Tailgating Gear Review: The Bubba Keg Grill

Bubba Keg Grill If you are new here you may have missed my previous posts regarding testing out of the Bubba Keg Convection Grill. Enough time has passed and I have cooked on it a number of times to gain adequate knowledge and experience to offer a thorough review and endorsement. It is rare to come across a product that delivers on all of its promises and continues to exceed expectations as you use it again and again. The Bubba Keg Grill is one of those products. As I used it, each time I would discover new features that would impress me even more. The Bubba Keg Grill is truly a highly versatile piece of cooking equipment and I would recommend it to any tailgater.

You probably have heard the name Bubba Keg after seeing or using their insulated mugs and coolers. Building on the same technology that helped them become a household name in keeping things cold, Bubba Keg developed this grill to deliver the highest quality thermal convection-style cooking. I found the Bubba Keg Grill to be highly versatile that it gets hot enough for high-temperature searing to fire-oven baking to oven-style roasting to smoking or slow cooking. (Click images to view large size)

The key to the Bubba Keg Grill’s versatility is the top and bottom adjustable dampers that allow you to control and maintain the perfect temperature. Adjusting the amount of oxygen and air flow to the coals with both dampers allows you to find the perfect air flow combination for exactly the type of cooking you want to create. I was able to get the Bubba Keg Grill upwards of 650 degrees for high temperature searing and also was able to maintain the heat down to 225 degrees for slow smoking. Unlike other grills, the Bubba Keg Grill is so well insulated that it easily retains the natural moisture in foods, burns less charcoal and the exterior remains cool to the touch. Speaking of the exterior, it resembles a beer keg and that just makes it all the more desirable while tailgating.

Bubba Keg Grill GratesSome of the other cool features of the Bubba Keg Grill include two adjustable grill grates: one cast iron and one chromed steel along with removable side trays. But any self-respecting tailgater will agree the Bubba Keg Grill engineers had us in mind when they added in two bottle openers right on the grill’s lift handle. The Bubba Keg Grill uses 100 percent natural lump charcoal and includes a multi-tool used to adjust the dampers, move and clean the grill grates and rake ashes. My experience has been the multi-tool is invaluable when working with your Bubba Keg Grill. The biggest kicker for those of us who tailgate regularly, the Bubba Keg Grill comes with a receiver bar to attach the grill to your trailer hitch so you can take it with you on the road.

Okay, alright, so I have gone on and on and gushed on how great this thing is. There has to be negatives right? Well, from a strictly tailgating point of view, yes, there are some drawbacks but they are very few. One such drawback I found was that even though you can attach the Bubba Keg Grill to your tow hitch and take it tailgating, you have to remove it and place it on it’s stand to cook on it. (The manufacturer warns to never cook on the Bubba Keg Grill while it is attached to your vehicle.) Secondly, although the Bubba Keg Grill heats up quickly and cools down quickly by adjusting the top and bottom dampers, it still uses charcoal as its fuel source. Some tailgating parking lots strictly ban the use of charcoal or any type of hot coals while tailgating. Even though you won’t need to dump out the coals once you are done cooking on your Bubba Keg, these tailgating lots have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to charcoal. Lastly, the Bubba Keg Grill is great as a convection cooker or a smoker but many tailgaters do not have the time to invest in that long of a cooking process. The recent reduction in tailgating times at NFL stadiums across the country this past season make smoking meats too time consuming of a process. Tailgaters that are allowed a more leisurely time in the lot would love the Bubba Keg Grill for its slow cooking abilities because they have the time to enjoy it. Lastly, the Bubba Keg Grill weighs over 100 pounds so it is not quite lightweight and compact to transport to and from your tailgate party. You’ll need a second person to help you attach it to your tow hitch and also to get it back on its stand once you are parked. Then again, who tailgates alone and can’t ask a neighbor parked nearby to give them a hand? Like I said, the positive aspects of the Bubba Keg Grill far outweigh the minor drawbacks when applied strictly to bringing it along to go tailgating.

bubba_keg_logo.jpgI have cooked on my Bubba Keg Grill almost every weekend since getting one. I have smoked a pork roast, beer butt chicken and even a Bacon Explosion. (If you have been following me on Twitter you would have seen these pictures weeks ago as I was cooking these items.) I have cooked carne asada and pollo asada as well. I have yet to use the Bubba Keg Grill to bake anything like cookies or pizza but I am sure there is plenty of time for that this summer.

All things considered, I would highly recommend the Bubba Keg Convection Grill to any tailgater or grilling enthusiast. It is now available at select Home Depot stores at a retail price of $599. To see demonstration videos on exactly how the Bubba Keg Grill works, visit the Bubba Keg Grill channel on YouTube. For more information on the Bubba Keg Convection Grill, visit the official website, BubbaKeg.com.