Review of the Nomad Grill and Smoker: Does It Serve the Culinary Needs of Today’s Best Grillers?


It is fun to fire up the grill for the first time each year. If you’re lucky, you might get to keep yours out for the entire year.

The problem with grilling, especially when you’ve got an entry-level option, is that the equipment gets heavy. You’re lugging cast-iron products around your yard like a wheelbarrow, hoping that the hardware holds while jostling everything across your deck or patio.

The Nomad Grill and Smoker provides the perfect alternative. It’s a premium charcoal grill and smoker that has incredible portability. It comes in a lightweight carrying case, reminiscent of a toolbox or a suitcase, that delivers 425 square inches of total cooking space.

Nomad uses aluminum in the construction to ensure grillers receive a durable product for their investment. That makes it possible to take this grill to the backwoods campground you love or across the street for a BBQ party.

Does the Nomad Grill and Smoker deliver on its MSRP? Here are the details we discovered when giving this product a test run.

Features of the Nomad Grill and Smoker

When using the Nomad Grill and Smoker, the stand-out feature is the MagVent™ air controls. It’s a vent slider that uses high-temperature magnets to let you control the damper. It’s easier to use than the wheels you’ll find on traditional charcoal grills, prevents messes, and contains the ash nicely.

It’s sleek and intelligent, but you’ve got to be careful when preparing the grill to cook your culinary delights. The switch can get engaged in ways you don’t want during the setup, so it helps to review the setting before getting to work.

There isn’t another portable grill available with a feature like this one.

After you start experimenting with that option, a few additional features come to light.

1. Tel-Tru Thermometer

Tel-Tru is one of the best thermometer manufacturers out there right now. You can find their products in several different industries. Since Nomad included one with their portable grill and smoker, you can have confidence in the temp reading while cooking. It accurately shows your interior cooking environment up to 600 degrees.

With that said, you still run into the issue that other charcoal grills have when lighting them. If you have flames within the coal bed, the temperature reading can fluctuate. You’ll need to give everything a few minutes to heat up before relying on the information.

2. Anodized Finish

Nomad uses an anodized finish with the aluminum exterior to give this portable grill more durability. Although corrosion can get into the metal if you leave it out in the elements for an extended time, this product will handle any camping trip or RV adventure with ease.

If you forget to bring in the grill after making something for the family, you won’t need to worry about rust trying to form right away.

Even though the grill is lightweight, you’ll have some impact resistance with it. A drop from waist height isn’t desirable, but the product has an excellent chance of surviving the fall.

3. Cambered Grates

The Nomad grill and smoker uses cast and cambered grates with this portable design. The lock into place with more high-temperature magnets. That feature brings up one key benefit and potential disadvantage.

Since the grills are locked into place with the magnet, you can have them stay put while transporting the grill to your next location. The design heats evenly to support better cooking without having your chicken or ribs stick to it.

If one of those magnets breaks or disengages from the grill, it becomes complicated to use because that grate clatters everywhere.

What Could Be Changed About the Nomad Grill?

If there were one thing to change about the Nomad grill and smoker, it would be where the charcoal sits underneath the food. You must control your temperatures accurately to have a positive experience.

When the coal bed is hot and ashy, you can get more than sear lines on your meat. It takes a little trial and error to get your technique right, even as an experienced griller.

The cambered design pushes food away from the coals to give you some extra clearance, so the Nomad is better than other portables in this area. It could still improve the current design to offer a universal approach to grilling, especially for beginners.

Overall, the Nomad grill and smoker is durable, highly portable, and provides smoking benefits that other designs don’t include. It’s a tough little thing that produces tasty food when you’ve got a skilled hand. If you lug a portable camp stove everywhere with those little propane bottles, try grabbing this grill instead. You’ll find it to be a versatile tool that’s incredibly fun to use.


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