Summer is approaching fast and many of you are in the planning and research phase of your outdoor kitchen project. When building your outdoor kitchen, your choice of grill is the most important decision you will make as it is the heartbeat of your outdoor cooking experience. Budget is always the number one concern and, in many instances the only grills that will fit the bill are imported. Choosing the best imported brand is even more important. We get calls every day from people needing to replace a grill that they can no longer get parts to fix it or the cost of the repair cannot be justified. Finding an exact replacement is almost never found so choosing the right outdoor appliance brand will save you money in the future. We promise! This is because it is not "if" the grill will breakdown... it is when.
Since the when is undetermined, you want to be sure that the company your buying from is a real manufacturer and not just someone who puts their name on a product that they warehouse. There are many well known brands that license their name to big box stores giving the impression that they manufacturer outdoor grills. They do not. Repair parts are usually impossible to attain unless available in the aftermarket. Save yourself a ton of future headaches by choosing the right product.
The two most popular imported lines of grills are Summerset and Blaze. We are going to compare the two most popular series in their lineup : Sizzler PRO vs Blaze LTE.
Summerset Professional Grills has been in the grill industry for decades. They have helped many companies private label and brand their own product line of outdoor appliances and components.
Summerset started off importing all of their grills. They started with the Sizzler, TRL, and Alturi. The TRL line was created as a Turbo (BBQ Galore) Replacement with Lights hence the name TRL. So any of you have a Turbo Grill that you can no longer get replacement parts for and want to replace your grill without having to modify your outdoor structure, you have to check out the TRL.
Having a passion for manufacturing and seeing the need for American Made Products, they have three lines that are manufactured in the US. These are : Muscle, Encore and Estate. So for those of you that demand luxury, innovation and Made in the USA, you definitely want to check these product lines out.
The Sizzler PRO is an upgrade to the basic Sizzler (which has no bells and whistles and is offered with straight tube burners). Their are two sizes in the Sizzler PRO line : 32" and 40." You can add an accompanying Sizzler PRO Double Side Burner to expand your outdoor cooking options. Summerset has also introduced The Oven. This budget friendly outdoor ovens can not only bake a pizza but, can cook an entire meal and even cookies and brownies.
The Sizzler PRO features :
Though the Sizzler Pro is imported, you can be rest assured that all of the Summerset line of Island Storage Components are manufactured in their Huntington Beach facility.
Blaze is an imported brand of grills that are solely imported. There is no gas grill in their lineup (currently) that is Made in the USA. They have done an intense amount of marketing that has really pushed the line to the forefront of imported grill brands.
The Blaze LTE is an upgrade to the Prelude LBM (very similar to the Basic Sizzler). It is available in two sizes 32" and 40." You can also get a matching LTE double side burner to compliment your grill in your outdoor kitchen.
The Blaze LTE features :
These grills are pretty much identical in look and features. Both Grills are offered in the same two sizes : 32" and 40." They have same style burner with the same BTUs, they both use heat zone separators, LED lights (Sizzler PRO is blue and the Blaze is Red) and use a Flame Thrower Ignition. Both Grill brands have similar Lifetime Warranties as well. Also, notice how similar these grills look. Could they be made in the same factory? We think so.
One of the biggest differences is the heat disbursement system. Summersets Ceramic Briquette Trays vs Blaze Flame Tamers. See our post on Ceramic Briquettes vs Heat Shields. Ceramic has heat retaining and radiating qualities that flame tamers do not. Briquette’s spread and retains heat more evenly, vaporizes juices better than heat plates.
The second and probably most important is Summerset being an actual manufacturer and offering US Made Grills. This shows they want to create a real footprint in the Outdoor Market.
|Series||Summerset Sizzler PRO||Blaze LTE|
|Sizes||32, 40||32, 40|
|Burners||Cast Stainless Pipe||Cast Stainless Pipe|
|Cooking Grates||8mm Stainless Rod Grates||9mm triangular Stainless Grates|
|Heat Distribution||Ceramic Briquette Tray||Stainless Flame Tamers|
|Heat Zone Separators||Yes||Yes|
|Ignition||Flame Thrower||Flame Thrower|
|Warranty||Lifetime on many components||Lifetime on many components|
|Made in the USA||NO||NO|
We are huge advocates for USA Manufactured Grills and Outdoor Equipment. We feel their is a greater commitment to the product design, quality and engineering. Not to mention the jobs that are created. Many of the companies that have been manufacturing grills in California are true metal artisan and craftsmen.
You also have a greater availability of replacement parts if needed. It does not matter which imported line you choose... expect periodic delays in attaining replacement parts. Unfortunately, this will happen with both of these brands.
We do love that Summerset is investing in their brand and product line by expanding their Made in the USA offerings. You have greater quality control when you manufacturer your own products! Not to mention Summerset is Family owned where Blaze is not. You will always get that personal service when choosing a family owned company.
Who would we choose? Summerset if the only option is an import. Why would we choose Summerset? We love family owned businesses and we feel their attention to customer service is stellar. We also love their commitment to the outdoor experience. and their passion for grilling.
If you plan to save for a US manufactured outdoor appliance, we recommend Delta Heat or Artisan.
Another budget friendly option is Napoleon. The have a limited lifetime warranty and also a family owned business.
Remember ... Nothing Good is Cheap and Nothing Cheap is Good
Call us at 877-983-0451 for any questions.