How does a Hasty Bake compare to a gas grill?

In general, gas grills are convenient and good for fast, high temperature cooking only. A Hasty Bake is a multipurpose charcoal-burning grill that not only grills but also bakes and smokes, offering you much more versatility. Hasty Bake's adjustable fire box and grease drainage system allow greater control of temperature and help eliminate flair-ups, which are common complaints about most gas grills. While a Hasty Bake can use any type of charcoal briquette, we recommend hardwood charcoal, which has you ready to start cooking in 10-15 minutes without the use of lighter fluid. Foods cooked on a Hasty Bake capture a natural smoked flavor that a gas grill cannot duplicate.

How does a Hasty Bake compare with other smokers?

The adjustable fire box, dual air vents and ventless hood provide outstanding temperature control, which is the primary key to smoking. It is difficult to control temperatures in many of the heavy-gauge steel wood-burning smokers. The offset fire box on that type of smoker creates a hot spot near the fire and a temperature drop as high as 75 degrees Fahrenheit on the opposite end. In addition, a Hasty Bake is extremely easy to use. The full-width fire door provides easy access to the coals for refueling or adding wood chunks for flavor. Many smokers require the cooking grills and food to be removed in order to add more fuel.

Which Hasty Bake model is right for me?

All full-sized units function the same way, leaving essentially three basic decisions to make when choosing your model - size, material and hood design. The black powder-coated (PC) Legacy and Suburban models are our standard units. The Legacy provides an additional 234 square inches of cooking surface over the Suburban. These units are also offered in stainless steel (SS). PC units typically last 15-25 years with basic maintenance. The SS units are able to withstand almost any environment. In fact, we often refer to them as our "no maintenance" units. Our Gourmet and Continental models incorporate the same base as the Legacy and Suburban models, but feature a bi-fold door with a tempered glass window and an upper rack that can be used for both smoking and warming.

How much charcoal should I use?

We recommend filling half of the fire box with hardwood charcoal. If you are planning to sear using the entire grill, you can spread the charcoal to the other side after it has reached the desired heat intensity. Watch a video on lighting your Hasty Bake here.

How do I light the charcoal in my Hasty Bake? 

Once you have placed hardwood charcoal in half of the fire box, slide the fire box back into the oven. Place one or two lit Firelighters on the ash pan and slide it back into the oven. Using the crank handle, lower the fire box until it rests just above the ash pan, allowing the flames from the Firelighters to leap through the charcoal until it is well ignited. If you are using hardwood charcoal, your fire should be ready in 10 to 15 minutes. What a video on lighting your Hasty Bake here.

Do I need lighter fluid to start a fire?

You do not need lighter fluid since hardwood charcoal lights easily and quickly. Some Hasty Bake owners like to use Firestarter, which is an alcohol-based gel, in place of or in conjunction with Firelighters. To use, simply squirt some Firestarter on the ash pan and light with a match.

What if I have charcoal left when I'm done cooking?

Simply close your grill (lid, fire door, draft vents) to smother the fire. You will be able to reuse the charcoal that is left in the fire box the next time you use your Hasty Bake.

How do I regulate the heat in my Hasty Bake?

There are basically three ways to control the temperature of your Hasty Bake oven. Outside factors such as humidity, wind and temperature are beyond your control, but you will quickly become experienced in controlling the inside temperature by using these methods. Amount of charcoal - the more charcoal you use, the higher the temperature. Position of the fire box - Lower the fire box to lower the temperature and vice versa. Dual draft vents - Fire requires oxygen to burn. Open the draft vents (even the fire door) to raise the temperature and vice versa.

What kind of wood chips should I use when smoking?

Apple is exceptionally good for fish and fowl. The greener the wood, the sweeter the smoke flavor that will be imparted. Other fruit woods, such as cherry, mulberry, pear and peach are good for fish and poultry, including any wild foul. Grapevine is also good for fish and poultry, including any wild foul. Hickory is a good all-purpose wood, especially recommended for all cuts of pork. Pecan is another good all-purpose wood, recommended for all cuts of pork. Use persimmon with beef or pork. It is also good for wild game. The bark, roots and wood chips of sassafras are good for smoke flavor in fish and poultry. The following information can be found in your Owner’s Manual.

Grill Maintenance

Line Your Ash Pan with Aluminum Foil

We recommend covering your ash pan with a heavy-duty foil. This makes clean-up easy and provides a barrier between the caustic ashes and your ash pan, increasing the life of your ash pan.

Avoid Excessive Heat

Be aware that operating your Hasty Bake at extremely high temperatures can damage the paint and other components of your grill and may void the warranty.

Do Not Force a Tight Crank Handle

Keep the crank handle lubricated for smooth operation. We recommend lubricating the handle every 6 months with Lithium Grease, which can be found at your local hardware store. If the handle won’t turn, check for obstructions. If there are no visible problems and the threads are lubricated, then call us.

Lower the Firebox after Each Use

The heat build-up from cooking on your Hasty Bake can cause the lift mechanism to warp if left to cool in a raised position.

Empty Ashes Frequently

Empty your ashes frequently (if not before every use) to avoid having them spill over the sides of the ash pan. Also, be sure to remove any ashes that may fall below the ash pan into the storage area. Ashes draw moisture, creating a chemical reaction, which promotes rust.

Scrape the Grease Drain Rod

Scrape the grease drain rod (after every cooking usage) to keep the grease drain system functioning efficiently and to control and virtually eliminate flare-ups.

Scrape the Interior of the Oven

Scrape off excessive grease build up on the interior of the oven (periodically) with a putty knife to avoid obstruction of moving parts. Excessive grease build up can hinder many of the movable parts (ash pan, fire box, heat deflector) which can lead to grease fires.

Clean the Outside of Your Grill

Use a 3M Scotch-Brite pad and degreaser, such as Simple Green, to clean the outer surface of the powder-coated finished parts. For stainless steel parts, use acetone for tough grease, and a stainless steel polish to clean. We also carry a stainless steel cleaning product which helps keep stainless steel products looking shiny and new.

Clean the Window

Clean the window on the Continental, Gourmet, and Fiesta models by applying a degreasing cleaner. Allow the window to soak for a minute or two and scrape off any build-up with a razorblade tool.

Locking the Fire Door Handle

The fire door handle consists of a handle and a cam. The cam is the piece that rotates to lock the door so it will stay closed. The cam is secured to the handle by using an Allen Wrench and a small coat of fireplace mortar. There is not a bolt holding the cam in place.

Grease Fire

If a grease fire ever occurs, you should immediately close the hood, dual draft vents and fire door (if it’s open), to quickly suffocate the fire.

Protect Your Investment

Excess moisture can shorten the life expectancy of your Hasty Bake. So, try to remember to keep your oven out of the elements by either storing it in a covered area or by using one of our grill covers.

NOTE: Never cover your grill while the oven is still hot and do not use a plastic cover. On the powder coated units, we recommend that you use a high temperature touch up paint to touch up any parts beginning to show rust and/or paint burn off. This should be done annually, and will significantly extend the life of your unit. Sand down the rust with a 3M pad and clean with acetone before using the touch up paint.

Assembly Instructions

Grease Drain Rod

Insert the grease drain rod into the unit. The rod should be positioned with the notched hole inserted into the retaining hole, which is located on the inside of the oven, centered and directly below the cooking grill on the right side of the unit. For the drainage system to operate properly, DO NOT insert the rod into the rotisserie spit rod hole on the oven base. The end of the rod without the notched hole extends through the center draft hole on the left side of the unit and hangs over the foil cup, positioned on the outside of the grill.

Firebox Installation

The fire box slides INTO the channels on the lift mechanism, which is located inside the unit above the ash pan. The firebox does not sit on top of the channels on the lift mechanism.

Plastic Covering on Stainless Steel Parts

Remove any white plastic covering that comes on the stainless steel parts of your grill. This is a protective film that keeps the stainless steel from getting scratched. This is not paint.

The following information can be found in your Owner’s Manual.

Cooking Tips

Controlling the Temperature

There are basically three ways in which you can control the inside oven temperatures of your Hasty Bake. You must take into consideration that outside factors such as humidity, wind, and temperature are beyond your control. But, with continued use of your Hasty Bake, you will quickly become experienced in controlling the inside oven temperature using the following methods: Amount of Charcoal - The more charcoal you use, the higher the temperature. Position of the Fire Box – Lower the fire box to lower the temperature (slowing down the cooking process) and raise the fire box to raise the temperature (speeding up the cooking process). Dual Draft Vents – Charcoal requires oxygen to burn. Therefore, opening the draft vents will raise the temperature inside the oven, and closing the draft vents will lower the temperature.

Temperature Guidelines Smoke – Smoking or slow cooking is done with the hood closed and the food placed over the indirect heat (coals are covered with the heat deflector). Temperatures are usually kept in the 180 to 225F degree range.

Bake – Baking is done with the hood closed and the food placed over the indirect heat (coals are covered with the heat deflector). Temperatures are usually in the 225 to 325F range.

Sear (Grill) – Searing is done with the hood open and the food placed directly over the coals, (without the heat deflector in place) for greater heat intensity. The cooking surface will reach temperatures as high as 600F. (Be aware that the temperature will not be measured by the thermometer since the hood is usually left open when searing.)

Use of Wood Chunks You can enhance the flavor of any food with smoke by using either wood chips or chunks. Both do an excellent job of adding smoke.  However, wood chunks are more often preferred since they are bigger and usually last longer than wood chips. To achieve an intensified flavor, we suggest soaking the wood chunks in water for at least an hour before use.