Welcome to my Lodge Sportsman Pro Grill Review.
Have you heard about this hibachi-style type grill that is at home in your backyard as it is on the road?
Whether you’re cooking outdoors with your family, having a few friends over, or going to a tailgate party, this grill is perfect.
You can also take it camping or to the park.
Anytime or place you want to do some outdoor cooking, the Lodge Sportsman grill may be just what you need.
But what makes it unique?
Let’s find out.
Lodge Sportsman Pro Grill Review
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Product: Hibachi grill
Price: See Amazon
Material: Cast iron
Dimensions: 19.38L x 9.69W x 7.56H inches
Weight: 33.25 lbs.
Features: removable grill grate, slide-out ash drawer, dual air vents, set of steel hook & carry handles
Assembly: attach grill grate to the base in two places with a screw, a washer, and a nut
Made in: the USA
Great for: Outdoor cooking for 4-6 people
Care: Clean with a brush or chainmail, dry thoroughly and add a thin layer of oil if desired
What is a Sportsman Pro Grill?
A Sportsman Pro grill is a hibachi-style charcoal grill made of cast iron and is unique to Lodge. After two years of not offering the grill, Lodge recently came out with a new model. The new features include four pieces compared to seven with the old model, meaning less assembly. And a sliding ash drawer which makes disposing of ashes much easier. The drawer also has dual air vents to help with heat control. The grill grate is squared and has a little more cooking space than the older model. One other feature that’s changed is that the grill now comes with a set of hook & carry handles instead of a bail wire for maneuvering.
A Little About Lodge
Lodge Cast Iron is a family-owned business in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
Joseph Lodge founded this company in 1896 and originally called it Blacklock Foundry.
However, after the building burned down in 1910, Joseph rebuilt and renamed the company Lodge Cast Iron.
Over the years, Lodge survived several economic downturns and thrived even when other foundries closed down.
And as business continued to grow, they built another foundry. The new foundry enabled Lodge to increase its manufacturing production by seventy-five percent.
Lodge makes cast iron and carbon steel cookware, though cast iron remains their primary production.
They offer a large variety of cast iron, including classic, enamel, chef, and Blacklock.
Additionally, Lodge carries bakeware, and several series, all of which are cast iron.
They also have many accessories and a line of cast iron grilling cookware.
Lodge continues to be a leading manufacturer worldwide and makes close to 2 million cast iron pans every month.
Answering Your Questions
Can I use this grill indoors?
I don’t recommend it. However, it can work if you have a fireplace with a flue so the smoke can escape.
How is the new Sportsman grill different from the old one?
Several of the features changed. Three of the most significant are the base with a removable ashtray, the hook & carry handles and the squared grill grate. With the old style, you had to pick up the whole grill to dump the ashes. It also had a bail wire for lifting and a rounded grill grate with slightly less cooking space.
Can I use firewood instead of charcoal?
Yes, but the wood pieces will have to be small. And keep in mind that wood will burn quicker than charcoal.
Does Lodge sell a storage bag for this grill?
No. Lodge only has a cover (not a storage bag) that fits the old style and isn’t compatible with the new version. However, one suggestion is to use a heavy-duty duffle bag.
Why does my base wobble?
If your base wobbles after assembling, you may have gotten the screws too tight. They need to be secure but not overly so. I watched one review where this was a problem, but not in the other. So, I would check your screws first. If it’s still wobbling, you can contact Lodge or try to fix it yourself.
Can you use this grill on a wooden picnic table?
The cast iron gets very hot and will probably leave burn marks on a wooden picnic table. So, you are much better off putting the grill on a surface that won’t be affected, such as bricks, cinder or concrete blocks, or a steel cooking table. Or you could cut a piece of plywood to put underneath. The plywood might be better for traveling. Or, watch the review video below to see Mr. Cast Iron’s set-up at his house.
Accessories and Tools
When using this grill, what are some accessories and tools you must have or might want to have?
