Is a personalised grill the ultimate barbecue accessory?
While some car owners covet personalised number plates, barbecue lovers may long for a personalised grill.
Ped Baker’s passion for metal work began at 16 when he decided to customise his Honda SS50 moped. Fast forward into adulthood and he’s burning shapes with a state of the art plasma cutter, ‘my passion has always been to create unique and special objects with my hands’ he tells Pit. Now he produces everything from simple signs to customised collapsible fire pits.
When he offered to make us a personalised Pit grill, we couldn’t resist. Who doesn’t want a one-off barbecue? Ped cut the Pit logo into the top half, and our strapline ‘Food & Fire’ into the bottom. The centre was going to show off one of our mascots, ‘Mr Fire’ (designed by illustrator Daniel Jay Wright) but in simplifying the design we would’ve had to lose his sausage nose which, obviously, felt very wrong. In the end we stuck with a simple flame and were very happy with the final design.
Ped uses drawing software to create a design his client is happy with, before using the plasma torch to cut it out of 5mm steel, ‘a plasma torch works by creating a powerful, metal melting electric arc from the torch tip to the surface of the steel and then blowing high pressure air through that arc’ Ped explains, ‘this punches a tiny hole through the steel sheet. As the computer controlled torch moves it cuts a line across the surface and the molten metal is ejected underneath. It works a bit like those Claw Grabber machines at the fair, apart from a computer is controlling the motion, not a six year old with a joystick. And you win every time… usually!’
The grill arrives at our door with instructions for seasoning, which basically involves lighting a big fire underneath and brushing the grill with oil every half an hour for several hours, to create a baked on layer. After this process it’s ready to use. If food starts to stick or rust spots appear after it’s been used for some time then it’ll need re seasoning.
Although the grill was originally made to fit a large Big Green Egg, we use it on a Kamado Joe with no problems (obviously it’s best to get yours made to specific dimensions). We decided to make the most of the fact that the grill has flat areas as well as grilled sections, by cooking tacos as if it were a comal. This worked really well and soon we have a steaming pile of tacos and a perfectly crusted steak for lunch.
The grill is so good looking we can see ourselves building a collection of Pit customised accessories in the very near future. Maybe Ped’s up for cutting out a 50/50 grill and plancha? The sky’s the limit! OK maybe the laws of physics and design parameters are the limits, but still.
Custom grills start at £95 for a grill the size of a 57cm Weber or large Big Green Egg. The grills are made from 5mm thick food grade plasma cut steel, and if they’re seasoned regularly will last a lifetime. Order via https://pedbakermetalcraft.co.uk/
Pit was sent a grill to review and did not pay for it.