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Alfresco Grill Review: Gotta Love ‘Dem Flareups! – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | June 24th, 2017

Why the Alfresco ALXE Series of grills handles flareups better than anyone else

If you are shopping for a grill and the salesperson tries to sell you on said grill’s ability to completely negate flareups, then my advice is to walk your ass out of that store or off the phone PRONTO.

There is a silly misconception that flareups are the bane (not this Bane) of every backyard griller .
I wholeheartedly disagree. Especially if you are using a gas grill.

What is a flareup?

It’s fat, juice, marinade or some other cooking byproduct that is hitting a very hot surface on your grill. The result is smoke, or flame that rises, WITH FLAVOR, sending it back to the food. Since a gas grill does not impart any flavor to food (gas = colorless, odorless, tasteless), then the flare up or FLAVOR BOMB/FLAME KISS, is actually a positive thing.
The problem is when your grill is too hot, or filthy, and you can’t harness the inherent beauty of the flare up, and it becomes sustained, and ultimately burns the shit out of your food.
It’s like any other cooking fire, it delivers the goods (man,is there anything better than cooking over live fire?) but it needs to be harnessed or that beauty it delivers to our olfactory senses can go sideways real fast.

So what you need is the tool or toolkit to be able to handle this heat/fire and channel it for the good as you cook on your limited (taste-wise) gas grill. That’s why the Alfresco is the way to go – the ceramic briquette system it uses is off the charts good. Watch the video for the details, but if you want a vehicle that will allow you to cook at a high temp yet control the inevitable flareups, the Alfresco ALXE series delivers.

Alfresco 42 Grill Review

Written by Appliance Dude | June 4th, 2017

Why do I love Alfresco gas grills?
They are built like tanks.
They have 13 succinct reasons that make them the most versatile grill
and…they knock the s#* out of untamed flareups!

Over the years I have lost too many good pieces of meat to the insidious grip of untamed flareups. While I squarely blame myself for those issues, it didn’t help matters that the grills I was using using capitulated in the face of these meal-ruiners.
That was until I started grilling on an Alfresco ALXE 42 Grill

Because of Alfresco’s brilliantly designed ceramic briquette cooking system, my flareups have been transformed into “flame kisses” that aid in flavorizing my food, instead of turning it into a shade closer to obsidian and leaving it with the taste of a fireplace.

Which means…

Alfresco Grills Have the Best Flare Up Taming System!

Proof is in the pudding…

My wife gave me a few skirt steaks that had been sitting in an Asian marinade bath for a few hours. When they were brought to the white hot Alfresco 42 grill, they were undoubtedly fodder for a serious flare up outbreak.

As you can see from the images below, flames did start to erupt, BUT WERE SUPPRESSED IMMEDIATELY. Because of the close concentration of the briquettes (if you look at Alfresco’s ceramic grid vs the competition there are very few gaps that would allow flames to shoot through) the flames may get through, but they are smacked down after allowing for a brief flame kiss which is a flavor enhancer. More on that next…

Flare Ups are a Good Thing. No, Make that a GREAT Thing.


Flare ups are caused by drippings.
And drippings are what flavors our food.
The folks at GrillGrates feel that the drippings and their byproduct (flareups) are the most instrumental factor in giving your good it’s kick a$# taste. Yes, more important than the wood pellets, chunks, charcoal or (with a gas grill) the chips in a smoker box. We WANT flare ups, but we don’t want sustained flare ups. Instead we need to recontextualize them as “flame kisses” or “flavor bombs”.

BTW, no matter what cooking system you are using, if you don’t clean your grill gates and briquettes, you will be slowly creating a flare up factory.
I clean my Alfresco 42 Grill regularly and make sure to burn away any buildup on the briquettes.

If you have any Alfresco Grill questions please give us a holler and remember we ship Alfresco nationwide…for free! Call us at 1-800-966-2878 to order today!

Alfresco 42 Grill Review

Alfresco 42 Grill - Flareup Gone!

The Alfresco 42 Grill’s ceramic briquettes knock down the flareup.

Alfresco Grill Review – “Almost Perfect” Steak with the Solid Fuel Insert

Written by Appliance Dude | March 1st, 2017

Using two cooking zones on Alfresco’s SFI-POD Steak, Senor Smoke attains near steak perfection

March 1 2017

Two years ago I sold an Alfresco grill to a cat we will call “Steve from Scarsdale”. This was a special sale. Why?
The sales cycle took over one year. Talk about a considered purchase.

