"We like camping better!" --Raymond Alexander Kukkee

view of the north shore Critter Pond, KOA Canandaigua NY [c] 2009 jcb

Product reviews: Automatic Chef "better grilling"

What's cookin' on the campfire tonight?

by Kimberlee Ferrell guest writer

[Editor's note - Kimberlee is a freelance writer, outdoors enthusiast and author of Freedomwriting]

Automatic chef rotating campfire grill While camping, at family gatherings, or on a warm summer night, we will fire up the grill and make delicious steaks, hamburgers, and hot dogs. There is nothing like the taste of fresh grilled food, combined with the companionship of close friends and family. From the moment the fire is lit, I know that a memorable evening is about to begin.

As any griller knows, being the cook for the evening does have its disadvantages. Uneven grilling temperature can cause your meat to be either under- or over-cooked, which will ruin your steak. Hovering over the grill constantly as your food is cooking can greatly cut into your family bonding time. Once your food is cooked, you then have the perilous job of retrieving your steaks while avoiding burns from the grill and the fire.

With the Automatic Chef, you will have a far more relaxing and enjoyable grilling experience. The hanging grill will slowly rotate, ensuring even grilling temperatures. Once your food is done, you can then rotate the grill away from the fire, to remove your food with ease.

Setup is fairly simple, especially for anyone who has set up a tent single-handed before. If you are new to the outdoors lifestyle, it may take a little getting used to. The anchoring pin fits easily into the ground, supporting a large, L-shaped pole. From the pole hangs the battery powered mechanism, which will rotate the grill suspended below it. In addition, there are hooks along the pole, to hang your cooking utensils within easy reach.

Everything is adjustable on the Automatic Chef, to suit your grilling style. Raise or lower the height of the grill, depending on how hot the fire is. You can turn off the rotating action, when you need a moment to adjust the food personally. Once finished, you rotate the pole so your grill is not hanging over the fire.

Automatic Chef kit package The concept of the Automatic Chef is so simple; I cannot believe no one had thought of anything like it sooner. The pole is durable enough to be a permanent fixture over your home fire pit, or you can easily disassemble it and keep it stored in its accompanying carrying case [barbecue tools shown not included]. Since you do not have to stand over the food constantly, you can step away briefly to help set up camp or to have a quick conversation. Those who prefer more hands-on grilling methods may not like how simple the Automatic Chef makes the cooking process, you will have to decide if it is right for you.

As always, practice good fire safety habits when using your Automatic Chef. This little marvel will take a lot of the sting out of grilling, and deliver quality steaks consistently. Normally available at $149.95, the Automatic Chef is temporarily priced at $127.46 for a limited time. Try it out the next time those succulent steaks start calling your name!

copyright 2008 - all rights reserved, Kimberlee Ferrell for Just Camping Out

Brian Begotka, owner JnB Enterprises LLC, created Automatic Chef. He explained:

"My wife Joni and I started camping three years ago with our two small children. It only took a few camping trips for us to realize a need for a product such as the Automatic Chef. Over the course of several outings we took note of all of the different camp grill designs out there... After much thought and input from family and friends we decided to combine some of the homemade design ideas out there and take them to the next level.

Although this open fire grill does not do all the work for you, it eliminates the hot and monotonous job of trying to keep your food from burning...Although we thoroughly enjoy cooking over a hot open fire, we do not enjoy sweating over one, especially when a product like the Automatic Chef can do the work for you. " [~Jim]

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