American Muscle Grill 36" 5-Burner Gas Grill Review

American Muscle Grill 36" 5-Burner Gas Grill

The name says it all. The American Muscle Grill is a high powered, super-sized gas grill with striking looks, made in the USA with top grade 304 stainless steel and solid construction. If power is what you crave, just turn the knobs. AMG's dedicated flame thrower ignitors at each valve crank up the five 22,000 BTU, 14 gauge stainless burners from zero to 350°F in minutes. When run flat out this monster can drain your LP tank pretty quick so if you don't have a natural gas line, be sure to keep extra propane on hand. Cosmetics mirror performance with a control panel modeled after the front grill of the classic 1965 Ford Shelby GT 350 Mustang, and control knobs that suggest drive sprockets on a muscle car blower drive.


Although it is primarily a gas grill, AMG's unique design employs six 12 gauge stainless steel fuel trays above the burners that may be filled with wood or charcoal for a hybrid fuel bbq experience. Each burner is covered by a stainless V-shaped bar with a flat top to protect it from ash when solid fuel is used in the trays directly above. There are four large center fuel trays and two smaller end trays that fit on the left and right sides. When cooking, these trays always stay in place because even when empty they double as heat diffusers, however they are removable to facilitate clean up. A large slide out drip pan with a drain hole in the front right corner collects drippings and ash that falls out of the fuel trays.

This hybrid fuel design has drawn comparisons to the superb Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Gas Grills which we believe are some of the finest grills made. Listing at $10,700 for this freestanding model on cart with a typical street price of about $8,500, the AMG 36" 5-burner is less than half the price of Kalamazoo's K750HS freestanding model, prompting many to refer to it as the poor man's Kalamazoo. I don't want to make too much of this as it's not a fair apples to apples comparison. It should come as no surprise that even in this high priced luxury category you get what you pay for. Kalamazoo's design, performance, craftsmanship and price tag surpasses AMG which is more in line with parent company Summerset and other outdoor kitchen manufacturers such as Lynx and DCS. AMG delivers all the features one would expect from a luxury gas grill, stainless steel all the way around – inside and out, beautiful seamless welded hood, and high performance burners with sophisticated ignition. What differentiates it from comparatively priced gassers is the dual fuel trays and retro cool hot rod appearance. AMG states it was not their intent to compete with Kalamazoo.

The large stainless steel housing features a rather deep fire box and high profile 16 gauge double-lined hood with spring assist. The spring assist helps a bit when wielding the massive hood, but could stand improvement for smoother operation. Ditto for the warming rack which conveniently folds up and out of the way when not in use, but does so in an awkward fashion and easily slips out to fall clanging onto the grates. There are adjustable hood dampers on each side which don't do much because, as is typical with gas grills, the cook box is highly ventilated to insure the burners don't go out and create a safety hazard. More on this later. AMG claims they have upgraded the spring assist for the hood.


There are no batteries; electric ignition, hood lights and control knob lights plug into a 110 volt outlet. The two powerful hood lights provide ample illumination of the cook surface and make a beautiful night time image when coupled with the blue control knob LEDs. When plugged in, the ignitors at each valve shoot a column of flame to start each burner. If you lose power, a tube that runs from the right burner to the cook surface allows you to easily fire up manually with a match or lighter.

A cart with drawers, casters and side shelves exists, (see below). AMG didn't have one to spare for our tests and sent a makeshift stand on wheels instead. A larger 54" 8-burner model is also said to exist, although the 8-burner appears to be currently unavailable.


Peddle to the Metal, this Gasser ROARS!

With all five gas guzzling burners cranked and the lid down, we clocked AMG at about 920°F with mighty even temps from left to right. With this kind of power, it's a good idea to set up 2-zones, a hot direct side and cooler indirect side, to provide a safe haven for foods when they need to be yanked from the searing inferno. Click here to learn about 2-zone cooking. With the lid up temps ran about 810°F. With all burners on Low AMG was at about 418°F. In each case temps were even across the cook surface. The lid down tests revealed a huge discrepancy between cook surface temp and the inaccurate hood ornament, aka thermometer. When our digital probes said 418° the hood estimator read 310°. At higher temps the error increased to 920° surface vs 675° hood. As always, we strongly recommend you disregard the hood estimator and rely on accurate digital thermometers. Click here to explore our seachable digital thermometer reviews.

The two unusual grates are reversible V-shaped 9 gauge stainless steel bars that are beyond heavy. Each V-shaped bar is about an inch across. AMG says they started with SS rod grates but at high temps the heat was overpowering and cooking the cook, so they went big to trap it at the cook surface (see below).


Coupled with the intense radiant heat coming from the fuel trays directly below, AMG V-grates provide a high temp experience similar to working with infrared grills. Stand by your AMG when searing because those big V bars can leave a strong impression on food surfaces and you need to flip constantly. Even without adding wood, the 22,000 BTU burners produce ample sear power. The convex side is recommended for cooking beef, pork and other meats while the concave side is meant for delicate items like fish and vegetables.

