Fire Magic Aurora A830 Combo Gas and Charcoal Grill Review

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Large stainless steel double grill. One side is a gas and the other is a charcoal grill.
Aurora A830 Combo Gas and Charcoal Grill

The A830 is a combo gas and charcoal side by side grill with thick, heavy 304 stainless steel grates. It consists of an A430, the smallest Aurora gas 2-burner, on one side and a matching charcoal grill on the other. The A430 gas side has 16 gauge stainless steel flavor grids that blanket the burners for even heat distribution and two cast stainless steel E-burners, actually shaped more like an H, that are super heavy duty and designed to spread flame throughout the firebox. One owner likened the intensity to "a sea of fire". Access to burners is easy for cleaning, smoking, or setting up a rotisserie. The charcoal side features a hand cranked adjustable height charcoal pan for easy heat control, easy access front door to add charcoal or wood and a 26,000 BTU charcoal igniter burner. Unfortunately it has radial lid heat indicators instead of the battery powered digital thermometers and meat probes that come with all other Fire Magic models (sigh).

Auroras have 12" deep fireboxes (mighty nice for rotisserie) and a double wall spring assisted hoods. Removable warming racks can be stored on brackets behind the hood. These brackets also hold the rotisserie spit. Backburners include stainless steel covers for protection when not in use.

The drip collection system on the gas side consists of a tapered firebox bottom draining into a small drawer accessed from the front control panel and equipped with a disposable aluminum tray. But you shouldn't get much grease because most burns up on the flavor grids especially if you do a burn off after each use. There is s slide out ash pan on the charcoal side. All 304 stainless steel cart construction with insulated doors and drawers. Heavy-duty locking swivel casters.

All Fire Magic BBQ grills are made with high quality 304 cast stainless steel burners, cooking grates and housings that carry a lifetime warranty. Warranty for various components then drops to 15 years for brass valves and backburner and manifold assemblies all the way down to 1 year for electric systems. Lifetime ownership is a Fire Magic mantra. All grills are shipped with conversion kits that facilitate propane or natural gas should your preference change.

Fire Magic designs are elegant and engineered for customization. The grills or "heads" can be purchased for drop in installations or mounted on carts and pedestals. The model numbers tell a lot about the model. For example, A660i indicates: A=Aurora, 660=actual or approximate primary cooking surface, i=island or drop-in head for install. A540s: A=Aurora, 540=540 square inch primary cooking surface, s=stand-alone or mounted on a cart. For outdoor kitchen installations, anything in the vast Fire Magic catalog may be incorporated. Options for the Aurora series stand-alone models are more limited than with Echelons. Fire Magic Add-ons can increase the price significantly. Our listed MSRP is for a basic A830s freestanding model.

Please note: The Heat Flux number of 91.57 on this one is misleading. The gas side has a rating of 116.28. The charcoal side could easily exceed that, but our calculation is based on main gas burner BTU. In this case we included the 26000 BTU charcoal ignitor burner.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: 
$6,479
Primary Function: 
Grill
Drop-Ins
Fuel: 
Charcoal
Propane Gas
Natural Gas Capable
Logs
More Than One Fuel
Primary Capacity: 
830 square inches
Main Burners: 
2
Made in the USA: 
Yes
BTU: 
76,000
Heat Flux: 
91.57
Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
Review Method:

Researched it from Afar

We have researched this product from afar by gathering info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources, with our BS meters on high.

Fire Magic

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Fire Magic grills have been manufactured in California since 1937. These luxury grills exude elegance and quality. Excellent in  design and construction, beautiful to behold and priced accordingly. These are among the finest grills made.

In 1982 RH Peterson, pioneers in fabrication of realistic, artificial gas logs, acquired Fire Magic to complement their outdoor lifestyle line. They produce not only free standing gas, coal and electric grills on carts and pedestals, but anything else you need for an outdoor kitchen including smokers, a wide range of attachments and accessories, several different side burners, refrigerators, keg coolers and tappers, rotisserie baskets, ventilation hoods, griddles, pots and pans, tongs and spatulas, and even the kitchen sink.

Paul Loar, owner of Fireplace and Chimney Authority, is a Chicago area Fire Magic Dealer who was kind enough to invite us to one of his showrooms. Loar clearly took pride in demonstrating his wares, stating the burners have a range of 200°F for slow roasting and smoking all the way up to 1600°F on the large Echelon 1060 model to sear steaks in minutes, just like steakhouses. All monitored by the onboard digital thermometers. He warns new owners to reduce cooking times, "It's like getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari when you're used to driving a Taurus".

Fire Magic designs are elegant and engineered for customization. The grills or "heads" can be purchased for drop in installations or mounted on carts and pedestals. The model numbers tell a lot about the model. For example, E1060i indicates: E=Echelon, 1060=actual or approximate primary cooking surface, i=island or drop-in head for install. A660s: A=Aurora, 660=660 square inch primary cooking surface, s=stand-alone or mounted on a cart. For outdoor kitchen installations, anything in the vast Fire Magic catalog may be incorporated. Options for stand-alone models are more limited but you may, for instance, replace an E-Burner with an IR Sear Zone.

If you're in the market for the best, you should consider Fire Magic. If you're building an outdoor kitchen or souped-up patio you should consider Fire Magic. Outdoor kitchens are significant home improvement projects. We don't recommend drop-ins because once the cement is dry, it's hard to change your mind and if you move, you can't take it with you. But if you choose to go that path you undoubtedly would like your grill to last as long as the bricks. One Fire Magic dealer recounted a call to fix an installed drop-in grill. When asked about its age the homeowner replied, "I bought this place 30 years ago and it was already here". To the astonishment of both men, parts were still available and the unit was put back in service. I believe this company will stand behind all their products. Indeed, when speaking with Fire Magic employees their genuine enthusiasm is palpable. Of course you're not just buying reliability and great customer service; you're buying the shining centerpiece of your outdoor realm and a lifetime of enjoyment the versatility and superior performance these elite cooking machines deliver.

They also make American Outdoor Grills, which are premium cookers at a lower price than Fire Magic. All high quality and made in America.

Available on-line and at independent hearth and patio stores.

Fire Magic Aurora Series Gas Grills

Upon inspecting the high level of performance and craftsmanship exhibited in Aurora models one could likely be surprised to discover they are actually a step down from Fire Magic's premier Diamond Echelon grills. They are also smaller than the Echelon series with the largest Aurora A660 having the same primary cook surface size as the smallest Echelon E660.
 
Be that as it may, Aurora is far from an entry level product line in design, construction and price. Like all Fire Magic grills, Auroras are made with high quality 304 cast stainless steel burners, cooking grates and housings that carry a lifetime warranty. Warranty for various components then drops to 15 years for brass valves and backburner and manifold assemblies all the way down to 1 year for electric systems.

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Max Good

As AmazingRibs.com's Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, Max Good is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max loves barbecue so much that he took his barbecue sauce recipes, had them bottled, and now sells them around the country.

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