When we tested, rated and ranked infrared grills, we focused on affordable models. Purely infrared models can cost thousands of dollars, though the grills we chose to review cost $500 or less. At $399, the Magma Newport A10-918-2GS is cheap for an infrared grill.
However, the reason this grill costs so little is it’s a tabletop model. This offers several benefits, such as portability, easy storage and quick cleaning. The tradeoff is that you can’t cook much on its 162-square-inch stainless steel grate. It was only enough space to cook three hamburger patties at a time. This is fine if you’re barbecuing for a small family, or just a few friends, but won’t suffice if you have a larger get-together.
The heat generated by this grill is adequate and expected for a grill this size. The burner generates about 11,200 Btu. Although that makes it the second lowest powered grill among those we tested, it still produces enough heat to safely cook meat. It has decent heat consistency, even though it’s nearly impossible to tell the exact temperature of the grill since it’s built-in thermometer doesn’t actually display that information. Instead, it relies on a color-coded thermometer, with blue, yellow and red to give you an idea of how hot it's running. We used an infrared heat gun to get a better idea of the temperature at seven, 14, and 21 minutes after ignition to test heat consistency. What we discovered is that this grill doesn’t do the best job at maintaining consistent heat over extended periods of time.
Another gripe we had is the stainless steel construction makes this grill’s exterior quite hot. This isn’t uncommon among the grills we reviewed, however the lid handle can get uncomfortably warm as well. It won’t burn you, but you definitely won’t want to touch it a second longer than you have to. Additionally, it has no carrying handles, so make certain it’s completely cooled before you try to move it.
If you’re going to drop $400 on a portable grill, you’ll want it to last for a long time. But the warranty period doesn’t bode well for that. You only get one year of protection for both the burner and other parts. For a model at this price point, we would expect to get at least a three, and ideally five years of coverage.
This infrared grill delivers on several levels: It’s convenient, cooks food well and can be taken pretty much anywhere you need a cooking surface. The size limits how much you can cook and you won’t be able to tell exactly how hot the cooking surface is. In our opinion, you don’t have to spend $400 on this model when you can get similar results from products such as the Char-Broil Grill2Go, which you can pick up for less than $100.