$2 Charcoal Grill




About: Hi! I'm originally from Dallas, Texas and am studying Mechanical Engineering Technology in Upstate New York. I have received vocational training in wood shop production at Brooklyn Woods and have CNC laser p...

Basically, I needed a small grill really quick and cheap. It's pretty simple to put together, and easy to use. All steps in this guide are for informational purposes only. I am not responsible for any damages, explosions, or radioactive fishmen they may attack you and/or eat your first born.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Run to a Dollar Tree and pick up cooling racks (for baked goods, cookies, cakes, etc) and lasagna pans. The racks and pans were both 2 for $1, so I ended up with two pans, and two racks. I guess that makes this a $1 Grill, but who's counting?

Step 2: Assemble

The cooling racks have 4 triangle shaped indentions pointing downwards that line up almost perfectly with the lasagna pan. Line up the indentations with the pan, the cooling rack holds itself in place, and thats all folks. .

Step 3: Grilling

You want to put the grill on something heat resistant, or better yet, fire resistant. I used some cinderblocks as a base to prevent burning, melting or fire. But even the bottom of the cinder blocks, the part inside the hollow opening was extremely hot, so would reccomend cinderblocks or a stack of bricks atleast 2 bricks tall. Then follow the directions on your bag of charcoal or on the back of your lighter fluid. Stack the bricks in a pyramid, add fluid, yada yada yada.  I also let the charcoals burn with only the grill just incase there was some kind of coating on the cooling rack, which I don't think there would be considering it was meant to cool hot food on in the first place. Be sure that whatever surface you do place your grill on has enough surface area to support the bottom of the tin pan, or you will have some trouble on your hands.

Obviously, the grill isn't as strong as one you would buy at the store, and only uses one layer of coals. I was able to cook the steaks (1/2 a pound total weight, inch thick) to medium well done without problem, and some hot dogs. Be sure to watch for flare ups, and follow basic rules of fire safety and common sense.

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Made with Math Contest

    Made with Math Contest
  • Candy Challenge

    Candy Challenge
  • Multi-Discipline Contest

    Multi-Discipline Contest

18 Discussions


2 months ago

FanTabulously Brilliant. This also opens many variations to this great idea.


1 year ago

I love your idea! Do you think it’ll work if I use Wood Pellet instead of charcoal? In area that I live, the city prohibits charcoal cooking at the beach. Plus, I heard wood pellets produced less smoke / ash and is a much cleaner fuel source. Thanks.


2 years ago

What a freaking awesome idea, I made a few of these using a bit deeper, wider pan like the one you cook a turkey in and I put two racks on top side by side long ways. They racks fit perfectly and I was able to use a small bag of instant light charcoal, cooked 8-1\2lb steaks, 12 medium sized burgers, 2 packs of hotdogs and warmed 2 packs of buns; of course not all at the same time but I cooked all of that and the coals were still hot enough to cook on for a couple of hours.

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

Awesome! I'm glad people are still getting a kick out of this. I made one just last summer.


4 years ago on Introduction

I made this today for 4th of July and it worked great! I live in a tiny apartment and it was very easy to make. Thanks!


5 years ago on Introduction

This is awesome! I live in a tiny rent house in a college town so there's no storage for anything. This way its disposable or I could just stick it under the kitchen sink! My fiancee has been dieing for a grill! Thanks for sharing!


5 years ago on Introduction

You might use a couple more cooling racks under the grill so it's not on the surface of the table... or cement blocks.... but they are too heavy for me to carry around. The ground of course or sidewalk is good too.... I prefer not to be bending or leaning over that far down... like things up at table height. Good idea!!!!

It can be used a good couple of times. As long as that lasagna pan holds. Really if you left both pans stacked together (they are 2 for $1) it would probably be sturdier.


7 years ago on Introduction

what a great idea ! pack it in your car trunk, you have a creative mind. Thank you !


9 years ago on Introduction

In Italy the sell something very similar for 5 euros. In addition to this the charcoal is inside a paper bag that was wet with wax and gasoline (i think..). You just fire up tha bag and the charcoal ignite :)