How Does It Cook?: Saber Grills (Part 3)

Flare-ups Have Been Eliminated–The unique, patented design of SABER grill’s cooking grate and IR emitter prevents flare-ups that char meat and create dramatic temperature fluctuations.

The last time I wrote a review about an infrared grill I ended up feeling the need to take a few of the nice things I wrote back after a several months of use.  I promised, myself, that I wouldn’t make the same mistake again.  I would not saber-grill-5write a review before I  made sure I had completely taken the grill through a complete test.

I also decided I would test some of the “claims” the manufacturer made in their literature and on their website. The biggest claim, as far as cooking is concerned, is right up at the top of this post.  “Prevents flare-ups” and “temperature fluctuations” are two huge claims.  I wanted to know if they were just “marketing department” speak or fact.  The last time I tested an IR grill that made the “prevents flare-ups” I discovered it wasn’t all that true, when the grill caught on fire, so it was important to me that flare-ups didn’t happen.

saber-grill-8The plan was to cook some of the fattiest food items I could get.  I’ve grilled bacon, pork belly, chicken with the skin off and an untrimmed and nice piece of brisket with the fat cap still on. I was amazed I didn’t get one flare-up. True to the claims by Saber the fat vaporized as it hit the diffuser underneath the grates.  It smoked, sometimes it smoked a lot, but no flare-ups. It is fantastic.

In the picture to the left you can see the design and how it works.  The grates sit on top of the diffuser.  This keeps the drippings off the burners. It works as promised. The design also channels airflow away from the food being grilled.  This helps to keep, whatever you’re grilling, from drying out.  The claim “mistakes like overcooking or charring a piece of meat will be a thing of the past” is just too much for me to believe.  This one is just the marketing department speaking here.  Nothing will keep you from overcooking a piece of meat.  I was going to test this but decided wasting a piece of meat wasn’t worth it.

saber-grill-4 saber-grill-3 saber-grill-2One of the most useless features on most gas grills is the thermometer in the lid of the grill.  I’ve always wondered why the manufacturers want to tell a backyard grillmaster what the temperature is in the top of the lid, it makes no sense at all.  Why aren’t the thermometers at grate level where they are actually of some use? I was actually happy to see grate level thermometers on the Saber.

But, do the thermometers actually work? That’s the question I wanted to answer.  I started the grill, set the three zones to “low” heat and walked away for 3 minutes.  When I came back I took the pictures above of each of the three thermometers.  All three of them read 250 degrees. I was impressed.  The temperature eventually went up to almost 400 degrees but the three thermometers were in sync the entire way.  The next step was to test how close to the actual temperature they were.  Using a wireless thermometer I found the Saber thermometers to be within 15 degrees of the actual temperature.  Pretty good in my book.


Using some canned biscuits I next tested the grill for variations in grate temperature. The thermometers at the front of the grate showed uniformity but what about between the front and back of the grates.  I used a BBQ smoker trick to look for any variations.  I placed canned biscuits on the grates and closed the lid for 4 minutes.  You can see that the biscuits are the same height.  If there were differences in temperature the biscuits would be different sizes.  So, we’ve got temperatures that are the same over the entire grill surface.


The illustration to the right shows some of the best features of the Saber Grill.  From the 304 Commercial Grade stainless steel to the no-flex lid the Saber is designed and built to be a cooking machine.  It really does cook well.  I’ve enjoyed using it every time.

There are a couple of features that I’m not that impressed with.  As great an idea as the drawer is under the burners to catch any drippings that get past the diffuser, it’s hard to clean and even harder to get back into place.  Fortunately very little grease reaches the drawer because it does leak a little if you’re not careful.

And the placement of the propane tank retaining screw is a pain to get to. I don’t like having to pull my grill away from the wall, where it sits, to replace the propane tank.  I’ll probably just not use the retaining screw since I rarely roll the grill around.

Neither of these are big enough “issues” to deter anyone from purchasing a Saber Grill.  The good and great features of the grill far outweigh these minor problems.

