This week’s review is on the Hot Box Portable Grill from Hot Box Grills.
The Hot Box Portable Grill is an American Made charcoal grill made of galvanized heavy gauge steel with a high temperature powder coated finish and 370 Sq. inches of cooking space.
The dimensions of the HBPG are (W x H x D) 24 1/2 x 18 x 18 1/2 and the grill weighs around 50 lbs.
Below is a picture of everything that was included in the shipping box. It took me around 5 minutes to put the grill together and no tools were required.
The HBPG has 4 stainless steel legs and stainless steel hinges and 3 separate nickel plated grill grates. It also has 2 charcoal cooking tray heights (an upper level and lower level) with 3 separate charcoal trays that can be used in different combinations depending on if you’re smoking or grilling.
The HBPG was very easy to put together, so easy in fact that I was able to skim through the digital owner’s manual I had on my iPhone before I got the grill out of the box and then put the grill together without needing to look it over again.
To see a more detailed view with pictures of how easy this grill is to put together, go to this link here. That webpage also shows pictures of the optional HBPG carrying bags which are great for storing and transporting the grill. (Red carrying bags were included with my grill, but the red carrying bags have since been discontinued. Hot Box Grills will still carry the black carrying bags.)
Below are pictures of the HBPG once I had it put together.
The HBPG has 4 vents on it, 2 on the lid and 1 on each side of the main body of the grill.
Below is a picture with the ash pan in place and 2 of the charcoal trays in the upper charcoal tray level and 1 at the lower level. I was told by Dave, the owner of Hot Box Grills, that this is the most ideal setup for grilling.
When using the charcoal trays in the lower level while smoking or grilling for an extended amount of time, Dave recommends having some kind of heat shield under the grill if using the grill on a wood or plastic surface.
Below is a picture of the 3 separate grill grates in place.
After I had the grill put together I did the initial curing process per the instructions in the owner’s manual which can be seen below.
A few hours later I decided to grill some beer brats for dinner.
First thing I did was remove 2 of the grill grates so I could pour some charcoal into the 2 upper charcoal trays and I also opened the vent on each side of the grill. I then lit some Weber Lighter Cubes to get the charcoal going.
Once the charcoal was ashed over I put the 2 grill grates back in place and put the beer brats on.
After the beer brats were finished cooking I removed them from the grill and took them over to our other picnic table to eat with my family. Everyone enjoyed them including myself. (I also want to point out that all of the cooks I did for this review were done while camping with my family.)
A couple days later I decided to grill some hot dogs for lunch. I followed the same start-up process as my first cook.
Once the hot dogs were done I brought them into our 5th wheel camper to eat. I will admit I ate 3 out of the 5 hot dogs myself and they were mighty good.
The next evening I decided on grilling some pork chops.
I rubbed all 4 pork chops with Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub and then followed the same start-up process as my last two cooks.
Once the pork chops were finished cooking I brought them into our 5th wheel camper for dinner. They were delicious and my family and I ate them right up.
For my 4th and final cook I decided on cooking a 4 1/2 lb beer can chicken.
I talked to the owner of Hot Box Grills, Dave, and he mentioned he had recently smoked a beer can chicken and also that he posted a blog post about the process he used for cooking it on the HBPG. I followed the start-up instructions he used for his cook.
The first thing I did was remove all 3 grill grates since I wouldn’t need them for this cook.
I then placed 2 of the charcoal trays at the lowest level, one on the lower left and 1 on the lower right.
Then I placed the 3rd charcoal tray at the highest level in the middle, turned over, so I had a flat surface to place the beer can chicken on.
After that I opened all 4 grill vents and placed about 18 charcoal briquettes on each of the 2 charcoal trays on the lower level and used some Weber Lighter Cubes to light the charcoal.
When the charcoal was ashed over I placed the lid on the grill and waited for the temperature to get up to 350°F.
After the grill had reached 350°F, I brought out the beer can chicken I had already rubbed and ready to go.
I then placed the beer can chicken in the grill and also put some cherry wood chips on the charcoal as well.
After 40 minutes of cook time Dave’s blog post recommended taking 4-6 pieces of bacon and draping them over the top of the chicken. I did that and then placed the grill lid back on.
Once the chicken thigh had reached an internal temperature of 170°F (about 2 hours total cook time) it was time to remove it from the grill. I also removed the bacon from the chicken before carving it.
The chicken was very moist and juicy and had a wonderful flavor. I meant to save some for the rest of my family to eat, but unfortunately it was too yummy and I ate it all myself lol.
Below is a picture of some of that delicious chicken.
The Hot Box Portable Grill made for a great camping grill and I would bet it would be an even better grill for tailgating.
This grill was very easy to clean since all I had to do was dump the ash pan once the ashes had cooled and the grates were easy to clean as well with a grill brush or hot soapy water in the sink.
I was pretty impressed with how air tight the grill was. I was able to re-use some of the charcoal after a cook by shutting the vents down right away after I was done grilling.
If you’re someone who camps or tailgates a lot and are in the market for a new grill, the Hot Box Portable Grill should definitely be at the top of your list!
You can buy the Hot Box Portable Grill on the manufacturer’s site here.
Make sure to check back soon for another BBQ Tools & Tech Review!