Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Barbecue with a blower to get coals hot!
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This idea is adding an electric air pump or a foot powered air pump to a grill. This would get coals hot quickly.

The pump could be human powered, plug in or solar charged. If the blower was electric it could be used to set the closed grill temperature like an oven. Anyway, adding a simple blower to a barbecue would really pep it up, like a forge!

Edit: Also I'm thinking of this as being something integrated into the grill, like the ashpit. And I agree it seems a lot of people have given this idea thought.

steam_cannon, Jul 26 2009

US Patent 2,691,368 (1951) http://www.google.c...AAAAEBAJ&dq=4209006
"novel, force-fed draft means in the barbecue unit whereby to accelerate initial burning to coals, of the fire material such as charcoal" [jutta, Jul 26 2009]

forced air, then hoover, then LOX! http://sections.asc...coly/pdf/june98.pdf
"Summer Recess", page 3 [Gamma48, Jul 28 2009]

BBQ Flame Thrower http://tinyurl.com/leqyym
Amusing picture illustrating a very peppy Barbecue! [steam_cannon, Jul 29 2009]

For [Jinbish] http://images.googl...e=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi
Vortex + flame = fire devil! (Not sure of applications to BBQ, but very cool, er... hot just the same.) [neutrinos_shadow, Jul 29 2009]

barbecue fan: 3,230,000 Google results http://www.google.c...ch?q=barbecue%20fan
[FlyingToaster, Aug 02 2009]

barbecue fan: Google results http://www.google.c...sa=N&tab=iw&start=0
Top Links: "fan provides breezes and cooling air ", "Barbecue Fan" (hand cranked), avaliable for wholesale to distributors. Not what I'm describing, but getting close... [steam_cannon, Aug 05 2009]

EBAY - BBQ Barbecue Air Blower Electric Fire Bellows Wind Fan http://cgi.ebay.com...trksid=p3286.c0.m14
Now this is more like what I'm talking about. It's not integrated into the ashpit, but it the right idea. [steam_cannon, Aug 05 2009]

Granted patents probably don't mean widely known to exist http://www.google.c...=onepage&q=&f=false
Anti-Gravity Drive patent [Zimmy, Aug 05 2009]


       Semi-Baked. Use a hairdryer, or better, an electrically powered hot air paint stripper.
8th of 7, Jul 26 2009

       and you could shoe horses, too.
FlyingToaster, Jul 26 2009

       "They cook horses, don't they ?"
8th of 7, Jul 26 2009

       This is spooky - I tried this two weekends ago and thought about posting it, but decided not.   

       If you have a leaf-blower, you can get a barbecue ready to cook on in about 10min. First light the barbecue as usual, and wait until at least few bits of charcoal have glowy bits. Then put the grill on the top (THIS IS REALLY QUITE IMPORTANT), and hit it with the leaf blower.   

       As Mr. Cannon pointed out, it really peps it up, like a forge. About two minutes of blowing will spread the glowiness to all the charcoal, and create an exciting roaring shower of sparks. After blowing, the barbecue needs about 5min to calm down before you're ready to cook.   

       If you find, after blowing, that you have no remaining charcoal and your dog is on fire, it is probable that you forgot to put the grill on the top before blowing.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 26 2009

       I was thinking of a device like this to serve a charcoal-powered hot air balloon.
bungston, Jul 27 2009

       Not surprising other people were thinking of this too...   

       Summer BBQ's + Inventors = Cool BBQ stuff!   

       Oh and Bungston, I like your idea about a charcoal-powered hot air balloon. That's very similar to how the first hot air balloons were heated, though their heat sources weren't attached. History of Airships and Balloons: http://tinyurl.com/5agwg3   

       Also your idea reminds me of this - wood burning turbine: http://tinyurl.com/eggtd   

       There's a lot you can do with wood and charcoal...
steam_cannon, Jul 27 2009

       I find a metre of 25mm copper pipe does a very good job of this.
wagster, Jul 27 2009

       baked...really baked... and then vapourised... by using LOX by a Purdue Univ (Indiana, USA) professor back about 10+ years ago. Perhaps a vaccum would work better. (link)
Gamma48, Jul 28 2009

       Alton Brown has a good description of how to do this over at the food network channel (in a recipe for tuna steak). If I recall correctly, he recommends no turbo charging... just cook on a charcoal starter (or a tin can with both ends removed, filled with charcoal with a grill on top). I tried it once and it worked like a charm.   

       ...It's not quite as exciting as blowing a leaf blower through red hot coals but it lessens the need for an emergency room visit...
Yappa, Jul 28 2009

       // not quite as exciting //   

       That's rather the point, though. A satisfactory barbecue can be initiated with nothing more than standard materials and that rarest of commodities, "patience" ("Light starter cube, come back in 40 minutes"). But this lacks the essential elements of adventure, experiment, not-so-minor-injury, pointless hazard and great big flames leaping up into the sky (or indeed other directions).   

       Barbecues are a socially-acceptable activity for all those closet pyromaniacs (of which there are many).   

       Use of dangerously inappropriate and highly inadvisable methods (LOX, AVGAS, distress flares, Thermite grenade (tried once - never forgotten)) is all part of the total incineration experience. Cooking the food is secondary.
8th of 7, Jul 29 2009

       //Cooking the food is secondary.// marked for tagline?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 29 2009

       // A satisfactory barbecue can be initiated with nothing more than standard materials //   

       Wrong. If you ever try to have a bbq with pure charcoal, you have to soak the stuff with lighter fluid or use a charcoal lighter. But if you light the pile and fan it a little, you can skip the rigmarole. If the BBQ simply had even a weak blower, it would be a lot easier to get the charcoal started.   

       And looking to history, how many fireplaces had bellows? Why? Because a little extra air is useful for getting a fire going.   

       So no, this is not about adding a tool for pyromaniacs. A blower would simplify the bbq grill process and reduce the materials required. If I built one, I'd probably label the blower button as "start mode" and it would shut off after five minutes.   

       // Light starter cube, come back in 40 minutes //   

       In your process, your talking about waiting 40 minutes to get the grill going. A blower could cut that down to five or ten minutes.   

       It's like when I cook hotdogs, sometimes I put fine wood shavings in the grill and light those so they burn top down. The top down pyrolysis process is smokeless because the smoke is thoroughly combusting and turns the wood shavings into hot charcoal. Also since that process is smokeless the time to grilling is zero minutes and no propane to carry around. So that's a quick way to cook hotdogs.   

       My point in my story about wood shavings is that, shaving a couple minutes off the grilling process is a good thing. It doesn't make you a pyromaniac. It means you want to grill! :)
steam_cannon, Jul 29 2009

       // this is not about adding a tool for pyromaniacs //   

       In which case we withdraw our croissant ....
8th of 7, Jul 29 2009

       Could we add some kind of turntable/spinning element to encourage some kind of tornado/vortex vacuum effect?
Jinbish, Jul 29 2009

       //this is not about adding a tool for pyromaniacs... In which case we withdraw our croissant .... //   

       We could always add a flame thrower... You know, as a selling point.   

       BBQ Flame Thrower [link]
steam_cannon, Jul 29 2009

       Strange that there is no mention of the so-called "rocket stove". It does this job with no moving parts, and has been baked (so to speak) for about 4000 yrs. It uses the exhaust gasses to power the intake of air over the fuel.
4whom, Jul 29 2009

       //hit it with the leaf blower//   

       You owe me a new grill and leafblower, [MB].
daseva, Jul 29 2009

       // Strange that there is no mention of the so-called "rocket stove". It does this job with no moving parts, and has been baked (so to speak) for about 4000 yrs. It uses the exhaust gasses to power the intake of air over the fuel. — 4whom //   

       It's not strange that I didn't mention rocket stoves. I've built rocket stoves. Grills and other charcoal stoves are not shaped like a single burner stove so rocket stove so I didn't see any point in mentioning rocket stoves.   

       However you are right that it could be possible to burn charcoal or wood using a rocket stove and pipe the exhaust into a grill with a deflector so it heats lava rocks, much like a gas grill. Perhaps you should start a thread titled "rocket stove grill".   

       Regarding rocket stoves being 4000 years old, I don't think so. Though it is certainly possible to fashion them with no metal out of solid pumice rock. If you look on Wikipedia, you'll notice development of the rocket stove began in the 1980's by Dr. Larry Winiarski. So I don't think they are a 4000 year old technology.
steam_cannon, Jul 29 2009

       // Maybe you have mental problems? //   

       Yes, he does ... in fact, that's putting it mildly. Some days it fels like we are the only "normal" collective cybernetic aggressive hegemonising life form here....   

