March 1, 2006
Grill, Well Done
Henrik Holbaek and Claus Jensen’s barbecue grill for Eva Solo
In setting out to design a barbecue for Danish kitchenware supplier Eva Solo (www.evasolo.dk), Henrick Holbaek and Claus Jensen decided it was important that it be more than a simple grill. “Even people who do a lot of grilling spend much more time looking at their barbecues than using them,” Holbaek explains. “This grill does a lot, but it’s a very minimal shape. We wanted to make something that looked good with modern garden furniture and could function in other ways when not used for cooking.”
Their design certainly achieves that. In addition to being a sculptural addition to any modern patio, it also functions as a table surface and a garden fireplace. The use of stainless steel not only adds to the clean look of the piece but also makes it durable, weather resistant, and easy to clean. An optional line of stainless-steel cooking accessories includes flat and domed lids, an elegant pair of tongs, and foldout legs that support the flat version of the lid, converting it into a table for use during the cooking process. Here Holbaek walks us through some of the finer points of his and Jensen’s award-winning barbecue grill.
The first design looked like an open outdoor fire, but it didn’t actually work for grilling. We kept elements of that idea: you can remove the grill-top after barbecuing and put some wood in the bucket to use it as a fire pit. If you are sitting outside on a cool night and have friends for dinner, it’s nice to put a fire on after the cooking is done.
We chose the cone shape because it’s reminiscent of a garden flowerpot, so it looks like it belongs in your backyard. The coal bucket hangs inside the pot and can be removed to dump out the ashes when you are finished.
We considered using some other materials, but we found that stainless steel was best. The grill had to be heavy enough to be stable—it shouldn’t tilt easily if you push it—but also light enough to lift and transport. By sliding two handles into the vents, it can be moved by just one person.
The outer shell is made of four panels of stainless steel; gaps between the panels act as vents so the shell doesn’t burn you while you are grilling, but the barbecue bucket inside stays hot.
The flat lid keeps things from getting into the grill when it isn’t in use and also converts it into a table. The domed lid makes the grill like an oven, which is useful for certain kinds of cooking. You can also change the position of the interior bucket to regulate heat distribution.