Giantex GT70617-PO Cast Iron Charcoal Hibachi Grill Review
Cast iron hibachi grills have been enjoying a vigorous comeback in recent years. They are particularly popular with people who want to go camping, take a trip to the beach, and enjoy the kind of seared meat that only ripping hot cast iron can offer.
Normally Giantex is known more for its high-quality gas grills. Though they’ve been expanding into other niches in recent years with a great deal of success. So, it’s not all that surprising to see them offering up a well-made cast iron hibachi grill like the Giantex GT70617-PO Charcoal Grill Hibachi Grill.
Right off the bat, you have to keep in mind that cast iron hibachi grills like this one are meant for direct flame, high-heat grilling. This means things like steaks, natural casing bratwursts, and kabobs on heavy-duty wooden skewers. You aren’t going to be doing any slow smoking or hybrid grilling with the Giantex GT70617-PO.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
When it comes to material durability you have everything that cast iron has to offer in the Giantex GT70617-PO. It absorbs heat quickly and will withstand more than the average number of bumps and bonks in the back of a pickup truck on the drive to the beach.
Like a lot of cast iron hibachi grills, the Giantex GT70617-PO doesn’t have any sort of lid. If you do need to cover it for transport or to help hold in the heat, you can always turn to some heavy-duty aluminum foil.
When it comes to assembly, there isn’t much to do with the Giantex GT70617-PO. You unbox it and put everything in place. Though before you use it, you absolutely need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly “Season” the grill grates with a protective layer of hydrocarbon fats.
The Giantex GT70617-PO does a great job of searing steaks, brats, and burgers. The same can be said for kabobs on thick bamboo wood skewers and a generous amount of marinade.
It’s when we start moving into the world of chicken that the grilling performance takes on a few minor concerns. Right off the bat, you have to accept that this is not the ideal charcoal grill for bone-in chicken. Even when you turn the heat/air control door down, you are still going to have a flame that is too close to the heat-absorbing cast iron grates to thoroughly cook a piece of chicken to the bone without first burning the skin and surface of the meat.
Boneless cuts of chicken like chicken tenderloins and bones chicken breasts will grill up just fine on the hot cast iron grill grates. This is assuming you are properly maintaining the non-stick seasoning layer and giving the pieces of chicken a gentle glaze of a neutral cooking oil.
There is technically a door in the grill body to let you control the air coming into the cast iron fire box. Though its influence on the heat of the grill is minimal. What matters is being thoughtful about the type of charcoal bed you build. Ideally, you want to use charcoal briquettes over lump, as it is less likely to flare up and will give you more consistent heating.
The grill grates on the Giantex GT70617-PO measure in at 12.5″ x 8.5″. When you do the math, this gives you a total area of 106.25 square inches. This is enough to grill burgers for two or bratwursts for four, with room to carefully flip the meat.
The Giantex GT70617-PO has a special door in the lower firebox to let you influence the airflow. It isn’t all that accurate a metric for temperature control. Though it’s also not something that you see in a lot of similar cast iron hibachi grills and does indeed help with cleanup.
Ease to Clean
The process of getting the cast iron grates clean on the Giantex GT70617-PO is relatively straightforward. You can even get aggressive by scraping them down without fear of damaging the very robust cast iron. Though you do need to pay a little extra attention to the slots that the grates fit into on the firebox. Grease and things like caramelized marinade can stick in her causing problems with your next grilling session. So make sure to give them a good scrape too.
The door on the lower cast iron grill body is handy for emptying out ash and spent embers. Just bear in mind that you need to wait for the entire grill to cool down before handling the scorching hot cast iron.
When it comes to cooling it down, you should never pour water into the grill body. This can mix with the ash to cause premature rust and corrosion on the untreated cast iron. Instead, it’s better to suffocate the flames with a couple of layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Another thing to be mindful of when cleaning the Giantex GT70617-PO is to maintain the seasoning layer. You should follow the instructions in the owner’s manual. Though in a pinch you can lightly grease them down with some flaxseed oil or shortening.
When you are done cleaning the Giantex GT70617-PO and everything is fully cooled down, you should store it in a water-tight container or cover it thoroughly. Rainwater will easily cause corrosion and rust problems if the cast iron grill is left unprotected.
The Giantex GT70617-PO has a multi-tier warranty, that offers 10 years of coverage for the firebox, with two years of coverage for everything else. This is with assumed proper use.
The Giantex GT70617-PO is a durable cast iron charcoal hibachi grill that is designed for things like camping and trips to the beach. It is meant to directly sear things like burgers, brats, chops, and the occasional steak. If you use it this way and you make it a point to properly maintain the seasoning layer on the grill grates and firebox, it will take care of you, and likely outlast the warranty coverage.