Title:
INDIRECT HEAT COOKING APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention pertains to a portable apparatus that is placed into a covered outdoor grill that facilitates cooking food by indirect heat. The outdoor grill has a charcoal, electric, or gas heat source which provides the direct heat that is transformed into an indirect heat by a raised cooking grill with a heat shield that is selectively locatable between the food and the heat source.



Inventors:
Whitmer, Dave (Oxnard, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/308006
Publication Date:
09/07/2006
Filing Date:
03/02/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
126/337R
International Classes:
F24B3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SUERETH, SARAH ELIZABETH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
QUICKPATENTS (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An indirect heat cooking apparatus for cooking food on an outdoor grill, comprising: a cooking grill comprising a pair of side retaining members and a plurality of transverse rods, each rod affixed at each end thereof to one side retaining member; a plurality of support legs, each support leg affixed at a top end thereof to the cooking grill; and a pair of handles, each handle attached to opposing sides of the cooking grill; whereby with the support legs resting on the outdoor grill, the support legs raise the cooking grill above the outdoor grill such that a heat shield may be slid under the cooking grill to shield the food thereon from direct heat from the outdoor grill.

2. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of 1 further including a storage hook comprising a small rod attached at one end to an approximate center point of one of the cross members.

3. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 1 wherein each rod of the cooking grill is generally equidistant from and generally parallel to each adjacent rod of the cooking grill.

4. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 1 wherein each support leg is affixed at a top end thereof to one end of one of the side retaining members, each support leg fixed at a bottom end thereof to one end of a cross member.

5. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 1 wherein the plurality of support legs is exactly three.

6. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 4 wherein the plurality of support legs is exactly four.

7. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 1 wherein each handle is a single rod affixed at each end thereof to a first end of a short parallel rod, a second end of each short parallel rod being formed into a loop, each loop rotatably attached to an outermost transverse rod of the cooking grill.

8. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 1 further including a heat shield receptacle sized to slide under the cooking grill to shield the food thereon from direct heat from the outdoor grill and to act as a catch basin for dripping foodstuffs.

9. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 1 wherein the heat shield receptacle comprises a bottom wall and a plurality of peripherally attached vertically extending side walls.

10. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 1 further including a heat shield rack comprising a plurality of rods fixed at each end to one of the support legs, and a plurality of parallel members, each fixed at each end thereof to one of the plurality of rods, whereby a heat shield may be slid under the cooking grill and onto the heat shield rack to shield the food on the cooking grill from direct heat from the outdoor grill.

11. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 1 wherein the height of each support leg is between 2 inch and 8 inches.

12. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 1 wherein the height of each support leg is between 1 inch and 7 inches.

13. The indirect heat cooking apparatus of claim 4 wherein the combination of each support leg and cross member is wider than a gaps between cooking grid members of the outdoor grill, whereby the support legs cannot slip between the cooking grid members of the outdoor grill.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/660814, filed Mar. 4, 2005, for INDIRECT HEAT COOKING APPARATUS, by Dave Whitmer, included by reference herein and for which benefit of the priority date is hereby claimed.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an outdoor cooking apparatus and, more particularly, to a portable indirect heat cooking apparatus that is placed into the cooking chamber of an outdoor grill.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the past few decades, backyard cooking with gas or charcoal grills has become a very popular activity in the United States. A large segment of the population cooks in this manner on weekends, holidays, and special occasions. The invention will be hereinafter described with reference to cooking food in a outdoor grill while using gas as the heat source, although clearly the invention described herein could be used with other grill and fuel configurations. The outdoor grill has a general box shaped configuration that is common to many outdoor grills of the prior art. Many people consider outdoor grill cooking necessary to improve the flavor and texture of food.

There are some widely accepted methods of cooking with this type of outdoor grill. One method is direct heat with the lid of the outdoor grill open. Steaks, hot dogs, hamburgers, and boneless chicken are often cooked with this method. Typically the cooking heat is at a high temperature to broil the food. The food on the cooking grid is fairly close to the flame. One disadvantage of this method is that it is a common problem to overcook or even char the outer surface of the food. To avoid such mishaps the cook must closely monitor the temperature and the placement of the food over the flame. Additionally, the cook must turn over the food at the right time to insure even cooking and then remove the food when it is cooked to a desired result. Another disadvantage of this open lid method is that a significant amount of heat escapes, wasting energy.

