7 PK Grills & Smokers Reviews (Amazingly Portable)

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    cooking with PK Grills


    What do you get when you want to cook on a grill that is bothperfect for steaks but also made to smoke, low and slow? Well, in our mind, you run out and buy a cult favorite. A grill that is used in competitive barbeque circles and by expert chefs alike. You pick a PK Grill. This grill has been a professional and backyard favorite since 1952, and for good reason.

    Get to Know PK Grills

    The PK Grill made its introduction to the grilling market in 1952, from the back of a station wagon. Hilton Meigs invented the Portable Kitchen grill in 1952. He wanted a grill that was multi-functional, allowing its user to use the same grill for both hot cooking and slow smoking. The Portable Kitchen became a staple in the south for quality outdoor cooking.

    It was sold by Meigs in 1958 to the Hamlin Company which began mass producing the PK Grill. The grill became a global sensation, and was a staple in the grilling world, until the 1970s when the gas grill became the must have backyard appliance. The PK line fell out of existence, until Paul James purchased the intellectual rights to the grill and the casting molds from Regal Ware. The PK Grill and Smoker was to live again, with a new generation of grilling and barbeque enthusiasts.

    The PK Grill and Smoker that you’ll find today was the result of research and product development that started in 2014. The first “new” PK Grill and Smoker hit the market in 2016. It is a tribute to the original PK Grill that cooks at a variety of temperatures, allowing the owner to use one tool for grilling and smoking.

    Today’s PK Grill and Smoker is still made from cast aluminum. This material is much better at dispersing heat, creating an even cooking temperature, and is rust free and incredibly durable. This grill is made for the professional or home grilling and smoking enthusiast that enjoys the art of charcoal grilling and wood smoking. There’s no gas options offered by PK Grill and Smoker.

    The grills from PK Grill and Smoker are built today with the same care and dedication to quality that the original product was made with. The high-quality materials and craftsmanship mean you pay more for a PK Grill, but it’s worth the price. These grills are made to last generations.

    PK Grills Line

    The PK Grill and Smoker company has three lines of grills. Each line is features the PK Grill and Smoker’s cast aluminum body and unique venting system that allows the grill to function both as a high heat grill and low heat smoker

    PK 360 – This is the top of the PK grill line. The PK 360 features a 360-inch cooking surface and 4 vents that allow for very specific and controlled adjustments of heat. The larger size of this grill allows it to also have 2 cooking zones, allowing you to cook more than one food item at a time.

    Original PK – The original PK Grill is the product that started it all. This grill has 310-inches of cooking surface. It is equipped with the 4 vent airflow system, and a handy wheeled cart that makes it easy to move this grill around your yard.

    Original PKTX – This line is the same as the Original PK, with one exception. This grill comes with a handy folding stand that makes this grill perfect for camping, picnics and tailgating.

    PKGO – The PKGO is a smaller version of the Original PK, made for traveling. You’ll never have to leave home without the comfort of your favorite charcoal grill and smoker thanks to this smaller PK grill.

    PK Grills Key Features

    Cast Aluminum Construction – All PK Grills are made from high quality cast aluminum. Cast aluminum is exceptionally durable and is heat resistant. This material is perfect for grilling because it retains heat well, and provides even heat dispersal throughout the cooking area. Aluminum is rust resistant and lighter weight than other materials. The process uses to construct these grills make them nearly indestructible, and when cared for properly, these grills will literally last for generations.

    4-Vent Airflow System – The original PK grill was made with a unique 4-vent system that made it unique to other grills at the time. Today’s version has not changed this 4-vent system, but has improved on the concept. Each PK grill has four adjustable vents that allow you to easily adjust the flow of air through the grill. This allows you to easily control the internal temperature of the grill, for precise temperatures for a wide range of cooking options.

    Lightweight Stands – The 1950s version of the PK Grill came with a lightweight aluminum stand. This stand featured a side table and two heavy duty casters. The PK grill of today still comes with a light weight stand, heavy duty casters, and side table. Depending on the PK Grill line that you select, this stand will be a bit different, but the concept is the same. A durable, easy to move stand that provides convenience and stability while cooking.

    Dual Cooking Options – Truly, what the PK Grill is known for is its ability to function as two appliances in one package. This was the first charcoal grill on the market that allowed the user to easily grill steaks and burgers or smoke a range of meats, without having to invest in two separate appliances. For some other grill lines this might be a challenge, but PK Grill and Smoker had this perfected way back in 1952.


