Hacking your grill for performance and features

Summer is winding down, which means that sales will be beginning on grills at stores all over the place. For those that enjoy the outdoor cooking experience, a nice new grill is always tempting. If you’re anything like me though, it can be hard to justify the expense. All you need is some fire right? Well, not if you want to smoke foods, or do long controlled jobs, basically anything but quickly searing something.

[Joe Brown] over at Gizmodo found himself wanting to upgrade from simple coals/wood to something fancier, but really didn’t want to shell out the $2,000 that he found would be necessary to get the mic features he wanted. So, he set out to find a good platform to mod and added the features he wanted separately. The end result was a nicely performing out door cooking appliance that only cost him $540.

This hack is on the simpler side, but his modification really did add some great features. Many of you could build the addons from scratch, which makes me wonder, how would you improve a grill, dear Hackaday Reader?

14 thoughts on “Hacking your grill for performance and features

    1. If you’d followed the link thoughtfully provided you would have seen that this project added a microphone to the grill. A very nice feature so that you can be hungry on a cold night and still hear the sound of meat sizzling away and charcoal burning. Makes all your troubles fade away.

    1. I was excited to see your post because I’ve just been thinking about how to do this mod for my BBQ grill. How did you do yours? I don’t know how to re-wire the computer fan somehow into a cord with a plug, so it could be easily plugged into an extension cord out by the grill. The soupcan idea is perfect, focusing the air right into the existing grill vent and keeping your plastic fan back away from the heat. I saw a photo of something like this once that was built into a tall wooden box to put the fan level with the vent opening. It looked kind of like a tall birdhouse, with a sloping roof to ward rain off the electrics, and a wire bail handle that made it easy to move around.

  1. Great article. I admit being little sceptical about a grilling article on HAD.

    Thanks for the link. Definitely a rabbit hole of info in there. PID Control for a BBQ… I’d never considered that at all…

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