Smoke Hollow PS9900 Review: All Sizzle and No Steak?

Gas grills are undoubtedly convenient, especially if you like to cook out several times per week. At the same time, you can’t argue with the authentic taste that a real charcoal fire can provide. So what’s a grilling enthusiast to do?

If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, a gas and charcoal grill combination can be a great compromise. The trick is to find a model that performs both functions well. We’ve put together a Smoke Hollow PS9900 review to find out if this is one of them.

About Smoke Hollow

This brand might not be the first one that springs to mind when you think about grills. That’s because they’re a relatively new company, and one that’s known for offering electric smokers and accessories. As it happens, that background comes in handy here.

Rick Davidson founded the company in 2005, forming a team with more than 125 years of combined experience. Their products are innovative and extremely versatile–qualities that our featured grill illustrates to great effect.

The Smoke Hollow PS9900 is more than just a gas and charcoal combo grill. It also comes equipped with an offset smoker for making superb pulled pork and beef brisket. Because the unit includes a ceramic infrared burner for searing, Smoke Hollow advertises this as a “4-in-1” grill.

Pros:

  • Smoker option lends the grill versatility
  • Infrared burner for searing
  • Adjustable charcoal box gives you better control over the temperature
  • Assembly instructions are easy to follow

Cons:

  • Materials aren’t as high-quality as some of the competition
  • Limited warranty package
grilling hamburgers and hot dogs at a cook out

Smoke Hollow PS9900 Review: Features & Benefits

Affordability

The price tag on the Smoke Hollow PS9900 is lower than you might expect. Most of the company’s offerings are inexpensive enough to fit easily into a family budget. While this model is slightly pricier on account of its size and versatility, it’s still reasonable when you consider what it can do.

Remember, too, that this grill allows you to use the gas and charcoal functions simultaneously. Some combination units share the same firebox, forcing you to choose between cooking styles. Because you can make use of the entire grilling surface at once, the Smoke Hollow PS9900 can be considered a bargain.

Construction

The main body of the grill is a 3-burner gas-powered unit, with a ceramic infrared burner set off to the left-hand side. To the right of this component is the charcoal grill, which is a bit smaller and accompanied by an offset smoker component. Dial-style thermometers are built into the lids of both the gas and the charcoal grill units.

The Smoke Hollow PS9900 weighs in at around 220 pounds, which sounds like a lot at first glance. However, when you remember that this unit contains a 4-burner gas grill, a charcoal grill, an offset smoker, and an infrared side burner, 220 pounds no longer seems as impressive.

In fact, the base of the grill and some other secondary components are on the flimsy side. While the steel walls are sturdy enough, and the unit holds its heat reasonably well (see Heat Retention, below, the unit doesn’t feel all that sturdy when it’s fully assembled.

We will point out, however, that the cart-style design comes with integrated shelves. In addition to providing storage space, these help to stabilize the base, making it seem less wobbly than it might have otherwise.

The best aspect of this grill’s construction is the porcelain-enameled cast iron grilling grates, which are effective in terms of heat retention. They also require very little care, since the coating eliminates the need for seasoning. These grates are noticeably high-quality when compared to the rest of the parts.

One final note: While the gas side of the Smoke Hollow PS9900 runs off liquid propane, a natural gas conversion kit is available as an accessory purchase.

Size

All told, you’ll get 860 square inches of cooking space with this combination grill. There’s a warming rack on the gas-powered side that offers an additional 100 square inches, but it’s better for keeping buns and bread warm than for actually cooking anything.

A grill that offers more than 800 square inches of cooking space is a great fit for families who like to entertain. You can fit about 20 hamburger patties on the propane side alone, and about 12 on the charcoal side.

Speaking of the charcoal side, we should point out that it doesn’t provide quite enough space for smoking larger cuts of meat. If you’re hoping to fit a whole packer brisket in there, you might be out of luck.

Burners

All three of the main burners on this unit are independently controlled, with electronic ignition to make it easier on the chef. You won’t need to keep matches or lighters around when you want to fire up the Smoke Hollow PS9900–it’s as easy as pressing a button.

The lidded side burner has infrared technology, which is ideal for putting a good sear on steaks and pork chops. It can also be used for side dishes, as long as you use a pot with a heavy bottom to reduce the risk of scorching the ingredients.

Heat Retention

As we pointed out, the steel lids and fireboxes on the gas and charcoal components help keep the heat right where you want it. The offset smoker box is well-designed, too, with very few leaks. In this department, Smoke Hollow outshines much of the competition.

