The modern day grill is a wonderful invention, convincing even the most reluctant cook to approach the flame. Unlike a stove, it's not just a tool; it's also a party piece, a conversation starter, and perhaps, a bit of a grown-up toy. So you could say it has recreational aspects to it, unlike your boring oven. It's the closest you can get to cooking over an open flame, only it's easier and less likely to result in frantic calls to the fire department.
Yet it still calls up some primeval instinct for charred meat and vegetables, because nothing gets the chops smacking and the stomach grumbling like the heady aromas coming from a hot grill. And the same goes for smokers. But grills and smokers can be prohibitively expensive for people on a budget.
That's why we've assembled this collection of do-it-yourself grills and smokers that will save you money and still impress your neighbors and friends. They'll be floored by your ingenuity (just tell them you figured this all out by yourself) and may even want to try building some of these contraptions themselves.
Take the flower-pot grill, for example. It's assembled from a few inexpensive parts (a 10-inch flower pot, a couple of saucers, some sand, and charcoal briquettes) that anybody could find in a home improvement store, or even lying around the house. Or the miniature barbeque built out of an Altoids container. Our favorite, just for sheer fun factor, is the cardboard box smoker, although your results may vary. Which reminds us — no matter which one you decide to build, always, always keep a fire extinguisher handy.
So try these at home. Have fun and impress your neighbors and friends the next time you invite them over for a party. Because before you know it, summer will be over and you'll have to start cooking indoors again.