Coleman isn’t one of those names that just jumps out at you because you immediately associate it with grilling. They haven’t been doing it long enough, for that kind of recognition, but buyers don’t care how long a company has been operating; they want quality, and those who go camping and tailgating, want excellent portability. The Coleman Sportster Table Top Charcoal Grill has received some amazing reviews, but I wanted to see for myself, whether it’s really worth such praise, so I decided to compile this review, to let you in on, what it does, and how well it does it.
by Coleman [The Coleman Company, Inc.]
- 225 square Inches of Cooking Space
- Easy Assembly
- Easy Cleaning
- Collapsible for Storage
- Very Durable
- Excellent Ventilation
- Steel grates
Coleman Sportster Table Top Charcoal Grill Review (Official Site):
With its slanted legs and shape, it looks kind of like an alien staring at you, but don’t be off-put by this, or if you are, don’t be put off, because this is a very portable grill. The legs are strong and sturdy, and they can also be folded to reduce the amount of space the Sportster takes up in the car, or in the home when it’s being stored. The lid locks down, and the whole thing weighs only 17.8 pounds, placing it among the lightest super-portables around. Despite this, the Sportster is also very durable, with some good quality workmanship in the manufacturing process. The measurements are 22.1 inches in length, by 16.6 inches of width, and the height is 10.9 inches, so you will require something with you to place it on, for cooking out by the campfire; although this is not unusual for portables.
It comes practically assembled so there’s really nothing to do except start cooking, as soon as it comes through your door, which is rather refreshing in a world of grills that require lots of work to get them going. The idea is that it’s a grill for people who want quality food but don’t really like grilling. So, you take it out of the car, fold out the legs, place it down, turn on the push-button ignition, and start. It really is that quick, and the Coleman will heat up to a high temperature very quickly, so you’ll be spending more time eating than grilling.
The speed comes from the ventilation, this convection grill uses to regulate hot-air flow, but there is somewhat of a problem in the grates. The grates are made out of Steel, instead of cast-Iron, which is the best by a long shot for grilling evenly cooked food. It’s not unusual for manufacturers making low priced grills, to make this substitution, and Coleman did ventilate well, to compensate for the loss of speed accrued, by low heat retention grates; buyers should, however, expect a certain degree of unevenness in their cooking, as these grates will not disperse heat as evenly as other grates.
You certainly get a lot of room for cooking on the Sportster, as it has 225 square inches of space, just like its counterpart the Road Trip LXE. 225 square inches is huge for a super-portable at this price, and you’ll be able to fit large pots and pans on the cooking surface, as well as make dinner for the entire family. The whole grill is also porcelain-enamel coated, so there’ll be no more scraping debris from the surface of the grill after use. There’s also something traditional about the Sportster, that might appeal to purists, who buy charcoal grills because they like open-flame cooking, but don’t usually get much flame action on a small portable.
Despite the steel grates, which make for some unevenness, there is great ventilation provided that allows the Coleman to reach very high temperatures and therefore to cook quickly. And the design is good; it’s a very secure unit, with steps taken to ensure great portability, such as folding legs and a locking lid. The weight is low, and the measurements are as low as possible, given that you’re getting so much space. The lack of an assembly process and the porcelain-enamel certainly makes for easy operation, and purists will like the large open-flame environment. The Verdict: A pretty good grill at a fair price of under $80.