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Long Broil King Sovereign XLS 90 review

#1 User is offline   Jenny 

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 07:03 PM

I just joined the forum today after a week or two of lurking. Iíve read several posts from people asking about the Broil King grills but hardly anyone has posted as to their longevity. Here is my experience:

2008: My husband and I purchased the Broil King XLS 90 natural gas in February 2008 for around $1000, cover extra, as a wedding gift to ourselves. My husband put it together and soon we were grilling! It is a strong, sturdy grill, gets hot fast and stays hot. It was our new toy that spring, summer and fall and we cooked on it a lot. I loved the rotisserie; I cooked chicken and lamb and various other roasts and everything turned out really yummy. I live in Tennessee so thereís really only a couple of months where itís too cold for me personally to enjoy grilling. So, in late November, we said Ďso long!í and covered it up for the winter.

2009: Come (early) spring I pulled the cover off and noticed the burner tubes were looking a little worn at the end, where the crimp is and where it is screwed into the bowl. But there was no damage that I could see so I thought no more of it, gave the grill a thorough cleaning exactly as recommended in the ownerís manual, reassembled everything and I was off and running, grilling up a storm that spring, summer and fall. Closed it up again at the end of the year; so far so good.

2010: Uncovered it in early spring for the annual cleaning ritual and, when removing the burners, saw that the screws holding them in place were completely disintegrated along with the crimp part of the burner. This wouldnít have been too much of an issue but the burner was breached along the crimp and had to be replaced. It was now that I checked the warranty and read the burners were covered 100% for the first two years, then they were pro-rated 50% in the third year, 40% in the fourth year and 25% in the fifth year. Knowing what I know now, I realize these arenít the top of the line burners! So I replaced the burners but the screws were stuck in place without heads. No worries; the burners fit in place with no movement. Aside from waiting for the burners to arrive, I was happily grilling that summer and fall. At the end of the season the rotisserie burner was looking worse for wear so I decided to order another one and replace it the following spring.

2011: Spring is here! Time for the yearly cleaning! The new tubes looked OK and the flame tamers and dividers were sort of rusty-looking but not corroded. I went to put in my new rotisserie burner and oops! The part in the bowl that holds the crimped end of the rotisserie in place broke completely off in my hands. I pulled out the part list from the manual and located the part I needed but unfortunately, the screws holding it in were also completely corroded so I had no way to remove the old part and install the new one. So I sadly tucked the shiny new rotisserie burner away and just did regular grilling that season. It was during this year when I noticed the bowl was beginning to bow out a little. I wondered if the heat combined with the sheer weight of the lid was Ďmeltingí the bowl and vowed to try to reduce the heat a little in future cooks. Worth mentioning at this time: I also replaced the cover with a very high-quality but non-Broil King cover and purchased a new grill brush. The wrong kind; it must have been regular iron. But I didnít know better and happily cleaned my stainless steel grates with it that season.

2012: Pulled the cover off and noticed right away that the stainless steel grates didnít look smooth anymore. Started my full yearly cleaning and noticed the burners were crumbling Ė again Ė at the crimp. The closure was breached Ė again! Ė so I had to once more order a new set of burners. Keep in mind these burners only cost about $11 so it wasnít so bad on my wallet but very inconvenient. I cleaned the stainless steel grates as well as I could but they never did get smooth again. Researched that year and discovered I should have only used a SS or copper brush. You live and learn. I grilled some that summer but definitely not as much as in past years.

2013: Pulled the cover off and opened the lid to start the cleaning. The heavy lid fell off in my hands because the hinge pin holding the lid to the bowl had completely disintegrated! I looked up the part numbers for the hinge pin and the cotter pin and ordered those, along with some other screws and the rotisserie brackets, which had also faded away. The hinge pin was wedged in the lid and had to be drilled out. In addition, the two center grates no longer reached across because of the bowing in front. I purchased a set of cast iron adjustable grates from Amazon which did the trick but now I had two different sets of grates and they werenít level with each other. Combine this with the fact that the SS grates seemed to have corroded even more over the winter and you have one very dispirited grilling lady. Iíve done very little cooking this year and now Iím thinking of buying a new grill.

The one ray of sunshine Ė maybe Ė is that I did read somewhere in my Google searches that the bowing is a known issue. I called Broil King and they sent me a new bowl for free, I just had to pay $14.95 shipping. It arrived today and it is just that: a bowl with 4 screws. No rotisserie brackets, no rotisserie burner bracket, nothing. Oh, they did include a metal strip to attach to keep the bowl from bowing again. So the issue isnít fixed; they just have a workaround.
All of this being said, it was a great grill while it worked. I had no complaints except that it was so high-maintenance and didnít last. I expected way more from a $1000 grill but maybe I was being naÔve. And I did contribute to the ruining of the SS grates.

So thereís my very long-winded story; I hope some of you stuck around long enough to read it and maybe itís helped someone make a decision about whether or not to buy this grill. If you found it on sale with the knowledge itís not a forever grill, or even a long short-term grill, but a short short-term grill you canít go wrong. It heats up like a champ, cooks evenly with no flare ups, and Iíve seen no rust on any of the external parts. I donít think the internal components rusted, either; I think they just burned away.
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#2 User is offline   vanole 

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 08:40 PM

Jenny,

Thanks for the review and run down on the BK. At 1K that is at a tough price point in the grill market. Lots of contenders their. I have a couple of buddies that have BK's they have had a bit better luck with theirs than you had.

