Primo Oval XL
Primo Oval XL
The Primo Oval XL is their largest cooker. Primo's claim to fame is their oval shape that allows direct heat on one side and indirect heat on the other for 2-zone setups: a unique feature in the Kamado world. This enables cooks to slide foods back and forth from cool to hot zones for crisping skin and reverse sear steaks. Most Kamado aficionados concede the best way to create different heat zones in round cookers is by moving foods closer to or further from the coal. This is typically accomplished using a variety of accessories that can be costly and awkward to use. One useful device that is a match made in heaven for any kamado is the BBQ Dragon, a well-made, battery operated, clip on, variable speed fan that can convert a charcoal bed from quiet gray to rip roaring red hot in a matter of minutes. Very good for switching gears from low and slow to searing hot. Click here to read more about Kamado and Ceramic Grills and Smokers.
The dome is large enough to accommodate a 30 lb. turkey. Additional racks that sit on and above the primary cook surface are available to extend cooking capacity.
It has a clever upper vent that is a pivoting, cast-iron disk. You can dial it for subtle air control, or you can move the entire vent cap aside to leave the vent wide open. The lower intake vent is a precision fitted stainless steel left-to-right slide allowing fingertip air control.
The left and right grates have legs on one side. With the legs up, you can cook an inch or two closer to the coals. Turn them over and put the legs down, and you can raise the grates those couple of inches. Two grates means you can cook on two different levels.
They both have an effective unyielding spring-loaded lid hinge that makes it easy to lift the heavy dome, a thick felt gasket for sealing the two halves, ceramic insulation, energy efficiency, easy cleanout, solid porcelain-coated steel grates, and a built-in dial thermometer in the dome that tells the temp in the dome, not on the grate where the food is. As always, we suggest getting your own, accurate digital thermometer.
There are plenty of accessories: Pizza stones, ceramic deflectors that keep grease off the fire as well as capturing and radiating the heat more evenly, a firebox divider for indirect cooking, extra racks that can give you as many as four different heights, rib racks, chicken "sitters", a cart, and more.
The optional teak and cypress wood tables are beautiful and provide plenty of work area. If you prefer, there is a smaller, less expensive metal cart. It also comes with movable ceramic feet if you just want to elevate the hot ceramic a few inches above your deck or patio. You might expect to pay more for beautiful wood carts, but one problem with Primo is everything is an option. Even the ash hook, a useful tool for scraping ash in the bottom out through the lower damper, is extra.
Here's another complaint: although you can change the height of the primary cook surface, you can't lower it right above the coals for good searing. Otherwise, this is an excellent example of American workmanship. Built to last many years, the ceramic has a 20-year limited warranty and the metal has a 5-year warranty. The Primo website has a user forum where owners can solve problems and exchange ideas.
$1,341 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.
Where To Buy (Buying from these suppliers supports this website):
Egg or Kamado Style
Combination Grill & Smoker
400 square inches ( about 19 burgers )
Manufacturer claims that all or practically all of this device is made in the USA
Cooked On It
We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.
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