Here are a few photographs of the food cooked on the Saber Grill:

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The Saber Grill  is a great addition to my backyard cooking arsenal.  I have already recommended the purchase of a Saber Grill to no fewer than half a dozen people.  And I’m recommending it to my readers.  If you’re looking for a really good gas grill you need to take a serious look at the Saber.

9 Comments on How Does It Cook?: Saber Grills (Part 3)

  1. Thanks for the review. I look at the Saber Grill line at a local dealer on Saturday and was impressed.

    The salesman showed me how the warming rack could be place in the lower position for roasting. Did you try this out?


    • BBQGrail // May 20, 2013 at 8:59 am //


      The warming rack is a great feature. You can use it in the bottom position to cook MOINK Balls. I have one more post in the review series and the warming rack plays an important role in that post.


  2. Very nice job Larry, Like the biscuit trick.


  3. A special MOINK Ball rack? I’m sold :-D

  4. I used to have a nice built-in grill with an IR burner. I didn’t love it because it got so hot that I had to be very careful and drippings would clog it up after a while. We moved and since I couldn’t take my grill with me I was in the market. I’ve been sold on IR cooking for a long time and wanted a TEC but the prices are crazy as you know. I read about Saber grills and a few good reviews and it’s construction seemed to make sense to me. I purchased the SS500 and WOW! I’ve been grilling for 20 years gas and charcoal and never have I cooked such tender and moist chicken and steak. I do believe the grills IR tech made it possible. Construction is good, not great like Firemajic or Lynx, but good. It’s all 304SS except for the cabinet frame which looks to be powercoated. I did find out from Saber that it’s 18 gauge SS for those of you curious.

    Sorry for the long post, but this is by far the best cooking I’ve ever cooked on, period.

  5. I wanted to follow up my earlier post and questions.

    Thanks for the great review and for answering my questions, Larry! Because of the information in your review and your answers to my questions I decided to buy a Saber Cast 500. I’ve had it for less than a week and I love it! So far I have cooked burgers, steaks, pork chops, chicken breasts and portobello mushroom pizzas and everything came out great! I am impressed by the quality of the grill in all areas but especially where it really counts, the food.

    thanks again for the great review!

    • BBQGrail // June 10, 2013 at 7:48 pm //

      You’re welcome Ronelle. Thanks for taking the time read my blog and ask questions. I agree the Saber IR grill is an amazing grill. I too love mine.

  6. Darrin Stryker // July 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm //

    I bought this grill in June and haven’t stopped cooking on it. The grill arrived in one box and assembly was a cinch, took me about 1.5 hrs to put it together. Could have been quicker if I’d had some help. High quality construction throughout with heavy metal lid, grates and shelves, bolts& nuts (which were standard size and greatly appreciated) right down to the casters. Once together, I followed the instructions to season the grill grates, then it came time to try some cooking. Let me tell you this grill was made to cook. I cooked steak the first night and it was fabulous. I have come to realize this grill cooks hotter than the”old gas grill” with no flare ups, that is what I was getting away from. I hate to burn food and this grill was a great choice to eliminate the flare ups. The grill cooks hot and even from front to back, I proved this the next morning by cooking biscuits on a metal plate,”perfection” ensued. I would recommend this grill to everyone looking for a high quality grill that cooks great. It wasn’t cheap but if you’re like me you appreciate quality and don’t mind paying for it.
    Now let me say why I gave it a 4 and not a 5. The lid should be shaped different to allow water to run off the grill in the front, not into the grill. The way the grill lid is made it allows rain water to run into the grill then down to the drip pan which then in turn leaks into the bottom of the grill as the drip pan is not water proof. I bought a cover from saber, which I think was overpriced and due to the fact that the grill gets water in it I in turn keep it covered. So in reality I guess the water has a purpose, LOL.
    To sum it up; this grill cooks like a champ. One simple redesign of the lid would solve the water problem and”VIOLA” you have the perfect grill. I’m sold on this grill and your should be too. Buy it you won’t be disappointed.

    • BBQGrail // July 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm //

      Thank you for your comment. I have not experienced the water problem, but my grill is under an over hang. I will pass along your comment to Saber.


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