Wake up, Kalamazoo.

Stop coasting, Alfresco.

A new kid is playing in your sandbox. And he aims to disrupt.

Let’s take a look at the high-end Outdoor BBQ market as of late. Alfresco Outdoor, the once beloved outdoor appliance staple has gone stale. With little in the way of innovation or iteration over the past few years, they seem content to coast on their laurels. Viking also once had a very busy Outdoor BBQ department, but there again a lack of direction and innovation has definitely put a damper on their sales.

Lynx stepped up recently – and with a beautiful update push to their Lynx Professional Outdoor BBQ and a new and lower priced “Sedona” line, they have easily swallowed up market share out from under Viking and Alfresco over the past 5 years.

Kalamazoo Outdoor, which has held the title of “the Rolls Royce of BBQs” for a while now, has also coasted on their wood/gas hybrid platform. Don’t get me wrong, while it is a great and robust grill, it’s lack of exterior design polish, more difficult operation and inflated price tag has left the high end market prime for a new approach.

Enter the Hestan Outdoor BBQ Grill.

The Hestan Outdoor Grill on Deluxe Cart

Hestan Outdoor BBQ Grill

Hestan Outdoor is not new to cooking appliances. For the past few years they’ve been crafting some of the finest custom commercial cooking suites for some of the worlds top restaurants, like The French Laundry in Napa Valley. Hestan’s engineers spent years alongside chefs re-inventing the restaurant kitchen based on how chefs really cook. Their purpose-built design and powerful features have earned three Kitchen Innovations Awards.

And now they are bringing that knowledge and innovation to our backyard.

The first thing about a Hestan Grill you notice is the sheer stature of the appliance. It looks big, solid and imposing – exactly what you want out of a grill that costs as much as a nice motorcycle.

The Hood is Large and Imposing

The hood alone dwarfs most other outdoor BBQ tops in this high-end segment. It has a great weight to it, with a heavy duty hinging mechanism which allows you to move it to any position and leave it there. Great for controlling the airflow during grill time.

The Imposing Hood Design

The unit is extremely well lit, with motion activated “stadium” lighting on the inside of the grill, and LED lighting running along the entire outside of the grill illuminating your knobs.

 

Polished Stainless Knobs Illuminated by LED Lighting

Innovative Features

The rotisserie burners are located facing top-down on these grills, a first for outdoor BBQ’s in this segment and so smart a change you wonder why the other brands never thought of this before. By moving the ceramic radiant elements from the back of the BBQ to the top, you can now use them at any time for finishing your meat. Much like a chef would use a Salamander in a restaurant.

The units also come with embossed ceramic briquettes encased in stainless panels. These panels are reversible so that once the briquettes get dirty enough you can just flip the panels to reveal the clean side.

 

Hestan Grill Interior

Ceramic Briquettes

Trellis Burners

Glow-bar ignition is standard, so no annoying clicks – and if you’re using LP tanks, the tanks roll out from the back of the unit making tank changes easier than ever.

Trellis Burner System

The heavy-duty 321 stainless steel Trellis Burner™ provides up to 25,000 BTUs of power each. They are arranged in the perfect shape for ample heat distribution. The burners are also warrantied for the life of the product, so no more worrying about the long-term replacement costs.

Ceramic Infrared Burners

Some models can be had with infrared sear burners, for searing steaks and seafood quickly and efficiently. While also putting out 25,000 BTU’s of power, the ceramic sear burner works by heating a ceramic brick which glows red hot at a temperature of well over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The thick Stainless Steel grates scream quality.

5/16″ Thick Solid Stainless Steel Grates

Made entirely in-house, these grates are laser cut and brushed. They weigh about 20lbs each! The thickness means even heat distribution and retention, while also leaving us little doubt about their longevity.

Full Feature List:

  • Patent-pending Horizon Hood™ opens easily with spring-assisted
    hinges and holds at desired height
  • Patent-pending motion-activated Stadium Lights™ halogen under-hood lighting illuminates cooking area, while front control panel LED lighting keeps controls visible
  • Patent-pending ceramic infrared top burner delivers 12,500 to 18,000 BTUs for perfect rotisserie/searing/finishing with simple touch on function
  • Patent-pending heavy-duty 321 stainless steel Trellis Burner™ provides 25,000 BTUs of high-performance power
  • Patent-pending 5/16″ stainless steel  DiamondCut Grates™ are lasered in-house provide even heat distribution
  • High-performance variable ceramic infrared sear burners offer 25,000
    BTUs each
  • Room to cook with large grilling surfaces:
    • 30″ wide grill – 525 sq. in. primary grilling surface/ 189 sq. in.
      warming rack surface
    • 36″ wide grill – 653 sq. in. primary grilling surface/ 236 sq. in.
      warming rack surface
    • 42″ wide grill – 782 sq. in. primary grilling surface/ 282 sq. in.
      warming rack surface
  • Patent-pending symmetrical flip-to-clean radiant tray with
    monogrammed ceramic briquette
  • Concealed whisper-quiet rotisserie motor system features a chain-driven, single-speed, 6 rpm, 50 in-lbs motor
  • Marquise™ accented control panel and hood handle with commercial-grade end caps
  • Patent-pending lasered in-house DiamondCut™ 5/16″ stainless steel
    warming rack with three vertical positions and concealed storage
    when not in use
  • One-push automatic ignition system
  • Lifetime warranty on welded body, DiamondCut™ grates and warming racks, Trellis Burner™, variable sear burners and rotisserie burner
  • LED front control panel lighting with simple touch on function
  • Heavy-gauge, welded body construction
  • Stainless steel removable drip tray for easy maintenance and cleanup
  • Monogrammed temperature gauge with cooking zone marks
  • Infinite position monogrammed removable smoker and handle for
    wood chips or smoker pellets
  • Zamak die-cast knobs, burner indicators and bezels
  • 1/2″ NPT rear gas supply connection
  • Porcelain broiling pan with rotisserie spit and forks
  • 120V, 60 Hz, 7 amps
  • Choose 12″ built-in double side burners or stainless steel worktop
  • Marquise™ accented side cart handle and commercial end caps
  • Interior pullout drawer accommodates grilling tools
  • Flip-down front panel with commercial grade handle for access to gas
    tank and pullout drawer
  • Recessed Marquise™ accented panel
  • Left side Marquise™ paneled fold-down side shelf for extra work space
  • Extra-large gray front wheels and commercial-grade gray casters for
    smooth cart movement and 360° maneuverability
  • Pullout tray for LP gas tank storage

Every edge is welded and cleaning polished.

Related Reviews:  Outdoor BBQ Reviews

In Conclusion

Kalamazoo is no longer the sole “Rolls Royce of BBQ’s”.

Hestan is giving them a run for their money. Considering the equivalent sized Hestan grill is still many thousands less than its nearest Kalamazoo competitor they are well placed to appeal to those who want the finest outdoor grill money can buy.

Hestan’s attention to detail in the design of the product and the unbelievable level of fit and finish on these grills leaves us stunned. Hestan has created a outdoor grill that we feel is one of the best on the market today, and when price is factored in we feel it will have no problem finding a place in the heart of many BBQ enthusiasts.

Anthony Rocco

About The Author

Anthony Rocco

Founder and Editor of Appliance Buyer's Guide. With over 10 years experience selling appliances and designing kitchens, and having grown up in the business, I have a unique perspective on todays offerings in the Appliance world. Currently Managing Director at The Kitchenworks in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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