Perfect for on-the-go grilling
I grew up around a grill. My dad is an expert grill master and I’m happy to say that his passion for the culinary art has rubbed off on me. It’s unfortunate that the climate where we live isn’t very conducive to grilling year-round. If we are lucky, we might catch about six weeks total throughout the year when it’s comfortable enough to be outside over a hot grill. So, what is a person that is passionate about grill to do? You find a ‘smokeless’ grill.
Gourmia as a company has the mission of creating tools for cooking healthy meals. And as such, they have provided a unique solution to my grilling problem — a smokeless grill. In truth, it’s not ‘smokeless’, but it greatly reduces the amount of smoke that is produced when you grill over an open flame (see the video below to see how much smoke is expelled). The Gourmia GBQ330 is designed to be portable for activities such as camping, picnicking, tailgating, or even at home. The grill still operates using a traditional charcoal heat source, but it also has an electric fan (operated by 4 AA batteries) for heat control. The grill has almost 12 inches of cooking surface to work with. The cooking plate is non-stick and removable for easy washing (dishwasher safe).
The Gourmia grill comes with a carrying/travel case that fits it snugly and a set of tongs that can be used to lift the cooking plate even when it’s hot. Gourmia actually states that the grill can be used as a stove if a pot is placed on top of the grill. The grill isn’t tiny, but it’s still very portable at 16” x 16” x 10” and weighing 7.8 pounds.
Being that I have experience setting up and using grills, I was ready to take this challenge head-on. I opened the box and was ready to start cooking. The first piece of advice I have for anyone using this grill — give yourself plenty of time for set-up. As it turned out, there was a fair amount I had to do in order to get the grill plate ready for cooking. I had to fill the grill with charcoal and get it started. Then, just like a traditional charcoal grill, I had to wait for the flames to burn down before the real heat started circulating and warming up the cooking plate. The electric fan is nice, but it seems like all it does is circulate the smoke and doesn’t do much to help with heat.
Therefore, the grill plate is really what cooks the meat. For my test, I set the grill up outside on our patio. I grilled hot dogs, a steak, and some burgers. While the grill did a pretty nice job of cooking the hot dogs in a timely manner, it struggled a bit with the steak and the burgers as you can see from the photos. This image shows the steak after it had been cooking for approximately 20 minutes. You can see how the edges are still very pink indicating that the inside still had quite a bit of time until it was a medium-well, which was the desired temp for the steak.
Unfortunately for me, the length of time it was taking to cook the meat caused me to have to retreat indoors as a storm moved through the area s I was trying to finish up. Since the grill was ‘smokeless’ I took it inside and placed it near an open window. I do want to stress that it is NOT recommended that you use this grill indoors since it makes use of charcoal and lighter fluid. But as part of my testing and to see just how well the smoke was reduced, I took proper precautions when I brought the grill indoors. I think, all in all, it took me just under an hour to cook the one steak, 3 burgers, and 2 hot dogs. They all turned out very nice and we had a lovely dinner, but I didn’t expect it to take quite that long.
Clean up of the grill was easy. I brushed off the grill plate and placed it in the dishwasher and then I removed the drip pan from inside the grill to clean out the grease. That was it. Once it was all clean, I placed it back into the travel case.
The Gourmia Portable Charcoal Grill is a really nice kitchen gadget to have around. It’s perfect for on-the-go grilling and can handle most cooking tasks. I would love to be able to get it hotter, but I don’t see it being able to do that without a lid to contain the heat.