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Rayman’s “Portable Kitchen” Grill


I have a unique grill. It was originally made by a man named Hilton Meigs. Hilton was among other things, an inventor, contractor, designer, and a businessman in Beaumont Texas. He had a little P.T. Barnum thrown in for good measure.

Hilton loved barbeque as most Texans do, however, he had a dream of  manufacturing  “the perfect barbeque pit.” He wanted the grill to last almost forever, and it must be portable.  In 1952, he manufactured the first “Portable Kitchen” cast aluminum grill.

The portable kitchen became so popular, he moved operations to Tyler Texas, where he and his son would load as many grills as possible into his 1954 Chevy, (with the back seat removed), and sell them all across Texas. Retail stores sold them here in America as well as overseas. Sales increased so much, he was forced to acquire larger space in Little Rock Arkansas.

With the advent of stamped metal charcoal grills, and gas grills in the 80’s, he retired..the end of the “Portable Kitchen” he thought. Good fortune came to him through a couple who were tired of the rusted out, cheaply constructed charcoal grills, and weren’t convinced a propane flame could produce the flavor of charcoal fed hickory smoke. They retrieved a Portable Kitchen at a garage sale one day, and the rest is history. Just think, it all started in Hilton Meigs mind, with some help from a 1954 Chevy.


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