Precision engineered charcoal grills



About German Grill - The Company

Our goal is to build you the best charcoal grills you can get at any price! We are a family-run business based in Minneapolis. The grills are manufactured in Bloomington, MN which is just south of the city.

Our shops, where we assemble and ship, are in historic Northeast Minneapolis ("Nordeast", to natives), which has traditonally been where a lot of immigrants settled. It's one of the few areas where you can find Middle Eastern, German, Hispanic, African, Asian, and many other churches, grocery stores and restaurants next to each other. It's also where most of the crafties and artists live and work. We're in a great neighborhood.

We really don't know how to do "strategic marketing" like the big boys by targeting a unique product to a small niche, (although we probably do), and we didn't try to win any design awards (although we did). We simply wanted quality tools that let us grill the way it should be done. And when we couldn't find them we made our own. We work hard and try to be totally honest.

We do not sell through any brick and mortar dealers at this time. We sell factory-direct, on this website, or we drop ship from our shops through a few select online dealers.

We have a secure tested shopping page through one of the largest online credit card companies in the world. When you hit the buy button, you go to an encrypted site that has state of the art security measures to protect your data. In fact, we don't see your credit card info, we just receive an order and a confirmation that the charges have been accepted. We have never had a security problem with our shopping page and believe that it is extremely safe and secure.

All of the food pictured on this website was grilled on our grills by us. There are no "stock" photos from photo mills. (Most "food stylists" wouldn't know good barbecue if it landed in their lap.) Every time we come up with a new technique, tip, or recipe, we photograph it and get it somewhere up on the site. It's all genuine, home-cooked food.

We think of our grills as a charcoal-grilling tools with quality and features to match the equipment used by the pros. The company was founded by amateur chefs, a serious food snob and working-class gourmets. We love all types of fine cooking, including that great American invention, barbecue.


Ron & Pat Weitnauer


Eat great food. Play with fire.
Respect the Earth. 
Grill with charcoal.


" Whether a tree burns in your fireplace or decomposes in the forest, it will release the same amount of carbon into the environment...fossil fuel can make no such claim."
-National Geographic's Green Guide 


" When the tree falls and decays in the forest, or is processed into firewood and burned, carbon is released again to the atmosphere. This cycle can be repeated forever without increasing atmospheric carbon. When the use of wood for energy displaces the use of fossil fuels, the result is a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."
-The Green Living Journal


" ...the combustion of wood for energy production is essentially carbon dioxide neutral when the normal forest regeneration period is considered. When wood combustion replaces the consumption of fossil fuels, however, the net reduction in carbon dioxide release is almost immediate."
-The Green Trust 


"Wood burning does not release any more carbon dioxide than the eventual biodegredation of the wood would if it was not burned. Wood burning can therefore be considered "carbon neutral" - the CO2 released to the atmosphere by combustion is recycled continously into new plant growth as part of the carbon cycle, while the energy released during combustion is simply a form of stored solar energy.

The intentional and controlled charring of wood and its incorporation into the soil is an effective method for carbon seqestration as well as an important technique to improve soil conditions for agriculture, particularly in heavily forested regions. It forms the basis of the rich soils known as Terra preta."
Andy - the designer


Bald guy
Ron - the other guy


 A small sample of the amazing flavors from the ancient art of charcoal grilling



We see grilling as an art

Everybody in the company loves to cook, eat, invent and make people happy. We've put all our energy into creating and refining these grills over the last four years.
Now, we realize that, for most people, a grill is nothing special. If all you want to do is grill burgers, or heat up brats, then simple and cheap is all you need. Get a cheapie every year. But grilling can be more than just "burn-some-meat-before-you-start-drinking".

Food prepared over an open charcoal flame can range from the perfect char that takes thirty seconds, to a 24-hour ritual. Charcoal heat and smoke allow you to take fine ingredients to an entirely new level. A fried steak is good, a grilled steak is heaven. A broiled salmon fillet is good, a grilled one is the best. In my opinion all vegetables should be grilled. The food still tastes like it should, with the added flavor and texture from the heat and charcoal. The control features of these grills make it possible to achieve perfection (however you personally define it) in grilling.

After travelling around the world and studying this for a lifetime, we feel that grilling and barbecuing are among the necessary skills for the accomplished chef. You will find a rich tradition of charcoal grilling in many countries other than the US: Argentina is legendary, Robata Yaki in Japan, gogi gui in Korea, Braaivleis in Africa; every cuisine seems to include a grilled specialty that is a symbol of the country. The one thing they all have in common is the use of hardwood charcoal to create authentic flavor. This is the tradition that we honor with our work.

And some of the world's finest restaurants prepare their signature dishes over charcoal because it is the only way to achieve the flavors that made them famous.  (Check out etxebarri, in northern Spain:  A charcoal-grilled meal for two at this place can set you back several hundred dollars. It's one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. You can use the same techniques on this grill.)

