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Nomad Grill and Smoker Review: The Best Outdoor Portable Grill

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by Helen
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Grilling is not limited to home kitchens, as many people love to cook outdoors while on the go. A portable grill is a must for camping enthusiasts and tailgating heroes. The ideal portable grill should be easy to carry, clean, and spacious enough to cook for more than a few people. The Nomad Grill and smoker offers all of these and more.

When I go camping or family picnics, I don't particularly appreciate using the grills provided by the campsite, which are often old, dirty, and covered in caked-on food residue. I have a dual natural gas and charcoal grill with a smoker at home, but I miss cooking with my Big Green Egg, which I sold several years ago.   Don't forget your portable fan or grilling tools.

Getting a second grill seemed like a good idea, but I only realized I needed a portable grill shaped like a briefcase once I discovered this brand's Nomad Grill and Smoker. Other people have caught on, as the Nomad is so popular it is now available at Lowe's.

The Need for a Portable Grill

Being from Texas, it's no surprise that we love to grill, BBQ, and smoke quality meats. There's nothing quite like the taste of a perfectly grilled steak, chicken, meats or smoked brisket, and having the right grill or smoker is essential to achieving that delicious flavor. Whether you prefer charcoal, gas, or wood-fired grilling, plenty of options exist to suit your needs and preferences. With so many great grills and smokers on the market, it's easy to find one that will help you take your grilling game to the next level.

Nomad Grill & Smoker

Nomad Grill
courtesy: Nomad
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Material: Cast aluminum body and stainless steel grate

The Nomad Grill and Smoker is a portable cooking device that is easily folded and transported like a briefcase. It comes with bright blue snaps and an ergonomic handle, making it easy to carry around despite its weight of 28 pounds. The device's exterior is made of anodized aluminum and has multiple holes for ventilation, along with vent sliders for damper control.

The grill's multi-layer construction features patented heat-dissipating technology, which ensures that the device's outer shell remains cool to the touch even when in use. This makes it safe to use on wooden picnic tables without the fear of causing any damage. After grilling, the device can be easily closed with its snap mechanism, which ensures that any ash and embers are kept securely inside.

The exterior of the device is also highly durable and resistant to corrosion. The brand claims that the device goes through a chemical conversion process that treats and protects it, which is true based on my experience.

Comparison With Other Portable Grills

The design of the briefcase is not only striking but also highly functional. I can use it as an open grill or a closed smoker. The cast-iron rack that comes with it can hold up to two racks of ribs or 15 burger patties, and users can purchase an additional grate to double that capacity to 30 burgers. 

Compared to the mini Weber Smokey Joe I used to take to tailgates and campouts, the cooking capacity is much better. The dual cooking surfaces allow me to keep ingredients separate when entertaining guests with dietary or allergy restrictions. 

The extra grate is lightweight and locks into place with magnets, and it doesn't rattle during transport. The honeycomb design of the grate prevents food from falling through the cracks, which is especially useful when cooking delicate ingredients like vegetables and fish.

courtesy: Nomad

Nomad Grill and Smoker Review

The charcoal used in this grill is proprietary and has a unique honeycomb shape that makes it stackable like Tetris cubes. It is made from dense fruitwood sourced from Thailand and emits less smoke and ash than other charcoals. The Nomad tumbleweeds make igniting easy, although a chimney starter is even more effective. However, since a chimney starter may not always be available, tumbleweeds are a convenient alternative and can be bought on Amazon.

My Experience With the Nomad Grill & Smoker

“We love grilling steaks on the Nomad because it requires less charcoal, and the fire doesn't need much attention. When I need more charcoal for smoking or cooking other items, I prepare my chimney with more embers to have it ready. The sliding dampers on the side of the briefcase and the embedded thermometer make smoking food easy on the Nomad. They help me maintain precise temperatures and remind me of my old Big Green Egg, which I loved.”

I remember using the Nomad Grill on a family picnic with my family. It was so easy to pack and transport, and we were able to set it up in minutes. We cooked everything from burgers, hot dogs, vegetables, and grilled fruit. The dual cooking surfaces allowed us to separate the vegetables and meat dishes, which was great for our group with different preferences. The grill's compact size and lightweight design made it easy to carry around and store in the car's trunk.  Explore the advantages of using wood-fired pits for BBQ.

On another occasion, I brought the Nomad Grill to a camping trip, which was a hit! The unique briefcase design drew attention, and everyone was amazed at how quickly we were able to set up and start grilling. We cooked up some mouth-watering steaks and even smoked some ribs using the closed smoker option. The embedded thermometer and sliding dampers made it easy to control the temperature and keep the heat consistent. The grill's durable construction and easy-to-clean design made it perfect for outdoor events like this.

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Final Thoughts: Nomad Grill for Outdoor Cooking

Overall, the Nomad Grill has become my go-to choice for portable grilling. It has exceeded my expectations in terms of its performance, durability, and versatility. Whether I'm camping in the woods or tailgating at a football game, the Nomad Grill has never let me down.

The Nomad Grill is versatile and can be used at home and on the go. It offers an additional charcoal cooking surface you can take to the beach, campsite, or tailgate. It is easy to use and clean and can be folded for convenient storage and transportation. It is an excellent choice for households that need to store grills inside, as there is no worry about ash falling all over the house. 

Although the Nomad is relatively expensive for a portable grill, it can be used with a gas grill at home, making it a significant investment. However, if the price is not justifiable or you don't like the design, we have a list of the best portable grills for every grilling preference.

Customer Reviews

Customers love the Nomad Grill, evidenced by its 4.9-star rating and 1841 reviews. People have praised its performance, durability, and versatility, making it a go-to choice for those who love grilling at home and on the go. Many have also commented on how easy it is to use and clean and how it can be conveniently folded for storage and transportation.

While some have noted that a portable grill is relatively expensive, most agree it is a worthy investment for those who take grilling seriously. 

Overall, the positive reviews and high ratings suggest that the Nomad Grill is a top choice for anyone searching for a reliable and versatile portable grill.

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