Ronnie Chisholm and crew fan out and prepare to feed an army.
"140 people today," he said.
Port-A-Pit Barbeque has a secret weapon for handling the hunger: A massive conveyor grill – equipment we found to be equally efficient and mesmerizing. The assembly line spins rows of chicken and pork over the heat, into a saucy bath, and back over the heat. Then it repeats.
It’s a modern marvel. Yet, the fire in the belly of this mechanized barbeque beast is as traditional as it gets: charcoal. And Port-A-Pit would have it no other way.
So, we determine Ronnie is the perfect guy to try the new BBQ Dragon, a $60 grill-mounted fan that calls itself “The Fire Supercharger.”
Porta-Pit lights its coals in two wheelbarrows. Chisholm chooses to let one burn all-natural and subjects the other to the rechargeable battery-operated fan we asked him to test.
Within seconds, the 31-year veteran of outdoor grilling shakes his head with approval.
“I like that it’s lightweight,” he said. “I like that it’s variable speed.”
After just a few minutes breathing on one of the fires, it’s clear that the coals are heating up faster. They literally begin glowing red hot. By comparison, the other wheelbarrow is downright cold.
"The coals aren't as intense at this stage, as those are with the fan on it," Chisholm observes.
He’s impressed, but he’s unaware of the price tag. When we clue him in to the $60 price, his enthusiasm wanes like a three-hour-old ember.
"I liked it until I heard the price," he shrugs. “It’s just oxygen.”
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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