By Michael Hiller
Photo courtesy of Kudu Grills
Do you really need another grill? Why not.
Missing your weekly tailgates? Move them to your backyard. The Kudu grill ticks all the boxes.
It weighs just 65 pounds, but you can tell that everything about this culinary workhorse was designed to last: welded steel drum, oversize cast-iron skillet, self-leveling legs. The “engine” is a stainless steel cooking grate that ratchets up or down over a 29-inch-wide fire bowl, which means you can sear that tomahawk steak close to red-hot coals and then retreat in seconds. Every element of this grill was thoughtfully designed by engineers and chefs to guarantee your success.
The Kudu’s cantilevered architecture is a nod to South Africa’s braais — wood-fueled cookouts where families and friends gather around a big fire to eat, drink and share stories. Whether you plan to fuel the Kudu (which is made in America) with a bag of charcoal or logs you cleared from your back forty, the heavy-gauge steel base and clever clamp-on accessories make easy work of grilling, sauteing, smoking, baking, boiling and even frying. A battery-powered rotisserie upgrade lets you spin a chicken or trompo a pork shoulder for hours without a power cord.
And though you can’t fit an entire pig on the spit, we had no trouble twirling a 10-pound porchetta for a few hours, allowing the fire to crisp the skin. Then we swung the cast-iron pan into position — close to the coals but below the pork roast — letting the juices drip campfire flavor into a bubbling mushroom risotto below. After dinner, we popped off the rotisserie and grill rack, dropped in a set of metal guard rings, and transformed the Kudu into a sturdy vertical fire pit for after-dinner s’mores.
The Kudu is made for transport thanks to detachable legs (a carrying case is an optional purchase). If zombies or COVID-19 or the Nov. 3 election have you ready to flee to the mountains or the beach (or even to your backyard), the Kudu is the one cooking tool you’ll want to take with you. Price runs from $499; check it out at kudugrills.com. — Michael Hiller