Great size—not too big or small
Powerful and retains heat well
Easy to clean; food doesn’t stick
Heavy for its size
Handle is small and flimsy
Gets very hot
Don’t let its size fool you: The Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill is extremely durable and delivers big on flavor. Once we set it up (at our beach campsite and in our backyard), we were able to easily grill a variety of delicious foods without burning anything or using up large amounts of charcoal. As with any pan made of cast iron, this charcoal grill retains and radiates heat nicely and is very durable. In short, the Sportsman’s Grill is the epitome of a hibachi. It makes a great travel grill or compact at-home charcoal grill, is easy to transport and clean, and will last for years. Let’s dig into the details.
Setup Process: Can be done in minutes
There’s nothing else to say besides this grill is easy to put together. Period. The initial setup only required a few nuts and bolts to lock the fire bowl into the footed base. We then hooked in the wire bail, placed in the grates and slid in the fire door. It took us all of five minutes. The instructions included in the box and printed on the box were thorough and straightforward.
To start the cooking process, we spread charcoals out over the bottom grate, doused them with charcoal lighter fluid, and let them sit for five minutes before lighting a few. Once the fluid was burned off and the charcoals were gray and hot, we sprayed the grill with cooking spray and added our food.
Design: Sturdy and compact
The Lodge Sportsman’s Grill is sleek enough to keep in your yard and would fit right in at an action-packed tailgate. At the same time, it feels rugged enough for camping and fishing trips. It is, of course, definitely durable enough. Made of high-quality, American-made, pre-seasoned cast iron, the durability of this grill alone makes it stand out among any other grill in its category.
We love how “classic” this grill feels once it’s on and cooking, almost like cooking over a firepit. Another thing to love about the design of the Sportsman is that the surface of the grill is pretty broad for a grill this size. We were able to cook both vegetables, and meats on it at once.
We love how ‘classic’ this grill feels once it’s on and cooking, almost like cooking over a firepit.
Performance: Great food, easy cleanup
We cooked beef and vegetable skewers on this grill and were very happy with the results. The chicken and vegetables cooked evenly and fairly quickly, which we would attribute to the grill’s ability to radiate heat: It’s not just the part of the food touching the grill that’s cooking. Though of course, the traditional sear grill marks were an added bonus!
The chicken and vegetables cooked evenly and fairly quickly, which we would attribute to the grill’s ability to radiate heat.
Altogether, we were happy with the flavor and texture of the food and loved how none of our food stuck to the grill as we cooked it. We also didn’t have to use a lot of charcoal and didn’t need to feed it often. The grill itself retains a lot of heat, which can save you money in the long run.
One thing to note is that although this grill is considered “pre-seasoned,” you still need to season or sauce your food if you want some flavor. The seasoning they’re referring to is what creates the natural, easy-release properties of the cast iron, not a spice or flavor. Over time, however, it can add depth to your food. The more you cook, the better it gets.
From start to finish, the entire cooking process only took about 20 minutes. Afterward, cleanup was easy (since our food didn’t stick), although cast iron, in general, does take time to cool down.
The grill itself retains a lot of heat, which can save you money in the long run.
Features: Adjustable grill grate and door
The grill grate, which is height-adjustable, has excellent heat retention and gives your food those signature grill marks. The draft door was easy to adjust to regulate heat, and there’s a flip-down door so you can add coals or wood while you cook—a must-have for long tailgate parties.
Portability: Built to last
The grill is sized perfectly for a travel—not too big or small. It doesn’t have any small or delicate parts and is easy to transport, setup, and take down. To test its portability, we took it with us on a beach day trip and set it up at our site. While it was heavy to move in and out of the car, we really loved having it for our beach picnic and would absolutely use it again.
We had to be careful with this grill around kids and dogs because the entire grill thing very hot and has no lid.
The food we cooked was tender and flavorful and had the same grill marks we would get from a full-sized barbeque. The only downside? We had to be careful with this grill around kids and dogs because the entire grill thing very hot and has no lid.
Price: Relatively inexpensive
The Sportsman’s Grill is a great bargain considering its price and functionality. It could last you years if you take care of it, making it even more budget-friendly. Plus, thanks to its portability and versatility, you can get so much more use out of it than a lot of other grills. You can easily put this grill in the back of your car or on a wagon and take it with for a day of outdoor fun and great food. For small space, it’s also ideal to use as your main grill.
Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill vs. Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
There are a number of different options to consider if you’re in the market portable charcoal grill, but one stands out among others: Weber’s Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill. Unlike the Lodge we tested, the Go-Anywhere Grill has a steel grate and Porcelain-enameled lid and base. The lid locks and has an easy-to-grab handle that makes it super portable.
Compared to the Lodge, the Weber is smaller, lighter, and cheaper, but it won’t last nearly as long. It lacks the benefits of cast iron cooking: nonstick, easy cleanup, even heating, and durability. While both would satisfy the customer in need of a grill for tailgating, the Lodge grill is a better value overall since it’s rugged enough to act as your main grill in small spaces and go with you on camping trips without getting damaged.
Take it on the road!
The Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s hibachi grill is so convenient and durable, it’s perfect to take tailgating and camping but also use as your main grill if you don’t have a lot of outdoor space. Made of preseasoned cast iron, it delivers on flavor and is sure to be loved by both amateur and professional cooks.
- Product Name Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill
- Product Brand Lodge
- SKU L410
- Price $157
- Weight 30.6 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 19 x 8.2 x 10.2 in.
- Cooking Surface Dimensions 9 x 17.365 in., with .25-in. grill grate spacing
- Material Cast iron grill grates