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Kalamazoo vs. Lynx vs. Firemagic (Fire Magic)

Posted by markdavis (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 21, 10 at 3:12

Hi-

I'm looking for a high-end grill in the 36" to 48" range. Built-in.

I've limited my options to Fire Magic, Lynx, and Kalamazoo.

What are you opinions? Which grill is made the best -- anyone know weight figures & SS gauges? Which one will last the longest? Which has the best and most functional warranty -- a lifetime warranty with no service techs (rumor about Kalamazoo) may not be useful.

I like the cast-brass burners on the Lynx. I also like the versatility of the infrared burner for searing. The ceramic briquettes seems nice.

I like the cast-SS burners on the Fire Magic, the zones, the power (BTU) of the burners, etc. It seems nice that you can get a single infrared burner.

I'm not sure about the burner design on the Kalamazoo, except that I see that it has ceramic. Kalamazoo seems to be built like a tank and also appears to have a very functional hybrid system for wood and charcoal. However, I've seen mixed reviews of Kalamazoo post 2004 - someone posted here saying there was no one to service their grill. Also, the price is about 2x on the Kalamazoo vs. the others.

I see very little talk about the other two as well.

Thx, -mark


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kalamazoo vs. Lynx vs. Firemagic (Fire Magic)

I've been grill shopping too. I narrowed my choices down to Lynx, Fire Magic, Twine Eagles and Alfresco. I saw all of these grills at local dealers. I did not consider Kalamazoo because of the high price, but I did research it on the Internet. All these brands have the reputation of being very fine grills (which should be the case in this price range) so it comes down more to a matter of personal preference rather than quality, build or performance issues, IMHO.

Here are my impressions of each brand:

Lynx -- I was very impressed when I saw this grill in person; its design is streamlined and elegant and certainly would win first prize for sheer beauty. It also has a nice set of features -- lots of BTUs/sq in of grilling surface, a multiposition, 3-speed rotis, an interior halogen light for night grilling, a spring-actuated lid assist, a smoker box (no smoker burner though) and the cast-brass main burners you mentioned. The pricing is right in line for this class of gas grills. It wound up being my second choice.

Twin Eagles -- the Lynx dealer also carried Twin Eagles so I saw them side by side. Very similar features as Lynx, but not quite as pretty, not quite as many BTUs, and not quite as expensive. Like the Lynx, it's American-made of 304 SS, and the fit and finish appeared excellant. That's true of all the four brands I saw, and, I'm sure, also of the Kalamazoo, except that it's in a category by itself in terms of build and materials, as you would expect for the price.

Fire Magic -- this is a very old company with an excellant reputation for selling very high quality grills. However, for the price, I think you could do better. IMHO, Fire Magic is lacking innovation in both the appearance of the grill, which I would rank at the bottom of this group and especially that tall, tear-drop shaped lid, and also in the ommission of such a desirable feature as an interior light. They sell a clip-on, but who wants that? All that, combined with distinctly higher pricing than the others (except for Kalamazoo) means you really have to want the special features they do offer--such as the ability to do charcoal grilling in the main burner compartments--to choose this grill.

Alfresco (even though you didn't ask) -- this wound up being my first choice. I ordered an 30" LX2 cart model (the LX2 is the higher-end of their two grill lines) with one infrared sear burner, which was shipped today. I saw the Alfresco at the same store as the Fire Magic and there was no question in my mind. Alfresco was the winner. Why? The pricing is similar to my second-choice Lynx, but Alfresco has one feature that really iced it for me. The rotis motor is built into the grill and you can leave the rotis rod right in place while you're grilling other things. In all the other grills I saw, you have to store the motor and rod when not in use. With these others, the motor, when in use, hangs outside the grill and the rod penetrates through openings in the lid. With Alfresco, the integrity of the lid is not compromised in this manner, and you don't have to trouble yourself with storage or with installing the components when you start rotissing. It also makes for a much sleeker appearance. The warming rack has four positions, one of which swings it completely out of the way when you're rotissing so that you also don't have to worry about removing the rack. Also, unlike the Lynx (and like the Fire Magic), the Alfresco has a dedicated smoke burner right below its smoke box, another feature that's important to me. Plus, the Alresco is almost as nice looking as the Lynx.

Still, if money were no object, I'd be mighty tempted by a Kalamazoo. Judging by the pix on the Net, they're built like a tank and those "dragon burners" sound like they'd survive more than a season or two in Hell itself.

Not that you'd be using it there.


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RE: Kalamazoo vs. Lynx vs. Firemagic (Fire Magic)

The Firemagic I looked at (Echelon) has halogen lights. I liked the Firemagic best due to its flexibility. You can have 3 zones of cooking, one with charcoal, one with gas and one with infrared all at the same time.

I have a Lynx. I was able to buy it on sale at a store that was going out of business, so I got a good price. The one thing I wish it had are 'lighting pipes', those stainless pipes welded in that let you light a burner with a match. I think FireMagic has these.

There is another brand made by FireMagic, RCS, that is a lot cheaper if price is an issue.

The webstore below has a LOT of information including videos of the various models broken down and in use so you can compare features.

Here is a link that might be useful: grill website


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