A new grill brand brings new ideas to the top of the grill world with the takeover of a portable grill.
Nature and barbecuing make a perfect couple. Regardless of the location, grilling brings people together and forces them to slow down their role.
Still, bringing a yard-grade grill to a campsite is a hassle, and portable versions tend to be weak.
NOMAD, a new company from grill-centered Texasbuilds a high quality and technically advanced portable grill that will be proud of on the patio at home too.
NOMAD Grill: The Basics
The NOMAD grill Delivers up to 425 square inches of grilling space (when purchasing a different cooking grate) in a 28.2 pound (verified) package that closes like a suitcase for extreme portability.
The material, component and build quality are second to none, which makes the NOMAD grill a premium charcoal grill and smoker that will impress on the tailgate, at the campsite or in the garden.
The grill has a unique technology that keeps outside temperatures low for unlimited placement options.
Construction and material quality
The unpacking of the NOMAD grill showed an unbelievable quality in all areas. The 28 pound weight for the closed size of 21.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 inches was the first indicator of high structural integrity.
The perforated exterior made of anodized aluminum with a high-temperature silicone cladding and a strong handle made of cast aluminum and silicone contributed to the first-class feel and aesthetics.
By releasing a pair of generous, silicone-coated metal bars, the NOMAD grill was able to open like a suitcase, with a ribbed cooking box made of anodized type III and cast aluminum in each half.
An almost continuous, sturdy-looking metal hinge connected the halves and opened smoothly. And a convex grate made of cast stainless steel stuck to the top of each cooking box at a high temperature Samarium cobalt magnets.
A silicone-covered damper adorns the side of each grill half. And finally, a bimetal thermometer from Tel-Tru Manufacturing completes the construction.
It’s hard to convey how impressive the NOMAD grill looked and felt to start with. It was one of the most impressive industrial design and manufacturing exercises I’ve seen in an outdoor-oriented product.
Tech in a grill?
The most impressive feature of the NOMAD grill is what the brand calls “advanced thermal architecture”. In a patent-pending design called SurfaceSafe, the physical separation of the cooking boxes from the outer housing enabled the grill to be securely placed on tailgates, wooden or plastic tables, or similar surfaces.
Another unique form of technology in the grill was magnets; The convex (for rigidity and carbon-free) grillage stuck to the cooking boxes via magnets. The actuation of the dampers, in which both the outer and inner cooking boxes were involved, took place via magnets, as these are not physically connected.
Ribs and type III anodization on the hob surfaces are intended to improve thermal efficiency and rigidity. At the same time, NOMAD claims that the inlet and outlet mufflers create a convective flow of air to speed up cooking without increasing energy requirements.
The NOMAD grill at work
First, no matter where I put the grill, it drew looks and comments that are generally revered for works of art or exotic cars. I admitted the grill was stunning to look at, and I’m not the one who gets into the aesthetics of outdoor products. I want them to work and be reliable. But my first brain bubble on first use was, “If James Bond had a grill, this is it.”
The only thing that is inconsistent with the 007 analogy is that this is a fully manual grill. There are no pellets, no Wi-Fi connectivity, no app. With the recent rage about pellet grills, I got used to the automatic start and the app-enabled temperature control. The NOMAD is a “real” grill and requires the appropriate skills and techniques.
I opted for a fireplace charcoal starter – nothing complicated – but it was time consuming compared to pellet or gas grills. And therein lies the beauty of proper planning: it forced my friends and I to slow down, interact with each other, and enjoy a relaxed pace.
Once the coals were covered with ash and glowing, I tossed them into one of the cooking boxes and attached the grill. And again, I had to get involved in the process that, ironically, wasn’t tech. I used my senses to cook the meat to the degree I wanted.
I also tried the closed smoke mode at home with pork. The thermometer felt accurate, unlike my other charcoal grill thermometers. And the dampers allowed adequate temperature control for the duration of the smoke. And true to design goals, I grilled and smoked on a wooden storage table without causing any damage.
When packing the grill, the closed dampers and self-adhesive, seal-free lid contained the ashes and prevented my trunk from dusting.
I accidentally tested the durability when I got home throwing the ashes into a ring of fire. I dropped one side of the grill and it violently hit a boulder. Surprisingly, the grill was not damaged. At the other end, the boulder suffered.
NOMAD Grill Review: Conclusions
The NOMAD grill and smoker is proof of industrial design, durability and quality. It’s a packable grill with technology including SurfaceSafe that puts it in a class of its own.
However, if you don’t like slowing down and getting into the grilling process, this may not be the appliance for you. It requires patience and proper procedures when compared to other modern options.
And then there is the price. An MSRP of $ 599 puts it in the budget of a full size pellet grill.
However, if portability, impeccable design, and great durability are what you want, then the NOMAD Grill and Smoker is the top quality portable grill in my opinion.