Hot spots are common in these types of outdoor grills. A hot spot is an area on the cooking grid where the heat is more intense than other places on the grid. Placing food over a hot spot should be avoided as the food can cook at a faster rate than desired.

Another widely accepted method of cooking with an outdoor grill is to place the food on the cooking grid, adjust the outdoor grill temperature to a low heat and close the lid, creating a cooking chamber resembling a conventional oven. Tri-tip, ribs, sausages, chicken, and the like are thicker foods that need to be cooked at a lower temperature and for a longer duration of time to insure complete cooking throughout the food. A disadvantage to this method is the food is still exposed to a direct heat which can dry out or char the food. Another disadvantage is when the lid is closed it is hard to monitor the cooking process without opening the lid. When the lid is opened the ambient heat in the cooking chamber escapes. The ambient heat must be raised in the cooking chamber before the cooking process can continue, thus it is best to minimize opening of the lid. Another disadvantage is the heat is a dry heat, with little humidity, contributing to the drying out of the food.

Another method of cooking with an outdoor grill is to cook food with the warming rack as a raised cooking grill. Many outdoor grills provide warming racks as a standard feature. Warming racks are typically located in the upper area of the cooking chamber. This cooking method provides more separation between the food and the heat source. A disadvantage with warming rack cooking is the location is often too high in the cooking chamber to accommodate certain foods such as a whole chicken or ribeye roast. Another disadvantage is the size of warming racks is often limited, as well as headroom above the warming rack to the lid, which limits the amount and size of foods that can be cooked at one time.

Use of a water smoker is another very popular device of outdoor cooking. There are many variations of a water smoker available on the market. A very common model known as a bullet smoker is widely used. The shape resembles a bullet and is approximately 36″ to 48″ in height. It is comprised of a cylindrical body with a dome top and bottom with a vertically hinged door. The bottom area provides an area for a heat source which can be gas, charcoal, or electric. A water pan is located above the heat source. Above the water pan are a plurality of grates supported by brackets located on the interior of the body. This method of cooking is known as indirect heat cooking. The water pan is placed between the selected meat and the heat source to form a heat barrier as well as a vessel to catch any liquid drippings produced in the cooking process. Additionally, when heated, the water has a humidifying effect inside the cooking chamber. The cooking method used for this type of outdoor cooking is known as “slow and low”. It is common for the meats to be cooked at a temperature of 225 degrees to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking times vary from 4 to 24 hours. A disadvantage of cooking with a water smoker is the temperature must be very closely monitored throughout the whole process. Another disadvantage is the cooking process must be started well in advance. Cooks have been known to spend a whole day cooking food with this device. Another disadvantage would be the lack of versatility. A water smoker is not designed to cook with direct heat. To cook with direct heat and indirect heat, two separate types of outdoor grills are required.

Another method of indirect heat cooking was pioneered by Native Americans. The use of wood planks to roast fish and game was very common years ago and is used today. Typically a piece of fish is placed on a wood plank and placed directly upon an outdoor grill for cooking. The plank acts as a heat barrier and imparts a smoked taste to the food. A disadvantage to this method is the plank burns up in the cooking process and must be replaced. Another disadvantage is that most commercially available planks are small in size, the amount of food that can be cooked is limited.

In defiance of the maxim “keep it simple,” certain inventors have developed more and more elaborate and complex mechanisms for indirect heat cooking with an outdoor grill. Such devices can be found in specialty stores and mail order catalogs and are described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,314,868, issued to CHRISTENSEN for DIRECT AND INDIRECT OUTDOOR COOKER; U.S. Pat. No. 5,363,752 issued to WEIL for COOKING GRILL; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,020,322 issued to MUSE for MULTI SMOKER.

