A few months ago, the folks at Saber Grills contacted me and asked if I would like to do a review of one of their grills (the Saber Cast 500 to be exact). Uh, abso-flippin-lutely! They delivered the grill and it sat in the garage for a few months while many a project was completed before baby number three arrived and then when he did, the review got pushed back further still. Looking back, I’m trying to figure out why I didn’t build this thing sooner! It is a fantastic piece of grilling equipment.
I won’t go into the building of the actual grill, other than it was a breeze. I mean, I didn’t snap on the logo plate and connect it to a propane tank. It required about an hours worth of work, but I’ve put together a lot of grills, and this one was a pretty simple. Really intuitive and pretty well done.
The first thing I noticed after assembling it is it is really heavy. It weighs in at over 200 pounds for a four burner grill (one of the burners is a side burner). The steel is heavier gauge than most stainless grills. The lid seems more like that of a Big Green Egg in terms of weight than a gas grill which shows the quality of this cooker.
Look at that pristine grill grate! Can’t wait to spark this bad boy up and get some grease on it:
And that’s not the only grill grate. It has a secondary cooking area on a rear upper rack that I feel every grill ever made should have:
But I can’t slap any meat on just yet. After assembly, it is recommended to coat the grates with grape seed oil and give it a high burn for about an hour to season the grates and cook off all the remnants of the manufacturing process. Don’t forget the second part of the two piece grill grates:
After an hour, the grates turn a light copper color with a little oil yet to burn off in the corner:
Don’t sweat the little bit of grape seed oil that didn’t burn off. It will burn off after a few more cooks. Now time to put some meat on the grill. It was national Filet Mignon day, so I felt that was the perfect inaugural cookout:
Oh, my are those some fantastic grill marks! Infrared grills do something magical for steaks. Not only are the grill marks outstanding, but infrared grills produce juicier meat over standard gas grills. If you are a steak fiend like myself, then an infrared grill is a must. Some will argue that all these grills can do is steaks and burgers. I would disagree. Because I tossed on some roma tomatoes as well as that steak:
When the tomatoes were done, I tossed them on that upper rack and pulled my steaks to rest:
That first steak was lonely, so I had to have a few of his friends over to cheer it up:
And just what is that on the grill? That can’t possibly be lettuce, right? Oh, but yes it can:
This is starting to turn into a well rounded meal despite gas grills only being good for steaks and burgers. And if you have never tried grilled lettuce, I can’t stress enough how great it is! Here is a link to the most popular post on our site, the Grilled Romaine Salad.
And here we have nice char on that romaine:
But you can’t smoke on a gas grill, right? Absolutely. I’ve smoked pork tenderloin, ribs and even pulled pork on a gas grill. And while giving this Saber a run through I did some planked salmon:
Oh, and don’t forget the white asparagus I did with it:
To sum up the good:
- Outstanding quality
- Grills everything wonderfully from steaks and salmon to asparagus and tomatoes
- Perfect sear marks
- Ability to smoke on it
- Last, by no means least, the meat is juicier than regular gas grills
Now to the bad, and the list is very short.
Don’t touch this part of the handle when the grill is hot:
It didn’t give me blisters, but it wasn’t pleasant. I will say, after touching that end piece of the handle a second time, I never touched it again. Something about pain shooting up the palm that conditions the pitmaster rather quickly.
Now the other bad part of this grill and just about any grill with the under grate thermometers like these:
That burner is set to low and it is showing as 600 on the thermometer. When it is on high, it goes above 700. Seems like there is little difference between low and high, except when I had all the burners on low, my Thermapen showed a much different temperature inside the cooking chamber:
If you don’t have a Thermapen, I don’t know why. I mean it is a must have for any serious griller. You can see all the cool specs on these things here. Oh, and remember the blue ones read the fastest! Now back to the review.
The under grate thermometers are too close to the burners and give a false high temperature. I thought they were really cool, but when they show 700 degrees in 10 seconds yet I can hold my hand over the grill for another 10 seconds, there is something not right there.
To sum up the bad:
- The brackets for the handle get pretty hot
- The under grate thermometers look cool but are not very accurate
Now on to the ugly. Just because Saber sent me a free grill, there is no way I’m not going find something wrong with it. No grill is perfect. Albeit, this one had much fewer flaws than the vast majority of grills out there. The ugly consists of two things. One is a small dent on the side burner shelf that could only be seen from this angle:
From the other side, I couldn’t even see the dent. These things happen in shipping. It’s a small dent or warp of the steel. It will not impact the food it makes whatsoever.
The other part of ugly won’t rear its, well, ugly head for a while. It’s the two piece grill grate system. Cleaning them is kind of a pain and there is no way to do it without getting really dirty. So wear some latex gloves and an apron. Trust me.
So basically, I found four things I don’t like with this grill. That’s an incredibly small list. Is it worth the $999 suggested retail price? With the prices high end grills bring in these days, absolutely. Fantastic grill!