I like small grills . . . No fuss, no muss. It’s like a clean break-through because you don’t have to worry about anything like the clean-up or dragging it out on your patio or backyard. However, the thing is, you have to walk on a fine line between either too heavy and portable or too light and gets damaged easily. I have a huge grill right now that is currently sitting in my shed. It’s got all the modern features and weighs just right that I can easily roll it into my backyard. Though, I was happy with the grill but I was only able to use it outdoors because let’s face it, you can’t exactly roll a grill through the front door into the kitchen. The first thing that will happen is that I will get smacked with a frying pan. My wife is Southern and everything she does is accompanied with a ‘bless your heart’. She likes her kitchen clean and by clean I mean spotless.
Keeping this in mind, I decided to buy a grill that was small enough that I could easily place it in the kitchen and then shift it on to a roller stand that would make it easy to roll it to the backyard. Wishful thinking I guess because up until a month ago, I thought a grill like this didn’t exist. You are probably thinking why I was hell bent on buying a grill that would fit in the kitchen because grilling is all about the outdoor experience, isn’t it? However, being a man of comfort and I decided to go for it.
After days of searching, I came across the brand Lion. One thing you need to know about Lion is that though the brand is in the big leagues, they have introduced only few quality grills. Most of their grills are upgrades. So naturally, I bought one of their biggest and by biggest I mean, the one that offers the most features – The Lion Premium Grills 40″ Natural Gas Grill.
Let’s start with what this grill has to offer:
Lion Premium Grills 90823 40″ Natural Gas Grill – The Basics
The reason why this grill is called “Premium” is because it offers features that you wouldn’t have dreamed about finding in one grill. When I talk about premium, this means some serious cash. The grill is expensive, period. However, what it offers cannot be found in other grills. The entire grill is made from stainless steel and since it’s the latest in the series, it comes with various ad-on parts.
One thing you need to know is that this grill weighs 200 lbs. Yes, that’s too much weight and without a stand, I assumed that this grill was not worth it. Might I remind you again – Stainless steel, which means absolutely no rust!
What’s amazing is that apart from its products, Lion offers you a kick-ass service too. If you think that the grill looks lonely on its own, then Lion gives you the opportunity to buy a custom made BBQ island, or one can buy an outdoor grill island kit. Pretty neat, right? Yeah, I know that this means extra cost but trust me; you haven’t seen beauty like this ever before.
Our kitchen is huge and there’s plenty of space to fit two dining tables, if we wanted to. So, instead of getting a simple marble island, I ordered one with a sink, cabinets and drawers. It really brought the kitchen to life and makes for a great place to hold small family parties like Thanks Giving.
As mentioned earlier, the grill comes with some ad-on features, which I will be explaining later. The basic parts of the grill includes five cast stainless steel burners, six cast stainless steel burner valves, a seamlessly welded double layer smoker head made of polished stainless steel , temperature gauge, warming rack, stainless steel light switch and premium stainless steel cooking grates.
The Lion Premium Grills 40″ Natural Gas Grill is not just an ordinary grill. It’s like a cooking station that has been created to provide you ease in whatever type of food you are cooking. You want to fry an egg, the grill does it. You want to toast some vegetables in butter, the grill does it. You want to cook some smoked meat, the grill does it. Get my meaning? It has been two weeks since I bought the grill and it has been working quite well. My wife’s happy because suddenly, all she wants is grill everything and I’m more than happy to oblige. Did I mention that this grill has one of the easiest grease management systems I have come across? Well, it does!
So, let’s start with the basic features and then we will move on to the premium features:
The Shroud – Double Layer Seamless Welded Stainless Steel Smoker Head with Polished Edges
Since this entire grill is made of stainless steel, let me tell you why this material is a good choice. As compared to cast iron, stainless steel offers one of the biggest benefits – It heats up evenly and in a short time. When it comes to cookware, most people prefer stainless steel because it maintains the temperature and shape of the cookware, even at a high temperature. It’s fairly easy to clean and is hygienic. Meaning: Food residue can be cleaned off easily with hot water and a cloth.
The shroud has been double layered, so that the heat does not escape. It has a smoker head that gives that perfect taste to the meat. There are two lights at the bottom of the shroud, which casts light partly from the inside. The lights can be turned from the switch located beside the burner knob.
Last Sunday, when I was cooking in the kitchen, the bulb’s fuse blew out. After fumbling around in the dark for five minutes, I remembered that the grill had lights in it. Thankfully, the bacon was not burned. There’s a thermometer in the lid that allows you to keep an eye on the temperature. Since, stainless steel heats up fast, it can become quite tricky to keep track of the temperature, when the valves are turned on high.
Premium Solid Stainless Steel Cooking Grates with Porcelain Coating
The main grilling area is 802 square inches. The stainless steel cooking grates can grill around 15 burgers, plus vegetables. There’s a warming rack above the grill that occupies 228 square inches. It’s big enough to warm the buns or keep the food hot.
