NomadIQ Portable Propane Gas Grill Review
Portable gas grills are incredibly popular with people who like to camp, hike, fish, or simply cookout on a trip to the beach. The NomadIQ was engineered to be compact, and easily portable, yet also capable of providing you with enough grill space to cook for up to four people at a time.
When folded it very much resembles a vertical clamshell grill. In this state, it only measures in at 14.2-inches high x 16-inches wide x 5.2-inches deep. Then when you open it up it measures in at 7.5-inches high x 16-inches wide x 25.6-inches deep. This translates into 226 total square inches of grilling space, all in a portable gas grill that only weighs a surprising 12-pounds.
Each side of the NomadIQ has its own independently controlled stainless steel propane element. There’s also an electronic ignition system that lets you fire up the burner with the simple push of a button. Each stainless steel burner is rated to produce up to 4,600 BTUs per hour for a total BTU rating of 9,200. This is just a hair shy of the closest competitors, which tend to have a 10,000 BTU per hour rating.
The 226 square inch grill grates also have a nonstick ceramic coating. This helps even lean cuts of meat to release easily, which also leaves you with less scraping to do later. There’s even a small drippings tray to catch any grease that escapes the meat.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
One of the biggest complaints with portable gas grills is that they tend to feel a little flimsy and short-lived. You don’t get that feeling at all with the NomadIQ. It’s made largely from heavy-duty steel, yet it only weighs in at a tidy 12-pounds. There’s even an ergonomic grip handle.
Set up is very quick. From it’s closed position to open and ready to fire up it should only take you 45 seconds to a minute. There really isn’t any other assembly required beyond carefully unboxing it.
The NomadIQ’s independently controlled propane elements let you create two distinct heat zones. This is very rare with portable gas grills of this size and price range. It means you can dial in one side on low heat for cooking something like bone-in chicken for the adults, then set the other side to high heat to grill hamburger patties or sear natural casing hot dogs for the kids. You could even set it up to use the wide side as an improvised low-heat warming rack.
Each of the stainless steel propane burners is rated to produce 4,600 BTUs for a total of 9,200 BTUs or consistent heat in an hour. This is a little bit lower than other grills in this niche which tend to provide up to 10,000 to 12,000 BTUs.
The concern with a lower BTU rating is that the propane flame might not fully oxidize all the hydrocarbons. This can leave trace artificial flavors on the meat. When you dial the heat up high on one of the 4,600 BTU burners, it’s not an issue.
It’s when you dial it down low that you might have an oxidation issue. So, when you’re setting the controls for each burner element make sure you are getting the telltale rich blue flame. A yellow flame could give the surface of the meat a sort of butane flavor.
The 226 square inch grill grates are made from steel with a protective nonstick ceramic coating. This makes for better heat absorption with proper preheating, as well as releasing the food easily for less scraping during the cleanup phase.
The two sides of the NomadIQ provide you with up to 226 square inches of grilling space. With proper placement, this is enough space to grill for a family of four.
The engineering principles of the NomadIQ is perhaps its most special feature. It folds up into a compact vertical clamshell with a handle that’s easy to carry, and only weighs in at a featherweight 12-pounds. It then takes less than a minute to set it up for use. This is impressive for a grill at this price range, and make the NomadIQ lighter and more portable than many of its competitors without sacrificing build quality.
Ease to Clean
The NomadIQ is very easy to clean for a portable gas grill. The 226 square inch grill grates have a protective nonstick ceramic layer that leaves less stuck-on debris after grilling. This translates into less scraping when you’re done.
The ceramic layer also means the grill grates are dishwasher safe. If you do happen to get some caramelized marinade or something else stubbornly stuck on the grates you can soak them in warm soapy water or run them on a cycle in the dishwasher. The ceramic layer will protect the metal from rusting.
There’s also a small drippings tray at the base of the NomadIQ. It’s just large enough to handle the grease from most grilling sessions. It’s easy to pull out and pour away after you’re done grilling. It’s worth noting that not a lot of the competitor portable gas grills have this feature.
One minor flaw in the cleanup process is the stainless steel propane elements. They don’t have any sort of heat tent to protect them. Every now and then sticky marinade or grease can clog up a few of the flame ports. When you this happens you will just need to poke it open again with a wooden toothpick or a grilling skewer.
The NomadIQ comes with an impressive 5-year warranty. This is a full step or two above many of the competitors who only tend to offer 2 to 3-year warranty coverage.
The NomadIQ is a well-designed portable gas grill with all the material build quality you want to see for your investment. It’s easy to carry, quick to set up, and very easy to clean. Just make sure the burners are producing a rich blue flame, and expect that you’re probably going to get a minor clog in a flame port from time to time. Beyond that, this is a great portable gas grill for the money!
- Ergonomic handle and only weighs 12-pounds
- Protective ceramic coating on grill grates
- Dual heat zones
- 226 square inch grates
- Easy cleanup
- 5-year warranty
- Flame ports can clog
- BTU’s are a little low
- No form of lid to trap heat