When my Char-Broil Commercial Series stainless steel grill imploded (literally) after just three years of service (yes, I kept it covered), I decided it was time to step up to a better outdoor cooking station. Yet, at the same time, I wasn’t willing to pony up for the 4-figure price tag of the Webers and other premium grills. My other prerequisites were that it had 4 burners and a side burner.
As usual, I did some hardcore research, both, online and in person and found that the old adage, “They don’t make ’em like they used to” really held true. Especially, in the low to mid price range. The hoods were light and flimsy, the burners made of cheap Chinese aluminum, and the casting of the fire boxes was shoddy, at best. No wonder most grills don’t make it through more than a few seasons of use anymore.
Then, I stumbled upon the Broil King line while walking through my local Lowe’s store. After feeling the made in the USA and Canada quality, and later discovering that Broil King was made by the same company that has been the sole Weber distributer north of the border since 1986 and producer of the renowned Broil-Mate line since 1989, I decided to take the plunge on their Broil King Baron 440. In fact, my first thought was that it looked like a Weber on steroids … more on that shortly.
Being a hands-on type of Neanderthal, I opted to save the $50 offer for store assembly and put it together myself. I unpacked the box and followed the easy directions. Although, the instructions stated it was a two-person job, I found it to be quite easy flying solo – EXCEPT when mounting the cast iron firebox onto the cart frame! That really needs a second person to do it properly, safely, and without damaging your new grill. Total assembly time was 2 hours. Though, an added pair of Cavehands for the entire process would have reduced that a bit.
By putting it together, I really got to appreciate some of the features and appointments of this bad boy. The recessed 10,000 BTU side-burner, which closes flush with the shelf giving you added workspace when not in use, comes near flush when open allowing for the use of bigger pots and pans than other grills can fit. The thermometer, which in my tests was very accurate, is large and ergonomically embedded into the Broil King logo. The locking casters also come with adjustable leveling feet, which is great for uneven surfaces under the grill. All the components of the Baron 440 fit and sit well, coming together flush, to give it a rock solid appearance and feel.
The hood has that Weber-like high profile giving you extra headroom for things like Beer Can Chicken and Standing Rib Roasts. Both, the burner shelf and the side shelf fold down making storage and transportation a breeze. The knobs are large and smooth for ease of operation, and the handles are all over-sized and strong for years of trouble free service. With the 40,000 BTU stainless steel Dual-Tube burner system, Stainless steel Flav-R-Wave cooking system (which reduces flare-ups very well), and Sure-Lite electronic ignition system (which can light any or all of the four burners), I feel like the innards of this grill won’t implode any time soon. Plus, with the stunning mix of black porcelain enamel on the hood; black powder coat on the doors; and stainless steel on the shelves, front panel, and hood/shelf bolts; the Baron 440 is pretty easy on the eyes.
I know what you’re saying, “Cave, it sounds great. But, how does that baby cook?!?!?”. In a word, amazing! After seasoning the heavy duty cast iron grates as suggested, I threw on some Poppa Mike’s Legendary Gnarly Burgers for the first go. I figured, if I was going to mess anything up, it might as well be on a burger instead of a steak. Though, the grill performed flawlessly – firing right up, heating up quickly, and squelching any of the flare ups you can often get with ground meat. By the way, the burgers came out perfectly, as did the caramelized onions I did on the side burner. The next time out, I went for a dish that called for a little more finesse from the Baron 440 … some Cedar Plank Teriockeye Salmon. Again, the grill worked phenomenally well, cooking the fish to moist juicy excellence, and the rice pilaf on the side burner was done just right. When it was time for a Steak ala Cave and baked potato dinner, the Broil King heated up to 650° in short order, seared the sirloins flawlessly, and baked the spuds to perfection on the porcelain coated warming rack. I’ve since done everything from Tri-Tip to BBQ Chicken and Ribs (all done with indirect heat, and a cast iron smoker box I added), and Kabobs to Galbi (requiring consistent, even heat across the cooking surface), and I can honestly say that this grill does it all and makes outdoor cooking a true pleasure.
Available in both Natural Gas and LP versions. With 664 square inches of cooking area (444 sq. in. primary area) you have plenty of room to cook for friends and/or extended family. Or, if you have a more intimate meal planned, you can light just one or two of the burners and get your groove on. Throw in the Lifetime Warranty on the cast aluminium components, 5 Year Warranty on the burner system, and 2 Year Warranty on all remaining parts and paint, you have a grilling machine you’ll be able to depend on for years to come. I highly recommend the Broil King Baron 440 Grill.
MSRP – $599, seen online as low as $449
Cave Club Rating: 5 Clubs
Cave Club Scale
5 Clubs = The Missing Link
4 Clubs = Rock Solid
3 Clubs = Better Than Sharp Stick
2 Clubs = Not Fully Evolved
1 Club = Should Be Extinct
©2014 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This review originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.