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How to Build a Barbecue out of a File Cabinet

How to Build a Barbecue out of a File Cabinet

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Keeping a continual eye out for helpful tricks and hacks can reveal some interesting solutions from time to time.  One recent discovery involves turning a file cabinet into a barbecue that can cook a huge amount of food in a short period of time.  Let’s take a look at how to re-purpose the file cabinet and put this ingenious trick to work for you.

Preparing the Cabinet

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You can use any type of tall, metallic file cabinet, but look for one that has three or four drawers.  The first step is to fashion holes in the all of the drawers with the exception of the bottom one.  Ideally, you want to cut out the entire bottom with the exception of about ½ inch on each side.  This will create a platform for holding the grill grates later.  Some file cabinets have removable drawers, and all you need to do is slide them out and use the rails for the grates.

The next step is to cut some oven racks or metal grates into size so they fit into the drawers.  It is easier to place them atop the edges that you’ve created in the previous step.  However, fashioning them to slide into the cabinet will be just as effective.  Just be careful that you don’t leave any sharp edges after you’ve removed the sides of the material.  If you don’t have any grates or racks, you can theoretically cut holes in the metal bottoms of each drawer as well, but chances are that they will weaken and buckle from the heat and weight of the food.

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Once you’ve fashioned the grates, seat them in the drawers and make adjustments as necessary.  Make sure that the material you are using provides enough space for hot air from the fire to reach the top of the cabinet.

The next step is to puncture some vent holes in the top of the filing cabinet.  Make the holes about an inch in diameter, and space them evenly apart.  Use your best judgment as to how many holes you think you will need, but remember that too many will cause the fire to burn fast and hot.  Too few will keep the fire too cool and trap smoke inside the cabinet.  You can also add some sort of slide over the holes in order to regulate the flow of air through the unit.

It may be a good idea to cut some holes along the sides of the bottom drawer as well in order to provide better air circulation.  Two on each side should be enough.  Test the system by starting a fire and evaluating the quality and distribution of the heat and make adjustments as necessary.

Fire up the Grill

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All you need to do now is put some food on the grill and fire it up.  Use common sense when it comes to item placement.  Foods that you want to cook slowly should be placed in the middle or upper drawers.  Foods that need high-heat or searing should be placed on the bottom.  Do some experimentation and tweaking until you find the arrangement that works best for you.  Play with different amounts of wood in order to help regulate heat as well.

Finally,  make sure that you don’t overcrowd the grill.  Packing too many items into the cabinet can prevent heat from reaching the higher grates.  Make sure there is some space between all of the items on each shelf, and move things around as necessary to ensure even cooking.

Try this simple trick out for yourself today.  You will be amazed at how much food you can cook while minimizing fuel at the same time.  It is also a great example of how you can turn trash into treasure in order to make life in a SHTF scenario a little easier to manage.

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