Review: Grill all year long with the American Outdoor Grill 36PCL
SEATTLE, March 6, 2016 —In an ultra-crowded market if outdoor grills, it is easy for consumers to have the mindset of: “Meh, they’re all basically the same” and end-up with a poor-performing grill. Certainly, there are some consumer brands that build a better product than others but on the upper-end of the grills out there, we have American Outdoor Grill. They’re likely the best brand you’ve never heard of because they’re not sold at big stores like Home Depot and Lowes. Instead, this premium maker of outdoor grills sells its goods at boutique stores across the country. They are 100-percent American made and that’s something to be proud of – not many cooking products can make that claim.
As with most any products we buy, we normally get what we pay for. If you’re looking for a budget grill then you’ll likely get one that has constant flare-ups, uneven heat distribution and will end-up in a landfill within only 2-4 years. While there are many good consumer brands out there, like Weber, grills like this one from AOG – take things a step further.
From the way the lid “feels” in your hands; the solidness of it, the weight of it – it has that nice “feel” that you get from a well-built automobile door. The brushed stainless not only looks amazing on your deck or patio, it also means you’ll get years and years of reliability and good heat distribution.
The better grills these days feature infrared burners – this AOG unit has two. One on the left-hand side of the grill and one on the back wall of the grill which is perfect for rotisserie (rotisserie unit included) or helping to brown the tops of whatever you have on the grill.
Infrared burners get seriously hot – by orders of magnitude over conventional burners. In fact, our infrared, instant-read thermometer maxes out at 999-degrees – anything over that and it simply reads “Hi”. It should read, “This is FREAKIN’ HOT”.
Why is it a good thing to have heat of this magnitude you ask? The answer is simple – amazing searing results. While searing does not lock in the juices (contrary to popular belief), searing is a vital process of creating the perfect “crust” or texture on the meat involved as well as providing some great color. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better sear anywhere than what an infrared burner provides. There is no drip protection over this burner because it’s so hot that any drippings instantly vaporize and go to adding flavor back into the meats.
To help circumvent flare-ups on the standard burners, AOG uses steel plating that rest above them which do a fairly good job, for the most part preventing flames. There are still flare-ups here and there but for the most part, they’re kept to a minimum.
One of the first things we did was to place product all over the non-infrared burners to see how evenly things cooked. The grill performed very well in grilling everything at the same time to the same doneness level, regardless of its placement on the grill. Now granted, this will slowly vanquish over time as the normal wear-and-tear items start to age, but you can get replacement parts from AOG to help ensure it grills like new for a long time.
AOG uses an electronic ignition system which means you’ll have to have the grill plugged into an electrical outlet to ignite the burners, unless you opt to manually light them with a match or fire stick. Of course its built-in lighting system means you can easily grill year-round, even if you’re in the middle of an Alaskan winter. The way the lights light-up the grilling surface is amazing and the fact that the plastic covering them doesn’t melt with the grill on is even a more amazing feat.
While there are cheaper grills to be found, for sure – you’d be hard-pressed to find one that delivers that consistently good grilling results, ease of use, durability, lighting feature and precision that AOG delivers here.
If you do opt for a lower-end grill, you’ll likely find that you’ll end-up replacing many parts in it over a 2-6 year timespan which means you really haven’t save much and you’ll – in all likelihood – end-up with sub-par grilling results.
For more information, visit American Outdoor Grill’s website:
American Outdoor Grill