on May 24, 2011
I have used the Solaire Anywhere infrared grill for about three years. There are some very good things about this grill and some poorly thought out aspects as well. First the good.
1) Time efficiency. The grill heats up nearly all the way in about 50 seconds. It also cooks very quickly. This saves time and you have a feeling of hassle free use. It is one of my favorite things about the grill.
2) Fuel efficiency. It uses very little propane, a 20 lb tank lasts half the summer with frequent grilling.
3) It is VERY high heat. This means it grills thin foods very well. Steaks, burgers, veggies sear nicely.
4) The handles are well designed. They stay cool and if tightened properly, are sturdy.
5) It self-cleans. Not the bottom of course. But the grill does burn itself clean if used as instructed.
1) It gets too hot and tends to burn food on the lowest setting. You have to toggle the gas off to lower the heat. Chicken breast needs to be par-boiled to cook well on this grill.
2) It does blow out in the wind due to poor design. IF the vents had a baffle it probably would stay stay lit.
3) The "stainless steel" hood turns brown quickly after six or so uses and no longer looks stainless. Again, a double wall on the sides and hood would help.
4) The grill grate is hard to clean. Grease and food gets stuck at the ends of the "V" groove.
5) It has strong hot spots typical of all cheap grills. Hot in the middle and cold at the edges.
6) The spark ignition breaks easily. See the other reviews. The plastic cap came loose on mine and I get a nice electric shock if I am touching the grill with my other hand when lighting it. Needless to say, It did not take long for me to learn to keep my hands off!
7) The grill grate burned through in the center (at the hot spot) after three years of use. It's not under warranty, but Rasmussen gladly offered me a $60.00 + shipping replacement- which was 40% off. (hmmm) It burned out at the fore mentioned hot spot- in the center. The grate is made of cheap "V" channel metal slats that cannot take the heat over time. It's not thick and it's not chrome.
8) It's too heavy to take anywhere more than 50 yards from your car. Yes, it comes with a little backpack and there is a cute woman toting it with extra cans of propane in the company photo. She is on steroids. If you are camping with Andre the Giant, bring it along and have him shlep it to your remote location.
9) Customer service is friendly- they smile while telling you "no." They do not stand behind the product as one would expect in this price range.
10) The highly concentrated heat creates a strong updraft over the grill which draws burned fats into the air. These settle in your hair. Yes, a bit of smoke is par for the course when grilling, but this little baby creates a fine grease cloud that you smell later on your clothes- not toasty grill smoke, animal fat. It's my least favorite aspect of the grill.
I give it a generous three stars.
This Solaire grill cooks by an infrared propane burner box. It creates unbeleivably high temperatures which we really appreciate because my family likes its steaks charred on the outside and mediuim rare on the inside. It also only takes 5 minutes to reach high cooking temperatures and the stainless steel cooking grates clean themselves by leaving the grill on for 5 minutes after you are done cooking. It is great for grilling burgers, fish, shrimp etc. It is necessary to monitor your cooking more carefully because it cooks so fast. Excess fat should be trimmed from meats to avoid flare ups. While the temperature of the grill is somewhat adjustable, it is not suitable for foods requiring lower temperatures for a longer period of time such as whole chicken breasts or ribs. We use a large Weber natural gas grill for such foods. We also tried the natural gas conversion kit that is available but I would advise against it because the heat output is significantly reduced using lower energy content natural gas.
We have used this grill on average of at least twice a week for the last three years regardless of season and it has never failed to perform. We rely on it so much that I bought another one we keep stored unused in the house just in case something were to happen to the one we use so heavily. Because we use the grill so much, we operate it with a 20 lb. propane tank using the optional converter hose and fittings. The grill is very efficient with fuel and will also work well with small propane canisters.
The grill has a relatively small cooking area so large quantities of food cannot be cooked at once. It is perfect for two or three steaks or burgers at one time. However, if you need to cook more that that, the grill cooks so fast that two batches can be cooked on the Solaire grill in less time than it would take to cook one batch on a normal propane grill.
In summary, even though this grill is expensive for its size, we believe it is worth every penny in performance, build quality and time savings. I would recommend shopping the Net to see if you can obtain a better price. We bought both grills for less than $300.
on February 11, 2013
This is the first review I have ever done, I am not a complainer. I have had this grill for about 5 years now, although I have not used it for almost a year now because the burner has gone bad...again. The first burner went out after about 2 years. In spite of a "lifetime warranty on the main burner" Solaire will not replace them. Since the grill was only two years old, I went ahead and bought a new burner. Two years later, it is bad again. Plus the electronic ignition hasn't worked since year three. At $142 plus shipping just for the burner, I just can't see having to spend $150 on this thing every two years. The grill was great for doing steaks, but I'm going to be looking for something else now. Really disgusted with Solaire's refusal to stand behind this product for what it costs.
on July 6, 2010
Ten years ago I got a big solaire and it has been great, so much so that when I got a portable I bought the "go anywhere solaire" and it too is a good machine.
