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This Grill-zilla Can Be Tamed
on September 18, 2017
Maybe it's being old or cranky or both but this grill turned out to be a "grill-zilla" to assemble. I think I would have given it 5 stars but packaging frustration and difficulty in assembly drug it down a bit. First or all, it is massive, packed for a nuclear war and weighs a ton. Well maybe not a ton but I'm pretty strong for an old retired broad and I could barely flip it over to get it in the garage. I need to leave a big fat tip for the UPS dude next time I see him to help cover the cost of his hernia surgery. It can be tamed. Help is advisable...get one or more friends, some cold beer* and be prepared to spend an afternoon unless you are a grill assembly savant, because this thing is as unwieldy out of its box as it is heavy inside the box and when trying to put it together you need two set of hands. If it is a Sunday and you just came from church and don't want to ruin your spiritual after glow by swearing a blue streak because the lid fell on your hand trying to attach the hinge pins and you almost severe a finger, seriously, grab a friend. The weight and heft of the steel could do some serious damage--it's not a "sharp" edge but be careful.
CONS: The cotter pins enclosed in the kit look like they were designed for Barbie's Dream Convertible...they are teeny, tiny and anemic looking. I threw them away and got some REAL cotter pins from my stash and used them for the lid hinge and the wheels, one of which fell off because the teeny, tiny cotter pin fell out of it's hole while I was trying to attach the lid. The "lock nuts" included for the handle attachment don't lock. They, like the cotter pins, are pretty much worthless...back to my stash for some actual bolts and nuts that worked. On my grill, I noticed a bend in the back edge of the bottom part of the barrel which wound up binding the lid and preventing full extension so had to remove the hinge pins and manually re-bend the steel back into place so it was straight. No doubt I will need to get a block of wood and a hammer and fine tune it...which I shouldn't have to do but who wants to repack a behemoth of a grill, rent a fork lift and haul it to the UPS shipper? I decided to live with a few dings. One of the welds was off but it is not noticeable unless you are retired and have time to sit and stare at a piece of metal and contemplate millimeters. If you're busy and working you probably won't notice..much. Now, PROS: O M Grill! This thing is solid and has decent tolerances (except for that bend in the back) and fits together well. The instructions were done nicely with "exploded" views and everything as clearly labeled. The legs for example are heavy gauge bent, pipe and very solid for a base. The cast iron grates are really beefy compared to the wire ones these days in many other grills. It assembles with a Phillips screw driver and a smaller Crescent type wrench...although a rubber mallet helps persuade some screws that won't line up with a little tapping. The thermometer will be nice--looking forward to that. Overall for the quality and the size of cooking surface, etc. I think I will like getting my charcoal on once again. My affair with propane bottles is over and I am going back to my first love.
* Even though I suggest beer as a bribe for helpers, and you only need a few tools, none of them power. a beer or two might be copacetic for this project. However, use good judgement and be sure you assemble responsibly, carefully avoiding any "hold my beer moments" related to said grill. That is all. Gotta go BBQ something.