Friday, April 22, 2011

The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang of Gas Grills

I'm a frequent visitor to Home Depot, so I tend to remain quite current on their selection of grills, smokers, and BBQ accessories. On my trip today there was a new product on the floor that really caught my eye: the STŌK Quattro.

I had never heard of STŌK (pronounced 'stoke'), but I was smitten with the innovative design of this grill. It features a pair of holes in the main grate that support various inserts: griddle, veggie basket, and pizza stone – all of which are included with the base model (i.e., no pricey upcharge). The unit also includes two regular grate inserts so that you can dedicate the rather large cooking surface to standard grilling.

Weber recently launched a similar concept for its charcoal grills called the Original Gourmet BBQ System. Despite my being a long-standing Weber devotee (I own four models), I don't like the design of this new product because Weber's center placement doesn't leave enough space around the periphery for cooking anything else. Even though I think Weber's new product sucks, a lot of people must like it, because today Weber's online store displayed the following message: "Due to high demand, the Gourmet BBQ System is not available for purchase through our ecommerce site. Please check back soon." (Seriously, who is buying this dog turd?)

Anyway, getting back to the STŌK Quattro, the engineering appeared to be first-rate, and the display unit I saw was of solid construction. The introductory price of $349 (which is less than the $400 MSRP mentioned in the recent review) makes this unit a very attractive buy, especially when you consider that the inserts offer lots of versatility. What's more, the package includes a useful handle that allows you to swap inserts on the fly – even over a hot grill.

Although I don't own one of these beauties, I think the STŌK Quattro is worth checking out if you're in the market for a new gas grill.

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