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Custom-Built Cookout Grills
John Benoit has been making some of the world's most unique grills for more than 30 years, both for himself and custom-built for others. He recently sent FARM SHOW photos of some of his favorites, all of them built around 55-gal. barrels.

    Riding Mower Grill

"This one gets a lot of attention wherever I go," says Benoit about the riding mower he converted into a self-propelled grill.
    He started with a 1989 Montgomery Ward riding mower. He cut off the front axle and extended the tractor frame to 11 ft. He made the extra-large grill itself by welding one-third of a barrel to the end of another one. A pair of exhaust ports on top of the grill allow smoke to exit.
    "We use this grill at family cookouts and parties. Because of its length it's a little tricky turning corners," says Benoit.

Steam Engine Grill

    Benoit's steam engine grill has a working bell, air whistle, headlight, and cow catcher. A window in the cab makes it easy to store utensils and food inside. The cab roof hinges up out of the way for access.

Chevy Engine Grill

    The Chevy engine grill is fitted with a header, Mickey Thompson valve covers, an Elderbrock 4-barrel carburetor, and shiny exhaust pipes off a Chevy 350 engine. A 12-volt battery is used to operate a Toyota car fan on front, which blows smoke through the exhaust pipes. The radiator grill on front was taken from an old Chevy. The grill rides on a pair of lawn mower wheels.
    "The draft on this grill really works great," says Benoit. "One time my grandson and I cooked a 15-lb. turkey in just 2 1/2 hrs., yet we opened and shut the lid only once.
    "The wheels make this grill so easy to move that a 10-year-old kid can run it across a driveway. The handles on both sides of the grill are made from material from my late grandma's bathroom."        Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Benoit, 2486 Sportsmanclub Road, Bourbonnais, Ill. 60914 (ph 815 791-3605; www.bletdiv474.org).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #5