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By: Max Good
The 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 cookinggrate 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 BBQ 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.
The standard nickel plated steel grate rots out and will need replacement periodically. PK now offers a stainless steel grate upgrade and it may be ordered separately. Click here to purchase on Amazon.
Here’s PK Grills in the news on Good Morning Arkansas.
Portable Kitchen Grills began in Texas in 1952, the same year as Weber. Since then PK had ups and downs, changed ownership, went on and off the market, but the original classic, rust-proof aluminum bodies refused to die and kept the grills and the PK name and mystique alive as they were passed down from generation to generation. In 2014 a new management team began pumping life into this nichey old beloved grill that really hadn’t changed for over half a century. By the end of 2016 a new PK360 model was rolled out, beginning a new era for PK with more new designs to follow.
We used an Original Classic PK Grill in our Science of BBQ & Grilling With Meathead video series presented by Kingsford. Click here to see videos from that series
Published On: 2/18/2013 Last Modified: 9/15/2021
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