People ask me all the time if buying a combo grill is the way to go, and I unilaterally tell them no.... with one exception. What if the greatest combo grill on the market wasn't actually a combo grill?

In this article, I'm going to give you 7 reasons why I think the best combo grill doesn't look anything like the combo grill you've been looking for...

We tested more than 60 cooking appliances last year and there was 1 that not only competed in multiple categories but excelled in both. This is the Grilla Primate, and it's not a combo grill, or is it?

Grilla Grills Primate gas grill and flat top

Why I don't like most combo grills

Most combo grills in the traditional sense usually aren't great and I normally wouldn't recommend that you buy one.

I get why they're attractive though. They can save you some space on your patio when you want to be able to cook multiple ways and space is limited. It seems like you're getting two grills for the price of one, but the tradeoff is that they tend to be jacks of all trades and masters of none.

They *can do multiple functions, but they don't really excel at either. They either don't leave enough cooking space for the griddle or the grill side, or there's not enough power because they're splitting it up between two separate cooking functions.

With all of those things in mind, we're taking a look at the Grilla Grills Primate to see if we can get all of the benefits of a combo grill without any of the tradeoffs.

The Grilla Primate is 100% gas grill and 100% griddle. Not 50/50. 100/100. Without spending a dime over the base price of what is currently $1099 you actually get two full cooking appliances in one.

7 Reasons the Grilla Grills Primate Should Be your Next Combo Grill

1. Full Grill Grates and a Full Griddle in the Box

The first reason why you should look at the Grilla Primate as your next combo grill is that it comes with 3 removable heavy-duty stainless steel grill grates, offering 663 sq. in. of grilling space over 4 burners. 

It ALSO includes a full steel griddle providing 490 square inches of flat-top cooking space. 

The griddle and grates are easily exchangeable depending on the way you feel like cooking from day-to-day. It's like having a full Blackstone-style flat top and a full Weber-style gas grill, but only taking up the space of 1 unit on the patio.

2. All Stainless Steel Cart

The Primate comes with a fully stainless steel cart. The cart has 2 side shelves with tool hooks and a rod for holding paper towel, but what I love about it is that it's all stainless steel. I've had this Primate on our patio for over a year now WITHOUT A COVER, and this is how it looks. The stainless steel is a game changer when it comes to holding up to the weather.

3. Outdoor Kitchen compatible

Grilla Grills modular backyard kitchen

The Primate can also be built into your outdoor kitchen. I don't know if you have taken time to look at outdoor kitchen grills lately, but there is a VERY short list of grills around the $1,000 mark that you can install into an outdoor kitchen. Grilla Grills recently released their own outdoor kitchen modular pieces, and the Primate can be installed both as a grill and a griddle in an outdoor kitchen setup, right alongside the Silverbac pellet grill and the Kong kamado.

4. Propane or Natural Gas grill

The Primate comes ready to hook up to a propane tank, but it can also be converted to natural gas if that's your preference. I don't know of any other combo grill on the market where you can use propane or natural gas for fuel. Most are propane only, and I love that this grill can go either way.

5. Gets Hot FAST

The Grilla Grills Primate represented well in our best gas grill roundup this past fall. Facing the likes of Weber, Napoleon, and Broil King, the Primate held its own, in spite of it's dual-functionality. It was the only fully stainless steel grill and cart. It had the largest grilling capacity of the 4 grills, and had the most powerful burners putting out 60,000 BTUs

Grilla Primate temperature data

Our testing confirmed that, when the Primate was the fastest grill to preheat to 500° in only 4 minutes, and then went on to reach a high temperature of 953°. With temperature capabilities like that, a good sear is easy to achieve, no matter the protein. 

Grilla gas grill showing even heat across the entire cooking area

Another part of our testing was checking for temperature evenness across the grates. We put high-temperature air probes in 5 different zones across the grill. The Primate only saw a difference of 100° across the grates, tying with Weber for the best results in this test.

Grilla Primate temperature variation

All-in-all, when up against 3 other gas grills costing several hundred dollars more, the Grilla Primate held its own in nearly every test we performed.

6. Recessed Griddle Surface Resists Wind

Last summer we put the Primate up against 7 other outdoor griddles in a series of tests, and once again, it really performed well in most of the tests we ran.

testing how evenly the flat top surface heats

We found that the griddle surface was able to preheat to a temp of 400° in just about 5 and a half minutes and the heat was fairly even from front to back and side to side. Admittedly it wasn't our best performer of the group, but it was far from the worst.

The Primate burners are protected from the wind

Which brings us to #6: the Griddle performs really well in the wind. We performed a wind test where we attempted to prepare a pound of bacon while blowing a fan across the griddle surface to simulate what it would be like to cook on a windy day. While many of the griddles were heavily affected by the wind, the Primate was one of the few that were able to resist it because of the recessed griddle surface. 

a pound of bacon cooked evenly even in windy conditions

The Grilla Grills flat top did great with searing smash burgers, as well as cooking an entire meal of fajitas for the family. It turns out, the Grilla Primate is a really good outdoor griddle. AND it's also a really good gas grill.

7. Versatility

The Primate offers versatility we haven't found in any other appliance. We love that the Primate comes with 100% griddle and 100% grill grates. However, you may find there are times that you want the best of both worlds at the same time. 

Grilla Grills does offer a 2/3 griddle that can be used side-by-side one of the grates, so you can cook on a flat top and grill at the same time if you want to.

You want it in a stand alone cart? Great. You want it in an outdoor kitchen? That works too. Natural gas... propane tank...There are just so many different ways the Primate can be used and customized to how YOU want to use it.

4 Reasons The Primate May NOT Be Right For You

Of course, we can't just tell you the great things about this grill and skip the potential downsides.

Grilla Grills Primate gas grill and flat top grill combo

1. Short Lid & No Warming Rack

I know, based on comments we got in our previous videos, some people were concerned about the height of the lid being an issue on the Primate. I will say that in our experience and the way we use this grill, it has been a non-issue for me. I don't typically use the warming rack or grill taller foods on my gas grills, so the short lid bothered me zero percent. But you may use your gas grill differently.

2. No Rotisserie

Also, some people were bothered by the lack of a rotisserie option on the Primate compared to other gas grill options. In this case, it comes down to deciding which you would use more: the griddle or the rotisserie. I know the way I personally cook, I would use the griddle 10 times more than the rotisserie, but everyone is different.

3. Griddle Storage

One concern that has been a slight issue for us is griddle storage. You have to consider where you'll stick the griddle when it's not in use.

The grill grates can easily be stored in the cart when you're using the griddle, but it doesn't work the other way around. It's a slight inconvenience, however storing just the griddle top is probably easier than storing an entire second appliance, am I right?

Actually, a side note: if you purchase the Primate built-in cabinet for an outdoor kitchen, that does have a place to store the griddle top. So that sounds like a great excuse to finally build that outdoor kitchen you've been wanting if you ask me.

4. Price

Price, of course, is another consideration. Not everyone has $1000+ dollars in their budget for a single outdoor cooking appliance. But let me remind you, this is not a single cooking appliance. You're getting 2 for the price of one here.