By Mike Eide
Death of a BBQ
Let me take you back in time. Mid summer 2011, I arrive home from a long day at work eager for some BBQ and maybe a libation or two only to be notified by my wife that the BBQ will not turn on. My initial response was that we were out of propane, but upon further inspection I found that was not the issue. The issue was in fact that the burner in the bottom of the BBQ had completely disintegrated. To make matters worse there was the beginning of a hole in the bottom of the BBQ making it beyond repair. This BBQ had a good long life (for a BBQ purchased at a big box store), but its days were over.
The Dark Days After
The months that followed were pain staking when it came to barbequing. First was the little camping BBQ on a table. As fun as that was, cooking for a family of five was a lesson in patience and turn taking with this BBQ. All the while I was thinking “I just need to get through this summer” and “We live in Calgary, how long can this summer really be?” After a couple weeks of the camping BBQ life, we upgraded to another used camping BBQ, this time with legs and a bit bigger. This BBQ was a huge improvement over the first, but still barely cut it as a BBQ for my family. Finally the snow hit, and the BBQ season could be put on the back burner till the New Year.
Past Grilling Issues
When I started the process of looking into a new BBQ I began by going over the issues I had with my previous grill. First of all the flare-ups were horrible on the grill. Flare-ups are a steaks worst enemy. These nasty little balls of fire cause your food to burn, dry out or singe your eyebrows. They are the number one source of people’s BBQ fears besides start-up. Other issues were assembly (that summer I leisurely watched a group of guys in the house down from me take an entire day assembling their BBQ) and finally the heat distribution. My old grill that decided it was too hot for its own good and self destroyed itself was just that, way to hot. There were hot spots and cold spots and if you reached over the fire (whether it be reaching back of BBQ for food or lifting lid) you would lose all the hair on your arms.
Making a Decision
Then came the little grill that could. The Saber line of grill’s was presented to us along with food cooked right there on the grill. The food was remarkable! The Saber grills were available in a size that was right (the 2 burner R33 models) for my living space. Having only a 4’ x 8’ back pad available to me this was a huge concern. It is also on heavy duty locking casters so I can move it around and lock it in place as I need. Saber grills come with a patented infrared cooking system for superior grilling performance resulting in even temperatures, no flare-ups and 30% less propane consumption. Less propane usage means less running to the gas station to fill up the tank mid cooking. My biggest objections to my previous grill were answered with the Saber grill. The decision was easy.
Once I got the grill home I could hardly contain myself. I needed to get this grill together. It was a Friday evening and having put little thought into my neighbors’ previous experience with their day long BBQ assembly I dove right in. The grill comes in one box, and most of it is pre-assembled. The front and rear of the base must be put together, the casters needed to be installed, the entire head of the grill is already together and just needs to be inserted and screwed into the base. Finally the shelves were installed and the emitter plates and grill grate were dropped in place. All in all the grill was together in 45 minutes with one person and kids climbing all over you every time you try and do anything. While the grill can be assembled by one person, I would suggest two. The box itself can be quite heavy and getting the head of the grill out of the box can be quite tricky by yourself.
Starting this grill is a snap. My wife through some previous non-discussed BBQ related nightmare has a fear of lighting barbeques (as do many people). When I showed her the ease of starting this grill you should have seen the relief in her face. All you do is turn the knob to the lightning bolt and listen for the burner to light up. Once the burner has ignited you set the knob to the desired amount of heat. Each burner can be lit separately.
One of the first things I noticed was how I could reach right over the grill, and while you felt there was heat there, it didn’t burn your arm like my previous grill. My arm hair rejoiced. The Saber grills use a proprietary IR cooking system that keeps meat naturally juicy and tender, even when cooked medium or well done. You can grill a steak to perfection, while cooking vegetables at a lower temperature all at the same time.
My first endeavor was of course…steak and veggies. The grill even though it has no searing plate, if you flip the steak after a minute or so will act like it is seared. The steaks were juicy and perfectly cooked. The veggies which were on the second burner side right beside the steaks were absolutely delightful. My old BBQ was not capable of this. If I had cooked veggies and steak at the same time I would probably have burnt dried out steaks and veggies on fire. My second use of the grill was a medium sized pork roast. For this I used the warming plate which can be moved from the upper holder to right over the grill, put a nice rub on the roast and cooked it for about 45 minutes. The roast was so juicy and delicious. I never would have ever tried cooking a full roast on my old BBQ and here I was doing it right away on my new one. I could go on and on about how or why this grill cooks food so flawlessly, to learn more about how this grill cooks food so perfectly click here.
I couldn’t be happier with this grill. All my previous grilling issues were no more. Clean up is a breeze (using the included grill scrapper). So far in a little over a month I have not had virtually anything in the drip tray, zero flare-ups and no burnt or dried out food yet. We have cooked steaks, chicken, roast, burger, hot dogs and pork chops so far, and everyone has been great! This grill has now not only become a permanent fixture on my back pad, but in my family as well. If you are in the market for a new BBQ or grill you will not be disappointed either.