I tend to hold on to old things. I really keep them way too long. It doesn't matter if it's socks, t-shirts, electronics, or BBQ's. Seriously, I still have cords to hook my VCR up to a T.V., because for some reason I'm convinced that I will all of a sudden need these 20 year old cables in the very near future. The same is true for my old BBQ. I had that grill for over twelve years. It's not because it was extremely expensive, or it worked like a champ, I just got attached to it.
I had always figured that I would wait to replace my BBQ until it either collapsed in a pile of rust, or it was miraculously rejuvenated to "out of the box" condition. I then found myself at the Dad 2.0 Summit and talking to the people from STOK Grills. I'll be honest, I was also lusting after their STOK Quattro BBQ. It actually has a unique system of inserts that can used for different types of food. You just remove the circular grill grate on one or both sides and replace it with the insert of your choice. It looked very cool but I was skeptical. Thankfully they gave me the STOK Quattro to take home and try for myself. I put it through the ringer, testing all sorts of food. Here is what I found.
First of all the Quattro definitely has the specs to keep up with any food you throw on it. It has 4 burners, 450 sq. inches of primary cooking space (600 sq. inches total), and 48,000 BTU. I have used it many times over the last two months and it always starts on the first try. Not to mention it heats up quickly. Let's move on to the real selling point, the insert system. First, take a look at the short video below so that you can get a picture of how the insert system works.
The inserts currently available for the STOK Quattro are the grill grate (included), smoker/infuser, cast iron kettle, griddle, pizza stone, grilling basket, vegetable tray, wok, kabob and rib rack, and chicken roaster. Each insert ranges in price from $10-$55. I have tried most of them and have been pretty impressed with the quality and cooking ability of all of them. The one thing that has been challenging is cleanup. Many of the inserts say they are non stick, but with grilling you get some tough sauces and fluids baked on there. I learned that you should always use non stick cooking spray on the inserts before use.
The nice thing about cleanup is that you don't have to cleanup an entire kitchen when you are cooking a whole meal on your grill. The Quattro is stainless steel so wiping it down is very easy. I do recommend cleaning the cooking area as soon as possible. You will want a grill brush that can get in tight spaces as cleaning this grill takes a little more time because of all the nooks and crannies around the insert area.
My Favorite Inserts:
The Rib and Kabob Rack Insert
Why else would you have a grill if not to make ribs and kabobs? They pretty much go hand in hand because if you are just making burgers and steaks then your BBQ license should be revoked. This insert helps the ribs and kabobs to cook evenly as well as not stick to the grate. I especially love how easily you can turn the kabob sticks.
The Chicken Roaster Insert
I have never loved roasted chicken as much as when I made it using this insert. It was simple to prepare and tasted delicious. In fact, you may just find yourself feeling sorry for the roasted chicken at the grocery store next time you make a trip there. MY TO DIE FOR RECIPE WILL BE POSTED SOON.
The Grilling Basket Insert
I made asparagus and it was so easy and perfectly done. You can pretty much throw in anything in the basket that will normally fall through the grate. One rule is that if you are cooking vegetables on the grill, you must always barbeque meat as well. It's just the right thing to do.
There are a few accessories you will need. The first is the insert removal tool. The insert tool is essential for easily removing hot foods. It comes standard with the Quattro. The STOK cover fits great while allowing easy access to the cabinet without taking off the entire cover. Another useful accessory is the insert storage bracket. You can mount multiple brackets in the cabinet under the grill. These will keep your inserts organized.
Overall, I am very happy with the STOK Quattro. It works reliably, I haven't found any dreaded "cold spots" on the cooking area, and it is very versatile. However, cleaning does take a little more time and effort. Is it worth switching to if your current grill is still in great shape? Maybe not. However, If you are looking for a new bbq anyway, I would definitely check out the Quattro first. It retails for $299 from Target. In this price range, the STOK Quattro would be at the top of my list.