Broil King is a Canadian Grill manufacturer that offers a great selection of gas grills from portable to large models in price ranges from moderate to premium. They pack a lot of features into many models, like hood lights, condiment bins and slide out propane tank shelves. Many independent hearth and patio stores that carry high priced luxury grills offer Broil King to customers who want something better than standard big box fare, but don't want to spend several thousand bucks. They also make the popular Broil King Keg, previously called the Bubba Keg, an insulated steel Kamado style grill that can be attached to a trailer hitch for easy transport. Accessories, tools and cook books are available as well.
Broil King is owned by Onward Manufacturing. Onward also owns Huntington, Broil-Mate and Sterling Grill lines, as well as Grill Pro and Barbecue Genius Parts and Accessories. Some Broil King models are made in the USA and some in Canada. Broil King Imperial, Regal and Baron are made in the USA at their Huntington, IN facility. Signet, Sovereign and Monarch are made in Canada They use the term “Made in North America” as a catch-all. In recent years, Onward has focused on marketing their Broil King line and many models are now available in the USA at Lowe's.
The Broil King Imperial 490 is the smallest model in their top of the line Imperial Series. These premium category grills are packed with useful extras offering quality plus bells and whistles for a reasonable price. The grill head is 430 stainless steel with cast aluminum hood end caps. Four 12,500 BTU main burners, a 15,000 BTU stainless rear rotisserie tube burner and a 10,000 BTU side burner. Rotisserie kit is included.
Reversable cooking grates are heavy cast stainless seel, (see left). Flav-R-Wave heat tents blanket the bottom of the deep firebox, mitigating flare ups, sizzling drippings and radiating searing heat. The cook box is deep, the hood is high. Many believe this design enhances roasting. Certainly the headroom in the hood is great for rotisserie and large items like roasts and turkeys.
Substantial side shelves feature heavy cast aluminum condiment trays and built-in tool hooks. The cart has one door and two drawers. The 490 may be ordered as LP or NG. LP models have a pull out propane tank drawer inside the single door. Built-in hood lights are a welcome feature. But why the single battery powered igniter for all four main burners? One could expect dedicated ignition at each control knob on a beautiful grill like this. Broil King explains that when dedicated control knob igniters fail, the entire mechanism must often be replaced, not just the one faulty igniter. So they chose to use a single igniter for simplicity.
Broil King claims their patented Dual Tube Burners produce more even heat and increase burner life. Gas enters the burner first through a small, perforated tube within the large stainless steel burner tube. The design is intended to create even gas pressure throughout the burner, resulting in even flame and evenly distributed heat stress on the burner. After cooking extensively with dual tubes, we believe the heat is indeed even, but no more so than with similar quality grills.
Their Linear Flow control knobs, however, are a step above the competition. With very little play in the valve stems, movement is smooth and solid throughout the 180° arc from low to high, making minute adjustments easy.
Warranty on the dual tube burners is the same as Weber's tube burners - ten years.
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.