RiverGrille GR1038-014612 Cowboy 31″ Charcoal Grill & Fire Pit With Rotisserie Review

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RiverGrille GR1038-014612 Cowboy 31″ Charcoal Grill & Fire Pit With Rotisserie Review
7.5 Total Score
  • Comes with a rotisserie
  • 722 square inches of grilling space
  • Grill and firepit in one
  • Easy to assemble

Key Features

Many campers and people who spend time in the backwoods, need to cook over a fire pit, which is usually an imperfect solution. Even if you aren’t an avid outdoorsman chances are you like sitting around a fire pit on the patio, but you might not have extra room for a grill as well.

To fit both these niches RiverGrille’s offers their GR1038-014612 Cowboy 31 Inch Charcoal Grill and Fire Pit. It’s designed to burn natural wood as well as charcoal. There’s a heavy-duty cast iron grill grate, as well as a manual rotisserie.

RiverGrille took their time choosing materials that can withstand the heat. They also designed the rim with a special L-shaped channel to redirect drippings, juices, and spills

Construction & Ease of Assembly

For a fire pit that is meant to pull double duty as a grill and rotisserie. Yet there are a few little things to be mindful of with the 31-inch Cowboy. While RiverGrille did their best to choose heavy-duty materials, you still need to take a little bit of extra time breaking it in and getting it ready.

If you just load it up with a big pile of split wood and start a roaring fire, the intense heat might cause some warping. It’s best to start a modest charcoal fire and spread it out across the fire bowl. While you let it burn, you can get to work “Seasoning” the cast iron grill grates.

This involves rubbing a generous amount of vegetable shortening or flaxseed oil on every facet of the cast iron. Once you have it fully greased up, add more charcoal to the fire bowl to bring up the flames.

Then place the cast iron grill over the heat and let the microscopic hydrocarbon chains build up on the textures of the grates. If you are willing to risk your hands with a little flare-up, you can grease a clean paper towel and give it a second and third wipe down to really help the seasoning layer build-up.

This seasoning process is very important for imparting non-stick properties to the grill grates, as well as protecting the metal from corrosion. You see the 31-inch Cowboy doesn’t come with a grill cover. If you let a fire burn itself out and it rains overnight the unprotected cast iron could corrode.

When it comes to assembly, the simplicity in the design means the 31-inch RiverGrille Cowboy is very easy to put together. The rotisserie can be a little tricky, but if you take your time, and have someone else help hold the other end, it’s not all that hard to put together.

Grilling Performance

The 31-inch RiverGrille Cowboy offers “Fire Pit Cooking” for the times when you are out in the wild or simply cooking out on your patio. There is more than enough room to lay down a serious number of burgers and bratwursts.

The fact that it comes with a rotisserie is a nice touch. A lot of options in this class sell you the grill as a separate accessory purchase. Unfortunately, it’s a manual crank rotisserie, which will wear your arm out in under an hour.

RiverGrille does offer a special electric motor that is designed to fit the Cowboy’s spit jack. If you intend to use the rotisserie even once, you should plan on investing in it.

One major downside of this hybrid, fire pit, and grill is that it doesn’t come with a cover. They don’t even offer one as a separate purchase. This means you need to cover it when you aren’t using it to keep rainwater from mixing with lingering ash to cause corrosion.

Grilling Areas

The 31-inch River Grille Cowboy offers 722 square inches of direct heat grilling space. This is more than enough to grill up burgers for a full hunting camp. If you improvise a cover out of bent sheet tin, you could even use it to slowly grill medium-size pig or a pair of splayed turkeys.

Special Features

Includes a rotisserie which comes set up for a hand crank. However, River Grille does sell an electric motor that is only available as a secondary accessory purchase.

L-Shaped drip channel that helps divert drippings and other fluids away from the fire bowl. Just make sure to clean it out from time to time to keep congealed grease from clogging t.

Ease to Clean

Ash management and maintaining a proper seasoning layer on the cast iron grill grates are the two most important aspects of cleaning the RiverGrille Cowboy.

Even if you just use it as an occasional firepit, you need to make sure to clean out the ash before the next rain. Wet ash is very corrosive and will shorten the life of your grill. Make sure to cover it when not in use.

Once you establish a robust seasoning layer on the cast iron grill grates, you will still need to maintain it. This can be as simple as scraping down the grates and wiping vegetable shortening on it while the fire is till hot.

Warranty

The 31-inch RiverGrille Cowboy comes with a 90-day manufacturer warranty. This is a little bit on the light side for a grill or firepit in this price range.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a hybrid “Firepit and Grill,” then the 31-inch RiverGrille Cowboy deserves your consideration. If you intend to use the rotisserie at all, you either need to drop the extra money on the electric motor accessory or figure out just how much allowance your child needs to stand there spinning the spit-jack for hours.

If you’ve got a saws-all and a piece of sheet tin, you should make your own to keep with it. With these little tweaks, I think you’ll find the Cowboy will serve you well for years to come.

 

7.5 Total Score
Fire pit and grill in one with a rotisserie!

PROS
  • Comes with a rotisserie
  • 722 square inches of grilling space
  • Grill and firepit in one
  • Easy to assemble
CONS
  • Only a 90-day warranty
  • No cover
  • Rotisserie is manual
  • Electric rotisserie motor as an extra purchase
  • Needs to be broken in and seasoned
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