following the success of my weber smokey mountain cooker over the last couple of years, I have been developing the idea of building a portable char grill that also has gas ignition to make the lighting process easy and fast. I had scoured websites and BBQ forums looking for a commercially available, small, portable char grill with gas ignition and I could find nothing that was small enough for what I wanted.
so i decided the only solution was to build my own, i bought a portable weber grill and got a BBQ burner to suit, one of those long rectangular burners that go in a traditional big gas BBQ, I couldnt find a valve to suit that would mount in the new BBQ but eventually found one that was meant for a portable gas ring that would screw thru the wall of the weber and suit the purpose.
having sorted the gas supply problem, I then had to raise the grill that the charcoal sits on to allow for the height of the gas burner, I also had to drill the hole for the gas valve to screw into and it turned out i had to cut about 5mm off the end of the burner where the jet inserted into it to make the burner short enough to fit inside.
with a fair bit of stainless steel tie wire and a few bolts i got the whole setup in place and then inserted a rectangle of stainless steel woven mesh over the grill to stop the smaller coals from falling through – something I had also done on the big grill previously.
finally it was just a matter of hooking it up to the gas bottle, sticking a long reach lighter in thru one of the air vents and igniting the gas, 5 minutes later the charcoal had caught and i turned the gas off, 10 minutes and it was ready for the first grilling – some dubious marinated chook bits from IGA – they actually came up pretty well! and so the “PORTAWEBER” was born