Landman Bravo Premium Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker Box
Barbecue is a word with many definitions. For some it means burgers, brats and hotdogs, cooked on the grill during the Fourth of July. For others it brings about visions of shredded meats and sauces slathered sloppily on a bun; served with a side of coleslaw and a slice of Texas toast.
For those on the other side of the world, namely Asia, it might force memories of thinly-sliced meats — beef, chicken or pork — cooked on a charcoal-fueled hotplate in the middle of a restaurant.
(Here is an overview to charcoal grilling if you are looking for more information.)
Regardless of style and execution however, it’s pretty obvious that barbecue doesn’t mean “by oneself.” No matter where you are in the world, if you’re eating barbecue, you’re usually with friends, family and associates, people you know and love. It makes holidays, fuels parties, feeds us all before the big game. That’s why, when you’re the host of such a momentous occasion, you have to make sure you’re cooking on a quality product, something that can almost do it all.
Say hello to the Landmann Bravo Premium Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker Box. Grilling. Smoking. If you like living one-dimensionally, in a world with onlyor’s, and no and’s, then stop reading right now, versatility ahead. Otherwise, proceed. Check it out for yourself.
Design is the difference between easy-to-use and almost impossible. Many headaches have been had trying to cook with poorly constructed smokers and many big toes have been bruised kicking the corners of inferior grills. Not to mention the money wasted, the dinners ruined and the parties lost, all thanks to shoddy craftsmanship.
Good thing the Bravo Premium is built with simplicity and convenience in mind. Just take a look at it. The silver doors in front — and the black one on the side of the smokebox — allow for easy access to the coal and wood chip trays so that you can load and reload when you’re running low without having to compromise the temperature in the main chambers. And the smokebox even has its own lid and cooking grate which means, if you want to, you can barbecue your meats and veggies directly above the smoke — an option not often seen on your typical smoker.
Undoubtedly though, one of the greatest features this particular smoker-grill combo has to offer are the silver levers that can be seen sticking out of the front of the grill, beside those silver doors. These levers allow you to raise and lower the charcoal trays in both the smokebox and the grilling unit. Raise them high to help sear a steak or move them down low and let those ribs roast for hours. (And then, if they need to be moved even further away, you can always place them on the warming rack inside of the grilling unit. It’s almost too easy.)
Smokers and grills need space. If these hot, smoke-producing appliances aren’t given room to operate, they can damage your home, ruin dinner and, in some cases, even start a fire. The Bravo Premium has both a grill and an offset smoker, which means it needs twice the space. Measure it out and accommodate accordingly. You wouldn’t want to singe the outside of your home.
70.3 inches wide, 46.8 inches tall, the Bravo Premium holds a depth of 27.5 inches. (That’s almost 6 feet wide. Keep that in mind.) Also, it weighs a whopping 128 pounds. Luckily for you though, the Bravo Premium comes equipped with a set of four caster wheels that lock and move, great for storage and mobility.
Strong. Durable. Tough. Dependable. These are the words you want used when looking for a quality smoker-grill combo. Another one that comes quickly to mind is heavy duty. Heavy duty steel. Porcelain coated cast iron grates. Dependable caster wheels that lock and hold. A stainless steel temperature gauge. These are the words used to describe the Bravo Premium.
NOTE: Iron, oxygen and moisture often do not mix. If left out in the elements unprotected, the Bravo Premium and its various parts can and will rust. Follow these simple steps to keep it from running red.
(1) Wipe the insides with a bit of vegetable oil after every clean.
(2) Buy a durable cover — Landmann sells one on their website at www.landmann-usa.com.
(3) Store it in the garage or a place with temperature control.
As its name suggests, the Bravo Premium is charcoal-fueled. For men and women who don’t mind getting a little dirty and doing some extra work, charcoal can be the most fun fuel to use. Charcoal-fueled grills and smokers don’t start with a flick of a button, and they often take a little bit of extra elbow grease to keep them running consistently, but ask any seasoned charcoal user and they’ll tell you that the stuff burns hotter, smokes better and, with the help of wood chips, infuses your food with the greatest array of flavors. (Not only that, but real fire is so much more fun to mess with. Stoke it once and you’ll feel like a god.)
And, in the case of the Bravo Premium, you’ll not only get those high temperatures and that smoke-ability, but, because of its fully adjustable charcoal trays, you’ll get the kind of control that you might otherwise only find on a gas grill. You can fill up the two trays, move them up — to within a few inches of the cooking grates — or move them down. You can fill up the smokebox and smoke and grill like a meat-loving maniac. Or, you can fill up a single charcoal tray and leisurely cook your meats and veggies using indirect heat.
