(Update: unfortunately the Amazing Grill is no longer being produced and sold. The domain expired and I have removed all links to it from this post to keep you safe in the event the domain is renewed.)
Last summer, our grilling was on a grill top with fold down legs. It lacked the ability to raise lower (save for the time that my father-in-law set logs on the fire ring edge and balanced the grill top on that). Not ideal by any stretch of the imagination. For our trip to Florida over Christmas, I started looking for alternatives.
I knew I wanted something with a pretty decent amount of cooking space but was still stable and sturdy. I looked at various ones. The “Original” Camp Fire Grill’s (and the like) reviews said that it wasn’t always the most sturdy. The “4-legged one (aka Quad Pod)” said that while it was a neat idea, the cables could bind up periodically. Tri-pods made me nervous with kids around and chasing my food to scoop it up. And finally, some Joe Homeowner making “The Amazing Grill” in his shop/garage while his wife dealt with orders and shipping.
The Amazing Grill won my business. Firstly, I have a soft spot for folks/the little guy who manufacture products in his garage and sells them. Generally the quality is quite good, if not over built and I just feel better supporting these folks. Heck, I’ve sold (and still sell) a variety of things from time to time. Turns out, they must have had a Christmas rush and there was a bit of delays in my mother-in-law hearing back from her initial calls (she was gifting it to us). But, once we did get through and placed the order, things were shipped on schedule and arrived safe and sound. (Too late for our trip, but it worked out- no ground fires were allowed anyway!)
The grill was packaged quite well. My first impression is that it was heavy and likely well built (a season of use so far and no signs of problems!). We went with the Excursion Grill because of the extra support feet- figuring it would hold the grill surface a little better. I did not get the Expedition Grill because I don’t do any Dutch Oven cooking and didn’t need the accouterments for that.
So far, we’ve used the grill on many of our 11 camping trips this season. My first setup, I didn’t pay attention the the support rod that everything hangs from, so it was angled and, in turn, my cooking surface leaned quite a bit. After that, I’ve paid more attention and have had good experiences with it.
It has held up well to beating it into the ground with my small 4lb. sledge hammer. The extra support feet go a little wonky, but they’re still good enough.
The cook top is solid. We’ve found that with the height of the collars, they pinch against the main rod and we don’t have to screw in the bolts to keep the cook surface at the set heights. In fact, there is a “backup” collar that I think I’m supposed to be using but I’m not.
The grill hook is simple, but effective.
To be honest, 80 bucks might have been a premium price to pay. Materials-wise, I doubt there is a whole lot into it for that. The welding all seems pretty simple. Bending the bolts for the various tightening points is about the biggest thing that seems like it might be a challenge. BUT- like any build vs. buy decision- for my $80+shipping, there was no thinking, no work and it performs the exact job that it was designed to do. It’s hard to argue against that!
My only other con would be, the bolts look a little DIY. As an product that I buy, they could be dressed up a little.
As its a grill, there is no keeping it clean. That means between trips, you and it are going to end up dirty. My goal is to make a bag for it. I have PVC tarp material and PVC-material glue (HH-66). I made one for my old grill top. I should be able to fashion pockets for it and for the accoutrements that go with it.
Finally, neither a pro or a con- it’s heavy. Great for in-use, a bit of a hassle when not in use.