To confirm the even heat profile we observed in our temp tests, we spread a layer of chicken wings across the entire cook surface with all burners down low and left each piece in place, flipping occasionally. They cooked up remarkably even. Sharp eyed readers will notice I lost a little skin on one piece at the bottom.


Choose Your Fuel

You can have a lot of fun with AMG using wood and charcoal, but it really isn't a charcoal grill and it certainly isn't a smoker. For consumer safety, gas grills manufacturers strive to insure their burners will not blow out. Grill designs must provide enough ventilation to insure the flame is fed an adequate supply of oxygen while still being shielded from wind currents and not blow out when the lid is flipped open or closed. Charcoal and wood cookers are the opposite. They rely on air tight construction and adjustable dampers to control airflow and allow smoke to linger and impart an intoxicating flavor and aroma. When you fire up wood and charcoal in AMGs fuel trays, within minutes you'll see smoke billowing out the large open seam behind the grill (see below) and the rotisserie hole on the left. The adjustable dampers are helpless to control the airflow.


Be that as it may, it's still a treat to grill with wood and charcoal. AMG says you can use wood pellets as well, but each time we tried pellets they just burst into flame and burned up quickly while producing light ash that floated around and landed on our foods. We even tried leaving the burner off and using a fuse technique of lighting one end of the fuel tray with a blow torch, hoping the pellets would slowly burn and produce smoke, but once again a raging pellet fire soon erupted. AMG was unable to advise us how to make pellets work in their fuel trays. Click here to read How To Set Up A Charcoal Grill which decribes the fuse technique.

Grilling with wood and charcoal, however, is a breeze. Remember to set up for 2-zones so you don't have a gigantic sea of fire in front of you. Place an even layer of wood and/or charcoal into the fuel trays on one side. Do not overfill. With the hood open, ignite the fuel with the burners below. Within about 5 minutes you should be ready to go. If you need to replenish the solid fuel, AMG provides a "Grate Holder Tool" and heavy protective gloves that enable you to lift up the front of the grate and hook it in place above the warming rack for easy access to the fire.


Searing over blazing wood is fun, easy and delicious. Just be vigilant; stay at you grill post and keep flipping. Cooking with solid fuel at lower temps requires a little more finesse, but you're essentially just doing a two zone set up with foods on the cooler indirect side. You can even remove or hook up the grate on the hot side to have constant access to the fire. Be sure to use an accurate digital thermometer probe to monitor cooking temp on the indirect side. We always set up the left side for indirect heat and threaded the digital temp probe through the rotisserie spit hole there. You can get some smoky flavor when grilling steaks, chicken, fish and veggies direct, and doing ribs indirect, but for long low and slow cooks like brisket and pulled pork you're better off using a dedicated smoker. The fuel trays are an asset, however, if no smoker is available. Click here to read The Best Setups For Gas Grills which provides further instruction for 2-zone setups and includes tips for smoking on gas grills.

Finish Line

Summerset successfully pulled off their over the top concept. The American Muscle Grill looks and cooks like a supercharged hot rod. It has an outrageous quality that I delighted in displaying to guests at every opportunity. Still one has to wonder if some buyers may think twice about committing, and opt for a more classic, less specific look. The market for luxury equipment in this price range is already narrow. Has Summerset differentiated themselves from competitors or painted themselves into a corner? Possibly both, and possibly it's a nice corner to be stuck in. Time will tell about this unusual, relatively new gasser. Meanwhile some grillers are taking one look at AMG and saying, "That's for me!" See happy new AMG owner Sly Stallone with Summerset's Jeff Straubel below.


The AMG arrived almost fully assembled. Packaging was excellent. The stainless steel hood was protected with adhesive backed film, all parts were held firmly in place with form fitted foam and the super thick, multi-layered cardboard and foam board crate kept it all together nicely. In addition to the grate tool and gloves, AMG came with a branded cover.


American Muscle Grills offers a generous limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship on the everything except the electronics which carry a one year warranty.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: 
Primary Function: 
Propane Gas
Natural Gas Capable
More Than One Fuel
Primary Capacity: 
720 square inches
Secondary Capacity: 
385 square inches
Main Burners: 
Made in the USA: 
Heat Flux: 
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:

Cooked On It

We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.

American Muscle Grill by Summerset


Summerset Professional Grills offers a complete line of nationally available commercial grade, stainless steel gas grills, freestanding grills, BBQ islands, fire pits, and a complete line of island components.

Owner, Jeff Straubel, is an American muscle car lover. Inspired by the power and flashy appearance of the 1960s era Shelby GT 350 Mustangs, he set out to create a super charged gas grill – The American Muscle Grill.

Although Summerset outdoor kitchen products are made in China, AMGs are being manufactured out of Huntington Beach, California. Summerset claims they are currently transitioning production of as many Summerset products as possible to their Huntington Beach facility.

Try the Pitmaster Club for 30-days for free! No Credit Card needed!

We can up your game! The Pitmaster Club is a real barbecue community, a place to learn, make friends, and have fun! Click Here To Learn Why You Want To Be In The Pitmaster Club.

