Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D Barrel Charcoal Grill & Side Firebox Review
Barrel style charcoal grills are one of the classics that harken back to before the 1950’s when kettle style grills first emerged onto the outdoor cooking scene. In the old days, a barrel grill was little more than a surplus 55-gallon barrel drum, that was probably leftover from World War Two. Someone with a steady hand and a saws-all would then cut it the long way, screw some hinges onto the back and slap a handle onto the lid.
Fortunately, the modern age has brought with a great many advancements in barrel style charcoal grills. Yet while they all share a lot of visual similarities, quality, and a few basic features can make the difference between one that stands out as well as stands the test of time and one that leaves you with a nasty case of buyer’s remorse.
One barrel-style grill that is very much worth considering is the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D with Side Firebox. Taken at a quick glance it looks pretty similar to most other midsized barrel grills with an accessory smoker box. Yet when you make the time to take a closer look, I think you will find some nice improvements and special features.
Admittedly, the barrel portion of the grill itself is like most of its kind. You could even complain that the way the thermometer sticks out from the lid, rather than insets, looks and feels a little awkward. However, that doesn’t seem to interfere with its accuracy.
The front has a rather large shelf which Dyna-Glo calls the “Front Work Station” Some barrel grills with a front shelf weld it in place, which makes you have to reach over it awkwardly, or the shelf is too small. The Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D’s front shelf is designed to hold firmly in place, yet is designed to easily collapse out of the way.
When it’s in place, it is a little bit, and if you are say “A little robust in the midsection” you might bump your belly on it while you are tending the grill. This sort of encourages you to leave it folded down until you are ready the food is almost done and you need somewhere to hold a serving platter.
This could leave you wanting for a place to set down a tool or a refreshing beverage. Dyna-Glo thought about this when they were designing the offset firebox, and they installed a plate of metal that can double as a shelf. Now, if you happen to have a fire in the firebox at that time, you don’t want to place a can of cold soda there, as it will get a little warm. Still, this sort of improvised shelf is big enough to hold a basic dinner plate, that might just serve double duty as your serving platter.
The side firebox can also double as a smoker. Some of the side smoker boxes that come attached to barrel grills can be underwhelming. Most don’t deliver enough heat and smoke. Some even warp and are prone to rust. The Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D Seems to do a little better with their firebox.
The hinges, where water tends to leak in on the competitor grills causing rusting are much tighter. This also helps to hold in smoke to ensure that more makes it into the primary chamber. At the same time, the side firebox was designed to be a firebox and not just a smoking accessory. This can allow you to start a second fire for grilling if you need to say grill chicken breasts on a medium fire for the adults and quick sear some hot dogs for the kids.
The side firebox also comes with a side access coal tray that can be completely removed for easy cleanup. This is a major improvement over most competitor smoker boxes, where ash, and moisture can lay in the bottom, and the only way to get it out is to meticulously scrape away, getting soot and grease on your wrists.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D is made from heavy gauge steel, with quality fasteners and secure welds. The shelf in the middle of the legs also gives it superior stability.
One area where Dyna-Glo may have skimped on is the paint job. The black paint isn’t a high-quality heat resistant powder coat. Repeated hot fires can cause some pain issues, and if you leave it uncovered the elements can start to affect it. One way to address this is to repaint it yourself after a year or two with a spray paint woodstove/firebox paint that you can find at most hardware stores for about $10.
It’s relatively easy to assemble with some basic tools and a little patience you should be able to put it together in an hour and a half. Just watch out for the collapsing front table as it seems to crave pinching your fingers while you put everything together.
Taken on face value the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D’s primary grilling chamber works about the same as any other barrel style grill. It is nice to have the chimney offset instead of built directly into the lid.
The side firebox is where the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D sets itself apart, with its ability to act as a secondary grill or simply as a warming rack, since the main chamber does not have one. If you want to teach your kid about grilling, you could even use the side firebox as their “Kid Grill” where they can practice turning hot dogs and flipping burger patties.
If you want to use the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D as a smoker, the primary chamber can handle three full racks of pork spare ribs. If you cut them down into four racks and you rotated them once or twice you could maybe get four racks in it.
The primary grilling chamber offers 443 square inches of grilling space, which is more than enough to grill for the average family of four. It could also handle grilling burgers for a half dozen of your friends if you wanted to host a watch party or have a group over to catch the big game.
The side firebox is 287 square inches, which can serve as a secondary grill space or a warming rack. All together it gives you 730 square inches of grilling space, on porcelain coated cast iron grates.
The front collapsible work station is nice for holding prep and serving platters. Still, it might get in the way when you’re grilling. If so, you should plan to fold it down.
The side firebox can serve as a warming rack, offset smoker, or a secondary grill. The side access ash pan is completely removable for easy cleanup.
Ease to Clean
The Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D is somewhat easier to clean than other barrel style charcoal grills. The grates can be scraped down, or if they are particularly gunky, you can pull them out and soak them in warm soapy water.
The side firebox has a pull-out ash pan that makes cleaning up ash very easy. The main grilling chamber doesn’t have this feature. Still, if you’re feeling lazy, you can just scoop ash from the main barrel down into the firebox and then pull out the removable tray.
All parts for the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D carry a one-year limited warranty. However, the paint is only warranted to be free of defects for 90 days except for rust, which may appear after repeated use.
The Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS730CBO-D stands a head above most of its competitors when it comes to thoughtful design and durability. The versatility of the side firebox can really come in handy. It’s just a shame that they didn’t give it a higher quality paint job!
- Versatile side firebox
- Pull out ash pan
- Can work as a grill and a smoker
- Front Shelf is large and collapsible
- The paint job is low quality
- Thermometer seems to be awkwardly mounted
- Minimal warranty