Product Review – Saber Gas Grill
Product Review – The 3 Burner Saber Gas Grill
The ABA’s independent Product Review specialist Michael Rose challenges your thinking in road-testing one of the more impressive ‘gassers’ on the market today.
The ever growing influence of American ‘low and slow’ BBQ culture on Australia (and the world, mind you) is a fascinating thing to witness.
It wasn’t so long ago that your local BBQ store didn’t even know what an offset smoker was, let alone stock any.
These days most BBQ retailers have quite a substantial range of Smokers in their showroom just sitting there waiting to be whisked off to their new homes. And many of these are imported directly from the states. Smokers such as Yoder, Horizon and Louisiana Grills to name just a few.
But what If I told you that while we’ve all have had our backs turned preoccupied with all things charcoal and wood, there has been a steady stream of American owned gas grills (yes, gas grills) slipping past the guard and slowly infiltrating aussie backyards. (think Names like Weber, Char-Broil, Master Forge, Nexgrill, Lynx Grills and Broil Kings)
One of these is a relative new comer – Saber Grills. They only launched in Australia in mid-2015 but have since grown the range to 5 gas grills and 1 charcoal grill with both stand alone and built in options available.
I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to road test the 3 Burner Model which also has a wok burner on the side (making it a 4 burner really). There are also a few accessories that you can add on like a rotisserie kit and a stainless steel griddle (which was also sent for review, as you will read below)
But before we get started I need to mention how easy the unit is to put together. It Took my old-man and I approxiametely an hour and ten minutes from the moment we opened the box through to her first fire up for pre seasoning. It could easily be done on your own though if you didn’t have anyone else handy as the instructions are very straight forward and intuitive.
Like us, one of the first things you will notice when knocking this unit up is how well constructed the Saber Grills really are. Everything from the cart, the doors, the handles, the dials and the grills themselves are solid pieces of kit. Nothing is flimsy or tinny to the touch and you just know that a gas grill like this would probably be the last one you would ever need to buy.
Over to the performance…
The two things I hate about gas grills are 1. ‘cold spots’ and 2. Their inability to get really hot, which usually results in pale, greyish steaks that almost look as if they have been steamed!. The Saber Gas grill however is guilty of neither! They overcome these common flaws by using what’s known as ‘infrared’ technology in their grills which, I must admit, previous to this review I had never even heard of. So before I did anything else I jumped online to do a little research of my own and found this exert from howstuffworks.com:
“An infrared grill, instead of relying on hot air to transfer heat to food, uses an electric or gas element to heat a solid surface, which then radiates, or emits, far infrared waves directly into the food that sits on the grill’s grate. The heating element also heats the air in the grill, creating some convection, but less air is circulated and therefore the food retains more moisture during cooking. With their higher temperatures, infrared grills can also cook food faster than standard grills”
At first I thought this might have been a little gimmicky but after several successful cooks I was completely convinced of the technology. There is literally no cold spots up and down the entire surface of the grill. And you are able to get a really hot, searing temperature in no time at all. Steaks just sing to you when you lay them on the grill and they get those really nice char marks that everyone likes to see. They were also noticeably juicier then my previous efforts with gas grills and steaks.
The only limitation, that I could find to having these infrared grills span the entire grilling surface is that unlike most other gas grills, there is no hot plate. This is an issue, if say you wanted to fry up some eggs or grill up some diced onion or mushrooms etc as the small pieces would fall through the grates (and be almost impossible to fish out while the grill is still going). To address that, Saber Grills offer (at an additional cost) a stainless steel griddle that sits right on top of the infrared grills. It even has its own little fat catcher drawer feature so you aren’t dripping oils and fats all over the infrared grills. It can take a little longer to heat up but once its going it’s a pretty handy feature and a must if you are the type to grill up said items regularly.
In all fairness this is the best gas grill I’ve ever had the pleasure of using but if you tied me down and forced me to find something I didn’t like about it I would have to say its the thermometers. Unlike most hooded BBQ’s the thermometers on the Saber grill are under the grills themselves. These are positioned here to show how hot the grills themselves are getting however it didn’t matter if I had the grill on its lowest or highest setting, the temperature continued to climb. In fact even on the lowest setting the thermometer needle went well past the 400c mark pretty much maxing out. This is not to say that the grill was as hot as it would be on its highest setting. I think its more a case of the thermometers being too close the heat source. Regardless, its hardly a problem given that I would never rely on the thermometer to judge whether or not my gas grill was ready to be used. Its much easier use the age old method of placing your hand just above the grill to see how long you can keep it there to determine how hot it is.
Never again will you need to wait 30 mins before your grill is hot enough and you can kiss the days of dry, grey, overcooked steaks goodbye forever. And while these grills might be on the pricier side, it’s the age old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ and again, this will literally be the last gas BBQ you will ever need.