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Primo Oval Junior Review

Primo Oval Junior Review

Are you searching for a compact yet versatile charcoal grill for your backyard or patio? Look no further than the Primo Oval Junior. This high-quality, USA-made grill offers top-notch cooking efficiency and accessibility. In this review, we'll dive into its unique features, specifications, and performance to help you make an informed decision.

The Benefits of the Primo Oval Junior

The Primo Oval Junior boasts an innovative oval shape, providing superior cooking versatility. This design allows you to cook longer pieces of meat like racks of ribs and whole chickens or turkeys vertically. Made from premium-grade ceramic, the Primo Oval Junior ensures exceptional heat, moisture, and flavor retention. With a temperature range of 151 - 850 °F (66 - 450 °C), you can grill, bake, roast, or smoke any food with ease.

Installation Options and Portability

Primo | Oval Junior Charcoal Grill - PGCJRH

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With the Primo Oval Junior, you have multiple installation options to choose from, such as a primo cart, cradle, table, or the All-In-One package. The All-In-One package includes the grill head, an ergonomic handle, a cradle stand, side tables, an ash tool, and a grate lifter. Additionally, the Primo GO two-piece cradle and base (available separately) make the Junior Charcoal Primo the largest portable ceramic grill on the market.

Impressive Cooking Capacity

Despite its compact size, the Primo Oval JR 200 offers a generous cooking capacity. You can simultaneously roast two 14 lb. turkeys, making it a perfect primary grill or a complementary addition to your current gas grill. Features like a cast iron top vent, easy-to-read thermometer, reversible cooking grates, and a stainless steel draft door ensure a seamless grilling experience.

Specifications and Cooking Configurations

Primo | Oval Junior Charcoal Grill - PGCJRH
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The Primo Oval Junior has a cooking area of 210 sq. in. (1355 cm) and an optional rack system that adds another 150 sq. in. (968 cm). With a weight of 100 lbs, this grill can hold three whole chickens, one small whole turkey, four steaks, eight burgers, four racks of ribs, and six ears of corn.

There are three main cooking configurations for this grill:

  1. Grilling & Searing: Ideal for cooking meat like steaks and chicken breasts directly over the charcoal fire.
  2. Grilling & Roasting: Combines direct and indirect cooking zones for grilling meat and roasting tender foods like seafood and vegetables.
  3. Baking, Roasting & Smoking: Use this configuration for indirect cooking, like baking pizza or smoking meat, at low to medium temperatures. (Heat Deflectors/Racks required).

Warranty and Support

Primo offers a comprehensive warranty ensuring that your investment is protected. The warranty includes:

  • Limited Lifetime Parts: All ceramic parts
  • Limited 5-Year Parts (Against Rust-Through): All metal parts (excluding cast-iron parts)
  • Limited 1-Year Parts (Against Rust-Through): All cast-iron parts, all other parts & accessories (unless specified)
  • Limited 30-Day Parts: Felt gaskets, thermometers

Comparison to Competitors

Primo | Oval Junior Charcoal Grill - PGCJRH

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What sets the Primo Oval Junior apart from its competitors is its patented oval shape, allowing for greater cooking versatility and even heat distribution. The premium-grade ceramic construction offers superior heat retention and flavor, ensuring delicious results every time. Additionally, its portability and multiple installation options make it perfect for various settings, from backyard BBQs to tailgating events.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits of the Primo Oval Junior include:

  1. Versatile cooking options: Grill, bake, roast, or smoke your favorite foods.
  2. Unique oval shape: Cook longer meats and whole poultry vertically.
  3. Portable design: With the Primo GO cradle and base, it's the largest portable kamado grill available.
  4. Made in the USA: High-quality craftsmanship and materials ensure a durable, long-lasting grill.

Drawbacks to consider:

  1. Weight: At 100 lbs, the grill may be challenging to move without the optional cradle and base.
  2. Cost: Some buyers may find the price point to be higher than other charcoal grills on the market.
  3. Accessories:Racks are required for baking, roasting, and smoking configurations, which are not included with the basic grill purchase.

Evolution and Improvements

Primo | Oval Junior Charcoal Grill - PGCJRH

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Since its inception in 1996, the Primo Oval Junior has continued to evolve and improve. Its easy lift-and-lock hinge system now keeps the lid raised in place, ensuring hassle-free access to your food. The oval shape, proudly patented by Primo, has been refined to offer even better cooking versatility and heat distribution, setting it apart from traditional circular grills.

Key Decision-Making Factors

When considering the Primo Oval Junior, key decision-making factors include:

  1. Cooking versatility: The oval shape and various cooking configurations make it suitable for a wide range of culinary styles.
  2. Portability and installation options: Choose from multiple installation packages or the portable Primo GO cradle and base.
  3. Quality and durability: Made from premium-grade ceramic and proudly manufactured in the USA.
  4. Warranty and support: Comprehensive warranty coverage ensures peace of mind.

Design Choices and User Experience

The Primo Oval Junior has been thoughtfully designed with the user in mind. The oval shape not only offers cooking versatility but also allows for better heat distribution. The easy-to-read thermometer, cast iron top vent, and stainless steel draft door provide optimal temperature control. Reversible cooking grates and the lift-and-lock hinge system enhance the overall user experience.

Useful Resources and Purchase Options

To help you make an informed decision, check out these useful resources:

Final Thoughts 

The Primo Oval Junior is a versatile, high-quality charcoal grill that offers a range of cooking options in a compact yet powerful package. Its unique oval shape, premium-grade ceramic construction, and multiple installation options make it a top choice for grilling enthusiasts. Although it may be slightly more expensive than its competitors, the Primo Oval Junior's performance, durability, and warranty justify the investment. So, whether you're a seasoned griller or new to the world of charcoal grilling, the Primo Oval Junior is sure to impress.

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