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The Nomad Grill Smoker Review: A High-Performance, Portable Grill for Outdoor Enthusiasts

the nomad grill

You love grilling outdoors but hate having to lug around a big, heavy grill, introducing the Nomad Grill.

The Nomad Grill is the perfect grill for outdoor enthusiasts who like to travel, go to the beach, and camping. It is a high-performance, portable grill built to withstand the elements. The Nomad Grill is easy to use and comes with various cooking accessories that make it the perfect all-in-one grilling solution.

Not only is the nomad grill portable, but it’s also one of the toughest charcoal grills on the market. It’s made with a stainless steel frame and a porcelain-enameled bowl to handle even the most extreme conditions.

Read on for a full Nomad Grill review, including specifications, how it works, pros and cons, and where you can buy one for yourself!

The Nomad Grill and Smoker Review

The Nomad Grill is the perfect portable charcoal grill. It’s easy to set up and take down, so you can grill wherever and whenever you want. This portable grill is made in a unique and interesting way; it appears more like a space suitcase than a grill, which is one of the features we like about this company. They took steps to develop something that is both functional and visually appealing.

However, the new Nomad Grill is more than just a pretty face. We will discuss how it is built, the specs, and how it cooks further below.

A little about Nomad Grills

John Veatch and Cam Leggett, longtime business colleagues and friends, came up with the concept for Nomad. They recognized the demand for portable grills, but many of the portable grills on the market were of low quality, and most large box retailers carried inexpensive “one-season” grills that had to be trashed after a trip to the beach.

This set the two of them on the path to designing what they consider to be a top portable grill. The goal was set to build a grill that would allow us to travel, be durable, and be simple to use.

The Dallas duo had become weary of the same old portable cooker and grills, so they spent their time developing what’s now known as the Nomad Grill.

What is the Nomad Grill Exactly

The Nomad Grill Smoker is a portable charcoal grill that is designed to be carried by a handle like a briefcase or a toolbox. The grill opens up like a book offering two symmetrical “boxes.”

The grill comprises two separate compartments held together by a hinged to assemble the “briefcase.” It looks like a little luggage box. The grill is assembled in two layers. The inner layer consists of a strong cast aluminum grill body. The outer layer is an anodized aluminum exterior case.

The anodized aluminum exterior cases home the cook boxes where the charcoal goes and burns. This dual-layer design accomplishes two things, first, the interior cook boxes can be easily removed for cleaning, and second since the outer shell and the cook boxes are separate and a gap exists between the outer shell and the cook box, the outer shell doesn’t get hotter than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nomad asserts that it has not witnessed the surface above 170 degrees under regular charcoal loads. This is a huge claim and one we were very interested in testing. This means that the Nomad can be used even on wooden tables.

Features of NOMAD Grill and Smoker

MagVentTM Air Controls

Nomad grill air intake controls

Vent sliders with high-temperature magnets for precise damper control, no-spill mess prevention, and ash containment. Simply put, this is a sleek and smart feature; the air vents are magnetically connected.

The Nomad Grill and Smoker is the only portable grill on the market with this feature.

Built-in Tel-Tru Thermometer

Nomad Built-in thermometer

Tel-Tru manufactures some of the best thermometers today. They are extremely precise and resistant to high temperatures. The Nomad Grill is equipped with Tel-Tru thermometers, ensuring that your food is cooking and the cooking surface is at the right temperature.

Integrating a TelTru thermometer with unparalleled accuracy into the Nomad Grill is essential for temperature control.

Anodized Finish

nomad exterior finish

Chemical converting technology protects the aluminum surfaces to ensure a long lifetime & durability.

Anodized aluminum is a process where a weak electric current is run through the surface of the metal. This causes a thin layer of oxide to form that is strong and corrosion-resistant. This makes the Nomad Grill more durable and resistant to corrosion, making it an amazing grill for an outdoor adventure.

Cast & Cambered Grates

showing the nomad grates

Aluminum unibody cook boxes house the stainless steel magnetic grates. That’s right folks, the grates in this grill will stay in place during transport and while opening and closing the grill. This is a clever feature.

The Nomad Grill Smoker is outfitted with cast and cambered grates, which help to evenly heat your food and prevent it from sticking. This means that these grates will outlast your average grates and also are cambered to push food away from the coals and add extra coal clearance which is, in our opinion, another clever feature.

One of the biggest issues with small portable grills is that their size puts the food close to the coals or fire, which makes it easy to burn food.

Advanced Thermal Architecture

NOMAD refers to the grill as having “advanced thermal architecture.” Physical separation of the cook boxes from the outside shell, branded SurfaceSafe, enabled the grill to be safely put on tailgates, wood or plastic tables, or similar surfaces.

Specifications of the Nomad Grill Smoker

NOMAD Grills offers a maximum of 425 square inches of cooking space, that’s is 212.5 square inches PER side. You do need to purchase a second grate to use both sides of the grill simultaneously.

This grill and smoker weighs about 28 pounds and measures 221.5×13.15×9.5 inches when closed.

Build and Material Quality

The textured anodized aluminum outer casing contributes to the luxury look and quality feel. The metal-framed, solid metal hinges, cast grates, and cook boxes are all of exceptional quality, indicating the grill’s longevity. While these premium features and designs increase the price of this grill, they will also outlive any “thin can” from your neighborhood box shop.

This Nomad has reinforced handles and is constructed with durable two-latch locking. Its multi layer construction, meaning separation of inner layer helps to maintain lower exterior shell temperature. Its thermal structure features patented SurfaceSafe. Multi directional heatsink fins help with airflow to and heat propagation in the cook boxes.

