PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D Teak Shelf Edition Review
In the past charcoal grills were seen largely as things of utility. They held a fire in a safely contained metal box, and then after you were done cooking on it, you got to moan about cleaning up the ash. If you didn’t clean out the ash in a reasonable amount of time, or it got wet somehow, then you also had to deal with persistent corrosion issues.
PK grills step up to the plate on these problems with their PK360-BTTX-D. The firebox and lid are made from thick gauge cast aluminum which helps save weight as well as preventing the kind of rust and corrosion issues that you get from a steel grill.
It also features an integrated ash management system for easier cleanup. All you have to do is wait until the fire completely dies down. Then you simply sweep the ash toward a hole in the bottom of the firebox. This sends it down to a special capsule, which allows you to easily dump the ash away.
The PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D also has four independently controlled dampers. This allows you to adjust the airflow for maximum heat control. With a little bit of practice, you could even use this grill for low and slow smoked barbecue.
The firebox is also designed to detach from the base. This is nice if you want it to double as a portable grill for tailgating or trips to the beach. However, even without the base, it’s still a little on the heavy side, so make sure you have someone to help you move it around. Also, the bottom of the firebox can still get pretty hot. If you plan to use it on a table top, you might want to bring a couple of rated fire bricks with you to act as a temporary base.
The PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D also has collapsible shelves made from weatherproof teak. When you aren’t using it, you can simply hang the shelf to save space. Applying a little food grade wood oil to the shelf every month or so will also help extend its lifespan.
It’s also worth noting that the PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D has won some awards and honorable mentions from organizations like Consumer’s Digest, Amazing ribs, and Popular Mechanics.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The fact that the firebox and lid are made from thick cast aluminum helps set the PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D apart from most other charcoal grills that are made from steel. This certainly spares you problems with rusting and corrosion.
The teak side shelf is visually appealing. Still, it’s a little small, and when it is fully installed it isn’t as rock solid as you would like. Simply having it hang there on a hook like a basic tool also seems like a little bit of a shortcut. If you have the space to leave the shelf permanently installed, you could try wrapping the attachment points in lock tight or pipe take to help them hold firmly in the long term.
Assembly isn’t too bad. With a simple household tool kit and the ability to use it, you should be able to put it the PK360-BTTX-D together in around an hour or so. If you prefer there are some online retailers who offer an expert assembly service.
The four independently controlled dampers allow you to carefully dial in the airflow. This of course, also means that you can closely control the heat of the fire, and the heat under the lid as well as the density of smoke. With a little bit of trial and error, you can use the PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D for making a little slow smoked barbecue.
If you want to do to this, I would start out with fattier chunks of pork, like a simple pork roast, or maybe even a small pork shoulder. Fattier cuts of meat like this are more forgiving and won’t dry out as easily if you run into a problem with rollercoaster temperatures. Just be sure to place the fire on one side of the firebox and the meat on the other. The thermometer in the lid is also very accurate.
As a standard direct heat grill, the PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D does everything you expect from a charcoal grill. Still, a warming rack would be nice.
The grill grates are made from stainless steel without any sort of non-stick coating or enameling. This means they can get a little sticky when you want to grill something lean. Make sure to lightly grease the grates with an oil-soaked paper towel, right before you place the meat.
The PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D has a single grill grate offering 360-square inches of grilling space. This is just about right to grill up a meal for a family of four. If you want it to pull double duty as a smoker, you will need to stick to smaller things. You could also work in portions, like chicken leg quarters, half birds, or cutting pork spare ribs into 3 rib portions.
The integrated ash management system is a nice touch. It spares you the labor of trying to scoop up ash with a cup and a spoon.
Ease to Clean
The PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D is easier to clean than most charcoal grills. Once the fire has died down, you simply sweep the ash and spent embers down the hole in the firebox to the ash capsule.
The stainless steel grates can be a little sticky. So, make sure to give them a thorough scraping with a wire grill brush.
The PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D comes with a 10-year warranty. This is head and shoulders above other charcoal grills in its class which typically have a 5-year multi-tier or a 3-year limited warranty.
If you are in the market for a high-end charcoal grill, then you have to give the PK Grills PK360-BTTX-D some serious attention. The non-fixed shelve and the lack of a non-stick coating on the grates maybe knocks a star off. Still, PK stands by their product with a 10-year warranty!
- One of the best warranties
- Has won grill awards
- Cast aluminum won’t rust or corrode
- Detachable base
- Ash management system
- Shelf isn’t fixed or foldable it just hangs
- Stainless steel grates are sticky
- Shelf is a little small
- No warming rack