Depending on where you live, summer can be a short-lived yet fun-filled time of the year with family gatherings, outdoor cooking, and great memories. No matter who you are, though, preparing a meal for your loved ones is an expression of love.
I know that I don’t necessarily need a top-notch meal every day of the week, but when I have my kids at the house or even friends, I follow my grandmother’s footsteps of feeding everyone.
Grilling and smoking food is an excellent reprieve from the kitchen and allows creativity and relaxation while preparing a meal for your circle. I finally found the perfect combo in the Medina River Outdoors 65 Patio Small Smoker/Grill Combo.
What is the Medina Smoker/Grill Combo?
The Medina Smoker Grill Combo is a great way to get the full flavor of smoking meat all day and having the ability to grill for last-minute add-ons and foods that don’t take too long to cook.
The compact design is what makes this grill combo a great addition to your cooking experience. The smoking chamber comes with grates to make it easier to arrange your food and maximize the space you have. It also has the versatility to grill in the firebox while you are smoking meat.
Medina River Combo Features
This smoker/grill combo is made from 14-gauge steel, which allows you to feel safe cooking and grilling for years and not worry about firebox burnout and rusting. The exterior is painted with 800-degree thermal paint so you can feel good knowing that your grill is not going to be an eyesore from peeling paint.
Cooking features include a large food prep tray that runs the whole length of the smoker to allow for easier cooking. The combo comes with grill and charcoal grates that make it easier to arrange and cook food without a huge mess.
The compact design of the Medina combo makes it great for small patios found in condos and apartments. It is also great to take along with you and even comes with fold-down options that will east the transport process. Two steel wheels allow for ease of transport. These wheels are also preferred because the standard plastic wheels found on most grills become damaged and break after excessive use.
Your grill combo weighs 65 pounds and comes with easy to follow assembly instructions as well for those who are new to grilling.
The ability to grill and smoke a variety of food is key to successful outdoor cooking. I am including this link so you can review all the information provided by Medina and compare it to other combos as well.
Who is the Medina Grill/Smoker Combo for?
For the couple just starting out or those who live alone and want to enjoy the outdoor life, this combo is right up your alley. I have also found over the years; avid outdoorsmen will also appreciate this combo. The reason I point this out is simple.
Many hunters and fishermen love the experience of cooking their food over an open fire. My grandparents refused to make the conversion to gas grilling when they became famous. The simple reason was, there is something about charcoal grilling, and using a smoker that adds taste to the food no other grilling option can.
For those who are starting out as a young couple and who do not want to spend a great deal of money on different appliances for outdoor cooking, this combo is a great alternative. It’s because you get two devices in one that will last and be able to sustain excessive heat and even cold because of the sturdy construction.
Advantages of the Grill/Smoker Combo
The best advantage I have found with this smoker/grill combo is the size. Not having a large, bulky combo is advantageous because it allows you to move it around for your convenience. Living in a small place can make grilling and smoking a challenge. With this combo, there is no reason to worry about that anymore.
The sturdy construction ensures you will be able to keep your grill/smoker combo for a long time as well. You can also be pretty confident that when the company who makes the product has the name Outdoors in the name, they know how to construct equipment to ensure it can withstand the elements.
Another advantage of this grill/smoker combo is the food prep tray that it has. With most regular charcoal grills and smokers, this is not always an option. It makes your cooking easier and less messy as well.
A perk on this grill that is also hard to come by with some combos is a lower rack for easy storage as well. You can store your charcoal on the lower rack and not have to worry about having to dig it out because it fits conveniently under the grill.
The large ash box that the combo has also made it easy to clean up as well. I know most other grills do not have this luxury, so this was a feature to be noted.
When smoking food, one primary concern is monitoring the temperature. The Medina combo has an internal thermometer built into the smoker for accuracy and convenience.
Factors to Consider
When buying a combo such as this, first consider how many you are going to cook for. The firebox offers a cooking area of 13×13 inches, while the grill provides 13×17 inches. It is easy enough cooking space to feed a small to medium family. Comparing to other combos I have researched; this is a pretty ample area offered in most combos.
After doing some research, I found that the smoker in this combo is a process that you can control manually. Many “old-time” smokers prefer this method because it better controls the taste of the food they are preparing. It is not for all people, though, but people who are outdoor enthusiasts find this option a plus.
Heating and Cooking
When using the Medina Grill/Smoker Combo, you will need about 3 to 5 pounds of briquettes for a long cooking session. If you are going to use the grill option, you can use the desired amount depending on what you are cooking.
You also have the opportunity to be able to use wood chips that are seasoned as well. If you are camping, you can even use wood chunks to give that campfire taste if that is what you prefer. The versatility with heating helps make this combo appealing to traveling outdoorsmen as well.
Cleaning and Assembly
The assembly itself may prove to be a bit difficult for some who have not had a lot of experience. The good news is the combo does come with easy to follow instructions. There are specific instructions when it comes to cleaning and caring for your smoker. There is a grease catcher attached that is about the size of a soup can.
All you need to do is empty it and clean it with soap and water. You can clean the surfaces of your smoker by using a heavy-duty cleaning brush. It is advised that you keep your smoker clean and clean it regularly as well to prolong the lifespan. Store it in a clean, dry place as well.
You have all the ease of a regular-sized smoker and grill made to be compact and fold down to take with you on the go.
Customers have raved about the quality taste they have had with this combo. One customer who had an annual hunting trip with his friends was so excited because they could go on a hunt, prepare their meat and not have to wait until they got home to smoke their food.
To some, this may sound weird. Having been married to a hunter, though, this is a huge plus. The fact that you can take this grill in the woods and use wood you find to cook with is also great in the event of getting stranded. You will have a source of heat and the ability to eat if the worst happens.
Customers are pleased that the company offers a full one-year warranty as well. The company is easy to deal with and does not hassle customers that need to exercise warranty options. It is a plus when making a large purchase.
All in all, as far as smoker/grill combos go, the Medina Patio 65 compact model is an excellent choice if you want to be able to cook a variety of food at home or on the go. The price is reasonable.
The versatility this combo offers is appealing to people who like to be spontaneous and be on the go. You can just load this up and hit the road and camp and be confident that you are going to have heat and food no matter where you are.
The steel construction of the combo allows you to be confident that you have made the right choice, and with proper care, it will last. I would recommend this to outdoor folks who like to rough it and those starting out in a small place.