Before the haters start in, yeah, it's a gasser. I have enough ways to cook meat using sticks, charcoal and pellets that I've earned my stripes, and a gasser is convenient for weekday lunches and weeknight dinners. Haters can go hate in someone else's thread.
My Weber gasser has seen better days. It's been through 15 Chicago winters and it deserves a rest. So, after a ton of research and reading every review I can find (including reviews from Larry Gaian at Embers and Flame and PatioDaddio, both Brethren) I decided on a Saber Cast 500 Infrared Grill to replace it.
My reasons? Actually, several. Build quality was a big factor. Saber uses commercial kitchen grade stainless (304). Everything else in the same price range uses lesser grade stainless. Also, the overall construction of the grill is impressive. The biggest factor was the way it cooks. The Saber grills use an infrared cooking system that gives a great sear and also uses less propane. They claim 30% less, but I'll see what my actual usage is. I've been looking at infrared grills for a while and wasn't happy with the quality of the lower cost systems, and can't justify the cost of a Tec or similarly priced grill. The Saber grills are in a similar price range as the high end Weber Genesis grills and the Weber Summit grills, and I was looking at a Weber Genesis S330 anyway, so this fit into my budget.
So… On to the toy
It’s a three burner with a side burner. Saber makes a model without the side burner, but it doesn’t have as much stainless, so I went for this model. Who knows if I’ll use the side burner or not. They also make a higher end three burner that is all stainless and has a two ring side burner, but I couldn’t justify an extra $400 for that. I’ll use the extra cash for meat
Each burner has a separate gas control. The knobs are nice and big, which is good for my big hands
there is also a separate thermometer for each burner. As you’ll see as I get to the detail pictures, each burner is also in it’s own burner box, allowing for multi-zone cooking.
There is an electronic ignition system plus crossover ignition to light the burners from each other.
The grates are all stainless as are the IR emitter plates below them…
The burners are also stainless and as mentioned each is in a separate burner box…
Below the burners is a grease tray…
the local dealer has been cooking on one of their floor models for 6 months and they have only a little ash in the grease tray. Most of the grease from the food is burned off by the IR emitter plates.
The side burner has a brass burner and a reversible grate on top (for a wok, probably).
The folks at Saber recommended burning off the grill on high for 20 minutes to clear any residue from the manufacturing process. They also recommend coating the grates and IR emitter plates with a high temperature oil to season them and then cooking some burgers (80/20 beef) so I decided that we would have burgers for dinner tonight
The local grocery store has what they call Pub Burgers. They are basically ground Angus beef in an 8 oz patty. Normally I buy ground beef and make my own patties, but the Pub Burgers were on sale and less than buying ground beef . I seasoned the patties with Dizzy Pig Cow Lick Steak Rub and tossed them onto the Saber that was preheated at Medium. I left them for three minutes then gave them a 90 degree turn for another three minutes then flipped them.
After three and three on the other side I temped them and they were about 115 in the center. I moved them up to the warming rack to finish while I grilled a couple of slices of sweet onion.
Once the burgers were medium rare I moved them back down to the far right burner (which I had turned off) and put on a slice of provolone. I also put the buns, which had been brushed with olive oil infused with garlic onto the grates and gave them a toast.
The finished burgers (It was getting dark, so the pictures aren’t the best)
and the buns and onion.
Inside I added a little mayo to the bun and some sliced tomato and avocado and some green leaf lettuce.
and then some cole slaw.
BTW, this meal is also entered into the Noobians vs. Veterans Throwdown
! This would be a great opportunity to enter a throwdown, veteran or not! Come join the fun!
The burgers were nice and juicy and had a nice sear on the outside. The buns had a nice crispiness to the grilled side that added a nice texture to the sandwich.
Overall I am impressed with the Saber. Friday night steak night will be the next scheduled test