If you have done much cooking with compact camping grills, you know they tend to have one thing in common: they’re a pain in the ass. Some are annoying to start, others are just enraging to clean. Some are too heavy to be viable for any campsites, picnics, or beach parties where you can’t cook 10 feet from the car, while others sacrifice sturdiness and durability in the name of lighter weights.
I could go on and on (and I’d love to), so feel free to get me talking about camp stoves and grills in general any time. But today, I’m not here to bitch and moan, I’m here to celebrate. Because the little cube-shaped grill that is the Cuisinart Venture CGG-750 Portable Grill is just awesome on so many levels — like the three levels that make up the grill itself.
See, when you look at this squat, charming grill fully assembled, you see a black base, a thick red midsection with a dial, and a handsome wooden top. And a handle, too. Yep. That wooden top pops off – and remember it, because we’ll be using it soon – to reveal a grill top that has 154 square inches of cooking space, or about enough room for six burgers or two big steaks. Or some skewers and whatnot.
The bottom level of the grill, also known as the base, pulls off to give you storage space for a one-pound propane tank as well as to reveal the four legs the grill stands on during use. You power it on and up with a single dial and can crank the burner up to an admirable 9,000 BTUs, more than enough heat for anything you want to cook up or to boil a pot of water.
Now remember that lid? It neatly tucks into the base to create a stable cutting board and/or serving platform, both quite handy especially when you’re out in the woods or on the beach or anywhere else without tables nearby.
But perhaps the best part of all comes when the cooking is done. Unlike with so many compact camping grills, the cleanup here really isn’t that bad. The grill grate pops off for easy scrubbing and the burner tube is easily wiped down, while the nonstick coating of the compartment that houses it can be cleaned with damp rags or paper towels. Use a bit of soapy water for deeper cleaning, let it all air dry, and then pack it back down into that cute and oh-so-portable package, which also makes for convenient storage in the garage or hall closet.
Cuisinart Venture Portable Gas Grill