- Charcoal or wood
- Tongs or spatula
- Charcoal chimney or another way of getting the coals ready such as lighter fluid (unless using wood)
- Food to cook
RELATED > > > > > Lodge Charcoal Chimney Starter Review – Outdoor Cooking
Might Want to Have
RELATED > > > > > Lodge Outdoor Cooking Table Review – Outdoor Cooking
What Others Are Saying
The new Sportsman Pro grill got high reviews for the most part. People were impressed and said things like:
- It’s the perfect size
- The grill is compact and easy to transport
- I don’t have to use as much charcoal since it’s smaller than my other grill
- It’s high-quality
- I like the way Lodge engineered this new model
- It offers excellent air-control
- The grill will last a long time
- It will make a fantastic gift
- I like using lump charcoal in this grill
- It gives great heat retention
- You get nice grill marks on your meat
- Use it with Lodge’s cook table for the windshield
- It’s simple, fast, and convenient
- This grill is the right size for our small family
- It’s as solid as they come
- Lodge didn’t cut any corners
- It’s easy to clean with chainmail
- I like the new model better than the old
- It’s easy to figure out
RELATED > > > > > Chainmail for Cast Iron – a Lodge Scrubbing Pad Review
Although most people were pleased with the Sportsman Pro grill, a few were disappointed. They said things like:
- It’s too small for what I need
- The grill is hard to clean
- I don’t like that you can’t adjust the grill grate
- It has bad craftsmanship
- I don’t like the new design
- There’s no edge around the grate, so your food might fall off
- It’s too heavy
- I miss the coal access door
- My ash drawer doesn’t slide smoothly
- The grill isn’t level
Watch the video to see what Mr. Cast Iron thinks.
The New Lodge Sportsman Pro Grill
What Do I Think?
I am looking for a smaller grill, and I like the idea of it being cast iron. However, I’m unsure if I like this grill better than Lodge’s Kickoff grill.
The Sportsman Pro grill would be nice if we had family over or a couple of friends, though.
And from reading the reviews and my own research, I think the new model is preferable to the old one–especially the sliding ash drawer, air control, and quicker assembly.
However, I might wish it had a charcoal access door if I needed to add more coals during cooking. Because as it is now, you must lift the grate to dump in more.
I also like that we could use wood instead of charcoal if we want. But I understand that charcoal lasts longer and would be better most of the time.
Although I don’t care that much about grill marks, it’s nice that you can get them.
As far as cleaning, I think I would only use water on the grill grate, and only if needed. I assume I would use some type of oil or grill spray to make for easier clean-up and less stickage of the food.
Overall, I really like this grill. And I think you will too, if you’re in the market for a smaller grill.
So, it all depends on what you are looking for. If you want a portable cast iron grill that is ideal for 2-4 people, I recommend the Lodge Sportsman Pro Grill.
- High reviews
- Reputable company
- New features that people are liking
- Ideal for tailgating, parks, or backyard grilling
- Suitable for camping or traveling
- Even cooking and heat distribution
- Excellent heat retention
- It makes a great gift
- You get beautiful grill marks on your meat or veggies
- It uses less charcoal than a bigger grill
- Perfect size for a smaller family
- Cast iron requires a bit more care
- Some grills wobble after assembling
- you might miss the coal access door if you are replacing the old model
- Food might fall off the grill grate
Thank you for reading my Lodge Sportsman Pro Grill Review.
As you can see, most have received the new model well. The old one was nice, but the new features are a step up.
It now has fewer pieces, making assembly less complicated, and a sliding ash drawer that allows for easier dumping. The grate is squared, giving you a bit more cooking space, and the hook & carry handles are better for maneuvering the grill.
Cast iron is generally well-constructed and heavy-duty. And the grill will last as long as you take care of it, meaning it must stay dry.
Plus, keep in mind that you have to have an appropriate surface on which to set the grill.
Keeping the grill dry while cooking isn’t a problem, but you won’t want to leave it sitting out in the rain.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure the grate or any other parts of the grill you clean with water are dry before storing.
And if you decide the Lodge Sportsman Pro Grill is right for you after reading this review, I highly recommend it.