Lodge L410 Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill Review
Camping vacations, tailgate cookouts, and trips to the beach are often enhanced by the sizzle and smell of meat grilled over charcoal. Of course, taking your large home grill with you usually isn’t a viable option.In times like this Lodge offers their Cast Iron Sportsman Grill. This hibachi style charcoal grill is large enough to grill for up to four people, yet small enough to take with you anywhere. The cast iron helps absorb the heat of the charcoal fire to provide a superior sear to the meat and vegetables being grilled.
The Sportsman has a built-in draft door that allows you to limit airflow to the burning coals for improved heat control. It comes with a protective seasoning layer already applied to it. This is a light patina of natural oil that does not include any synthetic ingredients. As time goes on you will likely to need to take steps to maintain the seasoning layer to prevent rust or tarnishing issues.
Lodge is proud to be an American made and family-owned company. They have been providing versatile cast iron products from their main facility in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, since 1896.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The Lodge Sportsman is made from quality cast iron, which makes it extremely durable. It requires a minimal amount of assembly that takes just a few minutes.
The cast iron grill grate offers enough grilling space to prepare food for up to four people. The firebox is capable of holding a significant amount of charcoal to provide you with a long-lasting hot fire. It is versatile enough to make perfectly seared bratwursts at a tailgate gathering, searing hamburgers on a trip to the beach, or grilling a steak while you camp out under the stars. It’s compact size and high heat capability also allow you to prepare more exotic grilled preparations like Korean barbecue or Japanese yakitori.
One potential drawback of the Lodge Sportsman is the lack of a lid or any effective way to cover it. This means it simply isn’t capable of indirect heat or hybrid grilling applications.
It’s worth noting that while the Lodge Sportsman grill comes pre-seasoned, you will still need to maintain its seasoning layer over time. This can often be as simple as wiping the surfaces of the grate with vegetable shortening, peanut oil, or some other oil that has a high smoke point.
The Lodge Sportsman hibachi style charcoal grill offers 144-square inches of grilling space. It also has two different height settings which can also allow you additional heat control.
Ease to Clean
At a first glance, the Lodge Sportsman is easy to clean. You simply need to lightly scrape away any burned-on material from the cast iron grate and empty the coal box. However, there are some other factors to consider. This type of grill doesn’t come with a lid, which means you cannot suffocate the charcoal fire like you could with a kettle-style charcoal grill. Instead, you have to let the charcoal burn itself out, which depending on the amount of charcoal you use, could take a few hours.
One way to get around this, if you are in a pinch for time, is to carefully dump the cooling coal bed into a metal bucket and pour some water over it. You should never pour water directly into the firebox as this could promote corrosion and rusting problems. A pair of quality welding gloves will also help you securely hold the cast iron base without burning your hands.
The Lodge Sportsman is made completely from cast iron, which means its seasoning layer needs to be maintained throughout the body as well as the grill grate. One easy way to do this is to lightly rub the grate with some shortening while it’s still hot. Another option would be to lightly grease a paper towel and use a pair of tongs to rub it down.
Lodge does not offer a written warranty for their product line. However, they stand by the durability of their cast iron grills and they pride themselves on customer service. If you do have a problem with the unit that you feel is related to the manufacturer’s quality they have a customer service phone number on their website.
Portable grills come in many shapes and sizes. Small charcoal grills and hibachis like the Lodge Sportsman provide the classic fire-kissed and smoky flavors that inspire nostalgia of past cookouts, tailgate parties, and camping trips, while also giving you the opportunity to create new memories of your own.
The lack of a lid and the need to maintain the cast iron seasoning does present a few minor complications. However, with some forethought and minimal maintenance, these issues are hardly an inconvenience. Especially, when you consider the Lodge Sportsman’s friendly price point.
- Very durable cast iron construction
- Portable and easy to store
- Classic charcoal fire and smoky flavors
- Superior searing
- There is no lid
- Fire needs to burn out instead of suffocating
- Seasoning layer needs to be maintained