I had the stainless steel wire mesh and the grilling grids on the original full size grill start to fail and when I tried to make a warranty claim THEY CHANGED THE RULES OF THE GAME IN THE MIDDEL OF THE GAME!
The original Warranty was lifetime on entire grill except 2 years on the ignition (electronic) system. Their customer service department said the "Boss" changed the warranty a while back and the wire mesh was not covered. I had these fail once before and these were replaced free as per the warranty previously, but now it was new rules as per the "King" by decree. But it does not stop there the grilling grates that were replaced under warranty were stamped and not made with the same quality and workmanship as the original.
I don't expect that kind of thing from a company that has been representing itself and it's product as first rate.
Next time I get a new grill I will more than likely go with Lynx, still made with top quality and in America and standing behind their product too.
When I bought the first Solaire, Lynx did not have IR burners but now they do, and to be honest my "Marine Stainless Steel boat grill" made by Magma works great and was less expensive than the anytime solaire.
I as well as most people don't like being lied to and then the silent implied statement if you don't like it sue me.
Once a great grill now going to the cheap quality and unethical lying side of corporate American (made in China) company...................
Buyer be Ware!
on September 14, 2014
Why I Chose This Type of Grill: I purchased the Solaire Anywhere Grill to compliment my BBQ/Offset Smoker. The BBQ/Offset Smoker is great for slow BBQ techniques but it is difficult to achieve the high temps you need to "Sear" a nice steak. More on this later...
Packaging: Excellent: but for those people who complain about the difficulty of unpacking this Grill there is an alternative: Damaged In Transit. It is wrapped securely in cellophane and other parts are protected by thick cardboard cushioning that also keeps it secure while being tossed about when shipped. The parts do not rattle around in the box and everything was secure and placed in easy to find locations.
Setup and Assembly: Very simple under 10 minutes. Excellent instructions. Used one phillips screwdriver to assemble. It really is simple.
Quality: As soon as I unpacked it the grill say's "Quality" and I am pretty picky. As a I have invented and developed my own products for market, I immediately appreciated the effort put into the design of this simple, straight forward, highly functional grill. Simplicity and function is what all engineers and product developers try to achieve and the Solaire Anywhere design team certainly accomplished that. Even the carry bag that comes with it is well made and looks to be highly functional for those that will take this grill out on camping trips or tailgating. The grill is heavy for it's size due to the quality/quantity of stainless steel used in it's construction. The burner is identical in design to ones used in restaurants I have managed in the past. It is a reliable efficient design and puts out a tremendous amount heat for it's size.
Lighting: The electric ignition is smooth and functions well. Has started every-time without fail. Have not had any issues with burner losing flame in moderate winds in my backyard located in Northern California where the fog rushes up the valleys in the evenings.
Grilling: This is NOT a BBQ. It is a grill and functions excellent as one. Heat control is simple. High/Med/Low. I'm not sure of the level of expertise of those that have a hard time controlling the grills heat. I had no problems cooking a variety of food and will add more information on grilling techniques at the end of my review. I will say that it gets HOT fast! I really enjoy firing it up and can start grilling in 5 minutes or less! That is another reason I chose this grill. I was tired of the hassle of using coal. Not an easy switch for someone who used coal and wood smokers for the past 40 + years. Yes it does produce some smoke from the drippings that fall into the "V" shaped grate but that adds flavor and I had no problems with flare ups even while cooking Italian Sausage and Prime Grade (nicely marbled high fat content) Rib Eye Steaks. Do you get flare ups? Sure, but they burn off quickly and I have had none that left soot on my food, or that created unsightly discoloration or unwanted charring. One other note: When you cook with fire, you'll likely see smoke,
Cooking Area: I have a family of four and so grill capacity is fine for my purpose. There is enough room for 3 large rib eyes or easily 8 large chunk chicken kabobs or 8 large Italian Sausages. It is not designed for large groups, however the grill works fast enough to cook for larger groups, all you have to do is toss the the nicely grilled stakes in a warm oven.
Durability: I've only had this grill for 10 days and have used it 7 times. I suspect the quality of the product will stand the test of time and will update my review after more time passes.
Cleaning: Turn it on high and in 5 minutes it burns off any leftover stuff if you did not clean off after it's last use. A simple brass brush works great on the cooking grate. I bought the cleaning tool that Solaire makes to help clean the "V" shaped grate but it really is not needed. It is true that it does not have a removable drip pan and for me it's not a big deal. I simply lined the bottom with heavy duty tin foil and the burner holds it in place. Do be careful when doing this so you do not cover the venturi gas port. That is where the gas is mixed with air and goes into the burner. The surface of the grill is easy to clean with any common household cleaner. Stainless steel will stain, so get over it. If you expect grease or sauce not to discolor the SS when grilling in high heat then maybe your better off with sticking to the kettle type, black enamel BBQ's.
