Mont Alpi MAI805 44″ Outdoor Barbecue Island Review
Outdoor kitchens are incredibly popular these days. While drop-in units are often cheaper and seem easy to install at first glance, there is often a lot of carpentry, masonry, and other technical skills involved. A lot of people who try to save a few bucks on a drop-in unit just end up spending that time and money on a contractor to build the surrounding counter or island.
Mont Alpi takes a more comprehensive approach with their MAI805 44″ Outdoor Barbeque Island. This is a standalone outdoor grilling station complete with granite counter tops, copious cupboard space, and a concealed side burner all integrated with the primary gas grill.
It is made largely from stainless steel with a little bit of cast aluminum integrated into the works for added strength when needed. The lid is also designed with double walls for improved heat retention.
The six independently controlled stainless steel propane burners are all linked to an electric igniter. The concealed burner in the left side table also has its own control knob. There is an infrared rear burner as well. When they are all turned up to their max, the Mont Alpi MAI805 produces an impressive conflagration or 115,000 BTUs.
There are two LED lights built into the hood that can be turned on for times when you grill at night.
The drawers and cabinets on the base all slide easily. As does the grease management tray. There are also casters built into the base. It comes set up to run on propane, but there is also a natural gas conversion kit available for a reasonable cost.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Mont Alpi focused on quality materials and design throughout the MAI805. It’s largely 304 stainless steel throughout, with some cast aluminum in places for added structural integrity. The white granite of the side tables is technically “Faux Granite.”
While you might be tempted, you should try not to use the countertops as a cutting board. This isn’t so much a knock on the material as it is the fact that a cutting surface this hard will dull your knife very quickly. It’s better to just keep a large bamboo cutting board in one of the cupboards or drawers.
The casters that come with it are sort of a conundrum. Technically they give you the ability to move the entire unit. However, it rings in at 482 pounds. So, unless you still have some lingering passion for hitting the high school football blocking sled, I would just leave the casters off and install it in place.
As you might imagine, there’s going to be a lot of labor involved in assembling the Mont Alpi MAI805. This is not something you should try to tackle on alone after you get off work. You want a friend or two to lend a hand, and plan on it consuming all of your Saturday and perhaps Sunday morning.
The Mont Alpi MAI805 was designed to be an inclusive grilling station. Having a side burner concealed in the left side table allows you to prepare side dishes without having to run back into the kitchen. With a lot of side tables, they are just big enough to accommodate a small saute pan, and maybe a pot capable of boiling a few ears of corn. The Mont Alpi MAI805’s side burner is large. It could potentially accommodate a modest-sized paella pan!
Technically the Mont Alpi MAI805 will accommodate a rotisserie and then sell one through their website. It just would have been nice if they would have included it in the purchase.
The 805 total square inches of grilling space with warming rack allows you to prepare a staggering amount of food. The six stainless steel burner elements each produce 12,000 BTUs of heat. This allows you to create three different heating zones, which can also open up some creative options.
On the face of it, you could set up the heat from high heat on the left side to low heat on the right. This would allow you to make Steak and chicken at the same time, without worrying about the chicken being burned on the inside and undercooked on the inside.
If you really wanted to push your culinary comfort zone, you could also get a little more creative. You could take two or three roast petit (also known as the head roast of beef tenderloin), and splay it out into a sheet with shallow cuts. Then lay out some quality blue cheese, sautéed onions, and mushrooms across the surface. You can then roll it up like a French roulade and tie it with butcher’s twine.
Set up the grill with high heat on the two left side burners and the two right side burners, with the two central burners, turned off. Gently sear each stuffed roast over the high heat flames. Once each side is marked, place them in the middle to finish roasting on ambient, indirect heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until a probe thermometer reads 140 degrees when inserted into the middle.
Remove the roasts from the heat to a warmed platter. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and drape with a tea towel for five minutes. This will let the juices redistribute back into the meat and stuffing. You can then slice it like a prime rib roast, and serve with some creamy horseradish sauce.
Whether you want to do something a little exotic or you just want to grill with straight up high heat, the Mont Alpi MAI805 has got you covered.
The warming rack and the primary stainless steel grates provide you with a whopping 805 square inches of grilling space.
The large gas burner disguised under the left side table is certainly nice. It’s larger than what you find with most competitor side burners.
The two cooking lights are nice for the times when you have to grill out after dark. Still, they are mounted to shine straight out, instead of straight down. Depending on how tall you are this can actually be a little bit of nuisance.
Ease to Clean
Mont Alpi made sure to design the MAI805 to be easy to clean. The stainless steel grates do need a little more scraping than you would do if they were porcelain coated cast iron, but it’s not that big of a hassle. The drippings tray at the bottom spans the entire width of the cooking chamber and pulls out easily.
The Mont Alpi does not currently offer a warranty program for the MAI805.
The Mont Alpi MAI805 can do pretty much everything you want an outdoor grilling station to do and then some. It’s size, and features inspire culinary creativity, and it does so at a very reasonable price. Just be prepared to take your time putting it together, ditch the casters, and cross your fingers that you don’t need warranty coverage.
- High-quality stainless steel construction
- Rear mounted burner
- Ability to create 3 heat zones
- Large side burner
- Full cart and counter layout
- Lacks a warranty
- Rotisserie isn’t included
- Hood lights don’t point straight down