Megamaster 810-0026 22″ Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill Review
Charcoal kettle grills were one of the great hits of the 1950s and 60s. They were largely responsible for bringing the art of backyard grilling into the American cultural consciousness. The original kettle grill manufacturers were eventually followed by imitators who tried to produce something very similar.
Megamaster does a good job of following this trend with their 810-0026 22-inch Charcoal Kettle Grill. It has all the things you expect from a kettle grill.
The lid is thick gauge metal that has been coated with special porcelain enamel. It has a built-in damper, as well as a cool touch handle. One thing that the Megamaster22-inch Charcoal Kettle Grill has a leg up on the competition is a built-in thermometer. Most other kettle grills don’t have this, or they cost much more than the simple thermometer is worth!
Like other kettle g,rills the lid has a hook built into it to help hold it on the lip when you need to flip the meat. It also has the same issue, where if you bump the tripod base hard enough it will knock the hooked lid off causing all manner of swear words and spills!
The chrome plated grill grates are also hinged. This means you can reload charcoal or add extra wood chips during a long grilling session. The chrome plating is a little sticky, and they would have hit a home run if the grates were porcelain coated. However, the competition also tends to have chrome-plated grills or stainless steel, which shares the same problem.
The fire bowl has a built-in ash catcher. You simple manipulate the lever and most of the ash and small spent embers come out the damper-like slots in the bottom. Every now and then a larger spent ember gets stuck, but that’s par for the course with any grill like this. It’s also worth noting that only half of the other kettle grills in this class include an ash catcher. Most at this price point just have a flimsy aluminum pan.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The materials used for the Megamaster 22-inch Charcoal Kettle Grill are similar to what you find with its competitors.
Assembly is pretty straight forward. If it takes you more than half an hour to go from opening the box to setting it up, you may want to lay off the adult beverages. Yet strangely there is an expert assembly options available through some online retailers, for an additional fee.
The Megamaster 22-inch Charcoal Kettle Grill does everything you expect from a grill like this. The dual hinged grates are nice for reloading charcoal or adding wood chips. A 22-inch grill is a little small for improvising as a smoker.
Still, if you want to smoke something small, like say a cut down rack of ribs of a butterflied chicken, it can do it. Hanging a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil in the middle of the rack to act as a heat baffle will help. You can also keep an aluminum water pan right over the fire for added steam or to hold basting liquids. This will reduce the chances of the meat drying out.
If you can find a really small pork shoulder, and you keep basting it, you might be able to smoke it as well. Anything larger than that and you risk the meat drying out. Just let the lid’s thermometer be your guide.
When it comes to traditional grilling you’ve got more than enough space to grill up burgers, brats, and kebabs for up to six people. Just remember to distribute the coal bed evenly once it’s started. A charcoal chimney is preferable to blasting it with lighter fluid.
The single 22-inch chrome plated grill grate provides 353 square inches of grilling space. If you are having problems with it being a little sticky, you might want to try lightly rubbing the grate down with a greased paper towel right before you place the meat down.
The built-in thermometer on the lid and the ash pan integrated into the bowl aren’t necessarily special features. Yet it’s worth noting that most of the Megamaster’s kettle grill competitors don’t have these features in the side by side comparison model. To find them you have to go a step or two up in class, which also means taking a step or two up in price.
Ease to Clean
The sticky chrome plated grill grates are going to need some extra cleaning. Scraping them down with a wire bristled grill brush when they are still hot, will help release burned and stuck on material. The ash pan is nice for collecting spent ash and some coals. Just keep a tongs handy to collect any stray unburned embers.
The Megamaster 22-inch Charcoal Kettle Grill come with a 10 YEAR warranty on the Kettle bowl as well as the lid, with exception of rust or burn through damage. It also has a 5 YEAR warranty on the bowl’s Ash Catcher, with exception of rust or burn through damage. All other parts and components carry a 2 YEAR general warranty.
It’s worth noting that this is a step or two up from pretty much all its competitors.
If you are in the market for a kettle grill, then chances are you are you are spoiled for choice. I know it can be tempting to simply go with one of the more well-known brands, and ride off into the sunset on that pony. Still, if you spend some time rubbing noses with the Megamaster 22-inch kettle grill and compare it to the competition, I think you will find that it matches up nicely, and in a few places, it even offers you features that the competitor only has in the next step up in their line.
- Quality materials
- A step up over the competition
- Built-in thermometer in the lid
- Ash can catch
- Best in class warranty
- Hinged grates
- The lid hook is a little short
- Chrome plated grates are sticky
- Tripod base is a little wobbly
- Not really big enough to improvise for smoking