XO Grill Review: Does It Perform Well?

XO grills don’t come with a recognizable brand name you’ll see at your local hardware store or find on most lists of high-end gas grills. But if you love to cook out and are looking for a new grill that will last, you should know about it.

XO is one of our favorite brands to recommend to people who want to invest in gas grills because it gives you top performance at a great price.

Watch our exclusive XO grill video review

Some inexpensive grills work well for a season or two before they start to rust or the igniter wears out. Then there are very pricey grills with fantastic cooking power plus lots of fancy features for you to play with (but that, in reality, you might never use).

XO is right in the middle, offering optimal cooking for a more reasonable investment.

XO also offers affordable options for outdoor storage and access doors, garbage and recycling centers, refrigerators, and side burners. The company also recently debuted a outdoor pizza oven and pre-fabricated outdoor kitchens.

In short, you can find everything you need to build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams—complete with a Carrara-style quartz countertop —from one source, for nearly half of what you might spend on bigger name brands.

Think XO might be the right option for you? Read on for more details.

XO offers grills, side burners, access doors and drawers, pizza ovens, cocktail stations, and full prefabricated outdoor kitchens.Who Makes XO Grills?

Roseland, New Jersey–based appliance company Eastern Marketing created XO, a line of professional-grade grills with all the luxury bells and whistles and a price tag that’s 40 percent less expensive than the competition.

Because Eastern Marketing serviced many other luxury grill lines before creating XO, it addressed those grills’ pain points—like faulty igniters and easy-to-break briquette trays—in its design. XO grills are manufactured right here in New Jersey, too.

3 Reasons to Choose an XO Grill

1. It Gives You Great Value for Money
Many luxury grills are big, complicated contraptions that can cost as much as a car. XO offers superior performance for a fraction of some big-name barbecues. If you’re looking to elevate your outdoor cooking experience—and you care more about delicious results than designer cachet—XO is the name you need to know.

2. It’ll Last a Lifetime
XO designs its grills to last, with heavy-grade stainless steel and time-tested components. If you do have a problem, rest assured that the company’s history is in service—you can be sure they’ll get it fixed for you.

3. It’s the Perfect Replacement for an Older Outdoor Grill
XO designed its grills to be the same size as most other luxury built-in grills. That way, its grills are the ideal replacement solution. If you inherited a built-in grill with your home only to discover it’s not working, you might be shocked by what a luxury replacement costs. XO comes in about 40 percent less than its high-end competitors.

If your old grill looks like this, it might be time to upgrade to an XO. Chances are it’ll fit right in.How to Buy a Gas Grill

When you’re looking for a grill that will last more than a season, look at these factors to make sure you’re buying one that’s worth the investment

Build Quality – XO Uses Solid Stainless Steel

Hardware store grills can rust and break down after a couple of seasons. You really have to be conscientious about cleaning and covering them. (And let’s be honest, who among us doesn’t forget to scrape the grates or throw on the cover sometimes?) That’s especially true if you live near the coast, where the salt air can be extra corrosive.

Most luxury grills tout solid stainless steel construction. There’s nothing to rust or corrode, so they last longer by design.

An XO grill is designed to be the last grill you’ll ever buy. Each one features a durable 304-grade stainless steel body, a double-walled hood for extra heat retention, and balanced springs that make opening it up a breeze,

Performance – Infrared and Cast Iron Burners

Because of their build quality, professional-style grills retain heat better than those you’ll find at big-box hardware stores. But their burners also put out more heat and let you fine-tune it.

The high heat output lets you cook steakhouse-quality meats. On grills, this is measured in BTUs.

A Weber Genesis, for example, has burners that put out 13,000 BTUs each. On an XO, you’ll get 22,000 BTUs each.

Precise temperature controls let you dial back the heat quickly to cook more delicate items like flaky fish and vegetables.

Many pro-style grills including XO grills have a flexible cooking system that incorporates both infrared and cast stainless steel burners.

