CADAC 98700-25-04-US Tailgater Chef Grill Review
Sometimes it’s seems like portable grills are a dime a dozen. Indeed, there are some people who just buy one cheap gas grill after another accepting that they will wear it out in a year or two, and leave their hard-earned money behind. While this strategy might work for some, when you add up the cost of all those cheap grills it ends up being a lot more than if you invest one time in a high-quality unit.
For people who want a little more return on their portable gas grilling investment, the CADAC Tailgater might just be on their radar. While CADAC is a lesser known name, then toss their hat firmly into the ring with an eye for quality.
The Tailgater is made from durable steel protected by a layer of black powder coat. The hood is double layered for improved heat retention. The hood also has a built-in thermometer, which isn’t always standard in gas grills in this category.
It can be set up to run on a lightweight 1-pound propane cylinder, dual propane canisters or a single liquid propane tank. All told it rings in at a very portable 37 pounds.
The Tailgater has two independently controlled burners made from 439 stainless steel. They are lit by a push button electric ignition system. All told they produce a combined 19,430 BTUs of heat, feeding up to a cast iron grill grate with a non-stick porcelain glaze.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
CADAC did their best to imbue the Tailgater with quality. This shows through in things like the dual layer hood, and the cast iron grill grates with a protective non-stick porcelain glaze.
The two burners are made from 439 stainless steel. This is a different class of stainless than you find in most other propane burners which tend to be made from 304 stainless steel. 439 has a higher amount of titanium and chromium for improved corrosion resistance. It also has superior heat resistance, and weldability compared to 409 stainless steel.
When it comes to assembly the Tailgater is relatively easy to put together. There are a couple of fiddly places where it would be nice to have nimble fingers. Just give yourself a solid hour or so to fully put it all together.
The 19,430 BTUs of heat is a little bit higher than you get from competitor grills in this same price range and size. It also has enough open real estate on the grill grates to handle two big ribeye steaks or four large hamburger patties.
The cast iron grill grates with the non-stick porcelain coating are also something you don’t always find in competitor grills. The cast iron is thick and capable of absorbing a lot of heat. Just give the Tailgater a good ten minutes to preheat on full flame for a superior sear. If you want to make some brats in a stadium parking lot, you can simply roll them along the grates to mark and give the skin a little crisp.
The dual layer hood also helps with heat retention. This means you can set the flame on low, place some bone-in chicken on the grates, then close the lid to let it cook.
The size of the grill grate doesn’t let you create a dual heat zone. This means the Tailgater won’t really work for typical hybrid grilling. However, it heats up fast enough that you could do something like lay down some bone-in chicken thighs on low heat until they cook through. Then you can turn up the flame to high heat. Flip them skin side down. The heat retention of the cast iron grill grates will then make some nice marks.
The Tailgater was also designed to be able to accommodate a Stratos reversible grill plate. This means you can double it up as a griddle for cooking breakfast at camp. CADAC also offers a bracket that allows you to install it in your RV. Both are sold separately.
One minor knock on the Tailgater is the small, narrow handle. If you aren’t careful, it’s pretty easy to scrape or burn your knuckles. Just keep a rag or a pot holder nearby if you need to open the close the lid a lot.
The porcelain coated cast iron grill grates measure in at 305 square inches.
The fact that it can be set up to run on a 1-pound cylinder, dual canisters, or a single LP tank means that you can use it as your daily griller. Yet you can just as easily take it with you for a camping trip, or a tailgate cookout.
Ease to Clean
The CADAC Tailgater is relatively easy to clean. The non-stick porcelain layer reduces the chances of food sticking to the grates. Unfortunately, there aren’t any flame tamers, which means things like excess marinade, runoff, and rendered fat can sometimes plug some of the flame ports.
If this happens you can use a bamboo grilling skewer to open the flame port. Then fire it up to burn away any lingering material.
The CADAC Tailgater comes with a multi-tier limited warranty. The valves and cast iron components come with a 5 Year warranty. The stainless steel burner comes with a 2-year warranty. There are also online retailers who offer affordable protection plans.
The CADAC tailgater certainly is a high quality, lightweight portable gas grill. It can do pretty much everything you ask it to do. It can live on your deck as your weekday griller, it can come with you when you want to in a stadium parking lot.
If you purchase the additional bracket, you can install it in your RV. If you purchase the Stratos reversible grill plate you can also repurpose it to cook breakfast at your rustic campground.
- Lightweight, high-quality construction
- Can be installed in an RV
- Double layered hood with thermometer
- Cast iron grill grates with nonstick porcelain
- The handle is a little small
- Some parts of the assembly are fiddly
- Griddle and RV bracket sold separately