The $655 Hot Dog

Long story short: I got out my single-burner Camp Chef grill and found it unusable. Sandra and I had decided to put off buying a nice gas grill this year, since we thought the Camp Chef would hold us through the summer. We were wrong. Sandra decided to free up some money, and sent me out…

Now for the rest of the story:

I’ve been looking at grills for a while now. I popped down to Home Depot, found what I wanted, pre-assembled, and noticed that it was not going to fit in my beetle, or in the minivan. So I drove home, borrowed a large truck from a neighbor, and headed back to HD.

The “refuel me now” light was on. Well, okay. I decided to call it truck rental, and I put $25 worth of fuel in this beast. I noticed a girl smiling at me as I scrambled back up into it. She was not smiling in a “gee, you’re cute” way. She was smiling in a “you must be compensating for something if you’re driving a truck that big, shorty” kind of way.

Well, yeah. I’m compensating for the fact that this grill won’t fit in my minivan.

So… Home Depot. I got the grill, some nice grilling tools, a cover, a propane refill (the full tank I purchased at Sam’s Club got emptied in my garage, probably by Gleek who admits to “just cleaning it.” The good news is that my house did not blow up.) and four bungie cords to hold the thing in place. That’s $500 for the grill, $55 for the cover, and the rest of it plus tax came to $630.

I got it home, Sandra and I got it set up, and here it was, noon. The meat was marinating but not ready. I was hungry. I just dropped $655 on getting a grill onto my back deck (can’t forget the $25 I dropped on truck fuel), and I was going to grill something, by gum.

So… I made a hot dog. Actually, I made two. So I guess that’s two $327.50 hot dogs. Not quite so bad. And now that we’ve had dinner, I really ought to prorate the cost of the grill across 6 skewers of meat and four skewers of veggies.

Prorated evenly, Each skewer and each hot-dog cost $54.58.

This has been the most expensive barbecue I’ve ever had, and I’m not even counting the cost of the meat.


14 thoughts on “The $655 Hot Dog”

  1. Yes but how did they TASTE? 😀

    Congrats on the new grill, wish we didn’t live in an apartment as I do miss burning things over an open flame 🙂

  2. Mmm… $300 hot dog.

    It’s been ages since I’ve had a chance to use a proper BBQ. How big is this bugger, anyhow? 😀 I’m just imagining seared steak, or maybe salmon….

    Mmm… meeeeaaaaat.

  3. absolutely grilling, kept me on the edge of my seat.

    That is a sweet looking rig, Howard. Hope you enjoy the heck out of it for many summers to come.

    You really are a good story teller. Thanks for sharing.

  4. One of these days, I’m going to have to introduce you to the other kind of $50 hamburger: the kind that takes a couple of hours in a rented Cessna 172 to get.

  5. Sacrilige!

    Everybody knows that the only PROPER way to burn food outdoors is with wood or charcoal (preferably wood)! When was the last time you went into a decent BBQ joint that used gas rather than wood or charcoal as fuel?

    I’ll stick to my weber kettle, thanks.

    Bryan “Purist” Paschke

    1. Re: Sacrilige!

      P.S. congratulations on getting a great new toy, there. I WILL admit that it’s a lot more convenient.

      1. Yeah, yeah…

        I used to feel the same way. The thing is, it’s not about having the perfect wood-smoked flavor in my backyard. It’s about being able to grill things when the whim strikes. Like the shrimp-on-the-barbie I had for breakfast today.

        Besides, I can put a kettle of woodchips on the burner too. I’ve done that before, and the smoke flavor is every bit as good as cooking over a bed of hickory, only the food is cooked better because I’ve got control over the temperature.


    1. I’ve HAD biltong before

      I’ve had biltong before. Can’t say as I like it much. I get a nibble pretty much every time I’m in Joberg (this May was my 7th trip) and it never gets any better.

      “Biltong 2 U” as a shop name does nothing for me. 🙂


      1. Re: I’ve HAD biltong before

        I wondered if I should have found somewhere else….
        I just meant the illustration of the simple one mast gas barbie as directed.
        I haven’t had biltong, only read about it (usually in literature dating back to the South African Wars!)
        The barbie I have at home is an elderly one which might account for the only illustration I could google of it being from S. Africa….

        Sorry about misunderstanding and congrats on a fantastic looking barbie.

  6. I see you went with Weber. Excellent choice. And I agree with you in the gas vs. coal thing. Gas is so much nicer. Speaking as someone who has to load up a chimney starter and wait roughly an hour to grill anything, I would much rather fire up a propane grill and throw a box of wood chips over the burner. Enjoy the grill; I suspect the cost per item cooked will drop substantially over the next few months.

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