Meet the Maker: Yates Dew, Creator of Grill Kilt

The name alone piques the interest, but consider the utility and level of thought that went into designing the Grill Kilt: The 360-degree lightweight apron is outfitted with ten pockets customized for specific grill tools—everything from tongs to sauce to a cold beer—and you can see why it’s the accessory that every grill master never knew they needed.

“I like to joke it’s like an apron, a tool belt, a backpack, and a towel walked into a bar,” creator Yates Dew says of his Grill Kilt.

He first got the idea when searching for a way to make his grilling game more efficient, which meant taking fewer trips away from the grill.

“[Any time I grilled] it seemed like I was always having to go back inside for something. I’d go in to get my tongs, grab my phone, my pocketknife. If I forgot something, I had to take another trip to the kitchen,” he said. “I’m an efficient kind of person. I was tired of it.”

He wanted an apron with numerous pockets—a rarity on the market. “I didn’t set out to make a kilt, I just wanted something high quality and something with pockets,” he said.

Yates Dew of the Grill Kilt

He got a tool belt and a towel and combined the two, then reached out to a designer friend about bringing his vision to life.

He even got a few couple of kilts over the process, looking for inspiration. They looked cool, sure, but they weren’t conducive to the grilling process. The Scottish garb was far too warm to wear when grilling, and flannel and wool aren’t particularly breathable. Dew wanted something lightweight enough to wear over pants . . . or not, he joked.   

The Grill Kilt evolved over the design process, going through about ten prototypes Dew determined the winner: a high-quality, lightweight apron with an adjustable waistband. Its ten pockets are designed with the modern griller in mind—shaped for various utensils and tools—and it includes D-rings for attaching additional supplies, such as gloves or towels. However, considering that it’s machine washable, you may not even need the towel.

When word about his project spread to friends, they reached out with interest. They, too, could really use something like that. Dew started making more Grill Kilts to share with them. Popularity grew, and what started as a personal project for Dew became sought-after item. By December of 2020, he launched the Grill Kilt for retail. “It’s unbelievable the response we’ve had,” he said, and he hopes it will become a staple apron for grilling enthusiasts like himself.

Today the Grill Kilt plays an essential part in Dew’s grilling activities. The essentials he always keeps it stocked with include short tongs, long tongs, at least two towels, a pocketknife, wine tool, meat thermometer, his phone, and, most importantly, a cold beer.