Barbecue in an Attache Case for the Apartment

Barbecue in an Attache Case for the Apartment

Items

  1. Introduction
  2. Tabletop Cooking

    See Also

  3. Smart Apartment
  4. Author

Introduction

Gas Stove, cartridge and case

Gas Stove, cartridge and case

The Smart Apartment is not all electronics. An example is a barbecue in a briefcase. Often you will see very large, expensive stainless steel BBQs on apartment balconies. These take up space, get dirty and are frequently out of gas when you want to use them.

GStone Butane Burner Stove

GStone Butane Burner Stove

A better alternative is a single burner portable gas stove, complete with a plastic attache style case, for about $AU25. These are similar in design to portable gas stoves used for camping, but designed for tabletop use and much cheaper.

Tabletop Cooking

Skillet

Skillet

Wok

Wok

The stove is only big enough to hold a 25 cm skillet or griddle. But this is enough to feed four people (I have cooked for eight people on one of these stoves). An ordinary frying pan or small wok works well (you can steam with a lid on). To smoke fish, place a small amount of dry tea leaves in the bottom of a wok, place four wooden chop sticks across the bottom (soak them in water first to stop them burning) and put the fish on top and cover with a lid.

Korean grill plate

Korean grill plate

You can also get a round grill plate specially designed for these stoves and used for Korean style BBQ cooking. The plate is raised in the middle, a drip tray around the edge (looks a bit like a car hub cap). The least expensive are made of non-stick coated aluminum, but can be cast iron or have a stone insert. You (or your guests), lay thin strips of meat and vegitables on the plate using shopsticks.

The stoves uses a disposable 8 oz (227g) butane gas cartridge, which lasts about an hour and cost about $AU2 each (usually sold in packs of four). These are more expensive and less environmentally benign than refillable gas cylinders used by large BBQs. But one cartridge will cook several meals and is okay for occasional use.

You can quickly get the stove out of its case, place it on an outdoor table, load in a cartridge and flick the knob to light the stove with the in built electronic ignition. Because there is no built in shield, wind can be a problem with the small flame. But this works fine for gilling vegetables, meat on skewers and the like. It is also handy in a blackout, if you have an electric stove and to take on picnics.

Provided the stove meets the appropriate standards (mine says UN2037, AS2030 & EN417), it is reasonably safe. There are several safety features built in. The gas cartridge has a cutoff valve. Also there is an interlock stopping you putting the stove away without first disconnecting the gas. Mine is a Campmaster brand, but identical looking units with a variety of brands are available from supermarkets, discount and hardware stores ("GStone Butane Burner Stove", "Athena 1500 Max Burton Portable Gas Stove").


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