We'll keep you up to date. The best way to keep up with our new articles, new recipes, new product reviews, is to Subscribe To Our Free Email Newsletter, Smoke Signals.

Max Good

As's Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, Max Good is the man in charge of finding the best products for the 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.

Search Our Reviews and Ratings

Click Search to see all our Reviews and Ratings. Use the filters below to refine your search.

*Based on 4" raw burger with 1/2" space on all sides

“The most respected and comprehensive reviewers of grills and smokers in the world”

- Larry Olmsted,
Senior Contributor (Forbes)

What people say about us

"The world’s leading outdoor cooking resource." Larry Olmsted,

"An amazing compendium of barbecue knowledge." Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue, Austin

"I was crowned World Brisket Champion at the Jack Daniels World Championships using your Big Bad Beef Rub. Your site has played a pivotal role in my development." John Lattuca, WeekendWarriorBBQ, Montreal, Canada

"This meal was as memorable as my first sex, only better." Marie Overholt, San Francisco, CA

"The BBQ community is so extremely fortunate to have someone as passionate and articulate as you." Frank Ostini, Chef Winemaker, Hitching Post II Restaurant & Winery, Buellton, CA

"I adapted your brisket rub recipe this summer and my customers love it (8,000 pounds served in 6 months)! My brisket even won 'best beef' in the Sonoma County Harvest Fair." Chef Larry Vito, BBQ Smokehouse, Sebastapol, CA

"Meathead is the best writer covering this part of the culinary world." John Markus, Producer, BBQ Pitmasters TV show

"The Rosetta Stone of BBQ." Bill Lamb

"I got laid last night because of your pastrami" Name withheld for obvious reasons

"Knowledgeable, smart, hilarious, and self-effacing." Laurel Stone

"I have worked as a professional cook in high end French restaurants for several years, so when I hit the internet looking for some BBQ info, I was really pleased to find an in depth and expansive site that had all the tips I was looking for." Aaron Ettlin, Portland, OR

"A Famous Dave's commercial came on claiming the best ribs in the world, and my honey shook his head and said, 'nope, it's right here.' Many, many thanks!" Red Taylor, San Francisco, CA

"We had a fantastic season winning two Grand Championships and five Reserve Grand Championships. I always appreciate referring to your site. Thanks." Steve, Grills Gone Wild, IA

"I have always loved cooking ribs but with our new gas grill they were never as good as charcoal. Well that all changed last night when I made the greatest ribs I have ever tasted. My wife wanted to know if I bought them somewhere and then claimed I cooked them myself." Allen Nicley, Mont Alto, PA

"The Memphis Dust and the pulled pork are excellent! I had to dang near run people out of my house!" Aswad Johnson

"I was about to buy a new smoker. After reading your article about setting up a horizontal smoker, I decided to try rehabilitating something the previous owner of my house left in the backyard. Total investment: $100. I figure I saved at least $500!" Coleman Shelton, Calvert City, KY

" is the most information packed barbecue site known to man." Pitmaster and BBQ Columnist George Hensler

" is the world's go-to place for a barbecue treasure house of reliable information." Ardie "Remus Powers" Davis, author of numerous barbecue books

"This is my new go-to method for prime rib." Candy Weaver, President, Kansas City Barbeque Society

"We've won five Grand Championships and two Reserve Championships in the past three months. Learned much about BBQ from you and wanted to give you credit." Harry Soo,

"The Alton Brown of Que." Joe Mizrahi, Smokin' Joe's, NYC

"I have always loved to travel and eat. Life became boring when I had to give up my worldly adventures. Thanks to you I now love to cook. I am now having adventures at home in my kitchen and my back yard. I am no longer bored, and my large family is grateful too. Thank you so much." Dugan Hoeflinger, Tucson, AZ

"I am in the process of opening a cafe and thought your simple sweet sour slaw is an amazing winner." James Murray, Toronto

"I had two ribs and my boyfriend ate the other 3 1/2 pounds. He couldn't stop to talk. He had to bring a box of tissues to the table because these ribs are so good they make him weep. He tells me that my ribs have deepened his love for me. Well, fine, but I know that just means he wants more ribs." Nancy J. Mostad, Minnesota




Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon

...some HTML for the first variant...



Get Smoke Signals, our free e-letter. No spam. Guaranteed

Enter your email:

If you love barbecue and grilling, get a FREE 30-day membership in our Pitmaster Club. We can up your game.

  • FREE 30 day trial membership.
  • Sneak previews of Meathead’s new book.
  • We block ads from members.
  • Real community. No politics. No flame wars.
  • Monthly newsletter.
  • Video seminars with famous pitmasters.
  • Weekly podcasts with Greg Rempe.
  • Weekly BBQ cartoons by Jerry King.
  • Comprehensive Temperature Guide Magnet ($10 retail).
  • Monthly giveaways of Gold Medal grills and smokers worth up to $2000.
  • Discounts on products we love.
  • Support for!

Lookit what our members are cooking:

Post comments and questions below


1) Please try the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.


Click to ask questions and make comments