Memphis Grills are known for their premium quality wood pellet grills which they design, engineer and test in the USA.
The Beale Street is their “entry level” grill and is priced to be more competitive with premium brands like Yoder.
After cooking on the Beale Street for the last few months, I can confidently say that nothing about this grill feels entry level.
Read on to find out what I liked about this grill, and if it’s worth the price.
Memphis Grills sent me this grill for free in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own
Memphis Grills Beale Street review overview
Let’s get the basics out of the way. The Beale Street is a 26-inch freestanding pellet grill made from 430 stainless steel for outstanding heat retention.
You get 558 square inches of cooking space, although this can be expanded up to 817 square inches with an optional grate.
With a lot of pellet grills, it feels like you’re stuck choosing either the latest technology or a well-built grill.
I’m happy to report that the Beale Street manages to achieve both.
You tech heads out there will be happy with the WiFi intelligent temperature control that lets you manage the temperature of your grill from your phone or tablet.
|Cooking surface||558 to 817 Sq in|
|Pellet hopper capacity||12 Lb|
|Exterior material||430 Stainless steel|
|Cooking grate material||Stainless steel|
|Dimensions||51″ x 29″ x 48.5″|
|Warranty||5 years (2 years on electricals)|
|Price||Check latest price|
Many pellet grills struggle to sear properly. Memphis Grills gets around this by offering an optional add-on Direct Flame Insert. This lets you sear steak or burgers over the direct flame.
What I like:
- Simplicity: This is the easiest grill to get to grilling/smoking that I have tested. Turn it on. Set the temp you want. Walk away. Just plain simple.
- Build Quality: Dual wall construction. Entirely 430 stainless steel. Oh, the build quality of this thing. It is truly impressive. This grill will last for many years and look good doing it.
- Thick Stainless Steel Grates: I love these thick stainless steel grates. These are made for the long haul. They transmit a good sear to food, and they are easy to clean.
- Pellet Burning Efficiency: This may seem silly or uninteresting to others, but out of all the grills/smokers I have tested, this has been the most efficient one to date. The PID controller that this model uses really shines when it comes to controlling the auger and fan systems to get the most out of every pellet.
- Memphis Grill App and WIFI connection: Talk about control at the push of a button. You can control basically any setting on your grill from the Memphis Grills App.
What I don’t like:
- Price to size ratio – The size will be fine for most people, and allows the grill to operate efficiently, but for the price, you get a pellet grill that’s on the smaller size. You can expand the 558 square inches up to 817 square inches but compare that to the Traeger Timberline which comes with 1300 square inches of grill space.
Honestly, other than that really struggled to find something I didn’t like about this grill.
This grill is definitely on the high end of the cost spectrum for a reason. It is extremely well manufactured out of higher quality materials than most grills on the market.
It also comes with a generous amount of powerful and high tech features like high heat direct flame searing and “adjust from your phone” wifi connectivity.
Setup & core features
For the rest of the review, I’ll go into more detail about my experience using the Beale Street from assembly to cooking on it.
Ease of assembly
The grill arrived in a large cardboard box with packaging for days! But that is a good thing. The grill parts were very well protected from outside the box dangers, but also from each other.
There is plenty of cardboard, foam wrap, and protective sheet.
Assembly took 42 minutes with a few simple tools.
This was me taking my time and going at a conservative pace. This grill was not difficult to assemble, and the instructions were easy to read. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t scratch anything.
Many of the sheet metal corners are fairly sharp. So I took my time and I wore gloves just in case.
Also, it’s worth noting that the upper firebox portion of the grill will require 2 people to sit it on top of the cabinet once the cabinet is assembled.
Using the Beale Street
Using this grill is stupid easy. It’s the easiest pellet grill I have ever tested.
You fill the hopper, plug the grill in, hit the on button, hit the up or down arrow to the temperature that you want and walk away.
The grill goes through its startup procedure automatically and then raises the temp to where it was set.
And like most pellet grills, you can cook just about any way you want with it: grill, smoke, bake, roast, etc.
Temperature accuracy of grill and probes:
The grill probe is located in the middle of the grill at the very back. This probe measures what you see on the display for grill temp.
However, this probe is calibrated to measure its location and then translate what the temp of the grill would be in the middle of the grill.
I ran some tests at different temperature settings to measure the consistency.
- Grill set @ 180°F: actual temp range: ~183.9-215.7°F
- Grill set @ 350°F: actual temp range: ~318.4-345°F
- Grill set @ 550°F: actual temp range: ~538-572°F
Keep in mind that the temp ranges listed are only maximum and minimum temps while monitoring each set temp.
The grill seemed to have few swings in temps from minute to minute.
Also, this is a live fire we are dealing with, not a super-insulated, fully controlled oven. Controlling live fire to this degree is impressive, especially in an outside environment with an unknown wind variable.