    Here are the best PK Grills you can buy:

    For the complete product list, please continue reading…


    PK Grills Reviews in 2020

    The PK Grill and Smoker company offer a very limited collection of grills. For some companies this could be problematic, however, the PK Grill and Smoker Company has been making the same product since 1952. We think that this longevity is a testament to the quality of their product.

    In this review, we’ve selected the seven products that we think are the best of their grills. We’ll tell you what we like the best, and the details that you need to be mindful of, before buying.

    1. The Graphite PK360 Grill + Smoker

    Pros:

    The exterior looks professional
    Great 2 zone heat conduction
    Foldable side shelves
    Even consistent heat

    Cons:

    It requires some assembly
    Sacrifices some cooking space

    Specifications:

      • Material – Cast Aluminum
      • Volume – 5374 Cubic Inches
      • Overall Dimension – W 54″ D 27″ H 43″
      • Total Cooking Surface – 360 sq. in.

    The PK360 Grill and Smoker is the top of the PK Grill line. This grill features a 360-inch cooking surface inside of the traditional PK Grill, cast aluminum body. Coming in at nearly $1,000 the PK360 can function as both a grill and a smoker, so while it feels expensive, you’re really getting two appliances in one package. The larger size of this grill does allow for two cooking zones, you can grill on one side and smoke on the other, if you need.

    We like the dual fold down shelves on this grill. They provide more working space than the single shelf offered on the Original version of the PK grill. Also, the single post stand is more space saving than the original stand.


    2. The ORIGINAL PK GRILL & SMOKER – CLASSIC SILVER

    Pros:

    The versatility of a grill and a smoker
    It’s compact, durable and lightweight
    Incomparable construction
    Easily portable

    Cons:

    It requires some assembly
    Could be taller

    Specifications:

      • Material – Cast Aluminum & Steel
      • Volume – 4080 Cubic Inches
      • Overall Dimensions – H 34.75” W 36.375” D 19.5”
      • Total Cooking Surface – 310 sq. in.

    This is the grill that started it all for PK Grills in the 1950s. This simple, silver, cast aluminum grill and smoker is a no-frills addition to your backyard. However, just because it’s basic, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t do a great job.

    Slightly smaller than the PK360, the Original PK grill in silver has 310-inches of cooking area. This is plenty for a rack of ribs or a good sized brisket. The 4-vent system allows you to perfectly control the temperature in your grill/smoker, allowing you to create the perfect temperature for grilling steaks or slow smoking brisket or pork.

    We do wish that the stand of this grill was a bit taller, and there is some assembly required, which isn’t a huge deal, but just features to be aware of.


    3. The New PK360 Grill & Smoker

    Pros:

    The new silver exterior looks great
    It’s large cooking surface
    Rust proof and durable
    The 4 vent system

    Cons:

    It requires some assembly
    No cover

    Specifications:

      • Material – Cast Aluminum and Steel
      • Volume – 5374 Cubic Inches
      • Overall Dimensions – W 54″ D 27″ H 43″
      • Total Cooking Surface – 360 sq. in.

    Similar to the Graphite PK360, the new PK360 is the original version of the PK360 line. It comes in the basic silver color, which is what the PK Grill is known for.

    This grill features 360-inches of cooking surface, along with the PK Grill 4-vent airflow system that allows you to adjust for grilling or smoking. The larger cooking surface allows for dual heat zones, so you can grill steaks on one half, and veggies on the other. The larger size of the PK 360 gives you ample space for smoking larger cuts of meat.

    We are fans of the built in thermometer which allows you to easily monitor the internal temperature. The two fold down shelves make handy work areas, and allow you to have a compact unit when it comes to storing.


    4. The ORIGINAL PKTX GRILL & SMOKER – CLASSIC SILVER

    Pros:

    Side Tray with cup holder and accessory bar
    It’s rugged aluminum construction
    It folds down for easy transport
    Dual ash catches

    Cons:

    Little challenging to clean
    Higher priced comparably 

    Specifications:

      • Material – Cast Aluminum and Steel
      • Volume – 4080 Cubic Inches
      • Overall Dimensions – H 30” W 37” D 19.5”
      • Total Cooking Surface – 310 sq. in.

    A twist on the original PK, the PKTX is everything you love about the original PK grill, with a handy folding stand. This grill is the Original PK grill, in the basic silver color. This grill features 310-inches of cooking space with 4080-inches of total volume, for exceptional heat retention and dispersal. The PKTX in silver is equipped with the PK Grill 4-vent system that provides heat control that you won’t find on other grill products.

    This grill is perfect for tailgating or camping. The fold down side table gives you some extra work space. It has a cup holder for your beer or BBQ sauce. When folded down, the stand also functions as a cart for your grill.


    5. The ORIGINAL PKTX GRILL & SMOKER- GRAPHITE

    Pros:

    It’s sharp graphite look
    Rugged knobby wheels
    It folds down for easy transport
    Dual ash catches

    Cons:

    Little challenging to clean
    Exterior can scratch

    Specifications:

      • Material – Cast Aluminum and Steel
      • Volume – 4080 Cubic Inches
      • Overall Dimensions – H 30″ W 37″ D 19.5″
      • Total Cooking Surface – 310 sq. in.

    If you aren’t a fan of the original silver PK grill, you might want to consider the Original PKTX in graphite. The darker color of this grill hides spills and looks a bit more sophisticated in your backyard.

    The graphite Original PKTX is the same Original PK Grill, just in a darker color. Its cast aluminum body is rust-free, heat-resistant and is made to last for years. The cast aluminum construction provides exceptional heat retention and dispersal for even cooking throughout the grill.

    Like the other Original PK grills, this option has 310-inches of cooking surface and features the PK Grills 4-vent system for controlling temperature. The smaller cooking surface does limit you to one cooking zone.

    The PKTX has a lightweight aluminum stand that folds down for easy transport. It’s a great option for your next camping trip or tailgating adventure.


    6. The BIG BBQ PK360 GRILL GIFT BUNDLE – GRAPHITE PK360

    Pros:

    Comes with nice grill cover
    Includes Teak cutting board, insulated mug, trucker hat, Pizza Stone, The Fire & Smoke Society spice kit.
    Same incomparable construction
    10 yr. warranty

    Cons:

    Customer service could be better on this bundle
    The grill grid is not good

    Specifications:

      • Material – Cast Aluminum
      • Volume – 5374 Cubic Inches
      • Overall Dimensions – W 54″ D 27″ H 43″
      • Total Cooking Surface – 360 sq. in.

    This option from PK Grill and Smoker Company is everything you need to cook just about anything in your PK Grill, in one handy package. There are benefits to buying the package deal. This gift bundle gives you a good savings compared to buying the grill and all the accessories separately.

    This bundle features the PK360, the largest grill in the PK Grills line. The PK360 has 360-inches of cooking space, the PK Grills 4-vent system and the ability to set dual cooking zones for more cooking flexibility. It also has fold down tables that give you added work space.

    This bundle comes with a cover, pizza stone, charcoal basket, cooking grid to add cooking surface, a cutting board, mug, spice kit and even a hat. Everything you’ll need for getting started with the PK Grill. It makes a perfect gift for the grilling or smoking enthusiast in your life.


    7. THE ORIGINAL PKGO GRILL & SMOKER – CLASSIC SILVER

    Pros:

    The exterior is Rust Proof and Durable
    It’s compact and portable
    Unsurpassed construction
    Comes in 3 colors

    Cons:

    It is kind of heavy
    Some issue with metal grate

    Specifications:

      • Material – Cast Aluminum and Steel
      • Volume – 4080 Cubic Inches
      • Overall Dimensions – W 31.20 ” D 18.70 ” H 18.60 “
      • Total Cooking Surface – 300 in.

    Do you want an even more portable option when it comes to your PK Grill and Smoker? Perhaps you just want something more compact for camping or tailgating. Then the Original PKGO, is all of the things you love about the Original PK Grill, in a smaller package.

    The PKGO gives you 300 square inches of cooking space in a smaller package. The PKGO still features the 4-vent system that allows you to grill or smoke at the perfect temperature, even in a smaller footprint. The silver PKGO looks just like the Original PK Grill.

    The PKGO features folding legs that make it perfect for sitting on a table top or on your tailgate. It is lightweight, but is still made from the high quality cast aluminum that all the other PK Grills are constructed from. Though it’s smaller, it’s not a sacrifice to quality or functionality.


    Final Verdict

    PK-Grills-image

    We really cannot say enough good things about the PK Grill and Smoker products. These amazing dual-purpose appliances are made for the professional chef or the backyard enthusiast that wants to make great grilled and smoked foods, without having to invest in two different cooking appliances. These grills make it easy to be successful with charcoal cooking, which can be scary for those new to cooking with charcoal. They are simple yet come with all of the convenience features that you need for a great cooking experience.