Bubba Keg Assembled.
Wow. That was fun. Putting the Bubba Keg together is pretty simple, once I downloaded the assembly instructions. Why aren't they included in the box? Also, I was missing two screws. Not a good sign of quality control boys.
It took about 20 minutes to assemble the beast; almost as long as it does to unpack it! Be warned though, this is a two man job. Putting the keg on the stand is almost impossible for you to do alone. It can be done, but it's not pretty. Trust me.
Here's a picture of the lid opened up. You can see the upper chrome cooking grate and the lower cast iron grate.
The interior of the Bubba Keg is finished in the same enameled steel as the Weber Kettles and Smokey Mountain cookers. This is a great choice as it never wears out and is very easy to clean.
The top grate pivots out to allow access to food on the lower grate. This is a nice feature. When I first saw this in a video I was concerned that the upper cooking grate would bend with any weight on it. I tested it using a brick and the grate remained steady and strong.
The top lid can be closed and secured and latched closed. The latch is a cheap plastic tab that I don't see lasting very long. Poor choice of materials here Bubba Keg.
The top lid also includes a nice easy to read thermometer. Unfortunately, you can't calibrate the thermometer, but it's a nice feature none the less. I've always wondered why the Big Green Egg and the Weber Smokey Mountain or Kettles don't include at thermometer. They should.
At the bottom of the Bubba Keg, there is a screened air vent. It's interesting that they have calibrated the vent opening with numbers from one to five which match the calibration system on the lid. I guess I'm not anal enough but this seems a bit of overkill to me. I don't think I'll be tracking by number how closed or open I keep the bottom vent. Unlike the Weber Smokey Mountain which has three, there is only one vent in the bottom of the Keg. I wonder if this will affect how evenly the fire burns and there's only one way to find out. The screen on the vent slides back to allow cleaning and ash removal.
And finally here's a picture of the top vents. This is made of cast iron and is an interesting choice. I'm a bit surprised as cast iron rusts easily and quickly if it is not seasoned properly. This is going to be a pain to maintain.
Putting this guy together was simple. The packaging efficient and overall the Bubba Keg seems to be a quality product. There's a couple of things I'd like to change. I'd like to be able to fold down the side tables. I'd like a place on the base to store the Bubba Keg multi tool as well as the trailer hitch and associated hardware.
This weekend comes the real test... Cooking!
Monday I'll have some pictures from my first cook on the Bubba Keg. I'm excited to use this beast. Stay tuned.