Title:
Grill cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cart assembly is disclosed for use with a barbecue grill, where the barbecue grill includes a support structure and a side shelf with an edge attached thereto. The cart assembly may include both a cover configured to be removably secured to the barbecue grill and a cart configured to be slidably received under the cover. Also disclosed is a barbecue grill and cart assembly, the cart configured to be removably secured to the barbecue grill.



Inventors:
Coleman, Brian (Columbus, GA, US)
Schwing Jr., Robert J. (Columbus, GA, US)
Dobias, Scott (Columbus, GA, US)
Kahler, Andrew (Fortson, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/031110
Publication Date:
07/06/2006
Filing Date:
01/05/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
126/304R
International Classes:
F24C15/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PRICE, CARL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMAS, KAYDEN, HORSTEMEYER & RISLEY, LLP (100 GALLERIA PARKWAY, NW, STE 1750, ATLANTA, GA, 30339-5948, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill, the barbecue grill including a support structure and a side shelf with an edge attached thereto, said cart assembly comprising: a cover configured to be secured to the barbecue grill; and a cart configured to be slidably received under said cover.

2. The cart assembly of claim 1, wherein said cover is secured to the side shelf.

3. The cart assembly of claim 2, further comprising: a pair of opposed tracks disposed on said cover; a pair of rails disposed on said cart; and wherein said pair of rails is slidably received by said pair of tracks.

4. The cart assembly of claim 3, wherein said pair of tracks depend downwardly from an underside of said cover and said rails depend outwardly from a front portion and a rear potion of said cart.

5. The cart assembly of claim 3, wherein said cart is configured to be slidably received under both said cover and the side shelf.

6. The cart assembly of claim 2, further comprising a clamp assembly configured to secure an edge of said cover to the side shelf edge.

7. The cart assembly of claim 6, wherein said cart is slidably received under the side shelf.

8. The cart assembly of claim 7, further comprising: a pair of opposed tracks disposed on said cover; a pair of rails disposed on said cart; and wherein said pair of tracks slidably receive said pair of rails.

9. The cart assembly of claim 7, wherein said clamp assembly further comprises: a first member secured to said cover; a second member hingably secured to said first member; and a threaded member received by said second member, said threaded member including an abutment end configured to engage the side shelf edge such that said cover edge and the side shelf edge are urged together as said abutment end is urged toward said first member.

10. The cart assembly of claim 9, wherein said clamp assembly further comprises: an abutment plate disposed on said first member, said abutment plate being mounted adjacent said cover edge; an end plate disposed on said second member, said end plate configured to receive said threaded member; and wherein urging said abutment end toward said abutment plate secures said cover edge and the side shelf edge therebetween.

11. The cart assembly of claim 1, wherein said cover is secured to said support structure.

12. The cart assembly of claim 11, further comprising: a pair of opposed tracks disposed on said cover; a pair of rails disposed on said cart; and wherein said pair of tracks slidably receive said pair of rails.

13. The cart assembly of claim 12, wherein said pair of tracks depend downwardly from an underside of said cover and said rails depend outwardly from a front and a rear of said cart.

14. The cart assembly of claim 1, further comprising: a pair of opposed tracks disposed on said cart; a pair of rails disposed on said cover; and wherein said cover is secured to the side shelf and said pair of tracks slidably receive said pair of rails.

15. A method of attaching a cart assembly to a barbecue grill, the cart assembly including a cart, a cover, and a clamp assembly attached thereto, the barbecue grill including a support structure and a side shelf, the method comprising: positioning the cover adjacent the side shelf; engaging the side shelf with a portion of the clamp assembly; and securing the side shelf adjacent the cover.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the portion of the clamp assembly engaging the side shelf further comprises a threaded member.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein securing the side shelf further comprises securing a distal edge of the cover to a distal edge of the side shelf.

18. A method of attaching a cart assembly to a barbecue grill, the cart assembly including a cart and a cover, the barbecue grill including a support structure and a shelf, the method comprising: positioning the cover adjacent the barbecue grill; and securing the cover adjacent the barbecue grill.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein positioning further comprises positioning the cover adjacent the shelf; and securing further comprises securing the cover adjacent the shelf.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein positioning further comprises positioning the cover adjacent the support structure; and securing further comprises securing the cover adjacent the support structure.

21. A cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill, the barbecue grill including a support structure and a side shelf having a distal end and a proximal end, the proximal end being attached to the support structure, said cart assembly comprising: a cart; a cover configured to be secured to the barbecue grill and to slidably receive said cart; and means for securing said cover to the barbecue grill.

22. The cart assembly of claim 21, wherein said means for securing is configured to secure said cover to the support structure.

23. The cart assembly of claim 21, wherein said means for securing is configured to secure said cover to the side shelf.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to cart assemblies for use with barbecue grills. More specifically, the present disclosure relates to cart assemblies that can be used in a stand alone fashion or with an existing barbecue grill.

