The first time I saw the BBQ Dragon was on Kickstarter. The potential to have a charcoal grill up to cooking heat in 10 minutes almost sounded too good to be true. A year later, I got the opportunity to see for myself – and was pleasantly surprised.
What is it? On the surface, the BBQ Dragon seems to be little more than a high-output fan, not unlike the sort that you would find in any hair dryer (hair dryers, incidentally, are another great way to get a grill burning quickly). What sets the BBQ Dragon apart is that it runs on batteries and can be clamped onto the side of your grill – two pretty big pluses.
What I Love About It
The BBQ Dragon gets the grill burning much, much faster and with much less effort than conventional methods. Chimneys are great and everything, but they typically only get you enough hot coals to start the rest of your grill. The Dragon can help you prepare a whole grill worth of charcoal in a good deal less time than it takes to get the chimney ready – and the hands-free aspect means that you can work on other tasks, while the fire is starting.
Most importantly of all,?it makes firing up the grill much less of an ordeal, which almost certainly means more barbecues. I have yet to have a grill ready in ten minutes, but it has come close enough for me to declare myself satisfied.
What Displeases Me
The BBQ Dragon is a thirsty beast. If you make the mistake of not ordering the rechargeable battery pack, you will want to put some rechargeables into it – it can easily chew through four AAs in a couple of sessions and it runs much better when fully juiced. D cells would have necessitated some redesigning, but would have been much more practical.
There is no way around the battery issue, that is the price that you pay for making a powerful motor cordless. In this author’s opinion, that is a reasonable price to pay. The build quality of most of the Dragon is outstanding, but when you get to the soft plastic battery handle, it gets a little disappointing. It should be made out of metal, as should the speed controller. Speaking of the battery handle, the cap is quite hard to remove – for something that you need to remove fairly frequently, that is rather annoying.
While there are a few things that I would quite happily change about the BBQ Dragon, it does what it is supposed to do very well. It is not the perfect fire starter, but it is a very satisfactory one. I have no hesitation in giving it four out of five stars.