The good people at STŌK decided to send me another new grill after my review of the Quattro, and I was more than happy to give this one a good run down. While the Quattro had a large amount of cooking area, it had very little room to prep things – and since you are supposed to be able to use the STŌK grills for every meal, I frankly found that odd. With the Island though, the people at STŌK changed all that – giving a space for prep and plating work that’s as big as the cooking area itself. So how well did the STŌK Island handle the heat?
With the main selling point of the STŌK branded grills being their insert system, you already know that the Island will have one in it. Situated directly in the center, it’s really the perfect position for it to be. That way, if you’re using the vegetable cooker for example, you can continue to grill your proteins in the area all around it. While it’s true whatever you put on around the insert space won’t directly over the flame, I found that the heat tent was able to radiate the heat almost perfectly. Besides that, not having burgers or steaks directly over a flame greatly reduces the chances for flame up.
If you’re worried that an island grill won’t have enough area to cook on – don’t be. The STŌK Island has more than enough room to cook for a family of five plus two guests. As you can see in the picture, I have eleven burgers on it, with plenty of room for more – had I spaced them closer together I could have probably fit closer to twenty – and those were all quarter pounders. Even if you had a different insert in the center, you could easily fit a dozen burgers around the outside ring; plenty of cooking space indeed.
One of the issues I had with the Quattro, was the open back of it, and the fact that if the wind blew hard it would put out the flame. Well even though the storage area is open on the STŌK Island (and that’s completely open – not just the back), the fire box (or bottom of the grill) is not. It’s closed in all around (except for where the grease pan is) so you won’t have any issues with the wind here. The biggest issue I have here is that the lid is very heavy, and could be tiring for some people to lift up and down. The lid is also pretty damn big, so you either have to hold onto it all the time you have it off, or you have to try and find someplace to set it that wont be in the way – which isn’t an easy task. I ended up just balancing it on the railing you see in the first picture (yes the railing is wood, no the bottom of the lid didn’t get hot enough to do anything to it).
I have to say I’m really impressed with the way the burners are set up on the STŌK Island – I’m used to grills like this (the roundish shaped ones) only having a single burner. When I looked at the STŌK Island’s burner configuration I wasn’t sure why both were needed until I started cooking with them. These burners are out of this world with how well they heat! Not only does the grill get to temp extremely quick, the way they’re set up stops there from being hot and cold zones on your grill. A burger I cook on the outer edge will get done the same as one cooked right in the center.
Another issue I had with the STŌK Island however, was that the temperature gauge was broken from the start. Maybe it happened during shipping, maybe I bumped the lid too hard – I’m not sure which so I won’t deduct points for it; just warning you to be careful with it. You don’t want to do something to have the gauge come right off the lid on you. Apart from that though, I love this thing. It has since replaced my Weber as my go-to grill of choice. I can’t explain it – I mean I have other grills with more features, but this one just works great – and really, that’s the highest praise you can give anything. The fact is that the STŌK Island is better at being a grill than a lot of other high tech grills I’ve used.
Overall, I think you can already guess but the STŌK Island gets a solid five stars out of five, and my personal seal of approval as the best grill I think I’ve ever used.
- Extremely large cooking area means you can cook for a party without worry
- Intuitive burner design eliminates the dreaded hot and cold spots on your grill
- The STŌK Insert system is still one of the most innovative new ideas I’ve seen on a grill in a while
- Lid is heavy, and it’s hard to set it down without it being in the way
- Storage area isn’t enclosed – would be great if it was
- Need to be careful with the temperature gauge
You can get a STŌK Island exclusively from the Home Depot for $129.00 – an amazingly low price!