Gas Grill - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-05-2012, 07:51 AM   #1
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Name: Craig
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Gas Grill

I the past 10 years or so I have purchased two different gas grills that were supposed to be stainless steel, but rather quickly some of the important components rusted away. Primarily the burners and the drip shields and igniters. The burners should be covered under the warranty but the other parts will cost a fair amount to replace. At this point I will not buy another grill that is not 100% through-and-through stainless steel (or better!).

Earlier this summer I was wandering around a West Marine store and saw a display of gas grills marketed for boating. The brand is Magma. These looked to be very well designed and constructed. And 100% stainless steel as far as I can see. It seems that if it is designed to operate on small boats around salt water, it surely is very corrosion resistant.

I am primarily looking for a home use grill but if it were reasonably portable, it might be helpful for the occasional camping trip or picnic.

Are there any of you folk that have any experience with the Magma grills? Are there any other brands that are completely high-grade stainless steel? (Some alloys of stainless steel are much more corrosion resistant than others.) I am expecting a high price tag but if it holds up as well as it should, it will cost me less than fixing and replacing inferior hardware.

As always, any input and thoughts are most appreciated.

Craig T.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:09 AM   #2
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There are a lot of grades of stainless which each grade serves different characteristics.
One of the common problems with SS gas grills is, that they may resist corrosion while new, but once you super heat the SS for a while, you burn out the chromium and nickel and then it will rust. Afterall SS is steel with added elements to provide its non-rusting characteristic. This is all compounded by the fact that most grills are made of very thin materials which allow it to super heat easily.

My dad, years ago built a "Habatchi" out of 1/8" and 1/4" 316L ss and although it was very heavy, it never did rust, wear out or even stain. This was because of the grade of SS and the thickness of material. Its a shame he decided he was not using it much and sold it in a garage sale for $25. Someone has an awesome little BBQ out there somewhere!
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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The Magma grills look pretty good and I had considered them, but I ended up buying a Dickenson Spitfire 180 from direct from the manufacturer. I worked out a deal with them that was WAY less than the price on their website. LINK

I have to say, this is one VERY impressive unit, one of those kinda things you take great pride in owning. The SS is of a heavy marine guage, the joints had firecaulking applied before seaming, and the lettering is laser (or a similar method) cut out of sheet stock. The tubular SS grills are solid too, and the individual pieces actually roll in the ends. Heck, even the temperature guage is accurate. It also fits under the seat of our dinette too.

I ordered it with a grill pan, plus the low pressure control (another quality component) as I have a low pressure hookup on my trailer.

I have been using all this year is all, as I picked it up in the early spring, but I know others who have bought their units that have had them for many years, and these folks are very happy with their purchases too.

Not sure if you can tell how stoked I am about it, but I most certainly am.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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Have you given the Cobb Grill any thought? They are used on boats also
Cobb America : The Tabletop Cobb Premier Portable Charoal Grill and Cooking System
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:48 PM   #5
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I know someone with one of those Cobb Grills, Jim. They really like it for what it does, cooks food great but more like an oven. Chicken, pork loin, and even burgers do good on it. If you want true BBQ grilling like with steaks, they claim it is not near hot enough. It is expensive too (though so was the BBQ I bought), as with the necessary accessories they have paid out around $300. The surface area is quite small too, but can do a small chicken or four big burgers.

It sure can be nice to not rely on gas at all. Definitely a good consideration for the right chef.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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The Cobb cooks like a slow cooker and makes the meat juicy, but you can also grill on it all with about 6 briquettes. Interesting story about it- won awards when first developed- mainly for poor undeveloped countries- burned corn cobbs for fuel.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:28 PM   #7
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Long lasting Gas Grills!

I have a Cobb Grill and do like it BUT it's a bear to clean and keep clean. It does do steaks for me, but they are not the humongous thick ones, only up to 1 " thick. Chicken pieces, pork chops and roasts, and various sausages turn out wonderful. LOT'S of videos on YouTube.
I bought a Weber Q100 "Baby Q" gas grill that is made of cast aluminum housing and a HEAVY cast iron grate that appears to not do much rusting. The burner head is a square bent SS tube, about 1" dia fed only at one end. I've seen a few older Q's and the burner does eventually rust out. However, I have seen the burner replacements for $15 on that auction site. Similarly the exact cast iron grill is also available at nominal cost - Weber appears to sell parts for their products. The Baby Q is a nice design and I anticipate a bunch of years of use. Also, lots of videos on YouTube.
They do now use standard 16 oz Coleman style Propane cylinders or an adapter hose to a standard BBQ tank.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:37 PM   #8
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Craig, We had a Magma grill on our sailboat that we had latched onto the railing by the (transom) rear of the boat. It stayed out there in all kinds of (Florida) weather and was excellent. We had the round grill. When we sold the boat, we removed it and gave it to a friend - it was still in great condition.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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Vocano Grill

We received a Volcano Grill for our anniversary. It's a 3 fuel grill, wood, charcol and propane (also tried pine cones). One of it's nice features is that it collapses into a 5" high package and fits into a rugged canvas bag.

Optionally a cloth like cover is available that turns it into an oven.

Volcano Grills The Best Outdoor Portable Cooker
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:49 PM   #10
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Dickinson states their grills are made from grade 304 SS. Magma says 18-9 for their units intended for marine use. Grade 316L is called "marine SS", reportedly about the best in corrosion resistance. Not sure yet how all of these grades compare.

I probably have ruled out the Dickinson because they have porcelain coated grates. The porcelain coated grate that I have had all flaked off within a few years. SS grates I have had performed flawlessly and make the most sense to me.

Is Cobb still in business? Web site has not changed for 6 months to a year, maybe. Several months ago the Cobb forum had no posts more recent than a few years ago. Would not open tonight. I subscribed to the newsletter on their web site several times but have never received any response. No gas grill yet either.

Any thoughts on round vs rectangular?

The Magmas have radiant heat features, some sort of panels. One reviewer said the panels would soon clog, making it flame out easily. Could not see that it was no longer burning. Re-lighting caused a nice boom. Any experience with radient vs. conventional grills?

Research continues...

Craig T.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
I probably have ruled out the Dickinson because they have porcelain coated grates.
As I mentioned in my post, my Dickinson BBQ has solid stainless steel bars for the grates. The only thing not SS, is the legs and handles. Plus, the Spitfire 180 is just the perfect size for us.

I have a bunch of unedited photos of its inaugural run, I will try to dig them up later when I get back home.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:52 PM   #12
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The Spitfire manual does say SS grill sections. The larger units mention porcelain coated grates though. The Spitfire looks very nice. It just might be a bit too small for my needs.

Thanks Jim. Dickinson Spitfire is back on my list.

Craig T.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:00 PM   #13
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I'll second the favorable experience with the Weber Q grills. It has lasted much longer than my previous small grills.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:00 AM   #14
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HERE is a wee review I did on the Spitfire 180 if anyone is interested.
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