The Grill Tender is a computer controlled cooker that regulates user set cooking temps by mechanically opening and closing vents. We've seen only a few motorized vent control designs. One wonders how these Rube Goldburgesque solutions stack up against popular air controllers like BBQ Guru.
The cook box is divided into two sections: an indirect grate slides into the middle with a drip/water pan underneath and a direct/high heat grate on the bottom for cooking right over the coal. The interesting, wedge shaped firebox swings out from under the cabinet and allows you to tend the fire without opening the door: mitigating heat loss and reducing fly ash inside the cook area. A slide out ash removal tray is located under the firebox.
This new item is looking for an audience and is currently in very limited distribution.
Researched it from Afar
We have researched this product from afar by gathering info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources, with our BS meters on high.
Inventor, Bret Jacoby, built a prototype of his unusual Grill Tender in his garage circa 2003. In 2009 he became General Manager of E Systems Technology's Automation Business Unit, specializing in the design, manufacturing and support of industrial automation equipment. In 2011 Jacoby and his E Systems team began working on The Grill Tender and filed a patent on the current design.