The Charcoal @WeberGrills Go-Anywhere- Theorizing The Evolution Of Portable Charcoal Grilling From The Cast Iron Hibachi

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-

Weber GO Anywhere History

 

This history article was researched and put together by Weber Kettle Club forum member Neil_VT00

 

img_0666

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.

hibachi2

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-

Queen Hibachi Japan

Cast Iron Bull Hibachi

Lodge Sportsman vs Weber Go-Anywhere: Pros and Cons

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.

Lodge Sportsman

lodgesportsman

Weber Go-Anywhere

webergoanywhere

hibachishowdown

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-