Grilla Grills Primate Review: This 4-Burner Gas Grill Converts into a Griddle

Grilla Grills Primate Review

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If you can’t decide between a traditional gas grill or a griddle, the Grilla Primate might just be the perfect grill for you.

Offering a traditional, 4-burner gas grill set-up with stainless steel grates that can easily be swapped for a full-size griddle cooktop, the Grilla Primate is a true two-in-one that doesn’t sacrifice quality in the process.

In this Grilla Grills Primate review, I’m going to share everything you need to know about this grill, plus my experience so far cooking on it.

Grilla Grills Primate Gas Grill and Griddle
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Ease of conversion from grill to griddle
  • Sleek design
  • Storage area and magnetic cabinet doors
  • Padded grip on the handle
  • Stainless steel body leaves water spots easily
  • Grates are prone to sticking without oiling
  • Slight hot spots
Check Latest Price on Grilla Grills

Grilla Grills sent me this grill for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Grilla Grills Primate overview and first impressions

If you’re looking for a gas grill with a sleek and sophisticated design, this grill delivers.

The stainless steel exterior, double wall insulated cooking chamber, and heavy-duty lid gives the grill a premium look and feel.

Grilla Grills Primate grill and griddle

The most obvious feature of this grill that sets it apart from other brands is that it can easily be converted into a griddle.

I think the fact this grill can do both is hugely beneficial, especially if you want a variety of cooking options without having to purchase two separate grills.

Let’s look at the Grilla Grills Primate specifications:

Main Cooking Area:490 sq. in.
Dimensions:41.5”H x 62”W x 25”D
Weight:190 lbs
Fuel Source:Propane (or Natural Gas w/ purchase of conversion kit)
Burners:4 x 15,000 BTU burners
(total of 60,000 BTU)
Material:Heavy-duty stainless steel
Grates:5/16-inch stainless steel rod
Price:Check Latest Price

Immediately after assembling this grill, I looked at my husband and said, “Wow, this thing is NICE!”. I had researched the grill online and knew what I was expecting, but the quality of the construction of this grill was more than I expected.

It looks great as a standalone grill, but would also look amazing built-in to an outdoor kitchen. Also, with the ability to purchase a conversion kit to make the grill run off of natural gas, it makes the perfect option for a more permanent installation.

As I started to play around with the grill, I really liked the way the lid is constructed. It has a lower profile than other gas grills I’ve used and reminds me more of the top of a griddle-style grill (which makes sense, since this grill is a 2-in-1 model).

The ignitor is encased in a rubber cover and is very easy to use. Once you push the ignition, you start to hear a clicking noise that lets you know that the propane is running, and you can start to turn the knobs to start the burners. You can hold down the ignitor and light all 4 of the burners at once without having to press the ignition over and over again.

The knobs that control the heat/burners are also very sleek and well-constructed.

Grilla also printed the Prelight Instructions and Grill Burner Lighting instructions in a very easy-to-read, black font right below the ignitor and knobs. It may seem like common sense for someone who has used a gas grill in the past, but I liked that they included permanent instructions that you can reference anytime without hesitation.

The enclosed cabinet at the bottom of the grill includes space for the propane tank, but they also include a small shelf and storage space.

The grill grates fit perfectly onto the shelf, so I thought it was nice to have a place to store them when I’m using the griddle-top instead.

Grilla Grills Primate key features:

  • Double-wall insulated cooking chamber
  • Option of Propane or Natural Gas
  • Dual functionality of traditional grill grates or griddle cooktop
  • Spacious cabinet storage & shelving
  • Magnetic cabinet doors
  • Heavy-duty lid
  • Easy-to-remove grease trough
  • Automatic piezoelectric ignitor
Grilla Grills Primate

What I like:

  • Heavy-duty construction and double-wall insulation
  • Ease of conversion from traditional grill to griddle
  • Sleek design
  • Magnetic cabinet doors with area for enclosed storage
  • Padded grip on handle for comfortable opening

What I don’t like:

  • All-stainless steel body leaves spots easily
  • Stainless steel grates are prone to sticking without oiling
  • There are slight hot spots, especially in the center of the grilling area

Overall, the design of this grill is fantastic. You get a quality grill that doubles as a full-sized griddle without sacrificing any of the quality and features of either style. The sleek design looks great as a standalone unit but is still nice enough to be installed in a more permanent space such as an outdoor kitchen.

Unboxing and assembly of the Grilla Grills Primate

Immediately upon starting to unbox the Primate, I was impressed by the build quality. The grill is comprised of various stainless steel panels that are heavy-duty and well-constructed.

The assembly instructions were easy-to-follow, and my husband and I had the grill fully assembled within about 30 minutes. All the components you need to assemble the grill are included, and the instructions are very clear about what goes where and in what order.

Grilla Grills Primate burners

The upper unit that serves as the enclosure for the cooking area comes fully-assembled, including the ignitor and the knobs that control temperature. Once you finish assembling the lower portion of the cart, you simply place the upper portion on top and secure it with mounting screws.

