When you are looking for an affordable gas grill there is no shortage of selection on the market. In the sub-$200 price range you will be met with a number of options, which can sometimes make it difficult to find one that is best for your needs. Affordable grills typically come with some compromises when compared to the more expensive models, so it’s important that you are able to find the right balance of price and features.
Typically, if you want something with a lower price point, then you will give up some things like size and special cooking features, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get a great cooking experience. The GBC1405SP Uniflame grill is an example that provides the basics without going overboard on features. If this falls within your price range then you’ll need to know exactly what you will get as well as the features you might miss, and this review will cover everything so that you can make the right decision for your needs.
Key Product Features of the Uniflame Grill Model GBC1405SP
- Lightweight construction designed for convenience and portability.
- Hooded design for efficient grilling in most conditions.
- Propane gas powered.
- 300 square inch cooking surface.
- Additional 114 square inch warming surface
- Two burners for a total of 24,000 BTU’s cooking temperature.
First Impressions of the Uniflame Grill
When the grill is completely assembled there’s no mistake that this is a portable grill designed for people who need something compact for a reasonable price. When shopping in the sub-$200 category you might expect to get something that is flimsy and of low quality. Thankfully, that is not the case with the Uniflame grill.
Construction is a combination of steel and aluminum which helps to keep the weight down. The grill combines black sheet metal construction with brushed and polished metal accents, which help to keep it pleasing to the eye without being overly stylish. It’s a modern design but one that won’t stand out like some of the more expensive grills. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because it makes it suitable for use in shared complexes, on a larger apartment balcony, or in a small backyard entertainment area. While it’s not the best looking grill on the market, it still looks smart and attractive.
Construction quality is excellent for the price, but do keep in mind that this is a grill that you will need to assemble yourself. You will need to take things slowly and carefully to ensure that the final assembled product is sturdy.
The cooking grids on this model are made from coated steel, but they are admittedly not the same high quality stainless steel that you would find on some more expensive models. Again, it’s important to keep the price in mind, and for what you are paying you will not be disappointed. Although the grids are not likely to last for five to ten years of regular use, you can still expect to get around two to three years out of them without needing replacement. The cooking grids here are generic so you won’t have trouble finding replacements in the future, and you could even invest in some high quality stainless steel grids that would offer a longer lifespan and better cooking.
Overall, the first impressions and construction quality are surprising for the price point. You get a little more than what you would expect and this is not a bad thing for a compact grill that is so affordable. The Uniflame grill is a great starting point for first time homeowners, or it can be an excellent choice for apartments and condos where space is at a minimum.
The True Test of How Well the Uniflame Grill Cooks
You can get excellent cooking results on the smallest and most affordable grills, so it should not be assumed that something inexpensive would result in poor quality cooking. The Uniflame grill is seriously impressive in this respect, as there’s a lot that you can do with the relatively small cooking area.
Out of the way first is the fact that there are no additional side burners or internal burners using infrared or ceramic technology. These features can’t be reasonably expected in this price range and it can be safely assumed that these aren’t what you’re looking for on a small grill. What really matters is what you can do with the two burners that are available.
The total BTU rating of this Uniflame grill model is 24,000. That’s 12,000 from each gas burner. The small surface area allows for some consistent heat distribution which means that you’ll enjoy consistent cooking even when you have the grid plates fully loaded. Everything from chicken cuts, to pork, burgers, and steaks, are all easy to cook on the Uniflame. Temperatures can easily exceed 400 degrees F, so you won’t have a problem getting a perfect grilled sear on the outside of your meat.
The size of this grill makes it suitable for family cooking or for entertaining a small group of guests. Of course, you could also cook for a larger gathering, but you will need to be aware that you’ll have to spend more time over the grill to get everything done. There’s really no getting around the fact that you are limited to 114 square inches on this model.
This is a hooded grill so you can perform both closed top and open cooking, however, it’s not hooded in the sense that you would be able to bake everything on the inside. Roasting over low heat would be fine, particularly for some larger cuts of meat, and there’s even an integrated temperature gauge so you can closely control the internal temperature. You will run into trouble if you want to cook something larger like a whole chicken or turkey (depending on the size), but this is a problem that all smaller grills have.
