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SO CLOSE TO MEETING OUR GOAL! Our project ends11:59pm March 1st This is a GREAT PRODUCT DESIGN & we need your support to reach our goal
SO CLOSE TO MEETING OUR GOAL! Our project ends11:59pm March 1st This is a GREAT PRODUCT DESIGN & we need your support to reach our goal
29 backers pledged $3,565 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Hot Box Grill - A Folding Portable Charcoal Grill and Smoker project video thumbnail
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$3,565

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Hi everyone,

My name is Dave - Thanks for stopping by and checking out my project.

NOTE: Check out our very 1st unfinished prototype in my video to see just how far we've come. I love those before and after pictures.

For more pictures of the Hot Box Grill and all the different foods we've grilled and smoked during the 2+ years of testing, go to our Hot Box Portable Grill Facebook page and check out all of our photos, thanks.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hot-Box-Portable-Grills/159494947418979

Hot Box Portable Charcoal Grills and Smokers

How the STORY began:

It all started in November of 2009 while I was watching a Food Network program on tailgating. They were highlighting these crazy custom built tailgating rigs with built in refrigerators, flat top cook tops, bars, grills, smokers and even running water for the kitchen sink. Very cool rigs, just not practical for your everyday parking lot tailgating fan. After watching the program it reminded me of our past family tailgating experiences. We never could find a quality built, portable charcoal grill with size, that was easy to set up and take down yet compact enough to slide into our family van. When our family tailgated together there were eight of us not including friends, so at times the number of hungry mouths we were feeding easily doubled and the so called "portable grills" we were using just weren't doing the job for us. So, being the kind of guy I am who loves to design and build things I decided to throw a few ideas down on paper to see what improvements I could come up with for a better portable charcoal grill and this is where my story began. 

THE STORY:

I worked on the design for 3 months and finally arrived at a design that appeared to satisfy all of my requirements for the type of portable charcoal grill I would like to take on our next tailgating (or camping) adventure. After the design phase was completed I decided to take the next step of having a prototype made so I could bring my design to life.

Using a local fabrication shop, they assembled my prototype and I have to admit, it was a "very exciting time." The finished prototype turned out better then I expected and it was at that point in time, that this "project just for fun" turned into a "passion" that continues to grow to this day. All of my free time was and still is devoted to the development and perfection of the Hot Box Portable Grill and Smoker. Golfing, fishing and just hanging out doing nothing took a back seat to focusing on my product, the Hot Box Portable Charcoal Grill and I've loved every minute of it. With major support from my wife, our children, our families and our friends, their support has helped me stay focused on producing an amazing American made portable charcoal grill and smoker and I hope to add all of my Kickstarter supporters to that list as well.

Our first prototype was not powder coated, so I connected with another local fabrication shop and had a "finished" prototype grill assembled and powder coated. For the next couple of years we tested the grill under all types of weather conditions, grilled and smoked all types of foods, sold some bench made units and made a few refinements. I received some very good responses from our small customer base and received plenty words of encouragement from family, close friends and Facebook friends. We also started to spread the word (via social networking) throughout the BBQ community that the "Hot Box Portable Grill & Smoker" is a new brand of portable charcoal grill with features unlike any other portable grill on the market today. The feedback from the BBQ community was very encouraging, however, we needed shop forms, materials and financing to move forward with our plans and this is where our fabricator stepped in to help us out.

They (Our fabricator) believed in our product and decided to go ahead and manufacture our shop forms for us and delay our billing until we got our product off the ground, amazing! We desperately needed these shop forms in order to reduce manufacturing costs, control the quality and to be able fill orders more quickly.

This move on their part was phenomenal. It was by far one of the biggest steps we've taken in the past 3 years because when you're working on a project and are always taking small steps, that occasional LARGE step forward is so exciting that it naturally infuses you with additional energy and drive, which it did.

There are always going to be ups and downs along with your everyday list of things that need to be accomplished, but I live for those HIGHS, I know they are coming and I do everything I can to make those HIGHS happen.

