Grilling is an excellent way to cook anytime of the year, but especially so during Summer. When it comes to BBQ grills, there are two basic camps: charcoal and gas.
People love charcoal grills for their simplicity and the flavor charcoal can impart to the food. Gas grills are fantastic for people who don’t like to wait for coals to heat up. Folks who live in the city with limited space, and tailgaters who want mobility, may find gas grills a better option.
For 2016, we are going to look a two new gas grills from STOK: the Tourist, the Gridiron. Both are available now at your local Home Depot. Today, we are going to setup and take a FirstLook at the STOK Tourist portable gas grill.
The STOK Tourist is definitely a portable grill, designed to be taken anywhere, whether it be the rooftop of an apartment building or to the local park.
The STOK Tourist comes partially assembled:
- Lid with heat-shielded handle (assembly required)
- Burner base unit (pre-assembled)
- Firebox and heat tent (no assembly required)
- Grease cup and cooking grate
The pieces came well packed/protected in the box. Nothing was missing. We gave the instructions a quick scan and the only thing requiring tools was attaching the handle to the lid. The step was not difficult, but required a little care.
There were four pieces to the lid assembly: handle, heat shield, footing, lid. We made the mistake of first attaching the two footings to the lid before adding the handle. Don’t do that, as it makes attaching the handle extremely awkward…
The better way is to first attach the heat shield to the handle, THEN attach the handle to the lid. Even then, be careful of the sharp edges on side of the shield. Also, if you have large fingers, use a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the nut when putting in the screw. Oh yeah, note that there is a little piece of insulation between the footing and the lid.
Once the lid has been assembled, putting the rest of the unit was a snap…literally.
- Unlock the spring-loaded legs on the underside of the burner base.
- Stand the burner base on a stable surface
The base houses the controls (piezo-electric ignition button, flame-height knob), firebox support, spring clips for securing the firebox, and the burner unit. When placed on a solid flat surface, the unit is very stable and there are no play in the legs. Note that this base has an integrated pot stand and may be used “as-is” to heat a kettle or frying pan, very convenient when car camping.
- Place the firebox on the burner and secure it to the base with the snaps
- Install the heat tent (note the notch on one of the supports)
- Attach the drip cup to the outside of the firebox
- Place the grate on the firebox to complete the assembly
The STOK Tourist can accommodate the standard size 1-pound liquid propane gas cylinder under the burner base. We would imagine that one can easily rig up a hose to the larger 20 lb tanks without much trouble. Note that this unit breaks down for transport and storage just as easily as the set up (more on that later). We will show that in the FirstUse write-up at the end of the month.
What is interesting about the STOK Tourist is that it is more than a well-thought-out portable gas grill. Available for the Tourist is a collection of grill accessories designed to expand its abilities. We hope to take a look at some of them in a future article. For now, look for our FirstUse write-up of the Tourist at the end of June for our thoughts on the Tourist after we have had a chance to see it in action. Here’s to the start of Grilling Season!!!
Home Depot links to items mentioned: