We love cooking with fire, and we want to bring professional temperatures and ease of use to home chefs everywhere!
*See FAQ below for shipping to Canada*
Home wood and charcoal grills don’t achieve the commercial temperatures needed to get professional results with ease at home. They can be intimidating to novices, and don’t have the flexibility to cook the full gamut of fire-cookable foods.
The QUAD cooker is the first naturally fired home cooker that lets you achieve professional temperatures of 900˚F+ at an affordable price, and is outfitted with attachments for wok frying, oven baking, a reinvented grill top for grilling, and paella pan/flat-bottom griddle for paella. Along with the QUAD, we hope to create a cookbook that collects the favorite fire-cooked recipes of all of our backers!
Fire Cooking Creates Community
Since time immemorial, humans have cooked with fire. Almost every civilization has some form of insulated fire cooker to make traditional dishes ranging from paella to dumplings to breads and slow-cooked meats. Something about the smokey flavor, glowing coals, and that oh so scrumptious Maillard reaction just draws a whole community to sit around the fire pit and enjoy delicious food and delightful company.
For us, the QUAD has been a labor of love, and we want to bring that love from our family to the Kickstarter family. We hate that people feel intimidated by naturally-fired cooking methods, or that they feel they have to spend $500+ to get a really good grill set.
We want to share this simple, affordable fire cooker with anyone who loves to cook, and loves to explore different cultures through their cuisines.
As a companion to our QUAD cooker, we want to release family recipes from around the world. Through Kickstarter, we’re hoping to connect with people who want to share their favorite fire-cooked recipes and roll them into a cookbook.
We think that part of the fun of fire cooking is exploring all sorts of cuisines. We’re excited to share our traditional Italian and Spanish recipes, and we hope you’ll share yours!
Higher Heat, Tastier Food, No Fickle Hot Spots
Restaurant-cooked meat and bread has that delicious golden-brown crust because of the Maillard reaction, which creates hundreds of delicious flavor compounds and aromas at high heat. It can be difficult to get the same results on a naturally fired home rig, which usually caps about at about 550˚F, 400˚F short of commercial grills.
Further, the thin wire grill tops of many home grills don’t hold very much heat, which means you don’t get the benefit of inductive cooking, and you end up with uneven heat over the grill surface.
The QUAD cooker solves these issues with a revolutionary insulated design:
- Heavy-duty carbon steel grill grate and cook surfaces ensure that the metal temperature doesn’t drop when meat is placed on the grill. This helps heat travel from the meat surface to the interior, producing a juicy, tender center with a delicious caramelized crust.
- A special blend of insulating autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) that forms the crucible, holding heat in and helping it to spread evenly over the cooking surface. This means higher temperatures and less fussing with coals to get evenly dispersed heat. With the use of the dome cover for doughs, pizzas and paellas, you get the benefit of conductive, convective and radiant heat, producing light fluffy doughs with that mouth-watering smoky taste.
A typical Weber grill can get up to around 550˚F on a good day - but this demands lots of coals and is usually accompanied by peaks and valleys as lids are opened, and food and coals are reshuffled.
Professional stovetops and grills heat up to 980+˚F, which is where you really get the effect of professional high-heat cooking - and take advantage of radiant, conductive and convective heat. With the QUAD cooker, you get professional temperatures and stability, in a convenient simple design.
4 Cooking Modes
Much of the fire-cooking discussion focuses on various types of grilling, but a wide range of cuisines and food types can benefit from a little fire. The QUAD cooker offers 4 distinct cooking surfaces:
- 3/8” Thick Carbon Steel Grill Top: This isn’t your grandad’s wire grill top. We’ve re-engineered it for high thermal mass and a large surface area contacting your meat or veggies. This means you can actually take advantage of radiant and inductive heat as you cook, producing juicier meats and more delicious Maillard compounds.
- Ceramic Pizza Stone with Dome Top: With the pizza stone and dome top in place, you’ve created a convection oven that reaches temperatures of 800˚F+, perfect for pizzas, naan, and all the fluffy dough creations you can dream up! Because of the insulated crucible and design of the retaining ring and dome top, you’ll see effective convective and conductive heating, resulting in fluffy dough with a golden-brown finish.