Such prior art cooking devices are very mechanical with many moving parts. Cooking devices which are placed in a cooking chamber are exposed to constant heat, the metal parts will naturally expand and contract. Cooking devices which are placed in a cooking chamber are exposed to smoke and cooking residue. Over time the parts can become deformed from heat. Over time smoke and cooking residue will collect into the mechanics of the devices. The ease in the movements of the parts will become limited over time. The elaborate construction of heat controlling mechanisms contributes significantly to the overall cost including the complexity and difficulty in assembling. Some cooking devices require modifications to the outdoor grill, i.e. drilling holes, and removing or replacing cooking grids. Most of the modifications are not easily disengaged to restore an outdoor grill to the original condition. Many cooking devices can employ only one type of heat shield, without the option to employ a liquid or solid heat shield, the choices of textures on food is limited. Many cooking devices cannot easily be converted to broil food with direct heat.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide an indirect heat cooking apparatus that can be used in any outdoor grill.

It is another object of the invention to provide the ability to place the apparatus directly upon the cooking grid of an outdoor grill.

It is another object of the invention to provide the ability to move and store the apparatus with ease.

It is another object of the invention to provide an apparatus for indirect heat cooking without modifying the outdoor grill.

It is another object of the invention to provide the ability to cook food without burning or overcooking.

It is another object of the invention to provide the ability to cook food that is tender and juicy.

It is another object of the invention to provide a liquid heat shield with a humidifying effect upon the food.

It is another object of the invention to provide a solid heat shield to protect the food from direct heat.

It is another object of the invention to provide a receptacle to house a heat shield.

It is another object of the invention to provide a receptacle to catch liquid drippings produced in the cooking process.

It is another object of the invention to provide the ability to elevate food away from the cooking heat source.

It is another object of the invention to provide an apparatus for cooking food with direct heat on a raised cooking grill.

It is another object of the invention to provide an apparatus which can be used outside of the cooking chamber as a portable cooking grill while using charcoal, briquettes or wood as a heat source.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention there is provided a indirect heat cooking apparatus that is placed directly into the cooking chamber of an outdoor grill which is both functional and simple. A raised cooking grill with a heat shield is placed under the cooking grill. Supported by legs with cross members, including a heat shield container, a pair of rotatably connected handles, a storage hook and a heat shield creates a barrier between the heat source and the foodstuffs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained by reference to the accompanying drawings, when considered in conjunction with the subsequent, detailed description, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an indirect heat cooking apparatus in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view, taken generally along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1, of the indirect heat cooking apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the alternate embodiment of the invention, taken generally along lines 4-4 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the invention as used with an outdoor grill.

For purposes of clarity and brevity, like elements and components will bear the same designations and numbering throughout the Figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The apparatus of this invention is referred to generally in FIGS. 1-5 by the reference number 10 and is intended to provide an indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 for outdoor grill 32 cooking. It should be understood that the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 may be used to cook many different types of foodstuffs.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 and includes, in the preferred embodiment, four support legs 12 connected to two cross members 13. The cooking grill 16 consists of two side retaining members 14, a plurality of transverse rods 17 which are arranged in parallel and the ends of which are fixed to the side retaining members 14 in regularly spaced intervals. A handle 18 consists of two short parallel rods 19 each perpendicularly connected to a single rod 21 at a first end 11 thereof. The handle 18 is rotatably fastened to the cooking grill 16 by forming the opposite ends 23 of the short parallel rods 19 into small loops 25 and attaching the rods 19 to the outer most parallel rod 17 of the cooking grill 16. A storage hook 20 consists of a small rod 205 and is rigidly connected at one end 210 thereof to an approximate center point of one cross member 13.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10, but further illustrates a heat shield receptacle 22 and a heat shield 24. The heat shield receptacle 22 consists of a flat bottom wall 29 with vertically inclined side walls 27 extending upwards from the bottom wall 29. The heat shield 24 is contained in the heat shield receptacle 22, the bottom wall 29 constituting the heat shield 24 when the heat shield receptacle 22 does not contain a liquid such as water, or the like. The handles 18 can rotate for convenient carrying.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 and includes, in its preferred embodiment, four support legs 12 connected to two cross members 13. A heat shield rack 26 comprises two rods 31 perpendicularly connected to the support legs 12 with a plurality of parallel members 33 approximately equally-spaced and connected at each end thereof to the rods 31.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the alternate embodiment of the invention, but further including the heat shield receptacle 22 and the heat shield 24.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an outdoor grill 32, a lid 28 thereof, and a cooking grid 30 thereof. The outdoor grill 32 in FIG. 5 is only one example of the various types of outdoor grills available to which the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 of the invention may be employed. Therefore, the outdoor grill 32 is only described generally herein. Referring to FIG. 5, the outdoor grill 32 has a general box shaped configuration that is common to many outdoor grills of the prior art. Although the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 of the invention is described herein as being used with a box-shaped outdoor grill 32, it should be understood that the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 of the invention can be modified for its use in outdoor grills of other shapes, for example outdoor grills that have circular or rounded configurations. The source of heat may be burning fuel such as gas, electricity, charcoal, or briquettes. For illustrative proposes, the source of heat in FIG. 5 is gas.