"The common denominator in all this culinary globe-hopping is charcoal. We knew we wanted charcoal, because when you talk about the great cuisines of the world, no one cooks on gas, a few on wood, but the great ones all cook on charcoal."
Quote from our original business plan



You can take this as high as you want... 

Most of the great charcoal chefs around the world have built their own grills. Nobody here at German Grill is a chef, but once we got serious about charcoal grilling, we also had to build our own grill to get what we wanted.

After many years of designing, cooking on, and generally obsessing over charcoal grills, we went back to a clean sheet of paper and did our best to solve every problem with clever elegance. To create a great product, you have to think everything through. This is more difficult than it seems, yet we do our best to make sure our designs are thought through—in typical German manner—mit Fleiss und Gewissenhaftigkeit.

You will certainly find the basics that every quality grill must have: material that touches fire is thick and heavy to avoid warping; anything that touches food is 304 stainless steel so it's easy to keep clean; the finishes are specifically designed for barbecues—to stand up to outdoor weather, acids, and fats. But you can take the design to an even higher level.

  • Process—will this grill let me cook the way I want? Can I save a meal that goes off in the weeds? Do I get tools I've never had before? 
  • Control—a great tool should get out of my way, simplify, give me options. Do I have control? Can I do advanced dishes? Can I invent new recipes? 
  • What if it's windy—can I still light the charcoal? Can I keep the ashes from blowing up on the food? 
  • How do you grill big stuff?— can I do a turkey on the grill so I don't have to tie up the oven on Thanksgiving? 
  • What if I don't need a lot of smoke—just dry, searing heat? What if I want extreme smoke for something? 

We've done our best to come up with a clever solution for each of these challenges. This design is our best effort yet. You won't find anything else like it on the market.







Some foods reach perfection only when grilled over charcoal

Are you serious about fine cooking?
If you love to cook and you insist on doing it with fine ingredients and proper technique, then you probably have quality cooking equipment in your kitchen.

Does an amateur really need a five thousand dollar camera or a two thousand dollar guitar?  Some people would think you're crazy to spend that much, but this level of equipment will make anyone a better photographer, musician or grilling chef.

It's such a pleasure to use the proper tool—a Wüsthof knife, Viking range, or Duraclad pan—you begin to understand how the professionals do the amazing things they do with food.

We believe this level of excellence can extend to charcoal grilling. If you're serious about fine cooking, if you appreciate a fine tool, if you want to expand your skills: we offer a grill that can take you to the next level.

You have fine tools in your kitchen. Why use junk when you cook outside?



Gas sucks for grilling


Gas or Charcoal?

We make charcoal grills. Period.

Sorry, you really can not get the same flavors with a gas grill.

We have nothing against it as a heat source—gas is the best way to warm your house or fry an egg. But for grilling, gas is a poor choice because of the fundamental way that it burns. In the presence of excess oxygen, (burning) propane burns to form water and carbon dioxide.

C3H8 + 5 O2 → 3 CO2 + 4 H2O + heat

Propane + Oxygen → Carbon Dioxide + Water

According to Dr. E. E. Litkenhous of Vanderbilt University, when charcoal is burned it produces virtually moisture free, super-heated air and intense radiant heat. The combination "case hardens" the meat's surface and begins the Maillard reactions that we all love so much. Wood volatiles (wood gases present in charcoal) are also released when charcoal is burned. These coagulate the meat's surface proteins. The result is charcoal-smoke FLAVOR and meat that takes on a "plumped" characteristic. Since gas is nearly 30% moisture, it tends to "steam distill" meat, according to Litkenhous. The meat loses more juices and takes on a floppy [sic] characteristic.

What was once a matter of opinion is not anymore. Dr. E.E. Litkenhous of Vanderbilt university determined that there is a real scientific difference in the chemical reaction that occurs during the two cooking methods."

Cook's Illustrated magazine performed its own comparison tests for its August 2004 issue. Testers found that "grilling over charcoal provides exceptional browning and searing that a gas grill simply can't replicate."

Paul Fine commented "Look at barbecue cook-offs and contests where flavor really counts. NONE of those competitors use gas."

A petrochemical flame contains water vapor, so it "steams" rather than sears. And most people think it adds a "funny" taste to the food. (This is probably from the so-called "smoke" that a gas grill generates—which is the burning grease from whatever you cooked last time. Sort of disgusting if you think about it.)

So, in our humble opinion, there are some beautiful gas grills out there, well-made and durable, all using a second-rate heat source.

Charcoal is made from wood, not petrochemicals. Charcoal can be made from many different types of wood for different flavors and heats. Charcoal gives your masterpiece a smokey taste and dry sear you can't get any other way.

Season with smoke. Paint with fire. Get off the bottle.