SO A BIG THANK YOU to our local fabricators and friends (Challenger Fabrication, South Beloit, IL.)  One BIG reason why Hot Box Grills are continuing to move forward.

DILEMMA & SOLUTION:

In this massive business industry of barbequing, grilling and grilling products, it feels at times like a David against Goliath battle to keep the ball rolling, but we keep moving forward one small step at a time and with your support, we can finally take some larger steps towards success.

THE DESIGN:

All galvanneal heavy duty steel body and hood powder coated with a high temperature black powder coating. All stainless steel hinges and legs and high temperature plastic handles and attachment knobs, built to last and all American made.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-galvanneal.htm This link will explain galvanneal steel and all of its positive properties.

These are features that are incorporated into the Hot Box Portable Grills that I feel are missing in all other portable charcoal grills:

#1-Size. The Hot Box Grill has 370 square inches of cooking surface which is 16-1/2" x 22-1/2."

370 Square Inches of cooking area, 16-1/2" x 22-1/2"
370 Square Inches of cooking area, 16-1/2" x 22-1/2"

#2-Two charcoal heights with multiple charcoal trays which allows you to sear and slow roast at the same time.

Two heights for charcoal. Sear and slow cook at the same time.
Two heights for charcoal. Sear and slow cook at the same time.

#3-A NO TOOLS needed assembly and take down design. The Hot Box Grill can be taken down and set up in under 5 minutes. Check out our website for a demonstration on just how easy the Hot Box Portable Grill assembles. Plus we have developed carrying cases for the grill and all of its parts to make it easy to pack up, carry and transport in your family van or car trunk. See below for more details on our carrying cases.

www.hotboxgrills.com

This unique fold up design makes the Hot Box Portable Grill extremely easy to pack up when going tailgating, camping or picnicing. In under 5 minutes, you're ready to go, plus this folding design makes it very easy to clean.
This unique fold up design makes the Hot Box Portable Grill extremely easy to pack up when going tailgating, camping or picnicing. In under 5 minutes, you're ready to go, plus this folding design makes it very easy to clean.

#4-It also needed to be air tight, which, with the hood in place and the 4-vents closed, the Hot Box Grill will cool down your coals fast to save your remaining coals. This air tight feature not only saves money on purchasing additional charcoal, but reduces the amount of ash that is thrown away in the environment.

#5-It also needed a venting system that allows you to smoke food as well as just grill. There are two adjustable vents on the hood and two adjustable vents on the fire box, one on either side.

Two adjustable vents on the hood.
Two adjustable vents on the hood.
Two adjustable vents on the fire box, one on either side.
Two adjustable vents on the fire box, one on either side.

#6-I wanted my grill to be built strong enough to be used year round in the backyard and not just for those seasonal tailgating and camping trips. That's me on all fours and my brother in law waving. 400+ pounds of 2 crazy guys showing just how strong the Hot Box Portable grill is.

VERY STRONG!
VERY STRONG!

#7-The final and very important feature is the grill had to be compact and easy to carry and transport in any size vehicle. With the simple way the Hot Box Portable Grill folds up, we needed to develop carrying cases that were strong and easy to use. These "Log Style" cases are not only extremely tough, but are extremely easy to use. The best way to show off these cases are to show you a few pictures on how these cases work. The large case holds the hood, the folded up fire box and ash pan.

Log style carrying cases with heavy duty velcro sides.
Log style carrying cases with heavy duty velcro sides.
Fold it up and go.
Fold it up and go.

The small case holds the 3-charcoal grates, the 3-food grates and the 4-three inch stainless steel screw on legs which has its own tubular style case to keep the legs looking new for a long time.

