What is the one thing that we hate to take with us on a road trip? The cooler box! It’s just too much to carry, and you need to make sure that the food remains fresh and the drinks remain chilled.After two incidents where my cooler tipped I realized that I needed a small gas grill.After days of researching for the perfect outdoor small gas grill, I came across Coleman The Road Trip LXE , it seems to be the right size to carry easily and is very simple to operate according to its manual.
Coleman is a name that is synonymous with two words, “Outdoor Fun”. Let me tell you a story about how Coleman products came into the world. Trust me, it’s interesting! W. C. Coleman was a man who worked as a salesman at a local store and had weak eyesight. One day, after his shift, he was going home when he saw a bright light burning in a store’s window in Brockton. The light was so strong and bright that Coleman could see it easily despite his poor vision. He also noticed that he could read very fine print and the smallest of prints on medicine bottles in this light. He then came up with a vision of a company that would put ranches and farms of America in a new light. Thus, the brand Coleman was born and with it, the hope for a comfortable and convenient outdoor living.
Go hard, play hard with the only grill made for the tailgate: The Coleman Road Trip Grill LXE. Setting it up and using it is as simple as 1. 2. 3. One, pick a spot, two, pop the grill and three, fire it up. This small gas grill is portable, lightweight and is the center of your tailgating universe. Summon 20,000 BTU with the push of a power button and you are at the top of your game. There’s a full family of interchangeable surfaces from the grill to the griddle to the stove grate. This unique ability to play both sides of the grill makes you an instant NVP. When the game clock has expired and the day is done, the Road Trip grill can be stored in a handy wheel carry case. This protects your grill and keeps it clean on the drive home.
Here’s what included in this grill:
- Cast iron porcelain coated body
- Cast iron porcelain coated grill grates
- Removable grease tray
- Two steel burners (PerfectFlow™)
- Propane gas regulator
- Side tables and utensil hooks
- Electronic ignition system (InstaStart™)
One of the things that I loved about this grill is that it has plenty of room for interchangeable accessories. Though, you only get the grill grate with this grill, there are several available on Coleman’s website that you can browse through and select. The Grill folds like a suitcase and is pretty good looking. I wouldn’t say that you can take it on hiking trips but if you are planning to camp in a remote area, this is your perfect partner. All you need to do is pack some essentials like the condiments that you will be spraying on the meat to get the sear and sizzle and some beers. I had already marinated my steaks, so all I did was wrap them in cellophane paper and store them in a plastic box.
This grill has pretty straight forward features. Let’s see:
Basic Features of this Portable Small Gas Grill
Cast Iron Porcelain Coated Grill Grates
One of my favorite features on this grill is the grates. One would imagine that since it is a small grill, there wouldn’t be any room for innovation. So, what are you in the mood to cook? Steaks, pancakes, bacon or eggs? As mentioned earlier, this small gas grill has
interchangeable plates. One side of the plates has the classic grill structure and the other side has a small griddle plate in the middle. You can cook multiple items at the same time and not worry about their juices mixing together. The mix and match grill plates give you endless options.
For a small portable grill, it has a big cooking surface. The cast iron porcelain coated cooking grid offers 285 square inches of space. To be more precise, the grilling surface is 12″ deep and 24″ wide. It’s large enough to accommodate 10 burger patties or medium sized steaks. You can easily cook dinner for four to six people at one time.
Since cast iron gets hot pretty fast, Coleman has coated these grids with porcelain. When buying a grill, you need to focus on the 3Ps: “Performance, Placement and Price”. What are the cooking capabilities of the grill? Where will you spend most time grilling? What is your budget?
If focusing on performance and placement, this grill offers a lot of advantages. Cast iron on its own is pretty corrosive to the drippings of food but when coated with porcelain; it gets an extra layer of protection that prevents it from rusting.
The area with the small griddle plate locks the flavor in the food, offering you two options – You can either cook a perfect steak with beautiful sear marks on the cooking grates or a juicy piece of beef patty on the griddle. The second option allows you to collect all the juices and sauces for continuous basting.
Cast iron can hold heat quite well for a long time and maintains an even temperature. With the help of porcelain coating, the cleanup becomes easier. However, they are not as durable as stainless steel, so they need to be maintained after use, every time.
