Thursday, October 27, 2011

Western Cooking

Sometimes I cook outside on a round grill grate set up on rocks over an open fire. It's not exactly an ideal setup because it's difficult to get the grate set at just the right height above the coals, and fire always burns unevenly, which can give you a steak that is half medium rare and half well-done.

So I was impressed (and jealous) when I saw this adjustable cooking tripod my neighbor built.  Check this baby out: it has a hanging grate with a chain and a pulley to set it at just the right height.  And if the coals burn unevenly, you can put a light spin on the grate to make it rotate back and forth for even cooking.

These are my neighbors Jay and Judy.  They live in the Phoenix area most of the year, but Judy owns a place about half a mile from my cabin, and they come up as often as they can get away.  About a year ago, Judy stumbled across my blog and sent me an e-mail, and early last summer, Mari and I went over to meet them. We've all since become good friends. 

Jay is the genius behind the cooking tripod.  He owns and runs a machine shop, where he designed and machined the top piece and then attached the legs, the pulley and the grate.

The flames were still a bit high for cooking, but Jay put on some corn so I could get a few pics while there was still enough light.

They had planned to wrap the corn in foil, but I threw off the timing with the pictures.  The corn still turned out very well, moist and perfectly cooked.  Now I want one of these tripods.


  1. This whole series makes my long for a cabin in the woods and a fire pit with real food cooking over it.

  2. It's written somewhere...Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's....tripod.

  3. Penni, whoever wrote that never tried to cook on a grill grate balanced precariously on three rocks over a campfire.

  4. Jotsalot, you should try it. You can get a lot of creative work done (I said "can" on purpose--though sometimes I actually do get a lot of creative work done).

  5. Cooking over an open fire is more challenging than people think, the pulley system is brilliant!

  6. Rhonda, I knew you would like this, being a foodie with a mountain cabin.