The food grates and the charcoal grates are seperated by an extra piece of fabric, sewn right into the case, to keep the food grates clean. The 4 legs have their own pouch that keeps them clean as well.
The food grates and the charcoal grates are seperated by an extra piece of fabric, sewn right into the case, to keep the food grates clean. The 4 legs have their own pouch that keeps them clean as well.
The pouch that keeps the 4 legs clean.
The pouch that keeps the 4 legs clean.
Everything all bundled up into a sturdy carrying case for the charcoal grates, food grates and legs.
Everything all bundled up into a sturdy carrying case for the charcoal grates, food grates and legs.

Don't forget, they come in red and black.

A LOOK AT THE REWARDS:

The Hot Box Apron.

Black Hot Box Grill Apron: Adjustable, two large pockets and a caption that reads, "Caution, Grill Master at Work"
Black Hot Box Grill Apron: Adjustable, two large pockets and a caption that reads, "Caution, Grill Master at Work"

Our can and bottle Koozies. 

Keep your beverages cool with our custom made koozies for cans or bottles.
Keep your beverages cool with our custom made koozies for cans or bottles.
Our Company Logo
Our Company Logo

So, any help you can afford to throw our way would be very much appreciated. I'm not quite ready to compete against the BIG grill companies, but even those companies started off just like me. In today's market there are too many smaller businesses being closed by BIG business and overseas manufactured products. My goal: Build American, Buy American and Support American.

SIDE NOTE: My step daughter went on business to China last year and wanted to know what we, (myself and her mother) wanted as a gift, because she wanted to bring us back something from China. My wife told her, "why bother, everything we have is already from China, bring us back something made in the USA." Very funny, sad but true.

I am passionate about developing products and businesses in AMERICA. If I can move forward with some success while helping my community grow and keeping my products here at "HOME" then other companies may follow suite. We all need to back our local businesses and support American made products. So, regardless of my outcome with Kickstart, I will always support local businesses, American made products and will continue to move forward with Hot Box Portable Grills.

Thank You for your time,

Dave Benjamin

Risks and challenges

One of the main challenges of moving this project forward successfully is to coordinate with our local fabricator to insure that orders, large and small, are processed in a timely fashion. My 35+ years of experience in project management and sales along with our great working relationship with our local fabricator will continue to keep this project on course.

Another challenge will be to link up with a core of experienced people that have a proven successful track record in this type of business. To connect, share and learn from those people who have already, "been there, done that," is by far, the best way to apply proven and successful business practices to your own business. Since I have been linking and communicating with these types of people and businesses for the past 3 years, I feel that I already have a great "CORE" of successful and knowledgeable people through out the United States that have already given me great direction. Keeping connected to these types of people and businesses will be one of my top priorities.

My final risk / challenge: Becoming complacent with my business:
If you're not passionate about what you're doing, find something else to do! When I get up in the morning I can't wait to dive into my project. How can I tell that I'm passionate about what I do? Well I'll tell you. I come from a HUGE golfing family, I love the game, have been golfing my whole life and I live with in a wedge shot of one of our local golf courses. Hadn't even played one round of golf this past season and quite frankly, working even on the weekends on this project is what I've chosen to do, because I REALLY am passionate about this project and love what I'm doing. That type of dedication and excitement is paramount in assuring that success will be around the corner no matter what you're doing.

CURRENT PRODUCTION STATUS:
Over the past two years we have "bench made" around 30 grills. As I mentioned above, this past summer our fabricator went ahead and made our "shop forms" which we so desperately needed. These shop forms will insure that all grills will be made exactly the same way every time, (quality control) and will reduce our costs by eliminating the amount of shop time spent fabricating each individual grill. This is one of the final steps that we needed in order to put ourselves in a position to move forward. So, everything is in place for our first production run. We have gone through the design phase, the prototyping phase, the testing phase, we have our shop forms, have received some great feedback from our small, but growing, customer base and have a very good understanding of competitive pricing based upon the feedback we've received from the businesses we've linked up with over the past 3 years.