Pellet consumption and cleanout
Thanks to the excellent construction and slightly smaller size, the Beale Street is incredibly efficient when it comes to pellet consumption.
The PID controller really shines when it comes to controlling the auger and fan systems to get the most out of every pellet.
- About .3-.5 lb per hour on lower temps (250° or less). About 1-1.5 lb per hour on higher temps.
- About 2-2.8 lbs per hour on high (direct flame cooking)
This is good because the hopper is on the small side.
For those who like to completely clean out all the pellets after each cook or changeover from one pellet flavor to another, there is no specifically designed fast cleanout feature on this grill.
However, it is still easy enough to accomplish. Simply remove the pellet hopper guard via the 2 Phillips head screws that hold it on. Then you can empty the hopper using your hands. This doesn’t take long as the hopper only holds up to 12 lbs of pellets.
VETERAN TIP: If you don’t fill the hopper up all the way each time you cook then you don’t have many pellets to cleanout anyway. This makes pellet flavor changeover much easier as well.
This grill connects to your wifi network and can be completely controlled from the Memphis App via your phone or smart device.
What do I mean? I mean you can actually CHANGE the temperature setting of the grill, set a timer, adjust your meat probe desired temp, get alerts via text message, and even turn the grill off ALL from your phone or smart device.
I mean it when I say the build quality of this Memphis Beale Street grill is flawless.
I looked over every inch of every part of this grill looking for a blemish, a scratch, a mess up on a weld or a corner.
Nothing. Nada. This grill is a shiny stainless steel masterpiece.
Cleaning the grates is easily accomplished with a grill brush and some high heat.
The flame diffuser plate that sits above the burn pot is best cleaned with a paint scraper.
I run the grill on high heat for about 30-45 min occasionally and then use the scraper for any left on food particles. It scrapes right off.
For the burn pot and surrounding area, you can either use a brush, like a paint brush, and brush all the pellet dust into the grease/dust trays that are on both sides of the grill or you can use a shop vac. If you have a shop vac, it is very quick and easy.
I also generally wipe down the outside of the grill with a damp cloth followed by a dry towel. There’s really nothing difficult about cleaning this grill.
Even with a high-end unit like this Memphis Beale Street Grill, there is always still a possibility that something can go wrong, especially when electronics are involved.
When initially testing this grill, I ran into a couple of issues. The first problem was a WiFi connection issue between the grill and the Memphis App.
The second issue was to do with the timer that would go off when it was not set.
To me, a company’s quality should extend beyond its product.
Crap happens. Sometimes things just don’t work the way they should no matter how good your quality control is. It’s more important to me how a company reacts to their customers when something goes wrong.
With that said, I am happy to report that Memphis Grills’s customer service was very helpful in getting me up and grilling.
After a phone call and a few emails, my grill was connected to the Memphis App and a new part was in the mail.
The instructions that they sent were very clear and concise. If you decide to make one of these grills your own, you can do so knowing that this company’s customer service is there to support you if you need them.
Direct Flame Insert
I would consider this a must-have for steaks and burgers at a minimum. The high heat and searing power of the Beale Street grill is amplified when using the direct flame insert.
In the photos below you can see how the insert turns the middle of the grill into a searing zone that is more than capable.
This attachment is included with the more expensive Memphis Grills, so I assume they left it off the Beale Street to keep costs down.
If you only plan on smoking and baking you probably won’t need it.
Heavy Duty Meat Probe
I would also consider this a must have.
This is the most heavy-duty meat probe that I have ever seen.
Aside from that, it opens up additional features for this grill. With these meat probes, you can set the meat probe temp, and an audible alarm will go off when it reaches the desired temp.
Once it’s reached the desired temp, it will automatically reduce the grill’s temp to a low level to keep your food warm. How awesome is that?
Extendable Grate Kit:
Was not tested. However, I believe this is a take it or leave it kind of accessory. I feel like the grill has plenty of cooking area already. However, if you feel like you could use more space, go for it.
Optional, but preferred. You technically don’t have to have this one, but it is a fairly handy tool.
It helps scrape grates, move grates, and lifts the flavorizer insert for cleaning or changing to direct flame insert.
It does a couple other things as well. All around helpful tool to have.
Must have. Gotta keep the investment in great shape! Fits well. Appears to be good quality cover.
Who should buy this grill?
The Beale Street is a high end pellet grill suitable for most people.
It’s not the largest grill out there, so if you need to feed a huge crowd you might want to consider something else.
But if you want a versatile, high-quality grill the Beale Street is a great option. You get the outstanding build quality Memphis Grills are known for, without paying upwards of $5,000.
The grill performs at a high level, is simple to operate, has the convenience of WiFi, great searing options for a pellet grill and will last a long time.