A toy kids love to play with and parents love to have. Quality materials and simple aesthetics make everyone happier.
This mini sized grill is made of solid pine and birch ply with all stainless steel hardware. All knobs, buttons and handles function the way you would expect from the real thing (minus the fire.) All paint and glue is non-toxic and the main surfaces are coated in a food safe clear coat for protection and easy cleaning. Not recommended to be left outside (in damp or rainy climates.)
I didn't have a ton of toys growing up, but those I did were either made of Lego or passed down from generations before. Looking around today, I'm saddened by our seeming departure from prizing craftsmanship, aesthetics and imagination in favor of affordability and convenience. Plastic is a great material and all, but not in the way it is used in far too many things now.
The first two I pieced together were (rough) prototypes for my nephew and neighbor's kids. Part of my motivation was that it always bothered me that little girls got their plastic play kitchens - but what about the boys? How were they to cultivate their cooking prowess? The other motivation was that I needed an excuse to use my great grandfather's lathe I had recently inherited, and I thought it would be amusing to make hand turned propane tanks. (They're my favorite part.)
Living at the time across from an elementary school, I received many compliments and inquiries about these things I was making in the garage, and after several earnest requests to purchase, I decided to make the first production batch of 12. They were soon carried in the local toy stores and now many little toddlers will be well practiced when they are called upon for summer cooking.
And as it turns out, grilling is just as popular with the little girls, too.