How to Use the Nomad Grill Smoker

Using the Nomad Grill Smoker is pretty simple, and it can be used as either a grill or a smoker.

To use the Nomad Grill as a grill, simply:

  • Light up your charcoal using an appropriate method
  • Open up the Nomad Grill and place your charcoal in the cook box.
  • Let it get to temperature and set your grates.
  • Place your food on the grill and start cooking.
  • Use the vent sliders to control the airflow and temperature.

To use the Nomad Grill as a smoker:

Follow the same steps to grill but also do the following

  • Open up the Nomad and place your charcoal in the cook box, however, set your charcoal on one side of the cook box.
  • Place your food on the opposite of the coals, creating an offset and indirect heat cooking environment.
  • Use the vent sliders to control the airflow and temperature
  • You can also add a smoker box to burn wood chips and add more “smoky” flavor.

Pros and Cons of the Nomad Grill Smoker

Now that we’ve gone over how to use the Nomad Grill, let’s talk about some of the pros and cons.


  • Can be used as a grill or smoker.
  • Perfectly suited for outdoor, the real, great outdoors. Extremely portable and easy to transport, making it great for camping, tailgating, and picnicking.
  • Exceptional build quality will make this grill last for years and years. Type III anodization on the cook box improve thermal efficiency and rigidity
  • Heats evenly and has great temperature control.
  • Truly portable and adventure-ready. Easy to clean with a damp cloth.
  • Easy to control the temperature with the MagVent Air controls.


  • Is more expensive than your average portable grill.
  • Weighs more than the average small grill.
  • Grate purchase is necessary for full use of the Nomad Grill.
  • Nomad Fire charcoal is recommended, your cheapo depo briquet charcoal is not working to work well with this cooker.
  • The primary disadvantage of this cooker is its price, but this is to be expected when purchasing anything of excellent quality.


The Nomad Grill Smoker is a great option for those who are looking for a high-performance, high-quality portable grill. It is easy to use and comes with a number of features that make it both durable, efficient, and easy to clean. While it might be a bit more expensive than some other grills on the market, the Nomad Grill is well worth the investment.

This high-quality, durable, and truly portable grill is perfect for any outdoor enthusiast looking for a rugged cooker for grilling in any weather and type of experiment.

This grill is great for outdoor excursions like camping, hiking, boating, and tailgating, but it’s also versatile enough to use in your backyard.

Our opinion on the NOMAD grill?

The Nomad is very well designed and is truly portable. It can easily fit your RV, Jeep, boat, or whatever you choose to drive to your next adventure. Features we like are the interior cook boxes, the exhaust vents, and intake side vents create a convective airflow to distribute heat evenly across the entire cooking space.

The bottom line is this grill is built “Tonka tough,” and I can see people with those Baja trucks and extreme 4×4 machines wanting a grill like the Nomad. I can also think about exploring excursions and people that will be out on long hunting trips and wanting something that will not die mid adventure. However, for the average user, the price tag might be a tough pill to swallow.

However, if you want quality and by a smoker grill that will last years instead of months, want a tough as nails grill that can also perform, then look no further.

Nomad offers more than just a grill

The company also offers its own line of charcoal, which is recommended to use with Nomad grills.

The Nomad Fire line of charcoal is made from 100% sustainable forestry and provides an eco-friendly way to fuel your grill. The charcoal is made from hardwoods which means the coals burn hotter while producing less smoke and ash. This type of charcoal is preferred for use in small grills with little to no room for ash.

Binchotan charcoal is a high-quality, environmentally friendly option for small grills. This type of charcoal burns hotter than lump charcoal but produces very little ash preserving proper airflow in small grills.

Nomad also offers a line of accessories, including grilling tools, fire starters, spices, sauces, and utensils to compliment your grilling experience.


How much is NOMAD Grill?

The Nomad Grill is a high-performance, portable grill price at 599 US Dollars. It is easy to use and comes with a number of features that make it both durable, efficient, and easy to clean. While it might be a bit more expensive than some other grills on the market, the Nomad Grill is well worth the investment.

How does a Nomad perform as a smoker?

The Nomad does well as a smoker, although we recommend “offsetting” the coals to one side of the grill and using a smoker box with wood chips for more authentic flavor.

Is the NOMAD easy to clean?

The Nomad is easy to clean because the cook boxes are removable. You can use a bit of dish soap, and a high pressure rinse to get this bad boy back to ready.

Is the Nomad grill worth it?

The Nomad is certainly worth it, although I don’t think it is for everyone. Its high price tag might deter some potential buyers, but if you are looking for something that can take a beating, perform well, last for a long time, offer corrosion resistance and superior strength for grilling anywhere from the Sahara desert to the North Pole, then investment will be worth it.

Can you use regular charcoal in a Nomad grill?

Yes, you can use regular charcoal in a Nomad grill. However, it is not recommended as it will not produce the same results as using Nomad charcoal. Nomad charcoal is specifically designed to provide the perfect amount of heat and flavor for your food. It also burns cleaner and produces less ash than regular charcoal, making it easier to clean up after your meal.

Can you cook on both sides of the Nomad grill?

Yes, Nomad Grill can cook on both sides – it offers a combined cooking area of 475 square inches when using both sides of the grill. This is a good space to cook for a few people, but if you are cooking for a large group, you will find yourself spending some on grill duty.

What type of warranty does the Nomad grill have?

Nomad Grill offers a limited lifetime warranty to cover any defects in materials or workmanship. The warranty is valid only to the original purchaser of the grill and is not transferable.



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