Infrared Burners
Meet your new sear burners. You don’t see these on hardware-store grills. Infrared burners radiate heat directly toward the food above so your steaks retain moisture and don’t dry out the way they can when you cook them over a traditional gas burner—and they do this virtually no time at all. An infrared burner can go from zero to 1,000 degrees F in about a minute to give you restaurant-quality seared steaks with a nice crust on the outside and a medium-rare finish on the inside.

The only drawback? Since this method cooks food so quickly, you’ll need to keep an eye on your meal to avoid a burnt mess. You’ll also want to steer clear of sticky marinades and sauces because the drippings can clog up the infrared ports over time.

Gas Burners
These general-purpose burners are still extremely powerful, but they sit beneath a tray of ceramic briquettes that help evenly distribute heat and catch and convert drippings into an aromatic smoke that’s reabsorbed into the food for added flavor.

The XO Combination
An XO grill gives you infrared burners (shown at far right) and H-shaped cast stainless steel gas burners.

Other pro-grade grills have similar ceramic briquettes, but XO has more of them so the performance is second to none. (They’ve been removed in the photo above to reveal the cast stainless steel burners.) XO’s briquette trays are also designed to be sturdier than others so they don’t deteriorate over time.

We love that XO lets you swap out the cast stainless steel burners for more infrared burners once you get the hang of high-heat cooking. It’s rare to be able to this after you’ve bought and used your grill, but XO makes it easy to customize your grill anytime.

You can also swap burner locations if you’re, say, left-handed, which simply isn’t possible with grills by other brands.

On an XO grill, the burners are separated by removable stainless steel dividers to keep heat concentrated in their respective grill zones. That means you can cook on low heat in one zone and high heat in another without any heat transfer.

"On my grill at home, I almost exclusively use my infrared burner. Without super high heat like that, it’s hard to get a restaurant-quality crust on a steak without overcooking the center, especially on thinner cuts of meat. Typically for thinner steaks, I’ll just cook them directly over the infrared burner for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, and they’ll achieve a perfect crust with a nice rare to medium rare center. For larger cuts, I’ll sear for about the same, but them move the steak to a different zone for a few more minutes of lower temperature indirect cooking."
– John Carey, Designer Appliances cofounder and vice president

Features – XO Grills are Customizable

Most pro-style grills are available as grill heads that you can build into a custom outdoor kitchen or place on a cart.

That’s true for XO as well. Its wheeled cart is especially nice: It comes with foldable side shelves outfitted with tool hooks and a bottle opener, an interior paper towel holder, and compartments for storing spices and rubs.

XO grills also come fully loaded with luxury features, including a motorized rotisserie with its own dedicated infrared burner for cooking whole chickens and large roasts up to 25 pounds.

A secondary cooking surface above the rotisserie burner serves as a warming area and tucks away when not in use. We wish this tray were positioned a little more conveniently so that you could use it at the same time as the rotisserie, but that’s definitely not a deal-breaker.

While most grills have lighters that get corroded or won’t spark over time, especially after a long winter of no action, XO grills feature a mechanical flamethrower ignition system that works even in the presence of moisture.

Grease management is rarely a problem—a statement you can’t say of competing brands. That’s because XO has a full-width ball-bearing grease tray that easily slides out; you just remove the screw cap to allow grease to drain into a bucket.

XO also put a lot of thought into the little things that affect your user experience. Independently controlled interior and exterior lighting makes it easy to see the grilling surface, even at night, and the heavy, textured knobs are heavy with a nice, textured feel to make grilling a joy.

Warranty – XO Lifetime Guarantee

Pro-style grills are an investment, so most come with a comprehensive warranty.

That’s definitely true for XO. You get a lifetime policy on the stainless steel body, a minimum two years of parts and labor coverage on the internal components, and up to five years on the stainless steel burners.

Should you need servicing for any reason at all, Eastern Marketing makes easy maintenance the standard, especially if you live on the East Coast.

A 36-inch XO grill on a cart. Notice the LED exterior lighting.XO Grill Sizes

Though some brands like Cal-Flame and TEC offer custom sizes like 40 and 44 inches, there’s good reason to invest in a standard 30-, 32-, or 42-inch grill, which happen to be the sizes that XO grills are available in. If you’ve inherited a built-in grill when you moved to your current home, it’ll be that much easier to replace it (and for the homeowner after you to do the same). And if your custom-sized grill ever breaks down, you’ll be limited in your options for finding a new one.

