17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Great, just make sure its right for you.,
This review is from: CADAC Carri Chef Barbecue Grill BBQ (Garden & Outdoors)
I write this review having now owned a Cadac Carri Chef Deluxe for 5 years.
Much has been said about it in other Amazon reviews, so I'll try not to emulate those & just give my overall impressions.
NB: Judging by the picture shown at time of writing, Im not sure if the seller is including the domed lid (which allows this to be used as an oven). You may well decide that you don't need that anyway (it is pretty large & adds to the weight).
THE GOOD (and there is a lot to say here):
1) Extremely reliable piezo ignition & burner.
2) The burner is variable from as little heat as you need to as much heat as you need.
3) Good cooking area.
4) More versatile than anything else out there. Grills, fries, boils, barbecues & even works as an oven (with the lid). The Skottol (not included in this package at time of writing) even allows for cooking of paellas. stews, savoury rice, tagines and curries (you name it).
6) The various parts go together reasonably quickly & without drama.
7) Durable... Still in excellent nick after 5 years. Not even a chip to the enamel paintwork. I reckon it would (truly) last a lifetime.
8) The grill & frying plate (all-in-one) still have their FULL non-stick coating after 5 years of moderate use.
9) The lid (if actually included here) doubles as a wind-break for the cooking area (there is a hook inside that sits on the lip of the barbecue).
10) The carry pouches for the cooking surfaces are good quality & protect them well. The entire thing (apart from the legs which have their own bag) stows away in its strong carry bag. This measures 50cmsx50cmsx50cms once everything is packed away into it.
THE BAD (very few, but...):
1) It is flipping heavy at 17kgs all-in (15kgs without Skottol, or around 13kgs without Skottol & domed cover).
2) It does take up a lot of boot space if purchased for camping/caravanning. Without the domed cover (which is an awkward shape), somewhat less.
3) Despite using the lid as a windbreak (if you have one), even moderate wind can quite easily blow the flame out (sorry, but it really can & this has been stated in other reviews too). This may well apply to a lot of barbecues, though.
4) The Skottol is a great idea (if you are getting one), although it is only coated with black enamel and care must be taken with the heat in order not to burn food on the bottom of it. As the Skottol is so pricey as an after sale extra, you might well decide to live without it anyway (when considering price, storage space and extra weight). I think I used mine once & was put off by the fact that food so easily burned to it (but bear in mind, I am no Gorden Ramsey)!
5) Apart from the barbecue, it doesn't really do anything any better than a domestic cooker can do (although the fact that it is as useful as a domestic cooker could be viewed as a pretty big positive, depending on your circumstances). I used it for caravanning & had a pretty decent cooker in my caravan anyway... Having said that it is nice just to cook outdoors sometimes...
When I purchased it I was in no doubt that it would be absolutely the best thing I could purchase to take away with us in my touring caravan, and as concerns quality & versatility I was proven 100% correct... So why am I currently selling it in favour of a much smaller & lighter gas barbecue that has no "bells or whistles"???
I'm selling it because I have finally realised that despite it being a great bit of kit, it really is such a faff to set up/clean & put away each time. It is also pretty heavy at 15-17kgs, and as stated it takes up a hell of a lot of boot space...
Over my years of camping & caravanning I have slowly come to realise that less really is often more. The current tabletop barbecue I have weighs just 2kgs with lid, takes up a third of the boot space that the cadac does despite having the same cooking area, has as powerful & variable a flame, also has piezo ignition and can be used as an (admittedly smaller) oven with the lid. I can also fry or boil stuff on it with the pans out of my caravan. It really is so much easier as concerns my circumstances (more time on holiday to relax & less dead weight to carry around). Having said that, it will be in the dustbin within 10 years of hard use, whilst anything made by Cadac will just go on & on...
Was I to barbecue more often at home, then I might just have kept it just for that...
To conclude: This really is a fabulous BBQ, but I did personally make the mistake of not thinking through exactly what I really wanted from a barbecue for my touring caravan holidays (but that certainly is not Cadac's fault). It is immensly durable (it WILL last a lifetime if cared for), and will suit most prospective buyers. My only advice is to think about exactly what you need it for.