Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Portable Crusader Gas BBQ Grill Review

I was recently contacted by the guys at Electrical World and asked if I would take a look at one of their portable Gas BBQ's and see what I thought.

As you are probably well aware I all ready have a CADAC and to be honest it is a brilliant bit of kit, something I would not want to be without.

So for me to want to take the Crusader Gas BBQ away with me it would have to be good.

For the purpose of this review I will start right from the beginning and give a full no nonsense review on how I found the BBQ and Electrical Worlds Customer Support.

The BBQ arrived well packaged and in a sturdy box, so unless it is driven over it should arrive with you safely!

Unpacking it I found that all parts were there, it was well packed and it came complete with a set of English instructions.

Unpacking the contents I laid them all out to see exactly what was in the box. It is self assembly but to be honest it is very straight forward and the instruction manual tells you exactly what and how to do it. You only need basic tools which you would normally have within your home.

Once I had assembled it I was intrigued as to why there was a hole in the metal work (as shown in the photo below). Never having really looked at the workings of a gas bbq before my assumption (proved wrong) that this was not quite right!

So I contacted customer services who investigated for me and came back with a straight forward answer that the hole was there to allow air into the gas mix to ensure a better burn.

I used the hose from my massive garden BBQ to save a bit of time, but a top tip here - If you have ever taken a hose from a BBQ you will of noticed that the hose becomes rigid. I usually cut them off as trying to pull them off can be impossible.

To make life easy when pushing them back onto the nozzle,  simply place them in a jug of boiling water for a few minutes, the hose softens and it is then easy to push in on to the nozzle, making sure you securely clamp it with a jubilee clip.

It comes complete with a bag of lava rocks, and to be honest it could do with more, as the rocks disperse the heat from the gas jets. As you can see the rocks did not cover the base completely.

It's sturdy and well balanced and works perfectly as a table top BBQ, my table did not get scorched. One thing that is quite handy is the legs fold up and over the top of the lid to secure it.

However, this does mean that the hose has to be detached either from the gas bottle regulator end or from the nozzle directly on the BBQ via the jubilee clip.

I would suggest it is removed from the regulator end to make life simpler.

I decided to cook 4 lamb steaks with a marinade. I laid them out end to end to measure how the spread of heat would cook them.

I found that the heat was very centralised and really the food had to be placed around the burner to achieve the best results.

I also found that there was little control over the intensity of the gas burn, all this means is that you have to be a little bit more skilful with your cooking.

The trick to all BBQ's is to keep an eye on what you are cooking, rotate and turn the food frequently and keep and eye on it at all times!

I must say I found it easy to cook with and the steaks were cooked to perfection.

I'm not sure how to pack the lava rocks for travelling, bouncing around in the back of your vehicle is liable to either damage the rocks with bits breaking off or the noise of the rocks clanging around would drive you mad. So there is that to think about.

The questions I set out before I started to even unbox the BBQ were

1. How easy is it to put it all together?

2. How many can you sensibly cook for at any one time?

3. Is it easy to use, light, turn off, clean?

4. How easy is it to pack away?

5. Does it cook your food well?

6. Finally - Would I buy one?

The answers to these questions

1. It was easy to put together, with no fuss or drama, any one with an ounce of common sense would be able to do it.

2. I cooked for 4, I would not of been able to cook anything else on the BBQ once I had loaded it with 4 lamb steaks. Obviously if you are only cooking sausages you could cook more.

3. It is easy to use, it lit first time with a gas lighter, turning off was very simple and it was easy to clean.

4. It packed away simply enough but as mentioned, transporting the lava rocks may be an issue

5. It cooked the food evenly, but as with all BBQ food you need to frequently turn and rotate.

6. The answer is yes, sometimes the CADAC is just too big, especially if there is just the two of you. This is small, lightweight, easy to use and to be honest for the price it's a no brainer.

So yes, I was very happy with the Crusader BBQ - you can buy it direct from Electrical World direct from Ebay by clicking on the link HERE

Happy camping!