The pick up and inspection:
While it was obvious the hibachi had never been used, there was a fair amount of surface rust on the cooking grid, cookbox and hardware that held everything together. The wood base was dusty and faded.
Further inspection and breaking down:
The thing rod that holds the wood handles to the cooking grid had the most surface rust but all the nuts came free after hitting them with the wire brush and steel wool. Same for the nuts that held the wood base to the cook box.
The tools used were steel wool, wire brush, abrasive sponge and a rag.
Started out hitting any and all surface rust with the small wire brush and then finish and get into the tight areas with the steel wool. The wood base which was dull and dusty had a nice wood grain that was exposed after cleaning with the extra fine steel wool. I was most anxious at this point to get a couple of coats of Tung Oil on it to see it come back to life. All the hardware benefited from the steel wool cleaning as well.
The surface rust on the cookbox made it look dull and after asking for advice on the excellent Facebook group “Cast Iron and Hibachi World” member Mike Clemons suggested washing with a scrub pad and Blue dishwashing detergent.
The base and handles get Tung oil:
The handles had what looked to be stain on them and the base looked untreated.
After scuffing off the dust with the steel wool and wiping off with a damp rag I applied a coating of Tung oil liberally with a rag to all the wood. after about five hours I applied a second coat which really brought out the grain. I plan to do at least two more coats or keep applying until the wood won’t take any more oil.
Lastly a light coat of vegetable oil
Before and after pics:
The Weber Go-Anywhere has been around for a while.
Read this excellent post detailing the history of the Go-Anywhere on the Weber Kettle Club Website-
This history article was researched and put together by Weber Kettle Club forum member Neil_VT00
If you look at the timeline, the rectangular portable Go-Anywhere was introduced in 1979 and not a whole lot has changed since then.
What I think is genius about it and how it advanced portable charcoal cooking was how it differentiated from the popularity of the open cast iron hibachi.
Cast iron hibachis were popular in the 60s. They are heavy, they require maintenance to avoid rusting and they are open topped which limits the type of cooking to direct grilling.
My guess is that the engineers that designed the Weber Charcoal Go-Anywhere took on all of these issues by making it out of their porcelain coated steel to avoid rust issues and be a whole lot lighter to transport.
The Lodge Sportsman Cast Iron Grill has roots dating back to 1941. It’s heavy, it requires maintenance to keep from rusting and again, it does not have a lid.
I’m not saying they are not interesting or fun to cook on. I’m just saying the Weber Go-Anywhere is a whole lot more versatile.
When you light up a bunch of coals on an open hibachi you need to be cognizant of factors such as wind and how much time you have. The coals don’t get snuffed out quickly as there is not lid or vents to regulate air needed to sustain the coals being lit.
Here’s my Lodge Sportsman grill/hibachi on action at the dock-
On the Go-Anywhere the legs flip up and lock the vented lid to the base making it easy to transport. It can also be used to smoke on a small scale and regulate air flow with the vents on the bottom and in the lid. With a traditional hibachi you’re pretty much limited to open grilling.
Here are a couple of the other cast iron hibachis that I’ve collected-
1971 David Kamenstein Inc Taiwan Is The Stamp In The Cast Iron.
It’s got no rust but needs a good cleaning from dust. Must have been in someone’s closet or basement for a long while.
First off I should say that I don’t own a Lodge Sportsman although I’ve been wanting to cook on one. The only thing that’s been holding me back from purchasing one is the lack of space and knowing that the cast iron construction would likely be completely rusted as I cook on my Weber’s all the time and the Sportsman wouldn’t get enough use to stay greasy and seasoned properly.
In this post I will attempt to point out perceived pros and cons vs a grill I know fairly well, the Weber Go-Anywhere.
If you own the Lodge Sportsman grill or Weber Go-Anywhere I’d love to hear your opinions on this review and how you agree or disagree.
One thing I’m interested in hearing about the Sportsman is if the bottom vent really controls the heat. The entire top is open without a lid or top vents so it doesn’t seem to me like opening or closing the bottom vent on the Sportsman is going to have a dramatic effect on temps.
The Go-Anywhere and it’s porcelain are obviously much easier to clean than the cast iron Sportsman and less susceptible to rust.
The Go-Anywhere’s vents can be completely closed down to snuff out coals while the Sportsman you would need to find a way to safely remove and contain the coals before moving it around.
The Go-Anywhere’s legs that lock over the lid to keep the entire grill together for transporting make it easier than the Sportsman that tilts to one side when lifting by it’s handle. The Go-Anywhere weighs much less making it more portable.
I’m guessing the Sportsman’s cast iron grates leave better sear marks than the Go-Anywhere. The Go-anywhere can be used to smoke small amounts of food by adjusting the vents with it’s lid on while the Sportsman pretty much limits you to grilling or using it to cook with a cast iron pan on top. The sport’s man does not have a lip along it’s top edge making it more even to put a cast iron pan on for cooking while the Go anywhere’s grate sits down in a groove which makes cast iron pan cooking on it doable but less even.
I know people that love their grills really love their grills. I’m really interested to hear from Sportsman fans about what I might be missing or wrong about in this comparison.
Tell me some things that the Sportsman can do that I haven’t considered better than the Go-Anywhere.
Here’s cooking a revers sear steak and sausages on the Weber Go-Anywhere-
Kate made some great Greek inspired turkey pattys and spiralized cucumber salad.
We’ve got a pretty good thing going. Often she does the prep and I’m happy to do the grilling.
Links To Purchase and Read Reviews-
Not included in the review was a Lodge cast iron skillet which has many of the same properties as the Emeril cast iron griddle except it is round and has higher sides which eliminates the likelihood of grease fires in the case of grease overflowing the edges.
I used a flat griddle with a small lip around the edges to do some smash burgers and bacon. Believe me if you’ve ever had a grease fire due to the grease overflowing onto the coals , it’s no fun. They can get pretty unruly. The high sides and deep grease collecting trays are welcome features.
You don’t need a ton of coals to get any of these griddles good and hot.
The Emeril rectangular one fits like a glove within the edges of the rectangular Weber Go-Anywhere.
The Cook’s essentials was by far the easiest to handle and clean and was a joy to use on the 22 inch Weber Kettle. I suspect it won’t last a lifetime like a cast iron skillet that is well maintained but it also requires far less maintenance and won’t rust. For $16.46 I like it a lot.
The Little griddle required a decent amount of elbow grease to scrub clean with an sos pad. I suppose you could let it season up and not be so crazy about getting every bit of burnt on stuff off.