Per usual, we are always on the lookout for tailgating products to try out. One of the key ingredients to any successful tailgate is fairly obvious but also a challenge to find. A reliable grill. After some searching around, I wanted a grill that could be used at home, in the parking lot for tailgating as well as a reliable camping grill. The system that caught my eye was the Camp Chef Explorer. This “system” really seems to have it all and we have put it through the ringer in various scenarios. I should note, this was not something that the fine people at Camp Chef sent me to review, this was a purchase my girlfriend made and the product has worked out so well I decided to share it with you all. You’re welcome, it’s just the kind of guy I am.
The Camp Chef Explorer has several simple, yet great features for someone like myself. The things I was looking for specifically were portability, durability and effectiveness. I also was specifically looking for a propane grill, more on that a little further down the blog. As far as portability goes, this system is amazing. The model I have features removable legs that secure very nicely. The grill breaks down to fit easily into a trunk and sets up within minutes for quick use and breakdown. We decided to purchase the additional carry bag and I am extremely happy with that choice. Not only does it keep the grill from dirtying up the car, it also makes for easy transportation. The grill also features a removable windscreen to keep the flame from being affected by weather.
In addition to the grill itself, we purchased the optional cast iron griddle/grill. These are very durable and easy to clean. Since they are removable, it also allows for a burner to remain free for using pots or pans. They were very easy to clean and we also elected to get the carry bags for them. I would highly recommend the bags in this case especially as the grill/griddles tend to not only get greasy after use but also accumulate some soot for the first several uses. The system as well as the grill/griddle accessories are made to take some abuse and not flimsy at all. Very durable and not something I have felt uneasy about throwing into the trunk.
As far as effectiveness goes, this system is pretty amazing. Aside from the typical grilling, the burners are made to put out 30,000 BTUs per burner which would work extremely well for boiling and frying which I plan to try this winter. The versatility here is what impressed me the most. When camping, we were able to grill for lunch and use the griddle for pancakes and eggs for breakfast. A week later we were in the parking lot grilling burgers and brats. The system hooks up to a standard-sized propane tank and has adjustable temperature controls. Maybe my only “complaint” if you could even call it that is that the temperature takes a little getting used to. I am not even sure I would call that a negative, it just means the burners will run very hot until you get a feel for the temperature control.
In the end, this is a system that I would absolutely recommend to friend and family as a total solution for the outdoor cooking enthusiast. I would rate the Camp Chef Explorer Outdoor Cooking System and very yummy 5 out of 5 bacon-wrapped cheddar brats.