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Sep 6, 2012 05:36 PM

SE/mainland Asia Grill experts - what is this?

Okay, it's a grill of sorts. I get that. Is there a name for it? I bought it today in an Asian supermarket for $25. Writing on the clay surface is Thai but the Chinese staff there kept explaining to me how old-fashioned it was and how great it was for BBQ. Truth be told, I think they were getting nostalgic.

I found one shot online that identified it as being popular among Korean restaurant owners living in Thailand but I'm stumped.

Would love to see some videos of ones similar to it in action. If you can't tell from the picture, there is a small compartment below what look to be heat vents in the middle section. Above the vents is a rig which looks to be angled so as to accept a wok or large pot. Do the coals go on the bottom? On the section with the holes? What?

I want to do some grilling over it this weekend, bun cha if I can. If you are familiar with this device or have seen something similar, help me out with some pointers, a name by which it is called or best yet, some videos.

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  1. It is a stove, I believe. It is old fashion just to be sure.



    Hopefully this video is helpful to you:


    <Do the coals go on the bottom>

    Above the circular wheel with round holes

    6 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      HUGE help. Thank you! So excited to take it for a spin.

      1. re: Ernie Diamond

        I have seen them in action, but I have never used one myself. I would love to hear what you think of them. My guess is that they are cool to use, but not easy to use.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          i have one of these, and have usually heard it referred to as a "thai bucket stove."
          its pretty user friendly, although the grilling surface area is small. i use it with either a cheap circular grate, or much more often, one of those hinged grilling baskets with a handle.

          since there is no way to adjust the heat, and the area where the coals sit is so small (hard to make a two level fire), you have to be rather attentive.

          i usually set a chimney starter full of charcoal right down in it, set it alight, and pour the lit coals, once theyre ready, back into the stove. this is a little messy and sparky. then i spread out the lit coals with a small shovel, pull up a small stool and an adult beverage, and plop the hinged basket full o food right down on the edges of the bucket.
          i flip the basket pretty often, and shift it back and forth and side to side to ensure even cooking.
          keep the thing out of the rain. they rust like crazy. i totally dig them.

          1. re: linus

            Thanks for your feedbacks. Sounds like you have used yours more than a few times.

          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I'll be testing it tomorrow. Will offer a full report. Pretty excited to see her go. I did buy a cheapy little wire basket to hold and manipulate food. Chemical's instructions were about what I expected though I will be building the fire directly in the pot.

            In any case, a sixer of something cold seems like it would be a requirement.

            1. re: Ernie Diamond

              these things work fast and hot. if you make it through an entire six before your food is cooked, you're a better man than i.
              maybe i'm just rationalizing drinking whiskey while grilling.