WITH THE KICKSTARTER SUPPORT:
Your support will help with the following:
1- Pay off our shop forms from our fabricator so that profits from our first
production run can go back into materials for our 2nd production run.
2- Moving forward with the 2nd production run for quick product delivery.
3- Begin to establish an inventory.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING OVER AND ABOVE WILL HELP WITH:
4- Expanding our marketing plan.
5-Optimizing our website.
6-Hiring additional people for production, sales and shipping.

With your support, we will be able to help our community grow while we grow. THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR INTEREST.
Dave Benjamin: Inventor & Owner of Hot Box Grills

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank You! Your name will forever be listed on our website as one of our Kickstarter supporters. We will be starting a separate "Kickstarter Supporters Page," and your name will be forever listed on our website.

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Any donation with no strings or rewards attached. However, for this type of support, NO MATTER WHAT THE AMOUNT deserves a personal phone call from the inventor and owner of Hot Box Grills, Dave Benjamin to express my thanks to you for supporting my project. Calls will be limited to the United States only.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Thanks a Bunch! For your support, we will ship you one of our Hot Box Grill Kozzies and list your name forever on our Kickstarter support page on our website.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    For your generous support, you will receive, along with having your name listed on our "kickstarter supporters page," one black, Hot Box Grill T-shirt in either small, medium, large or extra large (your choice) which will have our Hot Box Grill logo on the front. The logo is the same logo which is on our Hot Box Grill aprons which are shown below. You will also receive one Hot Box Grill kozzie and our undying gratitude for your support.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Your name will be listed on our Kickstarter support page and we will send you one of our Hot Box Grill aprons shown below along with one of our Hot Box Grill kozzies. These grill aprons are adjustable for any size grill master and will last for many, many years as will our appreciation for what you have done for us to support our project. Thanks Again, you're the best!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Unbelievable! Not only will you be listed as one of our Kickstarter supporters on our website forever, but you will be receiving a Hot Box Grill apron, a Hot Box Grill T-shirt (you pick the size) and a Hot Box Grill kozzie. We will also list your website along side of your name on our website page. Thank you again for your unbelievable support!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    This support brings me to tears. We need to send you something special. What we will be sending you is a beautiful BBQ tool set which includes a stainless steel spatula, tongs and BBQ fork, all with heat resistant grips. They are packaged in heavy duty black and blue 16" x 5-1/4" zippered case with our Hot Box Grill logo on the front. We will also send you one of our Hot Box Grill kozzies and a Hot Box Grill T-shirt (you pick the size) We will also list you and your website on our Kickstarter supoort page on our website. Thanks a TON, you're the greatest!

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    Pledge $475 or more About $475

    #8 This level of support is phenomenal! Simply put, we will be sending you one of our Hot Box Portable Charcoal Grills. You will be listed in a "special" section of Kickstarter supporters who received a grill due to your phenomenal support and we will list your website there as well. You will also receive a personal thank you phone call from the inventor and owner of Hot Box Grills, Dave Benjamin. Again, thank you for your phenomenal support! Oh, by the way, I'll send you a Hot Box Grill Kozzie too.

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    Pledge $575 or more About $575

    #9 I can't believe the level of your generosity! Unbelievable! We will be sending you everything in reward #8 plus both Hot Box Grills heavy duty carrying cases, your choice in either red or black. The large case holds the grill, the fire box and the ash pan. The small case holds the 3 charcoal grates, the three food grates and has a special tubular shaped case which holds the 4 stainless steel legs. Check out the pictures of these cases below. These case are extremely heavy duty and can will last forever. If you were here, I'd give you a big hug, since you're not here, this will have to do (((( )))) Thanks again for your over the top support!

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    Pledge $775 or more About $775

    THE ULTIMATE PACKAGE: No matter what we send you, it just won't express my undying gratitude for this level of support. In addition to everything listed in reward #9, including the hug and the personal phone call, you will receive the BBQ tool set, the T-shirt (you pick the size) and the grill apron. However, I think this level of support deserves a second hug (((( )))) there ya go! You are spectacular!

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Funding period

- (34 days)