My wife has this insane ritual after getting out of bed. She applies dozens of lotions and then her hair has to be perfectly braided, so that not even a single strand is out of place. You can imagine how much time this takes. If I waited on her, I would never be able to have a proper breakfast. So, I usually start grilling a little late and keep the cooked meat on the warming rack.
Five Cast Stainless Steel Burners and Six Cast Stainless Steel Burner Valves
Now, you must be imagining how come five burners and six valves. This is because there are five primary burners and the sixth burner is for the ad-on, located at the back. The total BTU is 90,000 and the burner tubes have been placed strategically to offer maximum heat in every corner of the grill. Five of these burner valves are for the grilling area and give 75,000 BTU. The knobs have a push mechanism and fire can also be lighted manually. Though, I miss the ignition button from my old grill but the light spark does the trick.
The burners have this extra feature called the “Flame Tamer”. The purpose of this part is to lower the heat further, if you feel that the flame on low is a bit high. The process is not that complicated. Since, I was mostly cooking eggs and vegetables; I wanted to adjust the heat.
Simply remove the knob and push out the knob mechanism with a screw driver. Adjust the screws by turning them 45 degrees clockwise. Now, light the burner manually and you will see the reduced flame.
There are three premium features of Lion Premium Grills 40″ Natural Gas Grill. The smoker box was a surprise find and I must admit it, it has made our meals even tastier. So, the premium features are not a part of the grill. They are given as an ad-on.
Infrared Rotisserie Back Burner
There’s a motor located on the left side of the Lion Premium Grills’grill that operates the rotisserie. The sixth valve that I was talking about . . . that is for operating the back burner. It has a BTU of 15,000 and is located above the warming rack. The rotisserie can hold up to 40 lbs of poultry and cooks it perfectly between the direct heat from the rear burner and the indirect heat from the grill.
Griddle and Griddle Remover
The grill comes with a griddle and griddle remover, which you can easily place beside the grids with the help of the tool. The griddle’s surface is made with quality material that prevents the food from sticking. This is where I cook most of the breakfast because in the morning, I am not in the mood to deal with all the smoke plus; it’s not good for the baby.
The smoker box is that surprise component that I had heard a lot about but had never used. So, to give you the highlight: Smoker box is a small stainless steel box with perforations. You light your favorite wood chips and place them in the box. Then, place the box on the grill or the
griddle and the smell of the chips will infuse in the food. Along with the wood chips, I experimented with herbs such as rosemary and oregano and the result was delicious.
The perforations in the box constantly get rid of the smoke, so there’s no worry of anything catching fire. Since the grill has a natural gas connection, it’s quite easy to connect it with the main gas line. If you are planning to keep this grill outdoor, then you can buy a 20 lb natural gas tank.
The Lion Premium Grills 40″ Natural Gas Grill has a fairly simple cleaning system. There’s a tray located at the bottom of the grill that catches all the drippings. Between the burners and the grease tray, flat pieces of stainless steel have been placed, so that the grease runs directly onto the tray. This prevents any flare-ups or loss of heat.
Here’s how you can clean the grease tray:
Before using the grill for the first time, wash the grids with mild soap and water. Wipe them with a piece of cloth and now start the process of seasoning. All you need to do is apply a little vegetable oil with a brush and you are good to go. Use a stainless steel grill brush to protect the porcelain coating from chipping.
I usually clean my grill after every month. Don’t be alarmed because as per the manual instructions, a yearly thorough cleanup is required.
Since this is a small grill, you need to clean this grill more often. The grill comes with all the necessary tools you will need for its maintenance. There are only two rules to cleaning:
- The grids, cooking grates, flame tappers, warming rack and burners should only be washed with mild soap and water (do not place them in the dishwasher)
- Brush the insides of the grill with a stainless steel brush and wash it down with warm water
Lion Premium Grills ; the stainless steel burners have a life time warranty, which is a good thing because they are the first ones that get damaged. The flame tamers have 3 years of warranty and all the other parts have 1 year of warranty. I admit that the limited years of warranty stung a little bit but I let it go in light of my favorite smoker box. Plus, they even offer a grill cover.
I know few of you might be skeptical that how the hell is this 200 lbs Lion Premium Grills 40″ Natural Gas Grill lightweight. Instead of focusing on the weight, focus on the parts that it offers in such a small space. The rotisserie is a nice touch and the smoker box is heavenly. I have eaten more smoked burgers and hotdogs in the last week than I can imagine. Since the grill is fresh out, you won’t find many reviews about it. Even I bought it after careful consideration, weighing the pros and cons. So far, there are no cons except it would have been better if the grill had some kind of stand or a basic island was included with the purchase. There are plenty of grills out there bigger than this but mark my words, they won’t offer so many components with such a high BTU.