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Indoor Charcoal Cooking - Parilla

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Hi,

I am about to begin a big renovation that will include a fireplace in the kitchen. I am considering an attempt to make this a potential cooking opportunity. Mostly for grilling not as an oven. Has anyone tried this? Any ideas on a particular mason in the Boston area who may have experience with this?

Thanks

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  1. You'd have to find one who's willing to work outside the building code, if you're explicitly trying to incorporate charcoal. An apparatus for hanging food near a wood fire would presumably be another story...

    1. My next door neighbors had a charcoal grill built into an old chimney. But that was done in the late 1950's or in the 60's and I doubt any building inspector officially knew of it - though I imagine more than one saw it over the years and turned a blind eye. The grill was a cut out and that meant the ash would fall while the smoke was directly below the flue and didn't fill the room. It wasn't large enough to roast a turkey or the like. My point is that ventilation becomes key if your cooking is generating a lot of smoke. You could put a charcoal grill on your stove and use it but the smoke would go everywhere because vent hoods aren't meant for that.

      1. I haven't a clue about housing codes in Boston, but perhaps there are provisions if you go with industrial equipment. Maybe ask around more recent restaurants which have similar grills about their installers/contractors. lergnom hits the nail on the head: "ventilation becomes key". Not so much for the smoke, but for the carbon monoxide which comes with burning charcoal.
        I'm thinking you'd need a make-up air source to bring in fresh air and a proper hood to evacuate the poisonous fumes and particulates. The system should be somewhat negative (the hood sucking more air than the make-up provides) to ensure proper ventilation. At least this was the case when putting a grill into a commercial kitchen years ago.
        If you're interested in year-round operation, the make-up might have to be heated.
        You might be shocked at the cost (I was) to be done properly.

        A conventional alternative is to go with an indoor grill such as a Jenn-air. OK, not true charcoal grilling, but a much cheaper and practical alternative.

        1 Reply
        1. re: porker

          Back Deck and Yakitori Zai are two new restaurants doing indoor charcoal grilling.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        2. According to my Argentinean DH, normally the parilla (parilla quinchos for the home) is found outdoors, sometimes in a covered porch. The only indoor parillas are found in restaurants. As per lergnom, whether you can build something like that to code is another matter. I did find this site where they built a parilla quincho in their covered porch area, reminiscent of the parilla quincho found in DH's homeland: http://www.firepit-and-grilling-guru..... Good luck!

          1. I used to cook in my fireplace all the time when I had one. I just used a camp grill over the wood embers. It worked fine. My chimney sweep was aware of it and said it wasn't causing any problems for him.

            I learned how to do it from the owners of Al Forno restaurant in Providence. They just used some fire bricks to hold an oven grate and cooked on that.

            I wouldn't use charcoal just wood that you would burn in the fireplace anyway.

            Most of the cookware catalogues have tuscan grills with adjustable heights to use this way.

            Penny
            http://www.bostonzest.com/