King of the 2-Zones. AmazingRibs.com Gives PK360 A Gold Star!
These are excerpts from the original article found on AmazingRibs.com. See the full review here.
The Portable Kitchen PK360 Grill and Smoker takes all the great elements of the classic 1952 PK Grill, tweaks and improves the design, beefs up construction and delivers one of the more cosmetically beautiful charcoal grills we've seen.
With 360 square inches of primary cook surface the grill box is larger than the Classic model, but retains PK's characteristic shape with the unique configuration of bottom left and right adjustable air intake dampers and corresponding top left and right exhaust dampers, a set up that has always made Portable Kitchen King of the 2-Zones.
We strongly believe 2-zone cooking is a key technique for outdoor grilling. As Meathead states, "The most essential concepts an outdoor cook needs to understand are the importance of temperature control, the differences between direct heat and indirect heat, and how to use a 2-zone setup."
Check out the heavy cast aluminum construction. The hinged cooking grate allows easy access to tend the charcoal fire. Both the cooking grate and charcoal grate below are marine grade stainless steel rods that provide superior performance and last forever.
Speaking of hinges, the grill hinge is cast into the interlocking firebox and hood – no extraneous parts to rust or wear out and you can easily lift the lid off so friends and family can gather around the grill for a social experience.
Like the Classic predecessor, PK360 is portable and may be removed from the base for camping and tailgating.
360 offers some clever design improvements over its predecessor. One of the few small gripes we had about the classic model was the sliding lower intake dampers allowed ash to fall out. The new 360 uses cylindrical dampers that prevent ash from leaving the firebox. The two tubes on the bottom are the damper cylinders. Turn the round black handles to the right to close off air and lower temps, turn them left to open up air flow and increase temps. "Ash Roofs" cover the cylinder openings to prevent ash from falling in.
No charcoal grill does 2-zones better than Portable Kitchen. The most common mistake novice grillers make is cooking everything too hot. Excuse spewing, sad sack, BBQ wannabees routinely serve burned up, dried out fare. Be kings and queens of your backyards by mastering 2-zone cooking.
Today most grills are made with thin coated steel or stainless steel, but when Portable kitchen began in the 50s, cast aluminum grills were common. True to this tradition the PK360 should not rust out and die. It is lightweight and portable, yet delivers the capacity and performance of many heavier models that rarely leave the backyard. There are very few moving parts and no electronics, so we realistically expect these 360s to provide many years, even many generations of service as the old Classics have since the 1950s.
Portable Kitchen provided a PK360 for our tests. They offer a special package deal to our readers that adds a charcoal basket and PK Grill truckers hat at no charge.
PK: Many thanks to AmazingRibs.com for taking the time to review this product and add it to their "Best Of" list.