Referring to FIG. 1, the heat resistant support legs 12 provide a stable base to the elevated cooking grill 16 which can be used with varying types of a heat shields 24. The heat resistant cross members 13 are rigidly connected to the support legs 12, such as by welding, and provide stability to the support legs 12. The length of the plural support legs 12 determines the overall height of the cooking grill 16. The heat resistant cooking grill 16 provides an area for food to be placed for cooking. The cooking grill 16, which is generally perpendicular to the support legs 12, is at an adequate height that allows the lid 28 of the outdoor grill 32 to close without coming into contact with the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 or the selected food (not shown). The overall width and length of the cooking grill 16 can accommodate a large amount of food, while insuring that the lid 28 of the outdoor grill 32 can be closed without coming into contact with the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 or the selected food. This indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 can be used in an outdoor grill 32 that uses charcoal bricks, briquettes, electricity or gas as a heat source. Referring to FIG. 2, the plural, rotatable, heat resistant handles 18 are linked at opposite sides of the cooking grill 16 and rotate up vertically for transporting the apparatus and rotate down naturally by gravity to the sides of the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 when not being carried. To limit the rotated downward movement of the handle 18 the length of the single rod 21 extends to, and rest upon at least one support leg 12. To limit the lateral movement of the handle 18, the ends 23 of the short parallel rods 19 are attached to the cooking grill 16 outer-most traverse rods 17 and as close as possible to the support legs 12 without limiting up and down rotation of the handle 18.

The heat resistant storage hook 20 is located in the approximate center of a cross member 13 and is upwardly angled. The storage hook 20 is used for hanging the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 for storage when not in use. The distance between the bottom of the cooking grill 16 and the top of the cooking grid 30 allows a heat shield receptacle 22 thereunder, while ensuring that the lid 28 of the outdoor grill 32 can be closed without coming into contact with the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 or the selected food. The distance between the cooking grill 16 and the heat shield 24 can be varied and depends upon the selected length of each support leg 12.

The heat shield receptacle 22 is a vessel for containing a liquid or solid heat shield 24 while also catching any liquids produced in the cooking process. The heat shield receptacle 22 can be made of various heat resistant materials such as, but not limited to, aluminum or metal. The heat shield receptacle 22 is removable, leak proof, sized to fit under the cooking grill 16. A heat shield 24 can be comprised of, but not limited to, water and flavor enhancing liquids. The heat resistant heat shield 24 can be composed of various solid materials such as, but not limited to, fire clay, refractory ceramic, or sand. The removable heat shield 24 is used for creating a heat barrier between the cooking heat and the food.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the heat resistant heat shield rack 26 provides a platform for a raised heat shield 24. In such an embodiment, the distance between the bottom of the cooking grill 16 and the top of the heat shield rack 26 allows enough height for the heat shield receptacle 22. The distance between the bottom of the heat shield rack 26 and the top of the cooking grid 30 also allows the heat shield receptacle 22. The overall height of such an embodiment is such as to ensure that the lid 28 to the outdoor grill 32 can be closed without coming into contact with the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 or the selected food. The distance between the cooking grill 16 and the heat shield 24 can be varied by selecting the length of the support legs 12.

