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Fanning the flames of outdoor cooking

The Cook-Air Portable BBQ Grill incorporates a fan in its base. The five-speed fan increases the rate of combustion.

The Cook-Air is a fan-assisted barbecue grill.
The Cook-Air is a fan-assisted barbecue grill. Cook-Air

Most people tend to take notice when a campfire is being built. It is probably some deep evolutionary trait that our attention becomes focused in the vicinity of flames. It certainly pays off to take notice. Especially when there is food on the fire.

The scent of cooking food wafting through the air is hard to ignore, especially when it catches on the wind. Add a slight breeze to a cookout, and soon enough a crowd will start to gather. However, adding a breeze does more than just bring people out of the woodwork; the increase of oxygen can give more oomph to the fire.

Like flaming ejecta emerging from a bellows-driven fire, the Cook-Air Portable BBQ Grill looks to forge a new space in the outdoor-cooking arena. By integrating a five-speed fan, the grill has the built-in ability to fan the flames and therefore increase the rate of combustion. The result is a hotter cookout with the company achieving 1,100 degrees F in its testing. The fan can be powered by batteries, an AC adapter, or via an automobile lighter socket.

The unique grill poses an interesting set of challenges in that only non-coniferous hardwood should be used as a fuel source. The trade-off for this specialization is worth it, though. By using maple, hickory, cherry, or apple wood as the fuel source, that flavor can be imparted to the food. (The company also sells a suitable fuel source.) The fast and furious capabilities of the wood-burning grill also have another benefit: the grill is ready for cooking in as little as 5 minutes--still enough time to get ready no matter how large a crowd gathers.

(Via Gizmodo)