XO30 – $2,799 + $699 cart

XO’s compact 30-inch grill starts at $2,799 for the grill head (add $699 for the cart), and offers about 600 square inches of grilling surface, utilizing one infrared burner and one cast stainless steel burner for two separate grilling zones. It’s perfect for smaller families who don’t entertain much, but honestly, we think this grill isn’t big enough to do all its great features justice.

XO36 – $3,399 + $799 cart

Many families consider a 36-inch grill to be plenty of space. This one starts at $3,399 (add $799 for the cart). You get 660-square inches of grilling space and three burners: one infrared burner and two cast stainless steel burners for three separate grilling zones. You might find that you want a little more cooking room—or the flexibility to have a second infrared burner.

XO42 – $3,999 + $899 cart

To get the most value for your money, we recommend the 42-inch grill ($3,999 for the head; $899 for the cart) for most people. It gives you 869 square inches of cooking surface, making it an ideal size for entertaining groups. While most 42-inch grills come with just three burners, XO gives you a fourth burner for four separate grilling zones and better heat distribution across the entire surface. That means you’ll have one infrared and three cast stainless steel burners, which you can swap out for an even split once you realize just how much fun (and how delicious) infrared cooking can be.

Overview of XO Grill Lineup


Grill Area
863 sq. in.
976 sq. in.
1,225 sq. in.

Total Width
30 in.
36 in.
42 in.

Infrared Burners

Cast Stainless Steel Burners


Total BTUs
44,000 BTU
66,000 BTU
88,000 BTU


Cart Available


A 42-inch XO grill on a cart. XO Outdoor Kitchen Add-Ons

All of these accessories feature XO’s signature heavy-duty 304 stainless steel construction and reliable flamethrower ignition.

XO Infrared Burner

As we mentioned above, for about $199 you can buy an additional infrared burner to swap in for one of your cast stainless steel burners. This lets you get to our optimal XO setup: a 42-inch grill with 2 cast stainless steel burners and two infrared burners.

XO Power Burner

Add a 16-inch, 60,000 BTU single burner to your outdoor kitchen setup, and you can saute vegetables in a wok, steam a clambake, or bring a sauce to a simmer without having to run back inside.

XO Side Burner

This 13-inch double burner gives you space for two pots in a very slim footprint.

XO Griddle

Outdoor kitchen lovers might want a little more real estate for burgers. This built-in griddle is 30-inches, or roughly seven hamburgers, wide, with 495 total square inches of cooking surface. It’s powered by 36,000 BTUs of cooking power.

XO Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens

The XO Pizza4 is a hardwood-fueled pizza oven that heats to 1,000 degrees F in 15 to 20 minutes, thanks to its specially designed airflow system and ceramic floor. Made in Italy, it’s available in three colors: Carbano (matte black), Giallo (matte yellow), and Rosso (matte red). It arrives ready to use—just attach the chimney stack. You can opt to build it into your outdoor kitchen or set it atop XO’s cart, which has a convenient prep shelf and utensil holders built in.

Create a Full Outdoor Kitchen with XO for Less Than $15,000
36-inch XO Designer Island with grill, fridge, access door and drawers, and garbage center

Installing a custom outdoor kitchen can easily cost up to $15,000—and that’s without factoring in the expense of the actual grill, side burner, and storage units. In total, you can easily spend $20,000 or more.

XO makes a high-quality prefabricated kitchen island, complete with a 36-inch grill, refrigerator, access doors for storage, and a pull-out garbage and recycling center for just $12,000; it even includes a Carrera-style quartz countertop.


XO might not be a household name yet, but its grills are quickly becoming a go-to choice for people building an outdoor kitchen. They offer a great combination of features for the price point, and the company’s attention to service is a major plus.

Whether you plan on cooking for groups or your immediate family, there’s an XO grill for the job. So save yourself some money—or spend it instead on the aged steaks you’ll be giving that perfect sear.

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