Referring to FIG. 5, the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 is housed in the cooking chamber of the outdoor grill 32. The plural support legs 12 are placed directly upon the cooking grid 30 of an outdoor grill 32. The plural cross members 13 are placed directly upon the cooking grid 30 of an outdoor grill 32. The area where the support legs 12 and the cross members 13 are rigidly connected provides an adequate width to insure that the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10, and the support legs 12 thereof, do not slip between the cooking grid members 30 of the outdoor grill 32. The length of the storage hook 20 is relatively short so as not to interfere with the heat shield 24 container when it is slid under the cooking grill 16 and on the cooking grid 30 of outdoor grill 32. The heat shield 24 is manually inserted into the heat shield 24 container. The handle 18 is rotatably fastened to the cooking grill 16.

Referring to FIG. 2, the distance between the top of the cooking grill 16 and a heat shield 24 can vary, depending on the length of the support legs 12. An ideal distance between the top surface of the cooking grill 16 and the top surface of the cooking grate is between one inch to seven inches. Different textures on the food can be obtained by using different heat shield 24 materials at different heights of support legs 12.

FIG. 2 shows a heat shield 24 container that can be placed directly below the cooking grill 16. While using a liquid heat shield 24, the food is subjected to a humidifying effect. With a liquid heat shield 24 in close proximity to the food, the heat source slowly cooks the surface of the food on the cooking grill 16 and gradually bakes or cooks by convection the opposite surface of the food. The food's outer surface will have a moist texture, compared to that of when using a solid heat shield 24. A moist texture is desirable for certain foods such as but not limited to boneless chicken. Due to evaporation, the liquid heat shield 24 may need to be replenished periodically to retain the heat shielding properties. Liquid drippings produced in the cooking process will fall directly into and mix with the liquid heat shield 24 and can be easily disposed of.

With the heat shield 24 container placed directly upon the cooking grid 30 of the outdoor grill 32, and while using a solid heat shield 24, the food is subjected to a dry heat. With a solid heat shield 24 in such close proximity to the food, the heat source slowly cooks the surface of the food on the cooking grill 16 and gradually bakes or cooks by convection the opposite surface of the food. The food's outer surface will have a hard crust texture, compared to using a liquid heat shield 24. A hard crust texture is desirable for certain foods such as tri-tip. Liquid drippings produced in the cooking process will fall directly into the heat shield 24 receptacle. Liquid drippings produced in the cooking process can penetrate solid heat shield 24 materials such as fire clay or sand, causing the loss of the heat shielding properties over time. By encapsulating a solid heat shield 24 within a foil pouch (not shown), for example, such as large size “Hot Bags” manufactured by Reynolds, a business of Alcoa inc. of Richmond, Va., the heat shield 24 can be protected from the drippings and be used multiple times. The heat shield 24 can also be encapsulated by forming an envelope of aluminum foil. The vertically inclined side walls 27 of the heat shield receptacle 22 extend above the heat shield 24, enough to provide an adequate space for the heat shield 24 and a protective liner (not shown). By placing a disposable protective liner such as aluminum foil over the encapsulated solid heat shield 24 the drippings can be easily disposed of and the heat shield 24 and the heat shield receptacle 22 come into minimal contact with the drippings.

With the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the heat shield receptacle 22 may be placed in a raised position upon the heat shield rack 26. While using a liquid heat shield 24 in this position the food is subjected to a humidifying effect. With a liquid heat shield 24 in such close proximity to the food, the heat source slowly cooks the surface of the food on the cooking grill 16 and gradually bakes or cooks by convection the opposite surface of the food. The food's outer surface will have a very moist texture, compared to using a liquid heat shield 24 at a lower level. A very moist texture is desirable for certain foods such as but not limited to fish.