Steve took his dear, sweet time to order b/c he had a ton of research to do. He has an engineering background so he was paying close attention to the grill’s design integrity and details such as thickness, soldering, and overall product construct.

His final decision – an Alfresco.

Steve also purchased a few accessories including the solid fuel insert. Am few months after delivery I dropped him a note to see how he was enjoying the grill.
We got to talking about the solid fuel insert and he mentioned that he was doing dual zone cooking on it. I didn’t understand how he was able to pull that off considering the insert is not immense. He told me that the key was to bank your lump charcoal in the back of the insert and then leave the entire front of the insert empty. He said that there would be ample space with a “split” grate so that the dual zone method would not inhibit you with limited real estate.

So I tested Steve’s idea with a very thick strip steak that I knew could use some indirect heat as well as an intense sear.
I banked my Kamado Joe lump charcoal in the back of the solid fuel insert and lit it with the Alfresco burner. After 7 minutes the charcoal was fully ignited and ready to go. The steak, which had been massaged with olive oil, Jacobsens sea salt and cracked pepper was placed at the front of the insert as I wanted to reverse-sear this – cooking at a lower temperature and then searing at the end of the cook.


As you can see by the below photos, I had a significant spread in temperature at the grill grate – I was seeing a 500 degree difference which I could not believe.
I let the thick steak sit on the front of the solid fuel insert for about 7 – 8 minutes total, turning every 3 mins to get the cross hatch marks.
After the 8 minutes were up I move the steak the back portion of the solid fuel insert and immediately noticed that the steak was undergoing a sear – audibly the sizzle started to pick up and the smoke and flame started to kick in as well. Things were hot back there!


After about 2-3 minutes per side I pulled the steak and let it temp under loosely tented foil for about 10 minutes. The result – incredibly delicious medium rare and quite a tasty bark on it from the sear.


Buy Your Alfresco Grill or Outdoor Kitchen at Curto’s – Free Shipping Natiowide

Temperature at front of solid fuel insert reads 455 degrees

Temperature Reads 985 at back of solid fuel insert where charcoal is banked.

Review: Lynx vs Alfresco Grills – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | February 13th, 2017


Alfresco 42″ Grill

Lynx 42″ Grill

Pricing $5403 $5299

Model Number ALXE-42 L42R1
Size 42″ Wide 42″ Wide
Cooking Grate Dimensions 37.25″ x 19 39 x 21
Number of Main Burners 3 3
Main Grilling Area 770 855
Sear Zone NO NO
Cook with Wood or Charcoal YES NO
Burner Material 18-SR Brass
Burner BTUs 27,500 25,000
Hood Type Spiral Torsion Spring Assist
Rotisserie Type Integrated Outboard
Rotisserie Max Weight 120lbs n/a
Rotisserie Burner BTUs 18500 16000
Cooking System Ceramic Briquettes Ceramic Briquettes
Temperature Gauge Analog Analog
Smoker Type Integrated Box
Cutout Width 40.5″ 41″
Cutout Depth 23″ 25.5″
Cutout Height 10.25″ 10 7/8″
Made in USA YES YES


Curtos.com: Outdoor Kitchen Plans – Alfresco Grill

Written by Appliance Dude | January 17th, 2017

Outdoor Kitchen Plans

Here is an outdoor kitchen we worked on in 2016. It features all Alfresco product including the 42″ grill, refrigerator, versa power cooker and an assortment of undercounter storage.

Alfresco 42 grill with URS1-EXE Alfresco fridge

Alfresco grill outdoor kitchen from Curto’s

Alfresco Grill Review: Best Chicken Ever, Indirect Roasting and the Dead – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | December 29th, 2016

Took another accessory home for my Alfresco ALXE42SZ grill and I ended up making the best chicken I’ve ever produced on the Alfresco.
The indirect roasting pod is entirely legit, check it out and let me know about your results.
It’s accessories like this that separate Alfresco from the other premium gas grills.
Buy one for your Alfresco, load her up with a bird or roast of sorts, make sure the beer is cold and plays some Dead circa 1972!

