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SnS Travel Kettle Initial Thoughts/Impressions.

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    SnS Travel Kettle Initial Thoughts/Impressions.

    So after I posted pictures of my shiny new SnS Travel Kettle several members urged me to get the darn thing dirty. So I set out to do just that this past weekend. As I posted in the SUWYC thread, I grilled some salmon, then turned around to see how the grill handled low & slow. After all it is a Slow-n-Sear so I wanted to try both extremes.

    Initial Thoughts
    • Overall build quality is pretty good. My unit had some defects on the outside of the bottom bowl, but I contacted SnS Grills and they basically said don't worry about it, they would note it in case something happened.
    • The SnS insert that comes with the grill and the optional mini drip pan which I opted to get, do not fit quite as good as their bigger siblings. During my low & slow cook I got a fair amount of liquid dripping into the bottom bowl and into the ash pan. This was because the drip pan is just not big enough to adequately catch all the drips from the indirect cooking area.
    • I have a lot to learn. I should have taken the time to do a test run and learn how the grill runs. Instead I figured I have multiple cookers, I'm good to go. Nope. In my initial cook with salmon I used too much charcoal (and failed to trust my intuition for how to cook it) and charred the salmon. For the low & slow cook, I was chasing the temp all day. It would seem like it settled in, but then the temp would either jump up, or take a big dip, both of which had me going outside to tweak the vent settings.
    • It is very efficient in low & slow mode. In this area it is at least equal to it's big brother, if not better. I ran grill for over 5.5 hours (using Jealous Devil lump charcoal) and still had a little less than half a basket left in the grill after I snuffed it out! I suspect I could have went a solid 8+ hours!
    • There is no water reservoir in the small SnS charcoal basket. SnS recommends using a foil loaf pan filled with water over the coals. I didn't have one so I used a small cast iron skillet filled with water.
    Things I Like
    • The size of the grill is great. At 18" you can get a decent amount of food on this grill and it is still small enough to lug many places. Make no mistake, this grill is not small and it is not light. But said you can move it around fairly easily. If you are going any distance on foot, I would put it in a wagon.
    • Price. For what you get I think it is a good value. This grill has a lot of great features. Baby Back Maniac has a nice YouTube video comparing the features of the SnS Travel Kettle to his Weber Jumbo Joe. Things like the probe port, smoke hole (temp controller port), heat shield and cool touch vent handles show thought was put into the design of this grill.
    • The lid bail doubles as lid lock when transporting the grill.
    Things That Could Be Improved
    • As you can see in the pictures below the grill lid does not sit in one position. It shifts from side to side when in the up position in the lid bail. This may be seen as a benefit as you can shift it from one side to the other as a wind block. I would prefer it sat straight back and then I could turn the grill to defeat the wind if necessary.
    • The long bottom handle that serves to adjust the lower vent and to activate the ash sweep does not lock into place and it is slightly flimsy. I'll likely rig something up to keep it tight. I have not figured out a way to mark the vent positions so I don't have to look at the bottom vent.
    • My grill thermometer is off by 25-30 degrees. This is fairly common for grill thermometers, if you want to travel light and leave your digital thermometer home, you will need to figure out the variance of yours, or replace it with a Tel-Tru thermometer.
    • The size of drip pan as mentioned above, although this is an option, I thought I would still list it.
    • Me. I need to cook more on this grill before coming to a final verdict. In retrospect, I should have done (and will do) a test run as mentioned above. This would have allowed me to try using the smoke hole to regulate the low & slow cook, rather than relying solely on the lower vents. I could have also figured out how much charcoal I need for a hot & fast cook. I should have probably used briquettes rather than lump charcoal.
    Value: I think this grill is a lot of grill for the money. I was considering the PKTX which is over 2.5 times as much as the SnS Travel Kettle, but I really wanted PK to upgrade the capsule of the TX to the New PK300 capsule because I like the improved features. There is still no word if that will ever happen, although I think at some point it will. So in the end I went with the SnS Travel Kettle. I think I will be happy and feel that it will serve me well. I'll post more updates down the road as I get more time on this grill. In the meantime I hope you find this interesting & maybe a little helpful if you are considering purchasing one of these grills.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by efincoop; January 3, 2022, 02:59 PM.

    #2
    Thanks for your write-up! This one has been on my radar and I'll most likely pull the trigger before summer. It's kind of a bummer that the basket and griddle don't quite fit perfectly but given that they were initially designed for the jumbo Joe it's kind of to be expected. As long as there is only one offering in that size it makes sense to have it fit both.

    Comment


      #3
      Great write up! Tom Horseman ( YouTube) just compared the Weber and the SNS. Interesting comparison. I wondered, as pit members, is there a discount code we can use for the SNS grills, etc.? I’d consider the travel one at a discount.

      Comment


      • efincoop
        efincoop commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you. No discount code that I'm aware of. Be sure to check out the video by Baby Back Maniac I linked to above if you haven't already seen it.

      #4
      I appreciate th thorough, an comprehensive review, thus far, Brother!
      Lookin forward to Future Installments...
      As somebody who already owns 5 Smokey Joes, an one Jumbo, I'm enjoyin learnin along with ya...
      Might jus havedta order me one, mebbe gift a Joe away...
      Last edited by Mr. Bones; January 17, 2022, 11:46 AM. Reason: -r

      Comment


      • efincoop
        efincoop commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you. I will be sure to update this thread after I do some testing on the grill.

      #5
      I just put one of these together and agree with your great write up! I did notice if I twist the vent handle so the open end of the loop points down, it snugs up. I’ll be 🔥ing it up on the road later this week, will report back!

      Comment


        #6
        Nice write-up. You done good!

        Comment


          #7
          Seasoning mine today before the first cook. Runs 425°F wide open. Just closed vents to see if I can lower to 225°ish. Ambient temp 79° 😎
          Attached Files

          Comment


            #8
            Got her seasoned, calmed her down to 250° and started a reverse sear NY steak. All went well except for the ahhhhhh chimney stand 😂
            will post results in “What ya cookin’”
            Attached Files

            Comment

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