About Go BBQ
Using a built-in fan and an air control knob for quick heating and even cooling, Go BBQ is a lightweight, portable charcoal grill that promises to go wherever you need, reduce smoke by 90%, and remain cool to the touch.
And once it delivers authentic charcoal flavor and aroma—even indoors—the commercial tells us it easily dismantles for fast storage, while the grill rack and base are dishwasher safe.
You probably know that a charcoal grill can deliver enormous flavor, although it also takes forever to heat up. But it certainly seems logical that Go BBQ’s built-in fan could help speed up the process, whether you’re at the pool, on the patio, at the beach, or in the wilderness camping.
Before you hand over any money, though, can you expect Go BBQ to deliver? Compared to competitors, does it really represent the next generation of barbecuing, as claimed in the commercial?
We didn’t test this grill firsthand, but in this article, we’re going to take a much closer look at the claims made by the manufacturer using publically available information. By the end, you’ll have a much better idea about whether or not it’s right for you.
How Does Go BBQ Work?
While they all fit together as a unit, the unit is made up of several different key parts.
Inside the grill's heavy-duty stainless steel base is a battery-powered box fan that forces air directly onto the charcoal, which rests inside the Charcoal Box. This fan also causes cool air to circulate between Go BBQ’s inner and outer walls, allowing the bottom and sides to remain cool to the touch.
Directly below the Charcoal Box is an ignition plate, which is where you’ll insert an ignition material, such as gel alcohol.
The attached air control knob gives you the ability to increase heat and speed up the cooking process (more air = faster cooking), and can also come in handy when searing steaks.
By turning Go BBQ’s knob, you can control fan speed and heat (red arrows). Some air is also vented to the side to maintain external coolness (blue arrows). Image credit: Tristar Products
On top, Go BBQ comes with a fully detachable, nonstick grill rack that features an extra large family size cooking space (up to 8 hamburgers, 16 sausages, or 12 kebabs). While food is cooking, the lower drip tray collects excess fat and allows grease to drain away, the snap lock system will help prevent spillage, and the included chef-grade tongs will help make grilling easier.
Based on its 8-part design, including a built-in box fan, Go BBQ dismantles for easy cleanup and storage. Image credit: Tristar Products
In the instance of this grill, the heat generated is simply a combustion reaction between charcoal (a fuel source) and oxygen in the atmosphere, once it reaches its ignition point.
This is why smothering a fire with soil will put it out; it starves the fuel source of oxygen. It’s also why using a built-in fan to gently blow air onto hot charcoals will quickly make them hotter, since you’re adding oxygen to the mix.
And by increasing or decreasing the fan’s speed, you can directly control the amount of air reaching the charcoals, and thus the amount of heat generated.
Are you having a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moment right about now? There’s no doubt that Go BBQ’s concept is compelling, but how much will you pay for this technology?
How Much Does Go BBQ Cost?
One grill is priced at three payments of $19.99, plus $9.99 S&H, bringing your total to $69.96.
Like most Tristar Products, this grill comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, less S&H. To request one, their service department can be reached at 973-287-5197.
Customer Reviews: Go BBQ vs. Other Smokeless Charcoal Grills
The reality is that there are many other portable smokeless charcoal grills available from third-party manufacturers, most of which feature the same key options as Go BBQ, including a cool-touch exterior, 90% smoke reduction, battery powered fan with control knob, carrying case/tongs, dishwasher safe base and nonstick rack, and powder coated stainless steel exteriors.
In fact, the biggest differences often come down to price, weight, and size. From this perspective, let’s look at Go BBQ side-by-side with the competition:
|Artland Lotus Charcoal Grill||$160||13.5 x 9.5 x 14.5||11.5 lbs|
|Homping Grill||$200||14 x 14 x 7||8.5 lbs|
|Aobosi Portable Smokeless Charcoal Grill||$125||10.25 x 15.12 x 15.25||8.16 lbs|
Along with their similar features, many of these models came with similar customer feedback at the time of our research. Positives included effective results, ease of use, flexible functionality, and tasty results.
On the other hand, frequent complaints were that they didn’t deliver true charcoal taste and couldn’t be used indoors (despite many of these manufacturers’ claims otherwise), primarily due to carbon monoxide emitted from the charcoals.
Granted, this is feedback for third-party options, so it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll experience any of the same with Go BBQ. However, we want to make sure you have a complete picture of the situation.
Which of these options is right for you?
Similar to any other purchasing decision where you have multiple similar options available, it largely comes down to those factors you emphasize most.
For example, the Gourmia model was the largest, while the Homping was the lightest, but also the most expensive.
From a price perspective, Go BBQ tied with Kbabe (which is also the most compact) for the lowest cost, followed closely by Tayama. However, the only way to purchase the unit is directly through the manufacturer (Tristar Products), while all of the other options were available through third-party retailers like Amazon.
Our Final Thoughts About Go BBQ
While we’re not told Go BBQ’s dimensions or weight (we spoke to multiple customer support reps, none of which could provide the information), they were pleasant and seemed eager to help.
For returns, Tristar will stand behind the product’s 60-day refund policy, and one of their support staff will be happy to help. Just keep in mind that you’ll lose your initial S&H charge, plus whatever it will cost to ship back to the manufacturer.
Speaking of satisfaction, we also think it’s important to remember that the carbon monoxide emitted from burning charcoal could be dangerous. And without some kind of venting mechanism, we wouldn’t recommend using Go BBQ (or any portable smokeless charcoal grill, for that matter) indoors—again, depending on which factors you’re focusing on.
Finally, remember that Go BBQ isn’t a self-sufficient unit. In other words, you’ll need to purchase charcoal, some type of alcohol as an ignition tool, a flame source (match, lighter), and batteries to power the fan.
What did you think about Go BBQ? Did you test it against the competition? Provide your unique insight by leaving a review below.