First look at Virco Costco BBQ grill
June/2002 Update: Denise & John from Parker, Colorado sent me some
pictures (used with permission) of their Virco BBQ grill in action and those
are attached at the bottom - be sure to check out the last yummy one! ;-)
LOTSA discussion about the Virco BBQ grill from Costco ... so I decided
I should go check this out and shoot a few pictures for everyone.
First, I recently purchased a Member's Mark (manufactured by Grand Hall)
Stainless Steel BBQ grill from Sam's Club and am VERY HAPPY with it -
read all about the Member's Mark Grand Hall BBQ here.
So I could be consider
biased - since after spending $600 for a BBQ grill, the LAST thing I want to
do is go back to my wife 3 months later and say I actually shoulda got
the $800 one! ;-)
The Costco in Superior, Colorado did not have any Virco BBQ Grills in stock;
and their ONE display model was back in the warehouse, but they were nice enough
to let me take a look at it and shoot some pictures. My first impression,
which is probably my current one, is that this is a NICE BBQ grill and has
a little more going for it than the Member's Mark ... but it doesn't
blow it away as some have suggested ... but then again, I'm not a
CGE (Certified Grill Expert) either! ;-)
Happy BBQ Grilling,
- © 2004 www.komar.org - Alek Komarnitsky
BBQ Grill Searching Courtesy of Google
I'm 99% certain this is the BBQ grill everyone is talking about.
The name is right, the Costco guy confirmed this is replacing the
Kirkland Series, and the grill output was 3X20K mains, 12K side, and 12K
back burner which is consistant with what people have been saying.
Note the tamers are stainless (manual says this too) ... I thought
someone had said they were ceramic, but this does not appear to be the case.
There is a nice set of pictures showing you down to the burners below.
The BBQ grill main bowl/side burner ARE one piece ... so you could probably
STAND on the side burner (not recommended on the MM ;-). Note that there
is a side attachment to the left of the side burner (not shown in the
picture since it wasn't there) that provides a
little more space for stuff. So the working area is about the same
as the MM. BTW, I understand that the side attachment can be placed
on either side, so you can "split" these as desired ... with a "handle"
placed on the other side to help move this monster! ;-)
With this handle & nice casters, it rolls actually quite easily.
BTW, something might have been missing,
but you needed a pen or something to open the cover on the side burner;
whereas on the MM it is easy to do with your fingers. I also like the
spice rack on the MM - didn't seem to be one on the Virco ... but the
"tool hangers" are pretty nice on the Virco.
The cooking surface appears identical to the MM - just over
30" long X a little less than 20" deep. BTW, I prefer the MM stainless
grids because they rotate and are a little easier to clean because of that.
One thing I DID like about the Virco grids was that one of 'em had a slight
opening (look at the front right one) which made it easy to grab with your
finger to pull out ... and then the others are trivial. With the MM, it's
a little difficult to get that first grid out.
Virco had electric ignitor for the side burner whereas the MM
has the "popper/twist/friction" one - advantage Virco.
Both appears to have rotisserree and cover (although others have said
that the Virco is much heaver duty and includes a counterweight).
It does appear to include the upper warming rack - you have to order this
seperate from MM (which is totally lame IMHO - this can't cost MM more than
a few $$$ and is essential IMHO) ... so advantage Virco there.
The lid on the Virco is HEAVY ... I mean REALLY HEAVY. Take a look
at the "doublewall" pictures - I'm guessing this also keeps the outer surface
a bit cooler too (?)
The grease pan on the Virco is stainless and I like how it just
easily slides out better than the MM.
No tank gauge on the Virco ... although if you are a 2-tank type
of person (or will convert to NG), this isn't too much of an issue.
The Virco also encloses the tank - I'm semi-indifferent about this ...
almost easier having it out and accessible rather than having to open a drawer?
I have had some problems with the MM on windy days ... there's a few
inches of opening beneath the grid on the front and sides - I've blocked
these with sheet metal which helps ... whereas the Virco looks pretty airtight,
so I'm guessing probably less sensitive to wind?
Denise & John's grill in Parker, Colorado
A shot of the cover - quite cool
Costco Virco BBQ Grill Cooking ribs (and beans) for the fire station gang - BOY, does that look GOOD! ;-)
Author: Alek Komarnitsky