Broil King 988847 Sovereign XLS 90 Natural Gas Grill w/ Side Burner & Rear Rotisserie Burner Review
The increasing availability and energy efficiency of natural gas has driven a renaissance in grill manufacturing. Every year more and more municipalities are providing natural gas lines and services that can be inexpensively plumbed to a deck or patio space.
To accommodate the demand for a luxury natural gas grill Broil King offers their Sovereign XLS 90. It was designed to look good on your deck, while also providing you with up to 1,000 square inches of cooking space.
Under the hood, you will find four stainless steel dual tube natural gas burners that are capable of producing up to 50,000 BTUs of consistent, energy-efficient heat. At the rear, you will also find an 18,000 BTU rotisserie burner with an accessory premium spit rod and motor.
The stainless steel side shelves are large enough to hold prep and serving platters. They even include deep trays to hold spice shakers and beverages. The left-hand side burner also conceals a 10,000 BTU side burner. If space is at a premium on your deck, the side shelves will fold down
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Broil King did their best to infuse the Sovereign XLS 90 with stainless steel quality, wherever possible. Augmented with cast aluminum in the cook box and end caps. The folding side shelves even lock into place so tightly, that you wouldn’t know they are capable of collapsing. This is a sign of quality engineering, and not something you necessarily find with competitor units.
Assembly with this grill can be quite a chore. Considering that the grill itself weighs in at a little over 200-pounds, it’s probably not the sort of thing you want to try to tackle on your own. With a friend to help you tackle some of the more cumbersome components you should be able to get it fully put together in around two hours.
If you aren’t particularly handy or you are short on tools, there are some online manufacturers who offer the Sovereign with an expert assembly service available.
Just pay special attention to the folding side table with the inset gas burner. Make sure there is enough gas hose to collapse and lock it in place without pinching it.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that the Broil King Sovereign XLS 90 is set up for natural gas, and you should not attempt to set it up for propane. There is technically a conversion kit available through the manufacturer, but it’s an additional cost and takes a significant amount of time to install. Fortunately, Broil King sells another version of the Sovereign that comes fully ready to work on propane.
The four dual natural gas burners produce an impressive 50,000 total BTUs of heat. It has a 600 square inch primary grill grate with a spacious 400 square inch warming rack, which is capable of the first low heating stage of hybrid grilling.
If you prefer the warming rack can be removed and a rotisserie spit with a motor can be installed. It comes with the initial purchase, which isn’t always the case with some of the competition.
The rear rotisserie burner is rated to produce up to 18,000 BTUs of heat. Still, at full flame, this is probably too much heat for a single broiler-fryer chicken. At the highest setting, the 18,000 BTUs will burn the skin, before the meat near the bone cooks to a safe temperature. Instead, it’s better to leave it at a low flame, and perhaps turn it to high heat in the final moments to crisp and brown the skin.
Don’t forget about the 10,000 BTU side burner concealed in the collapsible side table. It allows you to do things like boil corn and saute vegetables without having to run back into the kitchen to prepare basic hot side dishes.
The stainless steel primary grill grate measures in at 600 square inches, which is more than enough space to cook for a large family.
There is also a spacious 400 square inch warming rack. This is much larger than you find in many competitor grills in this configuration. With the temperature dialed in just right, you can use the warming rack for low heat grilling applications.
Combined these two racks provide you with up to 1,000 square inches of grilling real estate.
The included rotisserie paired with the 18,000 BTU rear burner, is the crown jewel of the Broil King Sovereign XLS 90. It allows you to slow roast a whole chicken, or if you prefer to sear up pork for tacos el pastor.
The natural gas burner system is also well-designed. It evenly distributes the heat across the 600 square inch primary grill grate.
Ease to Clean
Like all thoughtfully engineered gas grills, the Broil King Sovereign XLS 90 is relatively easy to clean. The biggest challenge is in scraping down the stainless steel grill grates, which tend to be a little on the sticky side.
It would have been nice if they would have designed it with a porcelain-coated cast iron grill grate.
The Broil King Sovereign is backed by a Lifetime Warranty on the cast aluminum components, 10 years on Dual-Tube™ burner system, and 2 years on all remaining parts and paint. This is a full step or two better than many competitor models in this price range.
If you have natural gas plumbed to your deck or patio, then chances are you are looking for a way to use it properly. In a case like this, the Broil King Sovereign XLS 90 rises near the top of the list. The stainless steel and cast aluminum speak to the material quality as well as the thoughtful design. The folding side tables, and concealed side burner, with the ability to accommodate a rotisserie really helps take this grill to the next level.
The only real quality knock is the stainless steel 9mm grill grates. While they are meant to mesh with the grill’s overall material identity, they are sticky and should have been replaced with porcelain-coated cast-iron grates.
- 18,000 BTU rear burner
- Rotisserie included
- Large warming rack
- Quality materials and engineering
- Concealed side burner in folding side tables
- Superior warranty
- Sticky stainless steel grill grates
- Lengthy assembly time
- Needs available natural gas for safe operation