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Trying Again With the Roadtrip LX
May 28, 2009 (Updated Aug 15, 2009)
by Larry Carpenter
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
When we got our Traeger Li'l Tex earlier this year we decided our Bradley Smoker and RoadTrip LXE Grill were now surplus to us. We found them both new homes. We love our Traeger but decided we missed our RoadTrip for quick steaks or burger prep. We had a friend in Oregon (just across the Columbia) that had a membership at Camping World with a store in a south suburb of Portland, Wilsonville. The thirty minute trip to meet him there resulted in, not a new LXE grill, but new RoadTrip LX and a cover to keep it clean and dry since we keep it outdoors. We got a great deal with no Washington sales tax and we are, so far, happy with our choice. We will try to tell you why.
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Coleman RoadTrip Grill 9941-768 Propane
The upside of a Roadtrip grill is convenience and portability. They use disposable Propane (LP gas) bottles available almost anywhere. They can be converted, using a purchaseable accessory hose, for use with one of those 20 pound Propane bottles. Se far we haven't taken this step. The main reason is that the RoadTrip is very stingy in using Propane. One of the disposable bottles will last through several grilling cycles. Portability is great, with the fold-up nature of the grills. The LXE won this contest we think, with its attached wheeled legs that made a roll-around with nice handle when folded.
The LX is really in two parts. One is the grill itself which can be used standalone as a tabletop grill when at the park and a picnic table is handy. The stand folds flat and has two side trays that come in handy. But the trays for the LXE slide in and stay with the main grill. The grill fits snugly on the stand which has a steady and solid feel when properly unfolded with its legs extended and the trays inserted to hold the legs in place. We find it convenient to leave the stand at home when we use the grill at the park or travelling.
Both grills have 285 square inches of grilling surface on two interchangeable grids that are sort of half-moon shaped. The LX we now have comes standard with one porcelain-coated (on one side) aluminum grill and one coated aluminum griddle. The LXE comes with two cast-iron grills. We added a second grill, in cast-iron, to our LX and will probably replace the original aluminum with cast iron in the future.
Both grills use the same 20,000 BTU two-burner assembly which consists of two rings approximately centered under the two grill halves. Both burners use a piezo-electric spark generator for matchless lighting. Each burner is separately controllable with its own valve that gives a range of heat from almost low to wow!
Both grills have an integral lid, ours in blue and detachable and the LXE in red, that closes to allow dome-type cooking. Both have latches on the lid for transport. Our experience tells us that things cook quicker and more evenly, using less Propane in the process, with the lid down. For grilling we usually pre-heat the grill on high with the lid down for ten or more minutes, quickly sear the meat on both sides, then lower the temperature and close the lid to cook. We usually turn the food once about half way through the cooking process.
Grease handling and flare-ups
This is the area where we felt the LX was superior and that made our decision for us. The LX grill has a removable tray that surrounds the burners. It holds about two quarts of water to catch the drippings, even out the heating, and reduce flareups significantly. The LXE has a similar tray that does not remove and directs the grease to a small grease tray underneath. It works, but is harder to clean, allows more flareups, and is just not as convenient. Unless we are transporting the LX we can leave the water in the pan for a couple of sessions before emptying it and wiping it down.
The following is copied from the Coleman web site for those who like their details neatly gathered
Grill only weight: 24 lbs
Stand only weight: 17 lbs.
Grill on Stand weight: 41 lbs.
Dimensions: 50"L x 19"W x 36"HMade in China
Coleman RoadTrip Grill - Portable grill with 20,000 BTUs for hotter, faster cooking - especially in cold weather
Removable "Mix & Match" surfaces - use as a grill, griddle or stove
Authentic, open-flame, drip-through grilling
Portable grill, fast and easy set-up
Use on stand (included) or on table top
Matchless lighting with easy-to-use push-button ignition
Two fully adjustable, independently controlled burners
Lid locks securely during transportation
Cooking surface is 285 sq. inches
Lid detaches to accommodate large pots and pans
Detachable side tablesConvenient hooks for cooking utensils
Removable grease drip pan
Operates on 16.4oz. propane cylinder (not included) or adaptable to 20 lb propane tank (purchase of tank hose and tank required)
Extra Grill, Extra Griddle, Stove Grate and Wheeled Carry Case also available
So why, when we got rid of our RoadTrip LXE in favor of our Traeger Li'l Tex, did we go spend more money to replace it? The Traeger is not very transportable, but we didn't transport the RoadTrip often either. The Traeger is both a grill and a smoker. The RoadTrip is only a grill. But there is a downside to the Traeger you will read about if you read our review of it. It doesn't get its grill surface beyond about 425 degrees. The RoadTrip gives us that great seared look and taste for steaks and burgers. It leaves those neat grill marks clearly on hot dogs and brats. It is quick heating and not nearly as large as the Traeger for easy use.
And, mostly, we just missed the RoadTrip LXE. Luckily the cost of our LX was much better than the retail price of $219.00 or even the generally advertised prices we saw of $199.00. We got it for $154.09 with our friend's membership discount and no tax in Oregon. The RoadTrip LXE was $143.96 at the same store since there was no special on it. So, instead of the sale of the Bradley and the LXE going to offset the Traeger, it went towards a new RoadTrip LX grill. We are happy with the result.
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Amount Paid (US$): 154.09
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