Alternately, the heat shield receptacle 22 can be placed directly upon the cooking grid 30 of the outdoor grill 32, that is, in the lower position. While using a liquid heat shield 24 in this position the food is subjected to less of a humidifying effect, compared to when the liquid heat shield 24 is in the raised position. The heat source cooks the surface of the food on the cooking grill 16 at a faster rate compared to when the liquid heat shield 24 is in the raised position, and bakes or cooks by convection the opposite surface of the food. The food's outer surface will have a moist texture. A moist texture is desirable for certain foods such as but not limited to ribs. With the heat shield 24 in the lower position, the liquid evaporates at a faster rate. Due to evaporation, the liquid heat shield 24 may need to be replenished periodically to retain the heat shielding properties. Liquid drippings produced in the cooking process fall directly into and mix with the liquid heat shield 24 and can be easily disposed of.

With the heat shield receptacle 22 placed in the raised position upon the heat shield rack 26, and while using a solid heat shield 24 in this position, the foodstuffs are subjected to a dry heat. With a solid heat shield 24 in such close proximity to the food, the heat source slowly cooks the surface of the food on the cooking grill 16 and gradually bakes or cooks by convection the opposite surface of the food. The food's outer surface will have a hard crust texture, compared to using a liquid heat shield 24. A hard crust texture is desirable for certain foods such as whole chicken or sausages.

The heat shield receptacle 22 may also be placed directly upon the cooking grid 30 of the outdoor grill 32. While using a solid heat shield 24 in this position the foodstuffs are subjected to less of a heat barrier, compared to when the solid heat shield 24 is in the raised position. As such, the heat source cooks the surface of the food on the cooking grill 16 at a faster rate and bakes or cooks by convection the opposite surface of the food. Liquid drippings produced in the cooking process fall directly into the heat shield 24 receptacle 22.

Thus, the alternate embodiment of the invention allows more subtle cooking texture options that can be imparted upon selected foods. It is feasible, as well, to use a solid heat shield 24 without utilizing a heat shield receptacle 22.

The indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 shown in FIGS. 1 & 3 are just one example of the various shapes available to which the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 of the invention may be employed. Additional shapes of an indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 which could be used are, but not limited to, square, round, oval and the like.

To seal the juices in food before cooking, searing a hard crust onto the outer surface of food is sometimes desirable. Searing is accomplished by subjecting the food to high direct heat. Removing the heat shield receptacle 22, adjusting the outdoor grill 32 to a high temperature, and placing the selected food directly upon the hot cooking grill 16 accomplishes this desired result. Likewise, it is sometimes desirable to impart a hard crust texture on the outer surface after the food is cooked. Removing the heat shield receptacle 22, adjusting the temperature of the outdoor grill 32 to a high temperature, and flipping the food achieves this objective.

Cleaning the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 is possible by removing the heat shield receptacle 22, adjusting the outdoor grill 32 to a high temperature and using a cleaning implement such as a wire brush or a scraper to remove any cooking residues from past use.

Cooking with direct heat on a raised cooking grill 16 is sometimes desirable. Direct heat cooking is accomplished by removing the heat shield receptacle 22, adjusting the outdoor grill 32 to the desired temperature, placing food on the cooking grill 16, and flipping food until the desired result is achieved. The lid 28 of the outdoor grill 32 can be up or down.

It is possible to use the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 as a portable cooking grill 16. Cooking with direct heat outside of the cooking chamber, on a raised cooking grill 16 is sometimes desirable. A method is to place a heat source such as charcoal, briquettes of wood upon the ground or in a container, position the indirect heat cooking apparatus 10 over the heat source and cooking the food accordingly.

Indirect heat cooking temperatures are usually low. The lower the temperature, the longer the cooking duration. A method to keep the temperature of the cooking chamber very low would be to adjust a single burner to the lowest setting. With a heat shield 24 between the heat source and the food, it is possible to increase the temperature which speeds up the cooking duration without overcooking or burning the food.

Since other modifications and changes can be imparted to the invention to fit particular operating requirements and environments, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the invention is not considered limited to the example chosen for purposes of disclosure. It should be understood that the invention covers all changes and modifications which do not constitute departures from the true spirit and scope of this invention. Having thus described the invention, what is desired to be protected by Letters Patent is presented in the subsequently appended claims.