Smoke Hollow Vector Series Smoking Tabletop 3-Burner Review
Cons: Heavy, bulky, doesn't allow for use of small disposable propane bottles
Manufacturer: Smoke Hollow
Our Analysis and Test Results
If the option to smoke food on your portable grill is important to you, this is the grill you should choose. Otherwise, performance is not better than the award-winning models we tested.
This product has two Vector burners that put out 6,500 BTUs each for a total of 13,000. It also has a third smoke tray burner that puts out 3,500 BTUs. This makes for a total potential output power of 16,500 BTUs.
Smoke Hollow claims that the unique, geometrical "V" shaped design of the bottom of this product promotes convection-style cooking that is fuel efficient.
We didn't have any trouble controlling any of the three burners on this product. Each burner starts easily every time, and the propane hose is easy to connect to a tank because it has a nice, big wrench-less plastic tightening handle that makes it easy to fasten securely.
The smoker works great, but a lot of smoke escapes out of the back of the grill through the ventilation. You can remedy this by pulling the smoke tray out a little bit. After experimenting, we found that when using the smoking burner first and the two largest burners last, or only the smoke burner by itself (slow & low), this method provided excellent smokey culinary delights.
The Editors' Choice-winning Napoleon TravelQ bested the competition in this metric, providing temperature precision (including a temperature gauge) on another level.
This product weighs 38 pounds. It's too cumbersome and unbalanced to take by its lid handle, and the alternative is to hold the lid handle and a tiny, skinny metal bar that is on the back. One word: awkward. But, get it to where you're going (hopefully you'll be staying for a while), and you're set for grilling and smoking. Smoked and grilled food = yum!
This product received a low score in this metric because it is awkward and bulky to carry. It has two sturdy lid latches on both sides that keep everything safely together during transport. All the legs and side tables fold in. This product does not take small propane canisters, as it is designed for a large propane tank. Keep that in mind if you're a fast and light kind of person.
If you are a fast and light kind of person, check out the Cuisinart Petite Gourmet or the Top Pick Eureka Gonzo Grill. Both take the small disposable propane canisters but do not have near the output power or the cooking area size of the Smoke Hollow. The Napoleon TravelQ has significant output power and cooking surface size and is easier to transport, but it does not have a wood chip/smoker tray.
The 367 square inch cooking area is the largest we tested. The porcelain coated wire cooking grids are easy to clean and the lightest and thinnest tested with the most space in between the wires for drippings to fall through. Fortunately, all the burners have covers on them so nothing (especially grease) can easily fall onto or into the burners. This product also comes with a chrome-plated warming rack that we loved. The Vector Series has two generously sized 8" metal side tables that fold out and have 3.5" plastic extensions as well. You can cook a lot of food on this grill, and the side tables are also handy.
The STOK Gridiron 1-Burner has the next largest cooking area of 348 sq in and the Coleman RoadTrip LXX falls next in line at 285 sq in. The Editors Choice Napoleon TravelQ 285 has the same amount of space as the LXX.
The Vector Series has covers over its burners which make it mostly wind resistant. The only wind issue we found was when using the smoke tray. When the lid on this product is closed, there is still a small amount of space between the base of the model and the top. This causes a fair amount of the internal smoke to be pushed to the back vent fins when the weather is very blustery.
The highest scores in this metric go to the Weber Q 1200 and the Coleman RoadTrip LXX. The Blackstone The Dash also received a high rating in this area, but it is a tiny grill compared to the Smoke Hollow.
This model is excellent to use while on a hunting excursion, extended stay camping trip, or on a backyard porch. It is not ideal to use the smoking feature on a condo or apartment patio, as it gets smoky and your neighbors might not like that (though we thought the smoke feature smelled awesome).
At $220, this product was among the most expensive models we tested.
This product is unique because it is the only product we tested that is portable and also a smoker. It has three burners, one of which heats a smoker tray, the largest cooking surface we tested, a warming rack and a convection-promoting design. We loved the smoking feature on this product. We experimented with different kinds of wood chips, and everything turned out tasty. The one thing we did try that was not favorable was using wood chips that had not been soaked in water first. It was just too strong of a smoke taste to the palate. Salmon turns out excellent when cooked with the smoke burner only, and while being periodically basted. While we did love several things about this model, we didn't give it a high score in portability. It is cumbersome and difficult to carry. We recommend it for extended stay excursions or a permanent setup. We do not recommend it for a quick day trip.
— Aaron Rice and Valentine Cullen