Today, we will cover the Lodge Sportsman’s grill’s specifications, pros and cons, user opinions and what makes it probably the best hibachi style grill on the market (no exaggeration). This particular cast iron grill is heavy duty, well built, and constructed to last a lifetime. Many buyers have praised the unit for exceeding their expectations in so many ways.
So, if you are looking for a low maintenance hibachi grill and the perfect charcoal flavor with no hassle, the Lodge is for you. It builds heat fast with very little fuel, holds heat for hours (yes, hours!), and has excellent temperature control thanks to the adjustable draft door (for extra ventilation) and the fuel loading door. It is worth noting that only premium hibachis come with an adjustable vent.
The Lodge Sportsman’s grill is perfect for tailgating, family camping, small group events, and even parties (for the guests to grill small treats themselves). It cooks food for up to four people and with proper care will last a lifetime or two – a true old school Lodge product.
About Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill
This grill has a sturdy but simple construction. With minimal assembly, it is ready for use right out of the box. It comes pre-seasoned. You will notice that just 2 bolts are keeping everything else (6 pieces in total) together. The unit has a steel wire handle, a draft door for extra air circulation, a charcoal door, and a lower cast iron grill to keep the fuel off the bottom. This simple construction allows perfect control of the heat for the perfectly seared and mouthwatering grill there is. This grill is a lifetime investment at an incredibly reasonable price.
This grill offers enough cooking space for four New York stakes and just as many hot dogs or a couple of burgers and a skillet of veggies. It is a hibachi style charcoal grill which means that it is an open grill shaped as a bowl to hold hot charcoal in. Its top advantages include excellent heat retention, minimum fuel input, and versatility (it can be used both outdoors and indoors as a grill or makeshift space heater in a tent for example).
You might wonder why buying this hibachi instead of a $30 one. Well, the cheaper models are usually flimsy, retain no heat, and will be thrown away after a couple of uses. The Lodge Sportsman’s Grill will last a lifetime with the proper care, is sturdy and well-made, and holds heat more than you’ll need – there are numerous reports of users toasting marshmallows over it hours after cooking their meals without refueling it.
One of its downsides is its size. It is a little grill, and if the group you are cooking for is large, you’ll have to cook in batches or bring a second one. However, we guarantee that you’ll be making the best tasting burgers or steaks ever if the only grill you have used so far is a gas or electric one. Everybody will love it!
Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill Specifications
Advantages And Disadvantages Of the Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill
- Heats up quickly and retains heat: The Lodge puts out an incredibly amount of heat for the amount of fuel used and retain the heat for hours due to its thick cast iron walls and construction. You can use both charcoal and wood with it. The Japanese used hibachis as space heaters for hundreds of years due to these positive aspects.
- Low maintenance: The Lodge’s top cooking space is easy to remove and clean. However, don’t let moisture get in direct contact with the grill for too long as it may start rusting (even the seasoned part, i.e. the top cooking area)
- Very sturdy: This grill was built like a tank for real heavy-duty use. With proper maintenance (see more about seasoning below), it could last forever and be used without problems by your grandchildren as well. This is a huge positive when you take into account its price.
- Food has (incredible) flavor: Unlike the food cooked on electric or gas grills, the one cooked on a hibachi will taste wonderfully. This is due to the subtle smoke flavor produced by the burning coals and the cast iron grate, which heats evenly the food without sticking it. For the best flavor, we recommned hardwood charcoal, not the cheap alternatives.
- USA-made: All the parts of the Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill were proudly made in the United States by a family business that was founded in 1896.
- Grill has 2 height adjustments: The Lodge’s grill grate comes with 2 height adjustments. However, to adjust the height, you’ll have to take all the food off the cooking area, which can be a major inconvenience when you are in a hurry.
- Rust issues: Multiple rust issues have been reported when it comes to this grill. However, this is because it is 100% made of cast iron, and cast iron needs to be seasoned from time to time. The grill’s top cooking area was seasoned by the manufacturer with vegetable oil, but you need to do it once in a while too.
- Heavy: At around 30 lbs, the Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill is a bit more on the heavy side, which doesn’t make it very portable despite being advertised as so. On the other hand, the extra weight increases heat distribution, which will make your cooking even better.
- This grill is a work of art
- Well-built and sturdy
- Fantastic heat retention and heat control
- Simple, heavy duty, and low-maintenance
- Very affordable
- It will last a lifetime or more
- A classic American product
- Cooking area rather small
- Because of cast iron, rust issues may appear
- When transported by the handle, the Lodge tips forward a bit
Common Topics in Reviews
- Some customers have complained about the Lodge not having a lid.
- Some buyers have complained about the grill getting rusty after some time.
Many customers have said they wished the grill came with a lid so that they could properly cook whole chicken, roasts, or whole hams on it. But just like all hibachis, the Lodge Sportsman’s grill is designed for thinner pieces of meat like steaks, chicken parts (breast, wings, etc.), fish, sausages, hamburger patties, veggies, etc. You can wrap the food in tinfoil to smoke it.
As for the complaints about the grill getting rusty, there is a simple solution: seasoning. Just like any other items made of cast iron, the Lodge Sportsman’s Grill needs to be seasoned every now and then. If rust has affected the body of the grill, spray paint it with black grill paint, multiple layers. Do not use paint on the cooking area as Lodge seasons all its cast iron grills’ top cooking area by default.
If rust has made it to the grilling surface, you’ll need to season it yourself. What is seasoning, though? It is an entirely different thing than adding salt or spices to enhance food’s flavor. Cast iron seasoning is a process that creates a thick, blackened layer on the metal that protects it from rusting. You’ll just need vegetable oil or fat and a source of heat. Here’s a full guide to how to do it.
Note that every piece of cast iron cookware from cast iron skillets and pans to woks and grills needs to be seasoned. We recommned seasoning the Lodge’s cooking surface once in a while especially after extensive outdoor use.
The Lodge Sportsman’s Grill is, in our opinion, the best hibachi-style grill there is. Made of quality materials and with an impressive design, this USA-made product is guaranteed to last a lifetime or two. Do you own the Lodge? We’d love to hear about your experience with it!