BACKGROUND

Recently, outdoor cooking has experienced tremendous growth. This is due in large part to the fact that barbecue grills, especially gas grills, have become much easier to use and more efficient at cooking a wide range of food items. Although barbecue grills have seen improvements in recent years, users continue to desire additional amenities, such as those found in a typical kitchen. At present, barbecue grill owners are often faced with the choice of either purchasing a barbecue grill including the desired amenities or constructing a barbecue grill system, or “grill island,” that includes the desired amenities.

Grill islands are permanent structures constructed of brick, wood, etc., with the barbecue grill either built into the island or positioned in a recess provided for the barbecue grill. In that grill islands tend to be rather complex structures, often requiring gas lines, water lines, masonry and/or carpentry work, most barbecue grill purchasers utilize a second party for their construction. As such, the construction of a grill island can be rather expensive and time consuming. Grill islands are stationary, meaning they cannot be moved out of the elements for their protection. This is problematic in that various components of the grill island, such as the barbecue grill, become degraded over time. As with the initial construction, replacement of degraded components frequently requires the additional time and expense related to having a second party perform the required work on the grill island. Similarly, when additional upgrades of the grill island are desired, the second party is frequently contacted as well.

As noted, barbecue grill systems are available including a wide variety of options. Based on the number of amenities desired, these barbecue grill systems tend to be rather large. As such, the display, storage, and transportation of these barbecue grill systems is problematic for both the retailer and the end user. Depending on the number of features included, these barbecue grill systems can be rather expensive. As such, there can be a disparity between the features a purchaser desires and the cost of the barbecue grill system that the purchaser can afford. Because the barbecue grill system is a one-time purchase, the purchaser is often left with the decision of whether to forego some of the desired options and buy the less expensive system, or to wait until the purchase of the desired system is financially possible. It is possible, or even likely, that the purchaser already possesses a barbecue grill that is still serviceable. As noted, existing barbecue grill systems are of unitary construction and do not permit the user to merely upgrade the existing barbecue grill with the desired features. Rather, to obtain the desired system, the purchaser must buy the barbecue grill system that includes the barbecue grill and the desired amenities although the existing barbecue grill has not reached the end of its service life.

Therefore, there is a need for improved assemblies and methods that address these and other shortcomings of the prior art.

SUMMARY

Briefly described, the present disclosure relates to a cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill, the barbecue grill including a support structure and a side shelf with an edge attached thereto. The cart assembly includes a cover configured to be removably secured to the barbecue grill and a cart configured to be slidably received under the cover.

A further embodiment of the present disclosure relates to a cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill, the barbecue grill including a support structure and a side shelf having a distal edge and a proximal end, the proximal end being attached to the support structure. The cart assembly includes a cart, a cover configured to be secured to the barbecue grill and to slidably receive the cart, and means for securing the cover to the barbecue grill.

Yet another embodiment of the present disclosure relates to a method of attaching a cart assembly to a barbecue grill, the cart assembly including a cart, a cover, and a clamp assembly attached thereto, the barbecue grill including a support structure and a side shelf The method includes positioning the cover adjacent the side shelf, engaging the side shelf with a portion of the clamp assembly, and securing the side shelf adjacent the cover.

A further embodiment of the present disclosure relates to a method of attaching a cart assembly to a barbecue grill, the cart assembly including a cart and a cover, the barbecue grill including a support structure and a shelf. The method includes positioning the cover adjacent the barbecue grill and securing the cover adjacent the barbecue grill.

Other objects, features, and advantages of the present disclosure will become apparent upon reading the following specification, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Many aspects of the cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

FIG. 1 shows a bottom perspective view of a representative cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill including the disclosed clamp assembly;

FIGS. 2A-2D show varying representative views of the clamp assembly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIGS. 3A-3C are side views of the clamp assembly of the cart assembly as shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are top and front views, respectively, of the barbecue grill and cart assembly shown in FIG. 1 with the cart assembly in the stowed position;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are top and front views, respectively, of the barbecue grill and cart assembly shown in FIG. 1, with the cart assembly in the extended position;

FIGS. 6A and 6B are front and rear perspective views, respectively, of an alternate embodiment of a cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill; and

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of the cart assembly shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B, attached to a barbecue grill.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made in detail to representative embodiments of the disclosed cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill as illustrated in the drawings. While the cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill will be described in connection with these drawings, there is no intent to limit it to the embodiment or embodiments disclosed therein. On the contrary, the intent is to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents included within the spirit and scope of the cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill as defined by the appended claims.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a cart assembly 100 is shown attached to a barbecue grill 200. The cart assembly 100 may include a cover 110 having a downwardly depending pair of rails 122 and a clamp assembly 170, the cover 110 being slidably mounted to a pair of outwardly depending rails 122 located on the cart 120. Note, however, embodiments are envisioned wherein the tracks 114 are located on the cart 120 and they receive rails 122 that depend inwardly from the underside of the cover 110. Preferably, the clamp assembly 170 is mounted to the underside of the cover 110 adjacent to an outer edge of the cover 110. As such, the clamp assembly 170 facilitates securing the cover 110 to a side shelf 220 of the barbecue grill 200. Typically, the side shelf 220 extends outwardly from the support structure 210 that supports a fire box 202 at a desirable height for use. The cart assembly 100 may also include wheels 129 mounted thereto by a pair of stationary casters 128 and a pair of rotatable casters 126. Stationary casters 128 are disposed on the side of the cart assembly 100 closest to the barbecue grill 200 to facilitate moving the cart 120 from its stowed position adjacent the barbecue grill 200 (FIGS. 4A and 4B) to the extended position (FIGS. 5A and 5B), and back again.