Grilling Revisited: As I mentioned above I want to pass along some of my grilling experience and techniques for using this grill (Yes, I know I have only used the grill 7 times). I mentioned before that I have used BBQ's and Slow Smokers for many years. I have also used open fire pits with oak for grilling. So I do have some experience, but am no Grill Master by any measurement. I'm not going to give you exact times for grilling because it is almost impossible to account for all variables like thickness, temperature of meat when starting, type of meat, fat content etc. etc. I can give you some tips though.
The number one important thing you should never do when grilling is walk away. Grilling is an art and a hands on endeavor. It is not BBQ or baking with an oven. Have your libation close at hand and invite your family and friends visit you while you grill. They will soon appreciate the care and interest you have in grilling them a wonderful tasty meal. Plus they come in handy when you need a refill!
1. Start the grill and let it sit on HIGH for 5 minutes and scrub the grate. Before I spout off, I do recommend spending some time reading the book that comes with the grill. It has great tips and will help you get started. And as with my tips below, these recommendations are only a start. Good grill masters didn't become grill masters over night. Please give the grill and you a break, don't get discouraged by some minor mistake, and you will truly enjoy this grill. I will start with grilling chicken, as this seems to be the food that causes the most issues for people.
2. If you are cooking boneless/skinless chicken breasts reduce heat to low (after initial warm up and cleaning) and wait a few minutes before you start. You can use canola or other oil to lightly coat the meat. I have found that with marinade I had no problems with sticking either (no oil). Flip every minute or two until done. Mine took 5-6 minutes.
3. For Chicken kabobs make sure you soak your skewers well (at least 30 min.) as they will want to burn. Other than that technique for breasts and kabobs are the same. I place the skewered chicken lengthwise so the meat is between the "V" grates. Gets them browning nicely then after the second turn I place them cross wise.
4. Satay chicken or thin chicken breast strips on skewers. This goes fast. 3-4 min. is what I've experienced. Turn and burn 1 min a side on low then check.
5. Italian Sausage. I start with medium heat and reduce it to low after the first turn. This gives them nice grill marks then lets them cook slowly enough so you don't end up with raw meat inside. Not good eats. Yes I do like Alton's sense of humor.
6. Frozen Burgers. You know the Mega Mart kind. I like to start at medium and move to the low setting for this also. Still gives nice grill marks and allows time for them to fully cook.
7. Prime Rib Eye Steaks. Start on high and form a partial crust with nice grill marks before turning the first time. Repeat for second side but before the crust is fully established on this side reduce heat to medium to allow the burner to start cooling. My steaks were 1 1/4" thick and they took about 8-9 minutes turning every 1-2. Excellent!
8. The key to sticking meat seems to be that people try and turn the food too soon. Allow a little crust to develop, which separates the meat from the grill surface, and the meat will easily come unstuck.
9. The coup de gras to anyone grilling! Boca Burgers. Now here I must admit I was intimated... a little. But I figured what the heck my daughter wanted one grilled so I gave it a try. I asked my wife to lightly brush both sides with canola oil. I cooked them on low. Kept checking for crust development and voila! Perfect. Low heat is key. 4 min max is what mine took. Had nice grill marks and my daughter gave me two thumbs up.
10. I have not cooked fish but I think Halibut or Salmon steaks etc. will be just as simple as the rest. Wouldn't bother with thin cuts. Don't like thin fish anyway, ha!
11. If you do not overload the grill the edges are far enough away from the burner to create "Safe Zones". I used them and they saved the day. If you feel the grilling is happening a little to fast you do have options and this one worked well for me. I do not recommend turning the burner off and on (as others have suggested) and I found that totally unnecessary. It is also a good way for you to create a minor blow out and ruin the burner if the gas hits a hot surface on the burner and rapidly ignites. Boom!
I recommend a hose and adapter that hooks to a 20 lb propane tank. They can be found at the local mega mart depot stores for under $20. Have not tried the 1 lb canisters so I don't know how long they'll last. I do know that the grill seems very efficient. Will update when I can say more.
Remember: Grilling is not only an art, but a hands on endeavor. Never leave a grill other than reaching down to the cooler for your favorite beverage. Have everything ready before you begin. And have fun with your friends and family. If you make a mistake they WILL forgive you and you WILL learn, as we all do, from our mistakes.
