Real men grill without gas

Here's a tip for Father's Day gift giving. Dad's love to grill, why not try a Shikari? My dad swears by it.

What is a Shikari grill? You won't readily find it on google or ask.com. But you may stumble upon one in the desert -- that's right, the big sandbox. It's tribal in nature.

Dad said when he first read about this grill it caught his imagination as it was fueled with camel dung.

"Oh," I said, while thinking to myself, "oh dear."

Luckily, camel dung is not readily available in Central New York; so instead this grill is fired with crumpled up newspaper. How they made that leap, I'm not sure. But I do know it must be black and white newsprint, as color has added chemicals that are not supposed to be ingested.

What does this grill look like? Essentially a bucket with a few air holes drilled in it. A round grate is used on top to hold items to be grilled.

When dad blew out his first official Shikari bucket, it was suggested he could go out to Habermaas in Skaneateles Falls and find a serviceable bucket in the dumpster. We don't remember who said this, or why they would know, but father followed the instructions and used that recycled toy factory number for many years. Yum.

To operate, Dad happily balls up newspaper tear sheets, and tosses each into the grill with much finesse (fun all in itself). Then he deftly touches the mass of paper with a scratched match. Believe it or not the Shikari really works.

The grill has a nice flame and imparts a great charcoal flavor. My dad said he was sick of waiting for charcoal to become coals, or filling the bottle for the gas grill.

Advantages are instant lighting, free or nearly free fuel and easy clean up. And at somewhere between $12 and $25 it's affordable. Also when it does wear out there is not as much to haul to the dump.

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