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WIP - affordable 1500 degree salamander grill

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    WIP - affordable 1500 degree salamander grill

    Ever since my first visit to a Prime Steak House, I've been searching for the way to get that serious crust on steaks. I learned pretty early in my search that they had super hot Salamander broilers. I started looking around and was finding Otto Wilde's, The Beefer, recently the Blazing Bull, etc. However, I could not justify the $800-1200 for one of these mainly to just cook steaks. Don't get me wrong, I can make a darn decent mallard crusted tasty steak numerous ways on the cookers I have, but cannot get that insane crust you find when popping a couple bills for myself and the better half to eat a special dinner every couple years.

    This past few months, it's seemed a little more justifiable to start looking again since we haven't eaten out other than a carryout pizza or Chinese take out 1-2 times a week. However, I still can't get myself to spend that much money on the real thing. Then all of a sudden I stumbled across this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I was thinking for the cost of one fancy steakhouse dinner, I'll give it a shot. Well, the thing shows up today and I was so excited to look it over. Open the box, as I'm pulling the grill and parts out I'm getting more excited. Nice stainless finish, parts like grate handling tool and cooking grate have decent heft. However, as I'm going through parts and assembling, I find I'm missing one of the cooking grates, the screws that hold the grate rack on the left side are not aligned right and the left side as a result sits a (very) little cock eyed. The one cooking grate I did get is a little warped before even being used. I'm still thinking, I'll contact the seller for another grate, play around and find the one screw that's off and just roll 3 of the 4, etc.

    I just wanted to fire it up and see it create some scorching heat. I wrapped up the assembly, grabbed my propane tank and tried to fire it up. Stupid thing will not even light. UGGGHHHHH! 3 strikes in 15 minutes. I'm still trying to decide whether to give them a chance or just send it back. It doesn't look that bad and you can't seem to touch much in the equivalent size for less than 4 times the price.

    Updates: See a few posts down.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by glitchy; August 2, 2020, 02:46 PM.

    #2
    Man that sux!

    Comment


      #3
      I read the reviews and I think several are fake. I also analyzed the reviews using Fakespot.com and came up with a C. I'd return to Amazon where you have the option of getting your money back or asking for a replacement.

      Comment


      • Steve R.
        Steve R. commented
        Editing a comment
        I love a great deal, but I'm at the point where I assume a brand I have never heard of, but has mostly 5 star reviews, is loaded with fake reviews.

        The breaking point for me last year was when I got offered $15 Amazon e-gift card by an Amazon seller in exchange for a 5 star review for an item that definitely did not deserve it. Not only did the glowing review not happen, but I disclosed the attempted bribe in my honest review.

      #4
      There's about half a dozen or so of those cheap Chinese knock offs on Amazon. Price is alluring but glad to find out (sorry for your lose) that they are what I thought they were....junk. Pay for what you get, that adage seems to hold true once again.

      Comment


      • BBQPhil
        BBQPhil commented
        Editing a comment
        Playing with junk and fire is not a good combination

      • texastweeter
        texastweeter commented
        Editing a comment
        Buy right and cry once.

      #5
      Alrighty...I just had to change the title of the thread. When I first tried to light this thing a couple hours ago, it wouldn't light for anything and I couldn't hear any gas at all. I closed and opened the valve 3-4 times on the tank. So, I disconnected my tank and came inside to dwell on it and share.

      I let a couple hours pass, reread through all the instructions really finding nothing new, so was going to bring it inside to likely box it up to ship back and decided to give it one more shot. Hooked up the tank and when I turned the knob on the grill I immediately heard gas flowing and held down the button to trigger to ignite it and singed a bunch of hair right off my arm. This thing does crank out some heat. I don't know what the deal was, maybe there's a safety in the regulator that got jostled in shipment and disconnecting and reconnecting reset it?

      Anyway, I quickly learned that igniting this thing needs done from the side staying away from the front of it. We ate philly steak for lunch and have a butt finishing up for dinner, so will have to wait until at least tomorrow to test on some real food, but here's some bread after about 30 seconds in the 4th slot down.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • glitchy
        glitchy commented
        Editing a comment
        These are the heel pieces, so not shaped evenly, I think the left side unevenness is more from that, but something I'll be monitoring.

      • Uncle Bob
        Uncle Bob commented
        Editing a comment
        Another thought is that it may have one of those "safety" regulators that are supposed to detect leaks and disable themselves. They are very sensitive to the pressure "jolt" when first opening the valve at the tank. Usually manufacturers who use that type have a cautionary phrase in the operator manual warning to open the tank valve very slowly. But it wouldn't surprise if that was overlooked by them.

      #6
      Glad you decided to play with it again, doesn't look like a bad rig for the money if isn't too temperamental.
      And the cat seems to like the box so its not all bad news.

      Comment


        #7
        You try using an IR thermo-meter to check the temp?

        Be interested to see how it does a steak

        Comment


          #8
          If'n it came with th sweet Tuxedo Kitty shown, reckon I'd order me one, right off...

