As y'all may or may not know, I've moved from the East Bay into San Francisco proper. One of the biggest enticements I had moving out of my idyllic zen sinecure in El Cerrito (where other people did the shopping and cleaning and all I had to do was keep my door closed and pay the rent on time, and I could see the entire bay from my deck and my bedroom window) was the opportunity to cook whatever I wanted. And as should completely unsurprising, what I want to cook is barbeque. But there's no place to put a barbeque pit in my new apartment in the Inner Richmond - what to do? The answer? Fireplace. This weekend, I built a smoker into my fireplace, and smoked some pork ribs. It was excellent.
What you're looking at is a frame built of 1/2 inch galvanized pipe which supports a grill and a smoke hood made from the lid of an enameled roasting pan, combined with the body of the roasting pan which is where the coals and the smoking medium (in this case, waterlogged mesquite chips and chopped onions) go. I've wanted a barbeque pit like this for a long time. In this configuration, you have direct access to the coals, can add more charcoal, or smoking medium, at will, can measure the temperature of both the coals and the meat directly, and can look up at the bottom of the meat on the grill without having to take the lid off and stop the smoking process. I've only cooked one thing on it, but I already see huge opportunities for experimentation and progress.
So, anytime anyone is down for an afternoon of beer-drinking and conversation, show up at my house with some meat and we'll fire this thing up.