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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: Feastmaster 400 grill made moving easier

Got a new outdoor barbecue grill this summer, although it came with a slight catch: I first had to buy the house that was built around it.

But as I keep telling my lovely wife, Sherry, uprooting our lives after 29 years in the same place is a small price to pay for the joy of sizzling meat on a Feastmaster 400.

I know. I’d never heard of a Feastmaster 400, either.

And quite frankly, I still don’t know much even now that I own one.

My quest for information about these built-in grills has produced skimpy and frustrating results.

The Feastmaster’s fancy metal label tells me that it was manufactured by Superior Fireplace Co. of Baltimore, Maryland, and Fullerton, California.

The Feastmaster does come up on a few internet chat sites that mainly discuss how to refurbish or get parts for this apparently defunct apparatus.

But I want to know more, so today I’m putting out the call.

Are there any Feastmaster 400 owners out there? Is anybody still grilling away on one?

Send me your Feastmaster stories through the contact information below. Make sure to leave a phone number. I will reward the best submissions with meat department gift certificates from Rosauers.

Think of this as my way of sharing my love of meat with readers.

Plus saying “Up Yours” to PETA.

I’m no stranger to the barbecue arts. I own two Weber gas grills. Last year I bought a charcoal-burning Green Egg.

They are all fabulous and will get the job done.

But this Feastmaster is fun and, as you’ll see, has a unique hands-on feature.

My Feastmaster fanaticism started a couple of months ago during a house-hunting venture. With the kids grown and gone, Sherry and I reluctantly decided to sell the large Clark family homestead.

So we looked at a number of replacement domiciles, one of which offered a spectacular view of the Spokane River.

Unfortunately, it also came with a spectacular kitchen view of the wastewater treatment facility.

No way I was going to eat my breakfast every morning while looking at the poo plant.

Then one afternoon we took a look at a 1965-era home on the South Hill. I stepped out onto a backyard patio and my heart fluttered like back in kindergarten when I fell in love with a girl named Candy.

I found myself staring at a compact black metal barbecue grill that was ensconced perfectly inside a red brick fireplace with chimney.

What really revved my motor was the handle. Cranking it, I learned, would lower or raise the steel plate that held the charcoal.

“I love this place,” I told Sherry. “This is It!”

Now that we’re all moved in it’s obvious that we made the right choice.

So far I’ve cooked German sausages, thick pork chops and juicy steaks on it while bloodying my head only once.

My Feastmaster injury occurred the first time I tried the thing.

I got so caught up in my barbecuing that I forgot about the line of unforgiving bricks that are placed at scalp level.

Oh, well. No pain no fillet, as they say.

Thanks to the aforementioned handle, I can get a perfect char on steaks by moving the heat to an inch or so under the meat.

Once that char is Bobby Flay-worthy, you can lower the coals to create a more moderate cooking temperature.

The other night I bought 60 bucks worth of prime rib-eye steaks from Costco.

I got the lump charcoal blazing in one of those aerated teapots they call a “chimney starter.”

The trick is to wait until the coals are bright red.

At that point I poured them into the coal bed and spread them out with pair of tongs.

The Feastmaster’s grill comes apart in two sections, which makes it easy add more coals during the cooking process.

Once everything was in place I covered the steaks with salt and pepper and set them down. (I’m a purist when it comes to seasoning.)

Oh, mama.

“This is the best steak ever,” announced Sherry as we sat at the table in the dining room of our brand-new home.

Oh, yeah. The house is really nice, too.

That’s to be expected, I guess. Nobody puts a Feastmaster in a dump.

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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