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Mike’s Vertical Grill looks nothing like a grill that you and I are familiar with. It is a box like contraption with a wire grilling basket that fits into a vertical slot at the front. What makes this vertical grill different from all other grills is that cooking heat comes from both the top and bottom (or actually both left and right) sides. Double the heating surface means half the cooking time.

Think of Mike’s Vertical Grill as a charcoal toaster that is flipped over with the bread slot in a vertical position. This is a good approximation of how the grill works. Charcoal is inserted from the top of the grill through the storage compartment. There are a couple of slots in the compartment which the charcoal can drop through.

At the center of the grill is a slot where the wire grilling basket is placed vertically. Heat from the charcoal heats up both sides of the basket. Items to be grilled including patties, slabs of meat, sausages and vegetables are to be clamped inside the basket and placed vertically into the grill. Since heat comes from both sides on the grill, you don’t have to bother about flipping to cook the other side.¬†This also means that food cooks twice as fast as both sides are being cooked at the same time!

The top part of the grill can also be used as a standard grill for either items that don’t fit into the basket, toasting buns or for keeping food warm.

At the bottom of the grill is a water pan. Grease and ash drop into the pan instead of into the fire and thus prevents any flare ups that normally occur with a standard grill. It’s compact size makes it the ideal portable grill¬†for tailgating events, picnics, or backyard parties.

The design of the grill does have a couple of drawbacks though. Firstly, like a piece of toast in a toaster, you cannot see your food while it is cooking. It is more of a matter of timing but once you get the hang of the cooking time, it is no longer an issue. Secondly, what you can place in the wire basket is limited to the width of the opening on the grill.

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