1. Food

Discuss in my forum

cttcpmgo Writes:

"After a long wait for the grill to arrive, I finally got my BK XLS90 on Friday. I immediately took it home and assembled it.

Some of what I mention here is an echo of what SuperDishMan said in his review, I had some similiar experiences.

First, the box is indeed quite heavy at 196lbs. I was able to unload it with a friend's help and we unpacked and staged all the parts for assembly.

Some initial observations: The cast oven and lid weren't as heavy as I thought they'd be. Yes, they're stout and sturdy, but honestly I was expecting them to weigh about twice what they actually weigh. That's just an observation, not saying it was a bad thing. I was, however, surprised at the incredible heft of the box that contained the four stainless steel cooking grids. Those things must weigh a good 12+ pounds EACH. A single grid is heavier than my cat. Wow. Additionally, I found some screws and washers floating around in the bottom of the box. At first I was worried that they may have been from some preassembled pieces and came loose during shipping and was afraid I'd have to track down where they came from. As it turns out, 2 large screws and washers were to attach the handle to the lid. I suppose I'm lucky they weren't lost in shipping, as there was a hole in one side of the box. Also, it seems that one of the screws that holds the side burner assembly in place in the left shelf had come out and once I located it I put the screw where it belonged. One of the front wheels had a broken lock tab, so the wheel is permanently locked. Makes it interesting to move the grill.

Before I started assembly I chuckled at the fact that there were two sets of assembly instructions -- one in English, one in French. Totally expected since it's a Canadian grill. However, there aren't actually any words, it's all PICTURES! I didn't know French pictures were different from English pictures. I would have actually appreciated some text, as in a couple places the pictures were somewhat ambiguous, but I was able to figure out what they were illustrating.

Moving on... assembly took about 2 hours. As SuperDishMan said, there were a few places where it was difficult to reach the nuts to tighten them down, mostly on the bottom where the oven attaches to the cart. Not a huge problem, just more frustrating than anything. I also was unhappy about the fact that while some of the screws were Phillips-head, there were some that had a square-drive head, which I did not happen to have handy, although those screws also accepted a standard flat-head screwdriver. I would have preferred all Phillips for ease. I did appreciate the fact that the burners and internal components were all pre-assembled.

In the end, there are a few problems that I am going to bring up with OMC support tomorrow. First, the broken front wheel. I'm assuming they'll replace that no problem. Second, the lid for the side burner doesn't actually fit the opening properly and the tab does not make contact with the correpsonding tab to hold the lid closed. When the shelf is folded down, the lid for the side burner falls open. Finally, although the SS grids are incredibly stout and strong, they are actually bent - believe it or not. All 4 of them have a gentle arch to them and seem to be slightly off-shape as none of them sit flat on the tabs in the casting. All 4 of them rock, and that makes it really annoying to have the grids rocking around as you're trying to work on them. I was also very surprised at the amount of sharp metal edges... you really need to be careful with your fingers in certain areas of the grill. In comparison, all of the steel edges in my el-cheapo Char-Broil were smoothed over. I'm surprised at this oversight by OMC, the little details really make a difference. I was also a little surpised at the very cheap-looking side burner. It looks like very very thin steel. I wonder how long it will last with occasional use. Again, my cheap Char-Broil has a cast brass side burner (of course the main burners are cheap and crappy, but that's another story). Tsk tsk, OMC!

On to cooking... which is really what this grill is for, not for looking at. The SS parts went through my dishwasher before use, as most of them had grease/oil on them, usually used as a protectant during shipping. They came out clean and I finished assembly of the burner separators, heat plates and cooking grids. I fired up the beast and waited to see how long it would take to achieve near-nuclear heat status. It took a long time. A really long time... the grill seems to take forever to reach a pre-heat temp of 500 degrees. Of course, this is in comparison to the old Char-Broil which heated quickly, probably due to the fact that there wasn't as much metal inside the grill to slow pre-heating. I opened the lid when the thermometer read 500 and was blasted with heat coming out of there... and the heat plates were glowing red (it was getting dark out). Wow. So, the grill is definately putting off some serious heat, it just takes a while for all of the heavy steel parts in there to heat up and raise the oven temp. Maybe the thermometer is not working correctly and it was 500 degrees in there long before I thought it was. Hm. I might have to test that.

I used the grill twice over the weekend with great results. First was burgers (booooring, but time was short) and sausages. This grill cooked very evenly and flare-ups were minimal, and very short-lived when they happened. The second use was more fun... steaks, chicken, and fish. I really found appreciation for the separators between the burners as they helped isolate direct heat levels for each of the 4 cooking areas. Naturally the chicken went on long before the others and cooked well. When the steaks went on there was a little flare-up (lots of olive oil in the marinade) but it settled down quickly. The fish went on last (of course) and I was pleasantly surprised at how little the fish tried to stick to the grids.

Aside from some minor issues I am very happy with this grill so far. A couple of things did surprise me.. considering this is OMC's flagship product, but they aren't big enough issues for me to change my mind on this grill. It's a fairly large grill with lots of versatility. I'll be trying out the rotisserie sometime soon.

At this point, I'm just curious to see how OMC approaches my various issues. I'd give this grill about a 8/10 on my completely arbitrary meaningless scale. :)"



No comments yet. Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Barbecues & Grilling

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.