $20 at a garage sale. We even found one guy who discovered a PK buried under a tangle of over grown brush at the home of an elderly relative. He cut it out, cleaned it up, bought new grates and started grilling! Most PK Grillers love their cookers with a cultish fervor.

We find ourselves using our PK more than our Weber Kettle lately primarily because it is so easy to set up in two or even three zones. Just push the coals to one side. This makes it both a grill and a smoker. The optional "Littlemore" grate that sits above the rear half adds significant cooking space. Our only nitpicking complaint is that ash and embers sometimes drop through the bottom vents, but we simply put a disposable aluminum pan underneath and problem solved. The folks at PK Grills put together an exclusive offer for AmazingRibs.com Readers that bundles the Grill, Littlemore Grate, PK Cover and Free Shipping for $399! Click here for The AmazingRibs.com PK Bundle.

Here's PK Grills in the news on Good Morning Arkansas.


$369 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

Primary Function: 





Primary Capacity: 

306 square inches ( about 15 burgers )

Manufacturer claims that all or practically all of this device is made in the USA


Review Method: 

Cooked On It

We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.

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About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, and how to cook great food outdoors. There are also buying guides to hundreds of barbeque smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, pulled pork, Texas brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, chili, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best all edited by Meathead Goldwyn.

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