*Coleman Roadtrip (9949) Grill *
Through the past 20 years, Iíve moved to a different state or country every four years or less. Each place Iíve traveled Iíve purchased a grill for backyard barbecues and dragged them along on camping and hunting trips as well. The grills usually donít meet my expectations for form or function and are falling apart and/or non-functional by the time I have to move again. My latest grill purchase was a Coleman Roadtrip grill, and I think it will be my last grill purchase. If itís not, Iíll definitely replace it with another one the same or at least similar.
The Coleman Roadtrip grill is a compact grill powered by propane. Itís designed to be fueled by small, portable propane canisters, but can be adapted to run 20lb or larger tank as well if your intent is to use it at home on the porch or patio. The grill folds easily into a small package that will fit in most trunks with no problem, possibly even a Corvette trunk, but I havenít tried it. One of the strengths of the Roadtrip grill is that there are also a number of accessories available for it, to include a normal wire burner/pot and pan support, half griddle, full griddle, cover and travel case. Given itís adaptability, I canít imagine a better grill for camping or the back patio. Iíve purchased the grill, cover, bulk tank adapter, wire burner and griddle and all are sound quality.
The grill is small and burns hot. The grates are thick cast iron, absorb and control heat, and will scorch your food quickly if not watched. Because the grill is very shallow, the heat is much closer to food than Iím used to, so the first few times I used the grill, I burnt food because, despite having the flame all the way down, it was too hot for normal cooking times. I found two solutions. The first was to turn the heat on one side and put the food on the other side, which Coleman refers to as ďindirect heatĒ. The second solution is to cook the food for less time, which is arguably healthier, more efficient, and much quicker. If you like to grill for hours, this isnít the grill you want, itís fast and efficient, without an option to slow cook all afternoon unless you only use half the grill and indirect heat.
The quality of the grill and all of its accessories is excellent, with good finish, adequate gauge metal and quality fasteners. The exterior finish is thick powder coat which handles the heat and weather without blemish or failure. The interior finish is thick stainless, and grease and burnt in food wipe out easily by hand with no chemical scrubbing needed. The grill can also be cleaned by turning both burners on high and burning scraps to ash, but I prefer not to chance destroying the finish or temper of the grillís metal. If you buy one, be sure to season the grates as you would any other cast iron so that food doesnít stick when grilling. Re-season each time you grill as the heat will burn seasoning off during cooking.
The only drawback to the grill that Iíve noticed is its size, which is diminutive compared to most other grills. I plan to supplement it with a charcoal grill if I have more company than my family plus a couple guests. The diminutive size is beneficial when packing and stowing, and also in efficiency, so itís a wash for me, and doesnít count as a strike against the grillís value.
I look forward to taking this grill camping and hunting where I can use the grates to cook chicken or steaks in the evening, then adapt it for breakfast with a griddle on one side and burner for coffee and/or hot chocolate on the other side.
The Coleman Roadtrip grill is an excellent piece of equipment, well-built and versatile enough to fit multiple roles. It can also take the place of bulkier grills and stoves for camping and hunting trips, making it an ideal primary or even back up stove to bring along in the truck bed or camper.
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