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.
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-