Sorry for the length of this review. I hope it is helpful to those who take the time to read it. The Solaire Anywhere Grill is not a cheap knock off made in China. It is the real deal. American Made, and priced within a targeted market range. I believe it is worth the money, it is well built, and it cooks awesome food. I am an Amazon Prime nut that goes here first for all my online shopping. I am not a representative of anyone but me and my loving family. I rarely do reviews but my wife was so impressed she encouraged me to make an exception and write this one. And remember the "Safe Zones" !
on July 26, 2011
We like many of the features of the Solaire Anywhere grill -- the quick heat-up, etc. However, I'd still caution folks from buying one for a very simple issue: Value (as in: It's not a good one.)
The Solaire is the most expensive grill of its type (with replacement parts that are also 3X the typical cost) and while it's "proudly made in the USA" by a "100+ year old company", their 1-year very-limited warranty is of little actual use and the materials and manufacture leaves quite a bit to be desired. Much of the claims about high-quality and provenance seem to be little more than lofty marketing claims by Solaire/Rasmussen... make no mistake, this is not a lifetime purchase and most folks would be better off saving quite a bit of money and selecting a less expensive grill. A good company makes good products backed by a good warranty... Solaire is none if these.
I'm presently in a very unpleasant e-mail exchange with a very ill-suited customer service agent (Rich Robles) with no satisfaction in sight. Again lofty claims that dealing with an American company is a good thing is very much untrue: Solaire's products and service are no better than the competition.
Specifically: We've owned (and babied) a Solaire Anywhere as a patio grill for the past 5-years -- the entire kit (grill + tripod + shipping) clocked in at well over $500. This season, we discovered that the stainless steel grilling grid -- having seen no direct water -- has rusted clear through. The part is not warrantied past one year and the replacement cost is $100. A $500 grill used for five years with infrequent use (20X/year) = $5/use... insanity.
Solaire's excuse for not warrantying the part is that: (Rich Robles) "Being that it is portable grill, it is difficult to offer a lengthy warranty because people take these grills on the road and I am sure your are [sic] well aware of road conditions. Our full size grills offer a limited lifetime warranty on the burners and grates."... The disappointing irony is that the Anywhere and the full-size grils have the same grate: same design, same materials. One is warranted, and one is not. Had the grate on the Anywhere been warrantied and replaced, this one-star review would have been quite a bit higher.
Shoppers: Don't be duped that this is a superior product backed by a trustworthy company -- it's not. Save your money. Keep shopping. Even if a grill 1/3 of the price last 1/2 as long, you're still ahead.
on June 5, 2008
This grill is just what you're looking for if you want to sear steaks. It gets remarkably hot which is what I was always trying to get with other grills. I used to have to wait 20 minutes to heat up the large grill to get to the point where this grill is in a few minutes. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility and that means you have to watch your food closer and turn it sooner than you might be used to. However, I have had no problems. I have read about people cooking many things including chicken and pizza on this grill. I'm not there yet, but look forward to pushing the limits of this fine grill. It's very well made and lights instantly. I read that it will stay lit better in wind if it is warmed up first at a lower temperature.
on June 8, 2007
I have a Big Green Egg which is without a doubt superb but naturally it takes a while to fire up. So when you only want hot dogs or hamburgers for the kids or a quick couple of steaks, this is the way to go. Ready in 5 minutes, out in a flash, easy to clean. No muss, no fuss.
on July 7, 2012
This is my second Solaire Anywhere after using the first one for around 14 years in Hawaii near salt water. This is the only grill I have seen stand up to the salt air in Hawaii. The cheap ones rusted away within two years. We have strong trade winds 15-25 MPH year round and the grill has performed better than any other portable grills I've owned. The infrared propane burner gets very hot, so, searing a few 1 inch NY steaks only takes around 90 seconds per side and then set the burner down to Low-Med for the remaining 6-8 minutes while turning every 90 seconds (Medium Rare- Medium). It takes some trial and error due to the high heat. The grill cooks fast, so, trim any excessive fat off meats you plan to cook. The grill hood allows the smoke to flavor the food very well. Anything other than meat use the LOW-MED setting and leave the grill open most of the time.
After grilling leave it on high for around 5-8 min with cover closed and wipe off the grill grate later when cooled. The ceramic burner element will collect burned up dripping dust, so, just take it out and gently tap it while it's upside down to clean the burner (only while it's cool) and as needed.
It's not very light to carry in your back pack, however I've not used it as a hike into the woods grill. That's what an small AX, dried tree branches and matches are for.
on May 11, 2016
I've been Sous Vide cooking for the last few years and have been in search of the ultimate tool to sear the meat after it's removed from the vacuum bag. After much experimenting I settled on a HOT cast iron pan, duck fat, and a propane torch for the fat cap. It was a spectacle, but made a nice crust without over coking the inside. Unfortunately this process leaves a greasy mess in the kitchen.
The solaire grill eliminates the greasy mess and does an amazing job without any hassle