American Outdoor Grills, aka AOG, was introduced in 2004 by Fire Magic to provide an entry level product line and compliment for their luxury flagship models. Fire Magic makes some of the finest and most expensive bbq grills available which explains why their "entry level" AOG grills sell in the range of most other manufacturer's premium models. Priced just above Weber's Summit series, AOG possesses the solid, high quality 304 stainless steel construction, powerful performance and sleek look of Fire Magic at a fraction of the cost.
Comparing AOG to Fire Magic is like comparing Mercedes Benz to Rolls Royce. One is exceptional; the other is magnificent. For example, although AOG doesn't have the heavy cast stainless E-burners of Fire Magic that can blast past 1000 F, it has 304 stainless tube U-burners that reach searing temps over 800 F. Everything is just slightly scaled back.
AOG U-burners provide an excellent temperature range and even heat for all types of cooking. Unlike straight tube burners, U-burners add a U-shaped tube that spreads the flame across the firebox. Large, stainless flavor bars blanket the upper firebox to further diffuse heat for even cooking. You can drop charcoal and wood chips onto the big flavor bars for a whiff of smoke on thin meats with short cook times.
These grills are beautiful with solid construction and double wall hoods. Stainless steel rod cooking grids come on all models. All have push button electronic ignition. The tapered firebox bottom funnels drippings into a small, slide-out drawer accessed from the front control panel and equipped with a disposable aluminum tray.
AOG grill heads are 24", 30" and 36". They may be ordered as drop-ins, on posts or on free standing double door carts with casters. We caution buyers to carefully consider permanent installations and prefer freestanding models that can easily be changed or moved. Tod Corrin, SVP of parent company RH Peterson, tells us most AOG buyers want freestanding models, whereas Fire Magic owners prefer installations.
Drop-ins and pedestals are set up for natural gas while freestanding models use propane. Pedestals can have a base that bolts onto concrete, or a plain post to be set in concrete. They include a three hour safety timer that automatically shuts gas off. This feature may be retrofitted on any AOG model. All models may be ordered with or without 12,000 BTU side burners, 25,000 BTU double side burners, 16,000 BTU infrared burners, rotisseries with 10,000 BTU back burners and warming racks. AOG also offers a variety of doors and drawers and two pre-fabricated islands.
Fifteen year warranty on U-burners, ten years on all other parts except ignition, flavor bars and accessories which carry a one year warranty. Made in the USA by RH Peterson.
Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
Looked Closely At It
We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources.
RH Peterson manufactures high quality, artificial gas logs, the luxurious Fire Magic outdoor kitchens and American Outdoor Grills which is meant to be their entry level cookers. Although AOG doesn't offer the array of outdoor kitchen items available from Fire Magic, they do have a limited selection of doors and side burners. AOG is available online and at independent hearth and patio stores.