Free Nationwide Shipping on Alfresco Grills

Alfresco Grill Review: Rocking the Steamer Fryer Insert! – AG-SF

Written by Appliance Dude | December 28th, 2016

Alfresco Grill Review – Steamer Fryer Insert AG-SF

Yes, it did sit in the box for nearly 1 year, but I am happy to announce that I broke open the Alfresco Steamer Fryer insert AG-SF and was astounded by the results!
We did shrimp tempura for the inaugural cook. Not only did the shrimp taste great, but it changes the narrative on what we are willing to cook – reason being is that frying was a rare occurrence because we didn’t want to deal with the smell and cleanup in the kitchen. Now with the Alfresco AG-SF steamer fryer insert, the frying can all be done outside so the kitchen stays sparkly clean! We have tons of ideas on what to do next…fried oreos, fried ice cream, rice balls, eggplant parmigiana, chicken fingers…the only question will be how to do this without causing our collective cholesterol to go through the roof!

Remember, free Nationwide shipping on Alfresco Grills

Curtos.com: Alfresco Grill Review – Cooking with Smoke n’ Fire

Written by Appliance Dude | October 19th, 2016

Take a Bell & Evans air chilled chicken, an Alfresco ALXE42SZ grill and its various features – rotisserie, solid fuel insert (SFI-POD) and the herb/smoke infusion system….and you get one damn good bird, cooked with “Controlled Smoke”

Curtos.com: Artisan Grill Review – ARTP36

Written by Appliance Dude | August 10th, 2016

Artisan logo

Shop for Artisan Grills at Curtos.com

Question #1: What stainless gas grill offers the most value to consumers today?
Question #2: How do we define value?

Answer #1: Alfresco’s Artisan Grill series!

Answer #2: Value is hereby defined as providing maximum kick-assness at a reasonable price point.

Grill-lovers – the answer is Artisan!

If you have 14 mins, please sit back, relax, enjoy a cold one while I explain the beauty behind this grill.

If you are looking for a near premium grill or building an outdoor kitchen and don’t want to crazy with the prices, then ARTISAN IS THE ANSWER.

Curtos.com – Turning an Alfresco ALXE Grill into an Offset Smoker

Written by Appliance Dude | August 4th, 2016

In my never ending quest to bend, warp, re-shape and squeeze every bit of functionality out of my various bbq grills, I’m here to report on my latest project – turning my Alfresco 42″ ALXE grill into an offset smoker.
What?
Yes you ready that correctly.
It’s not enough that I have a Kamado Joe and Memphis wood-fired pellet grill for smoking. And it’s not enough that Alfresco grills already offer a smoking chamber in the grill. Nope. I needed to push things further. Influenced and inspired by the great Steve Raichlen and his show/book “Projcet Smoke”, smoking has become my passion over the last year. So let me explain why I decided to do this and what the initial results were.

I’ve been using the Alfresco SFI-POD (solid fuel insert) since last winter. This is the insert which allows you to cook with lump charcoal and/or wood.
While using it the other week, I noticed that the wood wasn’t burning with flame atop the charcoal, but was instead releasing a lazy, fragrant plume of smoke around the grill.
Pop. Lightbulb went off.

If I had the SFI-POD lit on the side, what if I turned off the other 2 gas burners, and elevated the meat (in this case a spatchcock chicken) on the multi-position cooking rack. Powered by the smoke from the wood and lump coal, could I then emulate the performance of a stick-burner smoker on my Alfresco?

After one night of testing, the answer is no.

The first and biggest problem is that the chicken did not cook evenly as it does on a kamado or pellet grill. The side closest to the SFI-POD (which was on the right) was cooking far quicker than the left side of the bird. I was hoping to see a type of convection process happen withing the cooking chamber which would allow a more even cook, but alas it was not to be. I eventually shifted the bird around with cooking tongs in order to evenly cook each side, and I also turned on the middle burner on the grill on LOW, so as to create some heat from the bottom. This eventually caused some of the fat and seasoning from the bird to drip down on the hot ceramic briquettes, creating lovely little smoke-kisses of flavor.

I’m going to try this again with some modification and will report findings here. Oh, and one other thing – the cooking rack on the Alfresco opens up more possibilities from the griller/smoker b/c of its flexibility. Note how I didn’t call it a warming rack – this device does far more than warm hot dog buns folks. More to come!
Curtos.com - Spatchcock chicken

Spatchcock chicken on the Alfresco Grill.

Spatchcock chicken on the Alfresco Grill.

Curtos.com: Alfresco Grill with Solid Fuel Insert

Curtos.com: Grilling Chicken on Alfresco ALXE42SZ Grill

Curtos.com: Alfresco Grill and SFI-POD

Curtos.com: Alfresco Grill Portabello Mushrooms

Curtos.com: Alfresco Grill / Portabello Mushrooms

Curtos.com: Spatchcock Chicken on Alfresco Grill Solid Fuel Insert