The final steps are to attach the side trays and grease trap, then install either the cooking grates or griddle top, and assembly is complete.

Seasoning the Primate griddle

Like most griddles, the griddle cooktop does not come pre-seasoned. The seasoning process is fairly straightforward.

Grilla Grills Primate griddle seasoning

I chose to use peanut oil to season the griddle, and the whole process took about an hour.

I started by rubbing down the griddle surface with oil, letting it burn for about 15 minutes, and repeating the process three times until the entire cooking surface was a nice, even dark color.

I found that the griddle surface was good about maintaining consistent heat, and the hot spots mentioned above did not seem to be an issue once the griddle was installed. The center of the griddle heated up the fastest, but once the griddle was properly pre-heated, the temperature was very even across the entire cooking area.

Testing for hot spots

I decided to start by cooking on the grill grates to get a feel for how the grill performs. I wanted to test out the burners and see if there were any major hot spots that I needed to be worried about, so I performed a bread test on the grill.

I preheated all the burners to medium heat and let them heat up for about 5 minutes. Then I placed sliced white bread all over the cooking surface. After about a minute, I flipped the slices of bread over to see how evenly the burners produced heat.

Toasted bread on Grilla Grills Primate grill

I found that the center of the grill got noticeably hotter than the outside, and there was a slight hotspot in the center of the third burner, so it is important to note that food cooked in the very center of the grill will likely cook faster than food placed closer to the outer edges of the cooking area.

Cooking on the Primate setup as a grill

To test out the grill, I cooked a batch of chicken wings and then grilled up a batch of shrimp.

I was able to get a beautiful char on my wings, but I did notice that the wings located closer to the center of the grates cooked faster than the ones closer to the edges.

The heavy-duty lid was helpful during the cooking process and really helped to keep the heat inside of the grill. This leads me to believe that the Primate can be versatile enough and hold a steady enough temperature to cook things like ribs and larger-cuts of meat that require a steady ambient temperature.

I struggled a bit with my food sticking to the grates. They are made from stainless steel rod, so they are not inherently non-stick.

I found that rubbing down the grates with a bit of cooking oil prior to adding the food helped to prevent the food from sticking.

Grease catch tray on the Grilla Grills Primate

One great feature of the Grilla Primate is the ClearView Grease Management System.

When you are using the Primate as a grill, there is a large grease catch that runs along the entire length of the cooking surface. When you need to clean the tray, you can simply pull the handle at the front of the grill, and the entire shelf will come out, so you don’t have to reach down into the grill to clean it.

Switching to the griddle

To test out the griddle, I decided to cook a couple of filet mignon steaks and toast up some bread to create crostini.

I was extremely impressed by how evenly both the steaks and bread cooked on the griddle top, and I was able to get a beautiful crust on my steaks, as well as perfectly golden-brown toast, with no issue.

Filet mignon steaks and bread toasts on a Grilla Grills Primate griddle top

I had no issues with my food sticking on the griddle top because I seasoned it first. Seasoning your griddle is a great way to help give you a nonstick surface, and the Primate is no exception.

Another thing I liked about the design of the Grilla Primate when I was using the griddle top is that the grease opening is located at the front left side of the grill.

I have used other griddles that have the grease opening located in the back of the grill and find it annoying that I cannot see how much grease has accumulated. Having the grease hopper in an easy-to-view location at the side of the griddle was something I like about the design.

Grilla Grills Primate grease opening

As I mentioned before, the griddle cooks very evenly, and I love how large the cooking area is. You don’t have to sacrifice cooking area at all with the Primate whether you are using it as a traditional grill or whether you are utilizing the griddle cook top and I really appreciated the overall design.

Should you buy a Grilla Primate?

If you are looking for a great gas grill but also want to have a griddle at your disposal, then the Grilla Primate is a fantastic option. I was very impressed with the build quality and design of the grill and found it to be a very versatile grill for cooking all types of food.

Whether you don’t have the space for a gas grill and a griddle in your cooking space, or if you just want to save money by purchasing a grill that can do it all, I think the Primate is a fantastic option.

It’s a beautifully designed grill that looks great as a standalone grill, but it’s also nice enough to be installed in a more permanent way as a part of an outdoor kitchen.

Also, because Grilla is a direct-to-consumer company, you are going to be able to save some money without foregoing build quality. You won’t be able to find this grill in your local grill store, but their shipping lead times are extremely reasonable, and assembly was quick and easy.

If you have any questions about the Primate that I didn’t cover in the review don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and I’ll respond to you as quick as I can.

Grilla Grills Primate Gas Grill and Griddle
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Ease of conversion from grill to griddle
  • Sleek design
  • Storage area and magnetic cabinet doors
  • Padded grip on the handle
  • Stainless steel body leaves water spots easily
  • Grates are prone to sticking without oiling
  • Slight hot spots
Check Latest Price on Grilla Grills

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