Our family loves to grill. Whether it's charcoal, propane or electric it's a great way to cook. It's been a while since we've used charcoal, not because we don't like it, but because propane is just quick and easy for weeknight dinners. So when I was given the opportunity to try out the Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill I was more than happy to do so.
When it arrived I immediately opened it and put it together. This was the easiest grill I've put together in a long time. It was about 10 minutes from opening the box to the last step of placing the grate on the grill. At this point I was happy with both the quality and construction of the grill. The weight is nice, without being to heavy and it's still small enough to be portable like it claims.
We used it to grill the first time this weekend and overall I have no complaints about it's cooking ability. I have to admit, that cooking with charcoal after cooking with propane for so long was a wake up call. I probably overcooked our chicken a bit not being able to adjust the heat, but it was still good. I also used the GrateLifter feature several times to re-arrange the coals so there were no hot spots and to add more charcoal in. I agree that this feature is a very useful addition!
Clean up was easy. I cleaned off the majority of stuck on food while the grill was still hot using a brush similar to the Weber 12-Inch T-Brush and then when the grate was cool I rinsed it a bit more in the kitchen sink. With the coals any that had burned down to ash were brushed into the center so they would drop into the collector to be emptied.
For me this grill was almost a 5 star product and what kept it from being 5 star was that while this is called a portable grill, one of the features I expect is missing; a lock. Now I know that if you are carrying it by the side handles the chance of the top coming open is zero, but put this in the back of a truck, car, RV or similar and there will be the chance of it tipping over and coming open. The last thing I want to find is charcoal and ash spread out for me to clean. For most this will not keep them from buying the Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill and it shouldn't, but it was worth mentioning.
If you do decided to buy this grill, be on the look out for the attachable side tables. Currently they are listed on the Cuisinart Website under Outdoor Grilling (Item# CST-152), but not yet available for purchase. I can see that they would come in very handy, especially when using this grill on the go.
This is a very well made portable grill, it is very high quality. If you take a look at some of my other reviews you may get the feeling that I know (or think I know) something about grilling. I grill often. At the moment I have 4 charcoal grills, 2 smokers, and 1 propane grill (the propane grill hardly ever gets used, except by my wife) yes, I know, its a sickness. But in my defense each grill has a purpose and gets used for different things. Let me get back on topic here. … more
Shopping, socializing, spending time with family, traveling, cooking, fitness, product reviewing, gardening and reading are just a few of my favorite things to do when I'm not working (and sometimes … more
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Superior outdoor cooking with the flavor of charcoal and the quality and convenience of Cuisinart. The Cuisinart GrateLifter Charcoal Grill features a novel cooking grate lifting system giving access to the charcoal bed without having to touch the dirty cooking grate. With the lift engaged, the grate raises effortlessly out of the way when you open the lid - you can also choose to open the lid without lifting the grate. This lets you start the coals, add coals for extended cooking, or brush the coal ash in to the ample collection bin without ever touching the grate! Other features include a large, family-sized cooking surface, precesion air flow system for accurate temperature control, lid mounted temperature gauge, a robust table stand, and an attractive and durable porcelain enamel coated lid.