Two Steel Burners (PerfectFlow™)
I believe that this small gas grill is by far the best portable grill in terms of BTU. It provides a high amount of BTU of about 20,000 per burner. However, there’s a small drawback. Since, the amount of BTU is a little higher compared to the cooking space; it takes a little time to adjust the temperature. Both burners have uniform flames and can be lit individually. You can cook eggs on low heat on one plate and a steak on high heat on the other.
Don’t try to over stuff whatever you want on the grates. I would suggest that you place as minimum food as possible. You might not get that sear you were hoping for but it does cook the food perfectly.
Coleman even offers stove accessories on its website. So, if you are a tea or coffee fan, then you have got to buy the stove ring too.
Cast Iron Porcelain Coated Lid
The lid is one of the biggest downsides of this grill. A, it is not high enough and therefore, your cooking is limited to patties, steaks and hot dogs. B, it does not have a thermometer on the lid. Since, cast iron takes time to heat and then can reach a high temperature once it gets going; you have to constantly keep an eye on the food to make sure that it does not burn. You cannot cook large roasts or whole chickens because for that, you need to close the lid, so that the heat distributes evenly.
Electronic Ignition System (InstaStart™)
You can light up the grill by pressing a single button. The burner knob has various settings and I suggest that you start with the lowest, so that you can get the hang of how hot the plates get.
Propane Gas Regulator
This small gas grill works with a 16.4 ounce propane gas bottle. This bottle allows you to grill for 1.1 hours. On low heat, this can last up to 4.5 hours. The grill comes with a gas regulator that can be easily attached to the tank and there’s a small hook, where you can hang a bottle. You can use a gas tank also but for that you would have to set up your own connection.
Side Tables and Utensil Hooks
There are two side tables that slide out easily and have hooks in them to hang utensils. The grill weighs 44 pounds, so avoid keeping much on the side tables. Limit them to the necessary condiments and a cup of tea or two.
Since, it is a small gas grill; it does not take much time to clean it. Upon arrival, you need to clean the grill to remove any chemical coating that might be on the cooking grids. All you need to do is wash them with water and wipe them with a cloth. The grids do not require any seasoning but there are some things that you need to do before firing up the grill.
There’s a tray at the bottom that you can remove easily and clean with a mild soap and water.
Here’s how to clean the grates:
- Wash the grates with lukewarm water (If the grease build-up is high, you can soak the plates in water and soap for a few minutes)
- Scrub the grates with a brush and run water over it once again
- Wipe off any remaining grease with a soft cloth.
Cleaning Inside the Gas Grill
One of the things that I didn’t like about this grill is that when you are cooking, the drippings often collect in the burner plate. With the food dripping so close to the burner, they often blacken the inside of the grill.
In order to clean this, I had to use a putty knife and a wire brush to scrape offburnt drippings. Using it for the first time, I had no idea that this would happen and I was constantly lifting the cooking grids with tongs to check this.
So, upon reading some reviews on the internet, where most people had the same problem, I read that by lining the interior with foil paper, the cleanup becomes way easier.
Note: Do not use any cleaning agent or a hard brush to clean the interior of the grill. With time, the paint on cast iron starts to chip, so you need to be extra careful while cleaning. Do not rub or scrape too vigorously.
This small gas grill comes with a limited 3-year warranty. You can get most of the parts fixed, in case of any damage. To make sure that the paint on the grill does not start to chip, cover it with a cloth while storing. You can even buy a bag from Coleman and use that for storage.
There are two wheels underneath the grill that allow you to roll it around like a suitcase. It takes just a few seconds to set up the grill and you can move it around using the handles located on either side of the body.
Few parts of the grill are made of steel such as its body, apart from the lid. This disadvantage takes extra time during the clean up. As long as it is stored in an airtight space, you can be sure that the grill will not get damaged before its warranty is over. There was a time when Coleman was not that popular among grilling products, as it hadn’t mastered the art of providing safety and durability. With time, the company changed its manufacturing process and focused more on providing products according to peoples’ demands. Changes that were made to position Coleman as a high quality brand were easy-to-clean grease management systems and durable materials for the body.
In my opinion, this is one of the best grills I have come across. My first grill and I am extremely happy with the choice I made. Since the grill is small and light, you can easily move it around and store it in your car.
So, that was my experience with the Coleman Road Trip Grill LXE. If you are thinking about buying a small gas grill, I would highly recommend this because not only is it affordable, but offers pretty great features for a portable grill. You won’t find a more portable grill than this. Once assembled, you can easily set it up anywhere you want. With three years of warranty and easy maintenance, you can extend this grill’s life to five years.