Shopping List: Modern Grilling Gear

Living in an apartment six stories above ground makes it problematic to indulge the seasonal stirrings to fire up the grill. Hemmed in by walls, I've resorted on more than one occasion to using a cast iron grill pan, which actually does an adequate job except for the profusion of smoke that results. Despite an elaborate arrangement of multiple electric fans intended to propel the murk out the kitchen window, this never really works, and I end up swearing off indoor grilling until the urge strikes again.

I'm left with a particular envy for those who have just a few inches of outdoor space in which to create a fiery surface for Pollo al Mattone or even fresh fava beans.

This brings me to grilling gear, which holds a peculiar attraction, especially since I have no use for it.

On a recent visit to the Terence Conran Shop, home to ultra-modern, high-priced products for the home. The store, underneath the Queensboro Bridge, has a large selection of super sleek kitchen supplies and tableware, not to mention grilling tools.


Like a piece of barbecue spy-ware, the portable Picnic Grill (above left) from Sagaform folds up into the shape of a briefcase. I also liked the simple design of this the Bucket Grill (above right), made by Sagaform as well, which is manufactured in green, chrome, and khaki, as well as black.

Shaker2_1 Even though I've never found the heat of a grill to be so intense that I could not risk seasoning up close and personal, this barbecue salt and pepper shaker, at right, seemed ingenious. Designed by Viceversa, the tool's long handle extends to a double-headed container for sprinkling salt and pepper.

While the barbecue salt and pepper shaker is not available for puchase online, the Picnic Grill and Bucket Grill (in black) are available at The Conran Shop web store.

Photos: Sagaform, Vice Versa.



Both the picnic and bucket grills look flimsy and like the outsides could get very hot. Some products that have been around for a long time might be more suitable, starting with a good, cast iron hibachi grill or a kamado cooker like the smallest version of the Big Green Egg. The Green Egg's vent at the top ought to support a jury rigged exhaust pipe that could vent any smoke out of an apartment window. Both could be used in a fireplace if you have one in the apartment. Safer would be some of the electric grills by Coleman and others that are coming on the market and these should meet building restrictions. Even the George Foreman grill is a good alternative. The popularity of the Foreman grills is driving Cuisanart and others to produce imitations. If a smoky flavor is desired, the smoker pan with the airtight lid can be used on top of a stove or the same thing can be accomplished with a dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. There are a lot better alternative than overpriced flimsy products.


You're probbaly right about the quality. The Green Egg sure looks substantial.

Honestly, I just liked the way these grills looked.

Hmmm. . . might have to try that exhaust pipe idea, even for my grill pan . . .


The Lodge Hibachi is worth looking into. Heavy but will last a lifetime. Preseasoned @ Zabars for about 70 clams. This thing will cook a pork chop like nobodys business.


Grilling favas? Do tell. I have access, even growing; but grilling?


Hi Elen,

Grilling favas is great! More here:


I recently moved to a new condo with a balcony, and as a housewarming gift I was given a Sagaform bucket grill like the one mentioned in your article. However, the item came without instructions and I am not sure how to use it. I should mention that it came with an additional galvanized container which sits on top of the bottom grill (inside the bucket). I am wondering if the coal goes inside this container or underneath the grill. Any advice will be much appreciated.


Hi Tony,

I did notice a contact page ("kontakta oss") page on the Swedish version of the sagaform website. You may want to give that a try (a UK contact email is listed, for example):


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