       But yes, I think [FT] would be appreciative if you used the "link" button to embed URLs rather than embed them in your annotations. It's just that his medication is getting more expensive in the bigger doses he needs and we try to keep him as quiet as possible (No sugar, bright lights, sudden noise, food additives - stuff like that).
8th of 7, Jul 29 2009

       We'll be back ....
8th of 7, Jul 29 2009

       // existing patent — FlyingToaster //   

       FlyingToaster, you are wrong and here's why.   

       Regarding the patent:   

       * That patent looks expired, that means it's fair game for improving the heck out of. Like brushbots, it was patented as a big clunky train toy. When the bristle bot patent expired, boom! Everyone started making tiny ones and their own souped up versions. Stores are now selling them because they have become a good product. That obsolete patent makes this thread more relevant.   

       * The abstract describes a system for circulating air while food is in the grill. That's not at all what we have been talking about in this thread. Forges have blowers too. Are you going to irrationally try to stop discussion because blowers exist?   

       * The patent describes a system that is not something that can be attached to the grill.   

       * That patent describes a system with no start up mode.   

       Summarizing, that patent is expired and probably was holding back a technology most people want. You saw how many posters had this idea on their mind. Obviously this is a topic worth discussing. This year or next, grill makers are likely to see that patent is up and start coming out with grills with blowers as the latest thing. That's how the world turns.   

       So we are talking about an improvement that everyone wants and a technology that's found it's time. This is relevant.
steam_cannon, Jul 30 2009

       Does a patent automatically count as [widely-known-to-exist] ?
Jinbish, Jul 30 2009

       // Does a patent automatically count as [widely-known-to-exist] ? — Jinbish //   

       Is this widely-known-to-exist? I don't think so. Here's the question to ask: If I go to buy a grill, are there are grills with blowers? No. So obviously this is unusual.   

       Sure in our circle it's widely known you can point a leaf blower at hot coals, but we aren't most people. And that patent talks about circulating air to control temperature, so even that patent isn't really focused on working as a fire starter.   

       Another example, it's known that the first hot air balloons used open fire to heat them. If someone starts a thread about using a smokeless rocket stove that burns sticks to heat a hot air balloon, is that a widely known idea? I don't think so.   

       So though the idea may sound obvious, where can I buy it? If the idea's not out there, it's not out there.
steam_cannon, Jul 30 2009

       One of the problems with putting an electric blower on a grill is that would probably require a plug. Since solar and battery technologies have improved so much, here are some ways those technologies could be applied:   

       * The blower unit could be integrated as part of the ash collector pit. This way the unit could be an add-on for most grills in the market. The physical fan device would be in a compartment on the bottom of the pit screwed on or perhaps attached magnetically. The blower would have a metal blower tube or tubes coming up though the ash collector to blow on the coals. The fan outlets would have silicone flaps to keep insects and possibly hot ash out when the unit is off.   

       * The device could be powered by a craftman drill battery or other rechargeable battery to be taken inside and charged. This would be simple.   

       * The device could be powered by a solar panel that clips onto a leg.   

       * The device could be powered by combination of solar panel and battery clipped onto the leg.   

       * The blower unit could have an integrated blower, battery and recharge cord.   

       Any of these applications of modern technology would make a blower system easy to use and work well with a grill. And since modern grills have standard removable ashpits, this could be an add-on that would fit most any existing grill!   

       I think it would be pretty cool and a nice application of advancements in technologies like grill design, batteries, solar and materials like silicone...
steam_cannon, Aug 02 2009

       //I think you and FlyingToaster want this to be a flamefest! //   

       Isn't that what the idea's about?
shudderprose, Aug 03 2009

       There was something about tits, too.
bungston, Aug 03 2009

       Regarding the googling "Barbecue Fan" link, if a person were to actually read the links that come up. The top links fall into two categories:   

       1. A fan that blows on the cook to keep them cool.   

       2. A very lame hand cranked blower available for wholesale from distributors in China.   

       This an idea on the minds of halfbakers, but it's not available in stores. And I think that will change.
steam_cannon, Aug 05 2009


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