Referring now to FIGS. 2A-2D, a perspective view, a side view, a top view, and a rear view, respectively, of the clamp assembly 170 of the present disclosure are shown. The clamp assembly 170 may include a first member 172 configured for mounting to the underside of the cover 110 and a second member 174 pivotally connected thereto. The second member 174 includes a threaded member 180 for securing the cover 110 of the cart assembly 100 to the side shelf 220 of the barbecue grill 200. As best seen in FIGS. 3A-3C, the threaded member 180 is received in an end plate 175 of the second member 174 such that tightening the threaded member 180 causes the threaded member 180 to be urged toward an abutment plate 173 of the first member 172. As shown in FIG. 3A, the first member 172 is mounted to the underside of the cover 110, such as by welding, so that the abutment plate 173 is adjacent the outer edge of the cover 110. After the respective outer edges of the cover 110 and side shelf 220 are adjacent one another, the second member 174 is rotated upwardly into position such that the threaded member 180 is positioned under the side shelf 220. So positioned, a user rotates the threaded member 180 such that an abutment end 182 of the threaded member 180 is urged inwardly toward the abutment plate 173, thereby securing the outer edges of the side shelf 220 and cover 110 adjacent each other, as shown in FIG. 2C. The threaded member 180 may include a grip 184 such that the user can secure the cart assembly 110 to the side shelf 220 of the barbecue grill 200 without the use of additional tools. The user merely rotates the threaded member 180 in the opposite direction to release the cart assembly 100 from the barbecue grill 200.

Note, the clamp assembly 170 need not be permanently mounted to the underside of the cover 110. For example, embodiments are envisioned where the clamp assembly 170 is provided as an independent feature, separable from both the cover 110 and the side shelf 220. Moreover, embodiments are envisioned wherein the cover 110 is secured to the side shelf 220 by fasteners that are passed through mounting apertures (not shown) located in the outer edges of both the cover 110 and the side shelf 220.

Referring now to FIGS. 4A and 4B, the cart 120 is shown in its stowed position adjacent the barbecue grill 200, under both the side shelf 220 and cover 110. As shown, the cart assembly 120 includes a pair of shelves 132 mounted on the front door 130 of the cart. Further, the cart assembly 120 may include a bottle opener 143, cup holders 145, an umbrella holder 140, and a hose fitting 142 such that water can be provided to a sink 147 (FIG. 7). A handle 123 is also provided to facilitate moving the cart 120 from its stowed position adjacent the barbecue grill 200 to the extended position, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B. Note, in the extended position, the rails 122 located on the cart 120 are visible. Covers 146 provide additional work space for the grill user when it is not necessary for the user to access those features of the cart 120 located under the covers 146. In order to return the cart 120 to the stowed position, the user merely pushes inwardly on the handle 123, thereby causing the rails 122 to slide within the tracks 114 (FIG. 1) located on the cover. The outermost edge of the side shelf 220 is configured such that the top of the cart 120 clears the edge and can be placed in the fully stowed position.

As shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B, an alternate embodiment of a cart assembly 100a includes a beverage dispenser 134, as would be used to dispense carbonated beverages, a storage bin 135 for receiving various articles, hooks 144 for receiving grilling implements, and a drain fitting 149 for the removal of waste water from the sink 147 (FIG. 7).

Referring now to FIG. 7, the cart assembly 100a shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B is secured to a barbecue grill 200. As shown, the covers 146 (FIG. 5A) have been removed and the front door 130 of the cart 120 is in the open position. As shown, the cart includes additional storage bins 135, a sink 147, a water faucet 148, and an ice chest 153. Drainage from the ice chest 153 exits the cart assembly 100a through drain fitting 149. As shown, the cart 120 further includes a cabinet 150 having a trash receptacle 151 and storage trays 152 slidably received within the cabinet 150.

Alternately, embodiments of the cart assembly 110 are envisioned wherein the cover 110 is secured to the support structure 210 of the barbecue grill 200 rather than to a side shelf 220. In these embodiments, the cover 110 is large enough such that the entire cart 120 can be slidably received thereunder. In addition, embodiments are envisioned wherein the height of the cart assembly 110 is adjustable such that the cart assembly 100 can be used with barbecue grills 200 of varying heights. One such embodiment includes replaceable casters such that wheels or supports of varying diameters can be placed on the cart assembly 100, thereby adjusting the overall height, or adjustable height casters to raise or lower the supports.

Although embodiments of the cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill have been disclosed in detail herein, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that variations and modifications of the disclosed embodiments can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the cart assembly for use with a barbecue grill as set forth in the following claims.