Got a question. Once you are done cooking do you let your grill cool down with the lid open or closed? I ask because if you were closing the lid to cool down you are trapping in some moisture that will lead to a quicker demise of your grill. I let mine cool down with lid open then after its cool close the lid. I do cover as you do but many folks on here don't. All my covers are vented except the one on my Holland Classic (Holland made a pretty cheesy cover back in the day). I have and extra Phoenix cover that I intend to put on that grill prior to heading for Florida.

Once again thanks for your info.

Jeff
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#3 User is offline   Jenny 

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 08:55 PM

Hi Jeff,

Yes, I did let the grill cool down with the top closed. I was always afraid I'd forget it was open and leave it exposed to the elements. My new grill cover is thick but does have vents.

I'm glad to hear your friends have had better luck with their Broil King. I'm also glad to know that perhaps my experience isn't the norm. Chances are I'll have better luck with my next grill. Still trying to decide whether to repair or replace...
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#4 User is offline   richlife 

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:21 AM

Just another thanks for your review. That's a tough road to go for a rather costly grill that I had actually heard good things about. Given your experience, I won't ever be able to convince myself to buy one. Good luck on your next grill.

Rich
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#5 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:53 AM

My brother had a BK Jenny and had that same problem with the lid it got so bad he couldn't get it open, don't beat yourself up on the grates, they couldn't have been a quality series of SS like 304, if a iron brush destroyed them then so would a brass or SS brush, the reason you don't use a iron brush is they leave little tiny flakes of iron and those flakes rust, good SS is not rust proof, yet corrosion resistant and should only show surface corrosion if any and can be brushed away, if left unchecked can spread but should not eat into the SS.

From your post its clear none of the hardware is SS, in your other thread you are shopping for a new grill, personally I would continue down that path and cut my losses on this particular grill.



jim
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#6 User is offline   Jenny 

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 05:52 PM

View PostTubby, on 26 October 2013 - 10:53 AM, said:

My brother had a BK Jenny and had that same problem with the lid it got so bad he couldn't get it open, don't beat yourself up on the grates, they couldn't have been a quality series of SS like 304, if a iron brush destroyed them then so would a brass or SS brush, the reason you don't use a iron brush is they leave little tiny flakes of iron and those flakes rust, good SS is not rust proof, yet corrosion resistant and should only show surface corrosion if any and can be brushed away, if left unchecked can spread but should not eat into the SS.

From your post its clear none of the hardware is SS, in your other thread you are shopping for a new grill, personally I would continue down that path and cut my losses on this particular grill.



jim

Thanks for the kind words about not beating myself up over the grates! I had read exactly that about how the little bits of iron can get stuck and rust and the surface corrosion is exactly what I'm seeing, all over the grates, and it doesn't brush or wash off. The grates themselves, however, are still strong and sturdy but I don't want to cook on them. Perhaps I didn't describe their condition very well.

Jim, now I have mixed feelings because today we were able to remove the old bowl, check all the gas connections and reattach the new bowl. All of the connections are good with no leaks; the electric ignition still works; and I'm going to send Broil King additional photos of my hood to show how it is bowing as well, just not as much as the bottom did, to see if I can get a replacement. We were all excited about building it back up to like new - renew, reuse - but now I'm on the fence again. I was so convinced the corrosion to my grates was caused by me using the wrong brush. I'll see if I can find some additional literature on exactly what kind of metal is used in those grates.

Thanks for your input; I love this website!
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#7 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:43 PM

View PostJenny, on 26 October 2013 - 05:52 PM, said:

Thanks for the kind words about not beating myself up over the grates! I had read exactly that about how the little bits of iron can get stuck and rust and the surface corrosion is exactly what I'm seeing, all over the grates, and it doesn't brush or wash off. The grates themselves, however, are still strong and sturdy but I don't want to cook on them. Perhaps I didn't describe their condition very well.

Jim, now I have mixed feelings because today we were able to remove the old bowl, check all the gas connections and reattach the new bowl. All of the connections are good with no leaks; the electric ignition still works; and I'm going to send Broil King additional photos of my hood to show how it is bowing as well, just not as much as the bottom did, to see if I can get a replacement. We were all excited about building it back up to like new - renew, reuse - but now I'm on the fence again. I was so convinced the corrosion to my grates was caused by me using the wrong brush. I'll see if I can find some additional literature on exactly what kind of metal is used in those grates.

Thanks for your input; I love this website!

Jenny a wire wheel on a drill would clean those grates right up, a grinding wheel would also work, its not a bad idea to wipe the grates with a damp cloth when they are hot after you have brushed them, to remove any possible bristles that have come off the brush and can get in your food, be it SS, brass or iron, you don't want to eat those.

Those specs from the iron brush should show up as red flakes on the grates and come off with brushing.


jim
Ducane Meridian 5 Burner, IR Rotto, Dual Side Burners, Dual Electric Warming Drawers.
CookShack Amerique Electric Smoker.
Chargriller Pro Offset Smoker.
Charmglow IR Drop in Sear Burner
New Braunfels Fire Box.

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