On our back patio, the previous owners built a brick structure that held a grill on one side (on the top) and a storage cave on the other side (on the bottom).
We used this charcoal grill a lot over the past 13 years, even after the clever mechanism that could raise and lower the charcoal bed rusted out. We made do with cookie sheets and ingenious staging of food on the grill.
This year there was nothing left but the brick structure. We thought we'd chisel off the bricks on the non-grill end, and make a gigantic barbecue area. We thought we'd do that in April, when Bernie's job came to an end. We thought we'd make that project a high priority. We wondered if we were smoking the crack when we looked at nice portable charcoal grills and they were only about $200 -- much less spendature than we were looking at to renovate the brick structure.
Yesterday we went to Target for an unrelated shopping trip, and stumbled upon a charcoal grill/smoker for $99. Sturdy, functional, and with an adjustable height for the coals, we considered that it might make do in the interim until we could actually re-assemble the brick barbecue. We bought one.
Today, Bernie gave it a test run, with chicken wings (my favorite) and chicken breasts. The smoker component enabled the cooking time to be cut to about a third of the usual time, and all of it was deliciously done.
Given the versatility of the new grill, do we even want to consider the caveman primitive brick barbecue? Uhhh, no, I guess not. Conversation has turned from brick grill to ... can we make that brick structure into a fountain and fish pond?