Do you wish you owned one of the grills and smokers Steven showcases on Project Fire? I do. I can imagine all those classic and unique grills and smokers in my backyard. Each grill and smoker has its own distinct features.
Due to my work as the Fire Wrangler on Project Fire, I have first-hand knowledge of all the features and abilities of the grills and smokers. If you are curious about what a Fire Wrangler does, check out my blog “Behind the Scenes as a Fire Wrangler on Project Fire.”
Every season (Project Fire is now in its fourth year and was filmed in St. Louis) Steven brings his recipes to life with a variety of grills and smokers. I will explain the features of each and include examples of how Steven utilized them to create his delicious recipes. It might help you choose your next grill or smoker. But it’s likely you will want to buy more than one. Here we go!
The Grills of Project Fire
The Big Green Egg is a ceramic kamado-style cooker. The thick walls retain heat for long cooks and are great for cold weather. There is an egg for everyone due to the variety of sizes. The larger eggs can be used for bigger items like St. Louis-Style Ribs or Bacon Apple Crisp with Smoked Whipped Cream and Caramel Drizzle. The smaller models are great for tailgating The BGE has many creative accessories so you can grill, smoke, roast, and even bake. The versatility of this BGE makes it one of my favorites.
The Fire Magic Echelon gas grill reminds me of a fancy sports car with all the options. I’ve set up all the features and accessories, including a charcoal/smoker basket, rotisserie attachment, griddle, a pizza stone, and digital controls with a meat probe. Steven utilized the charcoal/smoker basket when making his Grill Top Shrimp Boil and Mexican Grilled Trout with Fried Garlic Sauce. Last season, Steven’s Brisket Breakfast Tacos were prepared on the griddle attachment, and the diamond sear grates are perfect for searing the Secreto Steak. Fire Magic also makes a line of handsome built-in grills for outdoor kitchens.
The Kudu Open Fire Grill is a wood-burning grill inspired by the convivial braais (barbecues) popular in South Africa. The grill utilizes adjustable grates (adjustments can be made vertically or horizontally, enabling you to multitask with flair) that allow you to control the heat from the wood fire and capture the flavor of smoke. Kudu’s accessories include a rotisserie attachment which Steven used in Season 3 for his Pineapple Volcano. The grates can be replaced with a cast iron pan (included) or a paella pan to make Steven’s Grilled Vegetable Paella. Kudu offers a travel case so you can take it on the road. The Kudu makes me feel like I’m cooking over a campfire.
Green Mountain Grills (Wood-Fired Pellet Grill) will change your mind if you are on the fence about a pellet grill. The Daniel Boone model is used frequently on the set. If you are a set-it-and- forget-it cook, then this pellet grill is for you. Green Mountain Grills have their own WIFI signal that allows you to set and manage your cook from inside the house. The pellet grill temperature ranges from 150 to 500 degrees, so it is not just for smoking alone. There are two meat probes and a bright easy to read display on the front of the grill. There is a rotisserie and pizza oven attachment that is unique for a pellet grill. Steven and his guest, influencer Scott Thomas, made one of the crew favorites—Lobster Tacos with Bacon “Tortillas” on this versatile grill.
The Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Gaucho is the one grill I really want for my backyard. The Gaucho has a giant flywheel that allows you to control the heat of the wood fire burning below by lowering or raising the grate. The grate can be removed, and the rotisserie attachment added. Steven used the spit to make Brandy-Brined Rotisserie Chicken, a spectacular dish that will thrill discerning guests. It’s one of my favorites. Kalamazoo’s Hybrid can be used as a straight gas grill, or you can place small logs in the drawer to create wood smoke as Steven does when smoke-roasting tomahawk steaks.
Weber grills seen on Project Fire include the Smoky Mountain water smoker, kettle and Performer charcoal grills, and the Summit series of gas grills. The Summits range from 3 to 6 burners. Depending on the model, there will be a powerful side burner, rotisserie burner, smoker box, and sear station. The Weber kettle is one of my favorite due to its versatility. I use it to grill, smoke, smoke-roasting, “cavemanning”, and rotisserie cooking (spit-roasting). The rotisserie is an after-market item.
New to our grill line-up this year is the NOMAD, an aptly named and supremely portable grill that’s a workhorse in the back yard, at the beach, or in a stadium parking lot. Made of military-grade materials with a sturdy honeycomb grid, the grill resembles a rugged take-no-prisoners briefcase. Three years in the making, a number of innovations keep the shell of the NOMAD relatively cool—meaning it can safely rest on something as combustible as a wooden table. (We did not attempt that on the set.) We devoured the Catalan Grilled Shrimp Kebabs Steven made during Episode 406.
Also featured on Project Fire, Season 4, was the innovative Start ‘N’ Grill, a charcoal grill with push-button ignition. That’s right—no petroleum-based fire starters, charcoal chimneys, or other combustibles are required. You can even light the grill remotely, should you choose to. It even comes with a plancha (griddle) for grilling vegetables, smash burgers, eggs, and toasted bread. Steven treated the crew to one of his favorite sandwiches—Pan Bagnat made with sushi-grade tuna.
Lodge’s Cast Iron Sportsman Grill (Hibachi) might be the smallest grill on Project Fire, but it brings the heat. The cast iron body holds the heat, and the grate creates an excellent sear for Steven’s Vietnamese Beef and Rice Noodle Salad. The sliding front door allows you to add charcoal as needed. The Sportsman has a small footprint, making it a great choice for people with limited space.