DIY Pocket Grill

The pocket grill

Imagine Bear Grylls eating the most disgusting maggot, ok, now imagine Bear Grylls eating the most disgusting maggot grill fried, isn’t that better? Well I guess not, but anyways, behold: the pocket grill. Ideal for single or two person camping, backpacking or hiking.

Tools and Materials

Tools used

Tools you will need:

  • Hacksaw (or at least the blade)
  • Cutting pliers
  • Drill and bit
  • Utility knife
  • File (or sandpaper)
  • Ruler

Of course these are not mandatory, you are welcomed to improvise, but please wear safety gear and respect work security guidelines (or suffer the consequences of your foolish actions, I don’t care).

Materials used


  • Basically you need 2 pieces of pipe, one must fit in the other, I used 18mm (3/4 Inch) and 15mm (5/8 Inch) copper tube; any metal should do, but I used copper because: its relatively lightweight, doesn’t bend much when exposed to fire, it has thin walls and most importantly I had them lying around the house (leftovers from the heating system) so they were free.
  • 2 copper tube caps that fit the larger diameter pipe (also lying around and also free).
  • Handful of approx. 2mm diameter bicycle spokes (1/16 inch), I can’t give you an exact number, you’ll see why in a bit. Make sure that you use stainless steel spokes, you’re going to eat off of them.

Pro Tip: If you have a bicycle repair shop nearby, you should ask them for broken spokes, you may get them for free (I hacked my old bike tire to death for this).

This is pretty simple since you’ll need to cut everything to the same size (you will get a rectangular grill).

Pro Tip: The bigger you make your pocket grill the more spokes you’ll need, make sure that the number of spokes you intend to use all fit inside the smaller diameter tube.
I made mine 20 cm wide (7.87401575 inches, just make it 8) since I found that about 25 2.2mm spokes fit inside the 15mm diameter tube.

Cut tubes to length

Cut the two tubes to equal length and file the rough edges, as I previously mentioned I made them 20cm (approx. 8 inches).

Mark the desired lengthCut both tubes to same lengthFile all cutsTubes cut to lengthTubes fit in each other

Measure, mark and drill holes

Now that you’ve got your tubes cut to length, you need to mark and drill the holes for the spokes.

Draw a guideline on both pipesAdd markings for the holesMake small indentations so the bit has some gripDrill holes in both tubesPipes with holes drilledHole drilled all the way trough

Cut spokes to length

By now you have the exact number of spokes you’ll need, just count the holes. The spokes need too be the same length (or smaller) as the tubes, since they need to fit inside.

Pro Tip: You will need 2 spokes with intact threads on one end and 90° bend on the other so cut them about 5 – 10mm (1/16 – 3/8 inch) longer than the rest, please keep this in mind.

Cut off the bent end of the spokeThen cut off the other end at the desired lengthRepeat the previous two steps for all the spokes except 2Leave two spokes with intact threads and 5-10mm (1/16-3/8 inch) longerBend those 5-10 mm to 90 degreesBent and cut spokes

Assemble the pocket grill

I’m not going to lie to you, this is painstaking to do until you do it a few times and get used to it.

Insert one of the bent spokes in the first hole of the larger diameter tubeThen feed it trough the firs holes on the other tube, and screw on the nippleStart placing the spokesThe last spoke is the other bent oneTighten both nipplesThe assembled pocket grill

Disassemble and pack the grill

This is a “piece of cake”, just unscrew the nipples and it falls apart. Packing it up is also pretty easy.

Unscrew both nipples to take apartThe pocket grill half packed upThe pocket grill fully packed upGrill in the pocket

Final thoughts

So, that’s about it, have fun making an using it.

UPDATE: Some of the Instructables commenters expressed concern that copper emits harmful gasses when heated, I can’t scientifically refute this, but I couldn’t find any source on the internet proving it, so: future “copper emits toxic fumes when heated” comments will be ignored unless they contain a link to a credible source.

UPDATE 2: or any source

UPDATE 3: The “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” website, in the “NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards” section states about copper fumes that: “Exposure may occur in copper & brass plants and during the welding of copper alloys.” Meaning that you’d have to melt copper or copper alloys to release the toxic fumes, we won’t be doing that over the campfire, not even close.

The pocket grill in use

Thank you for reading this, have a nice one!

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