I picked up a PK Grill off of Craigslist the other day and was pretty confused at first. The grill was much larger than any PK I had seen before and the lid opened from the front instead of the side. I did some digging and discovered that I had the Big Kahuna of PK Grills, the Presidential Model.
I have not found any solid documentation about this grill but my understanding is that this model was made sometime between 1960 and 1975 in Little Rock, Arkansas and was the biggest grill ever produced by the company.
The Presidential has four circular air vents on the lid of the grill and two slide vents on the bottom.
The grill grate on this model is 26 inches long and 16 inches wide. This make the Presidential slightly larger than the PK 360 grill that was released a few years ago.
Although this grill was missing the cart it does have the side table (I haven’t stuck it on yet though). The grill was in pretty good condition with just a few spots of burn through.
I have been wanting one of these thick cast aluminum beauties for years and can’t believe that I lucked out with this classic. PK grills are known for being one of the best grills for steak and are also excellent low and slow smokers. I figured that I would break this bad boy in by doing both. Since I don’t have a cart yet I just set this grill up on some bricks for these cooks.
I started out by grilling up some marinated flank steak along with some peppers and onions for fajitas over some seriously high heat.
I was using lump charcoal underneath a couple of inverted GrillGrate panels on one side of the grill and kept the other side empty as a cool zone. All six vents on the grill were completely open for maximum airflow and it didn’t take long for the surface to hit the high temps that I was looking for.
The veggies went on first and seared up quickly with just the right amount of char. As soon as they were tender I moved them over to the other side of the grill to stay warm.
The GrillGrate panels got flipped over for sear marks and the marinated flank steak went on the grill. It took the steak about 12 minutes to reach 125F.
I only let the steak rest for about five minutes before slicing it up…it was a beauty!
Everything was assembled on corn tortillas with a little sour cream and a spicy salsa verde.
Seriously great eats!
Next up was the mandatory rib cook.
I had the charcoal on the left side of the grill and the ribs on the right. The ribs were coated with some Bone Sucking Sauce dry rub and easily fit lengthwise onto the grill. I could have easily gotten several more slabs on here.
I set up the vents for Low and Slow and settled in for a completely drama free smoking session. I didn’t have to fiddle with anything for the four hours it took these ribs to finish up. This is a sweet little smoker!
The ribs turned out pretty dang well. There was a nice little smoke ring and the ribs were plenty tender.
Overall I was extremely impressed with this grill and am delighted that I had the chance to cook on such a classic piece of Americana.
I still need to figure out a cart for this big guy and see if I can track down information on the model number. It will be a nice project to keep me entertained this summer!