          Lightin process sounds wonderful, reckon I'll haveta say, at this point, it was mighty nice, knowin ya, Brother, jus in case...

          Comment


            #9
            Very interesting story. My new fire pit is also a Big Horn. It was very inexpensive, as well, but I was really surprised at how well it fit together when I assembled it. I hope to fire it up for the first time next weekend to cook some burgers and dogs, maybe even with the grandkids around and socially distanced outdoors.

            Comment


              #10
              I did try to cook some steaks last night and do not now exactly what to think of this product. It has a lot of potential, but cooked very unevenly. I reached out to the seller about the missing grate and they were very responsive and could maybe work with them on the cooking issues, but I don't think I have the patience and energy to spend a bunch of time troubleshooting and think I'm just going to return it. Trying to shuffle steaks around to even things out on this small device is challenging and hot.

              Basically, the back right came out charred, the right front was about right, and the entire left side was barely browned. I cooked these steaks 2.5 minutes per side and they came out medium rare. One of the steaks was still rare and I lowered grate and turned down burner for a few minutes to bring it up to medium rare.

              BFlynn I did try to take IR temp, but my IR gun maxes out a 900-1000 degrees. I whenever I got it aimed anywhere near the burner it just says 'High'.
              Attached Files

              Comment


                #11
                Working with “Sally” in your face all day gets a little warm. They are usually above the flat top or range. Ugh.

                They are used everywhere to melt cheese and heat stuff up it keep hot. Many call them cheesemelters.

                having a separate using at home is very appealing. The money though as you mentioned for a quality unit, eeek.

                Comment


                • glitchy
                  glitchy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  With the long winters here, if I ever built my dream kitchen I think it would have a commercial grade 'Sally' and proper exhaust for it. However, it will probably never happen. I generally grill all winter long, but there are just some days it's way to cold and windy or snowy to deal with it.

                #12
                These seem a lot simpler - and cheaper. I have done both, and I think the cold grate technique is the best.

                https://jesspryles.com/recipe/chimney-sear-method/

                https://barbecuebible.com/2018/08/03...rilling-steak/

                Comment


                • glitchy
                  glitchy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Not that I cannot mostly accomplish all of these things with the tools I have at hand already, it's just that Prime Steakhouses use these type of cookers for a reason vs charcoal fires.

                • klflowers
                  klflowers commented
                  Editing a comment
                  glitchy, sounds like rampant MCS... I have a bad case of it myself. Never thought of getting one of these though. But you have planted the seed - thanks a lot lol

                • glitchy
                  glitchy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  klflowers I try my best to help. In case you were wondering, it looks like the Steak Locker Studio Edition is available now too. You could dry age your ribeye for 30 days before cooking it in 5 minutes. After playing with this one I haven't decided whether to just go back to what I have or keep looking at the Otto Lite or the Blazing Bull. I'll probably play a little more with the SmokeFire at 600 degrees first.

                #13
                If the the heat distribution in this little guy was just even, it would be a nice little grill, especially for the Sous Vide crowd. It definitely gets hot and would require practice just like any other grill to learn it efficiently. There was virtually 0 wind last night, so not sure of the cause of the uneven temps.

                Comment


                  #14
                  I stumbled onto this.
                  Might be an option?
                  https://www.ovenplus.com/products/ca...BoCevYQAvD_BwE
                  They have a number of videos on YouTube.
                  Last edited by Cheef; August 4, 2020, 02:57 PM.

                  Comment


                    #15
                    Ok, some more updates on this. After looking closer at this (more info below with some pics), I decided I was just not going to continue to mess with this and just return it. So, I initiated a return through Amazon and e-mailed the seller to let them know they could cancel shipping the missing grate. This morning I got an e-mail back from the seller saying they have gone ahead and initiated the refund, they are still shipping the grate and to just go ahead and keep the grill. I don't expect things for free, so I feed bad. However, I do expect things I buy to work properly. In the end, if I ship it back, they'll probably just toss it or give it away, so I guess I'll maybe play some more with it. The problem is steaks are expensive cuts to experiment on and are frustrating to mess up. Maybe I'll work with some small pork chops next time they go on sale. Despite being less impressed with the product itself, I'm pretty impressed with the seller. They previously offered a partial refund due to the initial inconveniences while waiting for parts.

                    Looking closer, there appears to be two gas feeds in the back right corner. There's the typical gas jet that most of the other of these style cookers have. Then there's a flared type going right by the ignitor that also seems to push gas to. Not sure what that is for, none of the others seem to have it. If you look closely at the Otto Wilde from the AR Review, you can see for this size of panel, it's split into two burners and has the 2 jets each centered left to right on the infrared panels. The bottom picture is the Otto Wilde Burners from Max's Review. Looking at the Blazing Bull it looks like it has the 2 panels but brings jets in from left and right sides centered front to back on the panels. I've never dealt with infrared panels though, so I don't know if this is the real gas feed or just for igniting, I need to check this out better, might have to tear it apart to learn more.

                    So, my biggest question right now is if I cook lower, will it even out? Obviously, I would loose some of the super intense power that the design is supposed to provide.

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