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While tailgating, you can either create the best time for your guests, or stand aside in awe as you watch others make the most of their sporting event. Good news is, it’s quite simple to be the former, you just need the right equipment, especially your grill. So you probably landed here looking for a good smoker, and that’s why you’re reading some Orion Cooker Convection Smoker reviews to determine whether it’s the real deal or a piece of junk.
Well, at Simply Tailgating, we help you save time and money, before buying a grill. What you’re about to read may shock you, so you may want to read this Orion Cooker Convection Smoker review carefully.
About Orion Cookers:
The very first Orion product was developed by Henry Ely Shacklock in 1873. The company is now owned and run by Christian Fitzgerald; designer of the Orion Cooker Convection Smoker while trying to solve the inconsistencies of most smokers. At the time of writing, the company is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Orion Cooker Convection Smoker Features:
Christian Fitzgerald claims he designed his own cooker, after continuous frustrations with other smokers he has used before. With just a lid, body and drip tray in mind, here’s what he came up with, and dubbed it the Original Orion Cooker:
- 100% Stainless Steel Construction – Plain and simple, the Orion Cooker is a round, hollow stainless steel unit that disassembles into three parts – the lid, the body and a drip pan.
- Three Cooking Processes – The cooker’s design enables you to steam, smoke or use convection heat to prepare your meal with little babysitting required.
- Faster Cooking – Apparently this smoker reduces your normal cooking time of other grills by half.
- Dimensions – The unit has a cylinder diameter of 13 inches with the cooking surface measuring 360 square inches.
Other Notable Features:
- Pre-Drilled Wireless Probe Slot
- 3 Cooking Grates
- Deep Drip Pan
- Uses wood chips as fuel
Orion Cooker Cleaning & Maintenance:
With conventional grills, you need the handy skills of a pirate and the patience of a dove to clean and maintain it. With the Orion Cooker Convection Smoker, all you need is soapy water, a stainless steel cleaning agent and scrub to tidy up your mess. To clean it, here’s what you do:
- Allow it to cool before getting down and dirty.
- Remove the top part, grates and drip pan
- With your scouring pad, soapy water and cleaning agent, thoroughly cleanse off food residue, grease and smoke in and around the cooker’s parts.
- You can throw in the grates in a dishwasher or clean them manually
Let the parts dry, reassemble the cooker and use a cover to protect the unit from rust and the elements. You can get the unit’s recommended weather resistant cover on Amazon.com for around $30.
Orion Cooker Convection Smoker Portability:
Grills come in different weights, shapes and sizes. So it’s up to you to decide how portable you want your equipment to be. Orion gives the Convection Smoker a fair shot at portability, to say the least. It weighs only 2 pounds, measuring 21 inches (bottom diameter), 13 inches at the top and stands 20 inches above ground. So you can easily disassemble it, pop the trunk and throw it in there for your next tailgate outing.
Orion Cooker Convection Smoker Warranty:
Orion Cooker Convection Smoker Accessories:
A little accessorizing goes a long way, especially if you hate improvising. So with the Orion Cooker BBQ Smoker, here’s what’s extra:
- 3 Rib Hangers
- 3 Cooking Grates
- Cookbook and Manual
- 1 Poultry Stand and Lifting Handle
Orion Cooker BBQ Smoker Replacement Parts:
With stainless steel products, rust is your worst enemy. So you want to know whether you’ll be out in the cold or safe and dry if one or more parts of the Orion Cooker gives in to the elements. That said, here’s what you can replace:
- The body, lid and drip pan
- Rib hangers and receptacles
- Cooking grates
Orion Cooker Convection Smoker Cost:
With most grills, you get what you pay for. But that’s not the case if you know exactly where to get the best deals. This Orion Smoker costs around $200. You can check out Amazon.com for the best price online and great deals like the 1-2 Day Delivery if you’re a Prime Member.
What Do We Like?
Simplistic Design – Compared to most smokers and other grills of this range, the Orion Cooker can be used by just about anyone, with a simple hollow tube-like design. All you need to do is mantle your meat on an appropriate hanger, dip it inside the fire shaft and let it burn.
Lightweight and portable – I must admit, I was surprised that the unit weighs just 2 pounds. It also disassembles into three parts, two of them measuring 20 inches, while the lid measuring 13 inches. So that’s pretty much what anyone may be gunning for in terms of portability.
Orion Cooker Convection Smoker Complaints:
So we promised you both sides of the story at the beginning. Well, there are a couple of red flags about the Orion Cooker you may want to know about before you fork out your double benjamins:
- It rusts easily – With no tender love and care, your grill will simply rust away, especially if you live near the beach or in highly humid areas. Some customers got roughly a year’s use of the grill, with most parts succumbing to the tumor of all things stainless steel – rust!
- First-timers keep away – If it’s your first time using this grill, or you’ve never smoked a brisket in your life, you may find it amazingly hard to get the job done well with this grill. Some customers say the wood smolders leaving a peculiar flavor, while others experienced flare ups and burn throughs. So if you’re working with the grill for the first time ever, your ribs may look like cadaver flesh, the poultry may come out pale with no crust or worse still, your meat may be tough enough just like the dogs like that it.
Other Tailgating Grills to Consider:
- Char-Broil Classic 280 – A good smoker, uses charcoal, best with outdoor grilling.
- Blackstone 36” Griddle – Large cooking area (720 sq.in).
- Coleman RoadTrip LXE – Same price, comes with a built-in stand, uses gas.
Should You Buy The Orion Cooker Convection BBQ Smoker?
The Orion Cooker Convection BBQ Smoker is well worth having If you like your meat tender and moist, without the wait. It’s a work of innovation, able to smoke, steam and cook under convection in record time. If you’re thinking pork tenderloin, turkey, salmon or baby back ribs as part of your tailgating diet, then definitely go all in with this one.
Another thing I really like about this cooker is the cooking time. It cooks a 20 pound turkey in roughly 2 and a half hours, cutting the regular cooking time of most ovens in half. Well, it may not be as fancy-looking as you would like, but it more than makes up for that in maintenance. Again, you shouldn’t experience flare-ups that ruin the stainless-steel shine once you get the hang of using it.
This smoker is well worth the hype, with the majority of buyers being happy with their buy. It’s a light, simplistic and well thought-through cooker in design and functionality. So you can forget biting your nails wondering how and when your bird will be plate-ready. It locks in the valuable juices quite well, too! You can get it on Amazon.com for the best price, and get fast shipping with the FREE 1-2 Day Amazon Prime Delivery if you’re a Prime Member.
- Simplistic design
- Stainless steel construction
- Lightweight and portable
- Rusts easily
- Not cook-friendly for beginners
Well, that’s it from me today. Hope now you know enough before you cast the die on buying this smoker. You can also check out answers to frequently asked questions about the grill in the product’s Amazon page.