- Wok & Wok Ring: With the traditional Cantonese multipurpose wok and wok ring, you can concentrate very high heat in the center of your wok, which can then be used for stir frying, steaming, pan frying, deep frying, poaching, boiling ,braising, searing, and so much more! Wok cooking over an open fire imparts a delicious smoky flavor, and is now possible with the high heats achievable with the QUAD. Our favorite is wok-fried zeppoli, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
- Flat-Bottom Steel Griddle: For us, this journey started as a quest for an even, high-temp paella cooker. With the flat-bottom griddle/paella pan you can cook a full breakfast - complete with eggs, bacon and hash browns - sizzle off a beautiful paella, airy crepes, or fresh-caught fish.
You can also simply use the open coals to steam vegetables in the high-heat basin created by the QUAD base.
How Does it Work?
Using the QUAD cooker is easier than a typical home charcoal-powered grill, because you don’t need to fuss with carefully positioned coals or briquettes to manage the heat.
- The insulated construction helps to disperse heat evenly across the cooking surface.
- Simply prep coals or briquettes in a normal chimney and dump into the crucible. The insulated crucible will help disburse heat evenly across the cooking surface.
- You can use charcoal, wood or competition briquettes in the QUAD.
- Regulate temperature easily by varying the number of coals. A full chimney will hold at peak temperatures of 800-980˚F for several hours.
After 25 years in the restaurant industry, we’ve come to love professional equipment and good ol’ fire cooking. Grilling out is a beloved American pass time, and for us food has always been a way to bring together family and make new friends.
About four years ago I started to really get interested in different types of traditional cooking devices when I found a Caja China - a type of South American (origin disputed) insulated cooker that uses very low heat and reflective panels to cook whole pigs in about 5 hours. At the same time, I was experimenting with different ways to get my paella pan up to temperature without creating hot spots in the pan - with little success.
It occurred to me that my standard coal/briquette grill wasn’t up to snuff:
- It capped out at about 550˚F, a far cry from the high temperatures necessary for professional results.
- The grate didn’t hold temperature, meaning less of that delicious golden-brown coating on my meat.
- The temperature fluctuated and was difficult to regulate, resulting in hot and cold spots.
- It didn’t let me do all that I wanted to do over the fire - cook pizzas and doughs, make paella, fry in a wok, and basket-cook veggies.
The QUAD came out of a desire to provide higher heat and a more versatile device for fire cooking at home.
- Grill Size: 17”
- Overall Dimensions: 24” x 24” x 6”
- Oven cover height: 7”
- Materials: carbon steel & special-blend AAC 38 lbs + 11 lbs + <5lbs
- Heat-up time: 5 min
- Grill Size: 15”
- Overall Dimensions: 18” x 18” x 6”
- Materials: carbon steel & special-blend AAC 7.5 lbs + 28 lbs
- Heat-up time: 5 min
The Final Package
The final QUADs will look slightly different from our prototypes, which were largely hand-made. The final units have been designed as several pieces of concrete that flat-pack and fit easily together (sort of like Ikea furniture). This helps us cut down on shipping costs to you.
What We Need
We’re looking to Kickstarter to prove that there is demand for a better naturally-fired cooker, and to get the startup funds necessary to purchase bulk orders of materials, and bring shipping down to an affordable rate.
With $30,000 in Kickstarter funds, we’ll be able to purchase the raw materials and place a bulk water jet order to manufacture an initial run of units, and then ship those units to you fine folks!
We plan to produce the QUAD using a local Atlanta waterjet facility and materials that we have already sourced from Florida.
Risks and challenges
We’ve come up with a simple, modular design that we know we can execute. I have over 40 years experience in the restaurant and construction industries, and I know what it takes to get things made and shipped. We wanted to create something that is a simple and elegant solution to the problems of low, uneven heat that we saw with existing naturally fired cookers - and we think we’ve made something that not only works well, but is fully manufacturable locally, here in the states!
The biggest challenge we predict is getting the shipping right so that the blocks that make up the grill don’t break in transit. We’ve gone through a few design revisions to optimize the QUAD, and have come up with an Ikea-style flat packing system that will let us keep shipping costs down, ship units reliably without breaking, and which is extremely easy to assemble for our backers.
We have already found a local water jet facility to cut all of our steel and concrete components, and have a backup source for our insulation material. Should the water jet facility fall through, there are several other sources in the area that we are prepared to approach.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)