U-MAX 4-Burner Portable Propane Gas Grill Review
Gas griddles are incredibly popular. They give you the ability to make all three meals on one cooking appliance. This is probably why you see them at so many cabins, hunting camps, and block parties where you need to feed a herd of people. Though one of the big gripes you hear from a lot of people is that while they appreciate the griddle, they wish they could grill over an open flame. Most people want the ability to sear things like steaks and chops over an open flame
U-MAX does their best to answer this issue by creating a large gas grill, with the grates that you expect a gas grill to have. You can then add the aftermarket replaceable flat top griddle of your choice. This lets you fry pancakes and bacon in the morning grill brat and burgers for lunch, then finish the evening grilling up steak or chops.
You get a lot of things wrapped up in the initial purchase of the U-Max 4-Burner Gas Grill. It even comes with a cover, which is a necessity with a gas grill like this, as well as a set of tools. There’s even a large gear basket to let you stow a griddle top and other accessories. All without getting in the way of the propane tank holder.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
When it comes to the engineering and thoughtful design of the U-Max 4-Burner Gas Grill, it’s hard to argue with it in comparison with a lot of the competitors. The overall material build quality is good, though the igniter isn’t perhaps as reliable as they intended when the engineering design was approved before running it through the factory.
As far as assembly goes, there is a fair amount of elbow grease to the U-Max 4-Burner Gas Grill. Though they did go far enough to create instructions that are relatively easy to follow as well as providing step by step assembly videos online. All told, with the help of a handy friend, you should be able to fully put it together in under an hour.
The gear basket is large and the frame is sturdy, which you will appreciate. Two of the caster wheels lock, which lets you set it in place. Though the wheels themselves are a little on the small side. Ideally, it’s meant to sit on one spot for a long time rather than being wheeled out for a block party or a special event on uneven surfaces or widely spaced deck boards.
Natural gas fans should note that the U-Max 4-Burner Gas Grill was engineered without a conversion kit. This grill is meant to run on propane only.
With the U-Max 4-Burner Gas Grill, you have to think of it as a large rectangular gas grill that can also double as a griddle when you need it to. Any griddle top you choose will need to be properly cleaned, maintained, and stored to dole out a robust return on your investment.
When it comes to heat production each of the four propane burner elements is capable of producing up to 12,000 BTUs of consistent heat. The flames and fire ports are protected by stainless steel heat deflectors that spread the heat out evenly. You’ll appreciate this when a griddle top is added. Though there might still be some cold spots in the corners when you use it as a grill.
The grates are a little on the sticky side. You also need to give them a good scrape-down if you have just transitioned from using a griddle. If you plan to grill lean meat like boneless skinless chicken breasts, then you should lightly grease the grill grates before placing the meat on the chrome-coated steel.
You could argue that the best way to use this grill is to buy an aftermarket enamel-coated cast iron griddle, then let it live on half of the grill top. This will give you a griddle area for frying bacon or making pancakes and a grill area to grill meats over an open flame.
There’s a minor complaint to consider with the side tables in that they are just a little bit too small for times when you might have the griddle top completely loaded. Had it been made a few inches larger, you wouldn’t have to put large serving platters precariously close to the edge of the shelf.
The U-Max 4-Burner Gas Grill offers 564 total square inches of cooking space that is spread out across all four propane burner elements.
There are some nuts and bolts engineering details built into the U-Max 4-Burner Gas Grill that might not seem that special on paper, but they turn out to be particularly handy when you work with it in the real world.
This starts with the large gear basket under the fire box. It will hold a lot of things, including an accessory griddle, and grill tools. At the same time, it was engineered with a tank holder bracket off to the side, so the liquid propane tank never gets in the way of getting things out of the gear basket. This is not always the case with some of the competitors in this niche.
Ease to Clean
The U-Max 4-Burner Gas Grill can take a little extra effort to properly clean. The chrome plating is very sticky and needs extra oil, as well as careful cleaning. Ideally, you want to scrape it down with a nylon bristle grill brush rather than abrasive wire or steel wool, to prevent scuffs.
You also need to keep a close eye on the stainless steel heat deflectors, as they can gunk up when you use the U-Max 4-Burner Gas Grill as a standard grill.
If you need a gas grill, but you also want to use it from time to time as a flat top griddle, then you might want to move the U-Max 4-Burner Gas Grill up your list a few notches. It comes as a gas grill housed in a traditional griddle body. Adding accessories griddles to the equation will let you enjoy the best of both worlds.