A portable BBQ grill I really like.
Back in May 2010, the first season I drove my “mobile mansion” north for my summer job, I stopped along the way to pick up a portable gas grill. I stopped at the Camping World in Junction City, OR — now apparently closed — for the night and shopped before they closed for the day. I wound up with an Iroda O-Grill: a small clamshell style grill with 225 square inches of grilling space that used a propane cylinder for fuel.
I soon grew to love the grill. It was easy to set up and store, easy to clean, easy to use, and easy to find fuel for. I’d fire it up, let it run on highest temperature for 5 minutes, and clean it with a wire brush. Then I’d turn it down to its lowest setting and grill whatever I liked: steak, fish, vegetables — even tofu. You had to cook on its lowest setting; the darn thing put out so much heat with the lid closed that anything higher than that would cook much too quickly.
I used it all that summer and the next. When I brought the RV back to Arizona for the winter of 2010/11, I even brought the grill home to my house. It was a hell of a lot easier to use than the big Jennaire grill my wasband had bought for the patio — a grill I never seemed to be able to light properly. The darn thing always started on the first button push. Always.
The summer of 2013 was summer #4 for the grill. Although it was just starting to show its age — mostly from the time spent outdoors at the Quincy golf course RV park where it was sprinkled on every night by the irrigation system — but was running perfectly well. That is until it caught fire while grilling up some brats.
The fire was hot and fierce. Water from my poor man’s hot tub nearby extinguished it. With a few twists, the gas can was removed and the danger was over.
But my O-Gill had so obviously grilled its last brat. The back of the grill surface was melted off and one of the legs was melted sideways so it didn’t even sit level anymore. Even the folding table it had been sitting on was pretty much destroyed.
I immediately looked for a replacement. Yeah, I know it had caught fire, but it had given me four solid seasons of grilling before that. I liked it. It was worth replacing.
A search online brought up more than just shopping results. It brought up the recall notice. From the notice:
Hazard: The regulator on the grill can leak gas which can ignite, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.
Incidents/Injuries: Uni-O has received 10 reports of grills catching fire. No injuries or property damage have been reported.
Description: This recall involves Iroda O-Grill models 1000 and 3000 produced before 2010. Some were also sold under the Tailgate Gear brand. Both models are lightweight, portable, clamshell-type propane grills with steel bodies, cast iron cooking surfaces, retractable legs and a handle. They can be used with either 1-pound propane cylinders or 20-pound propane tanks. The grills come in orange, red, green, blue, silver and black and have the words “O-Grill” stamped on the metal grill cover. Recalled O-Grills do not have ventilation slots in the regulator cover where the propane bottle screws in. Grills with ventilation slots in the regulator cover are not subject to the recall.
The notice was more than 18 months old, but I figured that a replacement would be a heck of a lot cheaper than a new grill (which was now selling for $40 more). So I made the necessary phone calls. Eventually, I spoke with a very nice man who asked me some questions about the grill and promised to send me a new one. He even asked what color I wanted. (I picked red.) All he asked is that I send back the old grill in the new grill’s shipping box.
Done and done.
The new grill, which arrived just yesterday, looks a lot like the old one, although there is a difference in the grill design. This one has a sort of barrier between the grill and the area behind it, near the cover hinge. It works pretty much the same, although I have to admit it doesn’t fire up on the first button push every time. (Not yet, anyway.)
I do recommend this grill. It’s great for camping or tailgating. Very portable and very easy to use. It makes a good complement to my Traeger by providing a quick and efficient way to sear the BBQ sauce on the ribs I’m always smoking.