Temperature Control

The charcoal side of the Smoke Hollow PS9900 is outfitted with an adjustable coal box. This allows you to set the coals as close to the ingredients as you’d like, giving you superb control over the grilling temperature. In my opinion, this is a feature that should be included with all flat-bottomed charcoal grills.

The gas-powered side is similarly impressive, with three burners that can be set to whatever temperature you’d prefer. It might take a bit of practice to get it right, but if you’ve used a gas grill before, you’re bound to be happy with the results.

Care and Maintenance

The porcelain-coated grill grates help keep ingredients from sticking, which cuts down on cleanup duties. As for ash removal, both the charcoal grill and the smoker box are outfitted with access doors to make this chore easier. We wish the doors were larger, but as long as you roll your sleeves up, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

Make sure to clean the burners and firebox on the gas-powered side as soon as the grill has had a chance to cool down. A stiff wire brush works wonders for removing stubborn debris.

Warranty

Smoke Hollow’s warranty for the PS9900 isn’t particularly generous. The parts are under a limited warranty for 1 year following the date of purchase, and the paint is guaranteed for up to 90 days, not including rust. Compared to the industry standard, this is a disappointing package.

Social Proof

bbq food party summer grilling meat

We were wondering what other consumers had to say about the Smoke Hollow PS9900, so we did a little web surfing. Here’s a brief sample of our findings.

When the grill arrived in good condition, most buyers were pleased. However, some complained that vital components were missing, and that the customer service department was unresponsive. The ones who did the grill praised its versatility and claimed that it held up well to frequent use.

Possible Alternatives

The Smoke Hollow PS9900 can be difficult to find, even through online retailers. For this reason, we’d like to suggest the following alternatives.

#1 Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill

This unit from Char-Griller boasts a whopping 1260 square inches of grilling space. The product also carries an exceptional 5-year burn-through rust-through warranty.

How they compare:

  • Affordability—Smoke Hollow
  • Construction—Char-Griller
  • Burners—Tie
  • Heat Retention—Smoke Hollow
  • Temperature Control—Smoke Hollow
  • Ease of Assembly—Char-Griller
  • Care and Maintenance—Char-Griller
  • Warranty—Char-Griller

If you don’t mind the lack of a smoker component, the Char Griller 5050 could be just the ticket.

#2 Royal Gourmet ZH3003 Dual 3-Burner Gas and Charcoal Grill Combo

The cleverly designed grease management system on the ZH3003 makes this grill exceptionally easy to clean.

How they compare:

  • Affordability—Royal Gourmet
  • Construction—Smoke Hollow
  • Burners—Smoke Hollow
  • Heat Retention—Smoke Hollow
  • Temperature Control-Smoke Hollow
  • Ease of Assembly—Royal Gourmet
  • Care and Maintenance—Royal Gourmet
  • Warranty—Tie

For an efficient and affordable dual-fuel unit, take a look at the Royal Gourmet ZH3003. 

#3 Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo

The offset smoker takes up a great deal of space on this unit. In fact, it’s a full-service component, rather than just a box for holding wood chips. For some grillers, that could be worth the purchase price all on its own.

How they compare:

  • Affordability—Smoke Hollow
  • Construction—Oklahoma Joe’s
  • Burners—Oklahoma Joe’s
  • Heat Retention—Oklahoma Joe’s
  • Temperature Control—Smoke Hollow
  • Ease of Assembly—Oklahoma Joe’s
  • Care and Maintenance—Oklahoma Joe’s
  • Warranty—Tie

If you’re hoping to use your combination grill primarily for smoked foods, give the Oklahoma Joe a try.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I buy a gas/charcoal/smoker combination?

Combo grills are a great investment if you like to use your grill on a regular basis. You can light the gas jets for a quick meal during the week, saving the charcoal and smoker functions for the weekends. If you enjoy the convenience of gas grilling but your partner prefers charcoal, you don’t have to fight over which grill to buy.

What is the ceramic infrared burner for?

Infrared heat is intense enough to give grilled meats that prized golden crust in a matter of seconds. It’s ideal for finishing off steaks, but you can also use it to heat side dishes in a hurry.

How long does it take to assemble a combination grill?

While some regular gas or charcoal grills can be assembled in under two hours, you should give yourself a bit more time when putting together a combo unit. Even if you manage to rustle up a friend or two to help, expect the process to take at least three hours.

Final Thoughts

Despite its shortcomings, the Smoke Hollow PS9900 is a nice combination grill. Some of the parts aren’t as sturdy as I would like, but the smoker box is well-designed and the cooking surface is ample. If you want a grill that offers both flavor and convenience, take a closer look at the Smoke Hollow PS9900 today.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *