A grill built for America - presented to Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron from US President Barack Obama. That's right!
In 2012 owner Chris Engelbrecht, President and Founder of Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers received a call from the US State Department asking for a "one-of-a-kind" grill that had to be 100% American-made.
Since their grills are already manufactured with 90 - 95% of U.S. sourced materials they were already ahead of the curve. The parts that they don't provide such as some nuts, and bolts, and wheels were manufactured themselves.
You can see more at grillsandcookers.com.
HOW LONG HAS ENGELBRECHT BEEN MAKING GRILLS?
I started in my garage about 15 years ago. I went to school for weld engineering. Later I worked on pipelines and pressure vessels for the propane industry. I always enjoyed BBQ and I never liked what I got from the box stores, so I made my own. Others liked it and wanted it, so as a hobby I was building BBQ pits in my garage. That progressed to where we are now. And the stuff I made in my garage is nothing like what we build now.
TELL US ABOUT WHERE YOU MAKE YOUR GRILLS?
Shearing, machining, sawing, assembly weld assembly, final weld assembly and powder coating are done here in central Illinois. Cooking grates are made in Indiana. A couple other small parts are built in the US. A very small percentage of components in what we build is imported - mostly nuts and bolts.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO MANUFACTURE IN THE UNITED STATES?
Our product is unique that it is built by craftsmen, people schooled in their own art. Machinists, sheet metal workers, laser operators, welders, etc. Talented people here in the USA. That is very rare when you look globally which is why a good chunk of our product is exported.
Plus, American grilling is American and should be cooked on an American grill. I thought it was a shame when the little red wagon that we all grew up with started being manufactured in Asia. It takes the American out of it.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO GRILL AT HOME FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY?
I’m a farm boy. So steak, pork chops and ribs, occasionally tri-tip and brisket. I have an 8 year old Original Braten 1000 at home.
Photos courtesy of Engelbrecht Grills.