Baking basic items bread and grilled pizza will not be a problem, and the hood provides a good enough seal that you’ll get consistent temperatures without too much effort. The only real problem will come from some of the more technical baking that larger grills can perform. While the largest and most expensive grills have double insulated hoods and excellent sealing around the main grill chamber, the Uniflame grill is somewhat lacking. There’s more heat escape with this model so it’s not the most efficient grill to use for baking and roasting. Keep this in mind if you want to do more than just grill popular food like burgers, vegetables, and steaks.
Overall, cooking on the Uniflame grill is exactly what you would expect from something of this size. It does high and low heat grilling perfectly, but has some limitations when baking or roasting with the hood down.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
Due to its small size this grill can be a little harder to clean on the inside than some larger models. It can be difficult to work around the gas burners, so interior cleaning is something that needs to be done carefully and regularly if you want to avoid flare ups and burning of your grilled food.
Cleaning the grid plates themselves is not a problem, because they can be completely removed. Compared to other grills the cleaning requirements are not excessive; just make sure that you’re aware that it can be difficult to clean in the smaller and tighter spaces.
Like most modern grills, maintenance is minimal and there are few parts that would need replacement throughout the lifetime of the grill. Uniflame grill parts like heat plates can be quickly replaced, and you may want to do this if you want to improve on the standard heat spreaders that are included in the package. A number of generic parts work well, including options from Shinestar and the BBQ Factory. Quality stainless steel heat plates are affordable and can make a drastic improvement to your cooking. The burners themselves can also be replaced on this grill, which will help you to maximize the lifetime of this model. With a more affordable grill like this you can invest in Uniflame grill parts, which will get you closer to the service life of some more affordable models.
In addition to standard Uniflame grill parts it is recommended that you invest in a cover for this model. The thin metal used in the body construction can rust when exposed to moisture. A ventilated cover will ensure that moisture doesn’t build up when the grill is stored outside for extended periods. During periods of bad weather, it is highly recommended that the grill be stored in a garage or shed. Because it’s small and light, you will have no problem quickly relocating the grill whenever you need to use it.
Customer Feedback and Reviews
It’s important to read both professional and customer reviews whenever you are thinking about investing in a new appliance. The Uniflame Grill model GBC1405SP has received mostly positive reviews from owners. Many have praised the light weight, the compact size, and the surprisingly good cooking abilities. The majority of all reviews on the largest online platform are 4 and 5 stars.
As with any product there are negative impressions left by owners, and most of these center around the fact that it’s a basic grill without any additional features. There have been very few complaints about reliability of durability, which is a great indicator that this model is an excellent investment for a low cost.
Pros and Cons of the GBC1405SP Uniflame Grill
We’ve discussed the features and abilities of this grill in-depth, and now it’s time to take a look at all of the most important pros and cons.
- Great price for a small grill.
- Good construction quality when carefully assembled.
- Excellent temperatures with even cooking across the grill surface.
- Replaceable Uniflame grill parts can extend lifetime.
- Warming surface inside the hood.
- Basic design not as attractive as some competing grills.
- Small grilling chamber takes more time to clean.
- Cooking grids are coated and will eventually need replacing.
- Poor user assembly can lead to a poor experience with the grill.
- Shallow hood and cooking chamber allows too much air flow.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations for the Uniflame Grill
When you are purchasing a grill at this price point you have to know what you are getting into. Sometimes, your expectations will need to be adjusted so that you can fairly appraise the product.
This is not a grill designed to provide extensive cooking options and an expansive surface for entertaining a large group of guests. It’s primarily for family cooking and basic grilling while entertaining. It doesn’t have additional features like special heat sources, and there’s no side burner like you would find in some three and five burner grills. Instead, you get a smaller cooking surface with two standard gas burners.
When you accept that you will have less to work with, you will start to appreciate the benefits and simplicity of this grill. Some closed hood cooking styles are workable, even if you are limited by space. The temperatures are high and can be achieved quickly, so you will have no problem searing your favorite grilled food like steak and burgers. Construction quality is impressive as long as you take the time to carefully assemble this model. The fact that there are replaceable Uniflame grill parts is also an advantage.
For the price there are no real complaints to be had. Things could be better and more convenient, but this particular model is more than reasonable for the price range. With everything considered, it represents value and simplicity that many will appreciate, especially if there’s not room available for a larger grill.
If small and inexpensive is what you need, but you still want decent quality, then the Uniflame Grill is easy to recommend.