For the best results, allow the charcoal to burn for about 10 to 15 minutes before throwing your food on the grill or adding any wood chips to the fire. Once that time has passed, check to see that the charcoal has an ashy look to it — a soft gray coating — and that all unnatural odors have completely dissipated — you should only smell natural smoke. You might also need to even out the charcoal. Just use your poker and spread it out as flat as you possibly can without sending it over the side.
There’s not many people in the world who just smoke and grill for themselves. More often than not, people who like to barbecue have a wide network of family and friends. And when all those friends get together, if there isn’t enough food, it’s always a terrible time. Nobody enjoys having to split their hamburgers, hotdogs and rib racks in half just so everyone can fill their bellies.
Good thing the Landmann Bravo Premium has 1048 square inches of total cooking space. Over half of it, 581 square inches, is found in the main grilling unit, perfect for steaks, burgers, brats and hotdogs. (Or ribs and pork roasts if you’re using the smoker.) And then, when those are all done, pink in the middle and brown on all sides — except for the brats and dogs, of course — you can move them up and away from the heat, placing them on the 227 square inch warming rack.
Care to cook in the firebox? No problem. It has 240 square inches of real estate for you to work with, ideal for direct-smoking small meats and veggies.
NOTE: There’s also plenty of storage space on this model as well. To the left of the grill is a side table, great for when you’re prepping those veggies or when you need a place to plate those evenly-roasted chicken quarters. There’s also a large cabinet underneath, in case you need to store any of those tools and/or accessories you’ll inevitably acquire once you really get to grilling.
It’s all well and good if there’s plenty of room on the rack, but can it cook? That’s always the question that inevitably arises once you find out just how much the grill can actually carry. (Because what good is a man-sized grill if it can’t sear a steak, or a woman-sized roaster if it can’t properly smoke a rack of ribs?)
Luckily for you, the Bravo Premium’s optimum cooking temperature is around 350 degrees. (And remember, the charcoal trays are adjustable. The higher they go, the closer they get to your meat and veggies — up to an inch away from the grates.) Conveniently placed air vents, positioned on either side of the grilling chamber — and one on the side of the smokebox – also allow for heat control. Open them up to cool things down or close them tight to keep in the heat. Speaking of which, the overall temperature can be monitored by the rather useful stainless steel temperature gauge positioned at the center of the grilling hood.
The offset smoker also boasts a rather modest optimum temperature of around 250 degrees, great for that low-and-slow style of smoke.
NOTE: For all the novices out there, grillers and smokers alike, the Bravo Premium comes with a handy dandy guide that has in-depth instructions on how hot your meat needs to be for eating. (For example, the inside of a medium-rare steak should reach up to a minimum of 145 degrees.) Just set yourself up with a quality meat thermometer and you’ll be grilling near-perfect lamb shanks in no time flat.
When smoking, it’s important to keep a watchful eye. Once the temperature starts to dip below 200 degrees, you might want to think about adding some more wood. Generally speaking, 1 to 2 pounds of wood smokes for about an hour and each pound of meat takes about an hour to cook.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And where there’s fire, there’s almost always a bucketful of ash. Cooking with charcoal and wood chips can be a very messy business, unless of course you have the right kind of appliance. (Otherwise you might find yourself spending twice as much time cleaning up as you do cooking. And that’s not fun for anyone.)
We’re not saying that the Bravo Premium is the easiest thing to clean — it is still a grill after all — but the people over at Landmann have helped to simply the process. Each of the grill grates are easily removed, scrubbed and rinsed. And, for all that ash, there’s an ash catcher that covers the entire underbelly of the grill. Slide it out and dump it. It’s as easy as that.
PRO TIP: Defense is the best offense when it comes to keeping your smoker-grill combo debris free and looking new. Always apply oil to the cooking grates before smoking and grilling. This way you won’t have to clean up last week’s barbecue residue every time you want a freshly grilled cheeseburger.
Don’t let the laundry list of parts and the rather lengthy, nearly 20-part instruction manual scare you away. The Bravo Premium takes some time to build but it’s simply constructed. As long as you have an adjustable wrench, a pair of needle nose pliers, a screwdriver and an open afternoon, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to finish it in less time than it would take for you to smoke a thick brisket.
Landmann offers a 90-day returnable guarantee for defects in material and workmanship, minus the ash tray. Per their Use and Care Manual, “The ash tray is specifically excluded from this warranty, as cleaning and [maintenance] is vital to its life.”
NOTE: For prolonged ash tray use, it’s often best to line its base with a bit of tin foil.
For its modest price, fine finish, capacity and overall convenience, the Landmann Bravo Premium Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker Box is a one-two knockout punch. If you want to help define barbecue and host a few friends, smoking and grilling to your heart’s content, then the Bravo Premium might be just the one for you.
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