I’ve been hauling around an old fashioned camping stove for as long as I’ve been camping on my own. It’s traveled to its share of music festivals, family reunion campouts, and our annual 4th of July pilgrimage for as long as I can remember. I’ve used it to cook breakfasts on skillets – and have had my share of “what-should’ve been grilled” meals from it’s unevenly heated surface. To say that I tolerated this old friend would be an understatement – often, I had to apologize for it.
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About a month ago, I was tasked with bringing along the cooking appliance for a festival camping weekend – with first time campers. Although untested, I made the decision that my new Elevate Grill was worth the gamble – especially when compared to my well worn stove companion. The menu had been planned for months – 3 meals a day, for 3 days. Each and every meal required a heat source. To say that I was a little nervous was an understatement. I was hoping to show my new camping companions why I loved camping – and not leave them with the taste of well done, yet somehow raw burger in their mouth. I’m excited to share my honest review of the Elevate Grill.
The first evening of the trip, my wife prepared kabobs that she expected would be cooked on our Elevate Grill. As she unpacked the cooler, I found a nice level spot to set up the grill. Although I pretended like it was a chore, the legs unfolded simply – and I attached a 1lb propane tank with a few simple turns. I loved the fact that I didn’t have to get up close and personal with the grill using a lighter – the built-in electronic ignition made starting the grill a breeze. I do have one small complaint about the ignition – it doesn’t come with a battery in the box! Luckily, it takes a common AA sized battery – which was easy enough to pick up on our way out of town.
The first evenings meal was representative of our experience for the entire weekend. Even heating, simple to start up, and an oversized cooking area. In fact, on the second night, we prepared 2 completely separate meals – chicken on one side of the grill, and steaks on the other. Honestly, you would’ve sworn that we were on the back deck. I was also really pleased with the way it handled pots and pans. Although designed primarily as a grill, it also doubled as a camp stove beautifully. One word of caution – be sure that you don’t completely cover the grates, allowing space for airflow underneath. I did have a momentary scare, when I attempted to use a Cookina surface – and received a flare up when I moved it off the cooking surface.
Like most of my camping equipment, I tend to neglect it until I have time to get to it when I get back home. After preparing nearly 10 meals on strictly the Elevate Grill, the unit had definitely taken a culinary beating. Bacon, burgers, steaks and kabobs had left their marks. About a week after the trip, I had found the time for clean-up. I was terrified what was going to be lurking inside the suitcase-like chassis. To my delight, the grates and burners lifted and tilted upwards – allowing full access to the tray areas below. Clean up was a breeze.
I would honestly recommend this grill to anyone in the market for a portable camp cooking grill (or stove, for that matter). It’s compact size made it easy to transport, and the design allowed for use just about anywhere.