Dallas-based Nomad wanted to adopt and modernize an age-old cooking method – but not by introducing connected or smart features. Instead, the Nomad Grill & Smoker Takes classic charcoal grilling and uses clever industrial design to make it packable and portable. At the same time, you ensure that chefs of all skill levels can prepare delicious food even when they are cooking with charcoal for the first time.
Nomads Grill looks like a sleek protective cover you’d expect when you’re out with a film crew, crossed with a modern Mac Pro. It has an anodized aluminum construction that uses a unibody casting in its manufacture, with high external durability and internal heat retention. It measures approximately 2 feet by 2 feet and is approximately 9.5 inches when closed. The total weight is 28 pounds including the cast stainless steel cooking grate that is included in the basic package.
28 lbs seems like a lot, but it’s remarkably light for the cooktop you get with Nomad, which gives either 212 square inches of space in closed single-grill mode (good for smoking) or up to 425 square inches in the open-air grill mode that can double the cooktop if an optional second grate and charcoal are bought on both sides (better for grilling with an open flame).
The case has a strong and durable system with double lock and a reinforced handle for turning over. Silicon runners provide surface protection when the grill is put down for cooking, and there are two magnetic vents on either side to control the airflow and flame, which can be easily adjusted by manually sliding them.
Design and performance
The Nomad design is deceptively simple – it’s essentially a metal box, essentially. However, if you look a little below the surface, it actually hides very advanced construction, including a layered shell design which means the outside never gets too hot, which is not only for the safety of the chef but also for putting on one Variety of surfaces is beneficial materials during the actual cooking process. For a portable grill, this is a great advantage.
If you look specifically at the grill grate, it has a honeycomb design that helps to better distribute the heat. This is also subtly curved to make more space for the charcoal underneath. It is removable, but also locks into place with magnets in the grill itself. This is great for transportation and to make sure things don’t move with bumps.
Another great benefit that seems small at first is a built-in thermometer that is cast into the case. This gives you simple, clear temperature readings for the grill and is analogue so that no electricity is required – another great benefit for portability.
In practice, the grill works exactly as you would expect from a great charcoal grill, which is amazing given its size and portability. It should definitely be mentioned that if you light up the grill if you get yourself a charcoal fireplace, you’ll be much happier, which simplifies the lighting process – but this is a great accessory no matter what type of charcoal grill you use.
I was particularly impressed by the performance of the Nomad Grill when smoking. When the box is closed, the temperature stays even and constant, and with the built-in vents, the temperature can be easily tempered if you need to adjust the cooking intensity. The charcoal’s proximity to food also gives it a great taste.
The Nomad Grill & Smoker is priced at $ 599, which is quite a high price tag, but it’s also unique in the market for the convenience it offers combined with the performance it offers. At home or when traveling, Nomad makes a wonderful addition to any home cook’s arsenal and an all-in-one addition that can even replace a dedicated, permanently installed charcoal grill if you so choose.