What is Saffire Grills?
Saffire Grills (Saffire Grill Co.) is a premier barbecue company with innovation in our veins. Started in 2007, Saffire Grills began a quest to create the most durable, highest-quality kamado on the market today, while maintaining an affordable, highly competitive price. The line of Saffire grills has changed a lot over the years: we've made a lot of improvements to the kamado design, and we've seen many of our innovations appreciated by Saffire owners as well as competitors. One thing has stayed the same: we're still a family owned and operated business. We're blessed with all that we've been able to accomplish (so far)! If you are a Saffire owner, we hope you take pride in being a big part of that story!
Saffire Grills began as an ideal. Before the first Saffire was ever made, Steve Benson, working for years selling kamado grills at Rockford's own Benson Stone Company, had some new ideas to improve the mainstream kamado design. Unfortunately, the largest kamado manufacturer at the time wasn't interested in making any changes to their kamados. Steve knew we, and our customers, could do much better. That's why he started Saffire Grills.
The First Saffire Grill Model: SG22
When the first Saffire Grill was put on the market in early 2008, it included ground-breaking new features seen no-where else on the kamado market. It came with a 304 stainless steel chimney top and grill bands, rather than powder-coated steel. Side shelves were attached directly to the grill at the grill bands. An efficiency plate was added below the firebox, which helped to reduce heat loss from the bottom of the grill. Saffire's patented Smokin’ Chip Feeder was introduced then as well, being completely unique in the barbecue market. And for the first time ever, consumers also had the opportunity to purchase a ceramic, kamado grill with all stainless steel hardware, as well as a Build-in Kit for placing the grill directly onto a combustible surface without a concrete pad underneath.
The very first generation of Saffires came in a teal color.
Carts, Tables and New Colors
Next, Saffire improved on their existing grill cart design. A new variety of exotic hardwoods were also introduced for grill table options, as well as the option to have a granite-topped grill table.
Shortly afterward, Saffires changed in color from teal to black or red. Other changes included a new, heavy duty, stainless steel chimney cap, and an improved ash door at the bottom.
The SG18 was essentially an SG22 with minor changes. The size was similar, but the model number now indicated the diameter of the interior cooking surface instead of the outside diameter.
Redesigning the Saffire Grill
In late 2013, Saffire introduced the new Large 19″ grill at the Spoga+Gafa international garden show in Cologne, Germany. The side by side difference was significant. Saffire enlarged the base and beefed up the dome again for even more interior cooking space on two levels.
Various improvements were made at the same time to the overall Saffire design.
- The grill carts were given a unique new graceful arched design that provided even better stability. The new carts would then have the option of high quality type 304 stainless steel, like the rest of the hardware, for the ultimate durability and a lifetime warranty.
- That same year, Saffire began offering 304 stainless steel side shelf upgrades to the standard bamboo side shelves that came with every grill cart.
- The Smokin’ Chip Feeder port and tool were improved for more capacity and easier use.
- The bottom ash door/air control also received a new ember guard and graduated air setting guide.
In addition to design improvements, Saffire added a new Extra-Large grill size and a whole new grill class. The XL 23″ Saffire Grill was approximately 4+ inches larger in diameter, offering even more cooking space. And both the Large and XL would now be available in the new Bronze series, which comes with powder-coated steel hardware. Now would-be owners could get all the Saffire cooking benefits at an even lower cost.
New Model SG19 on left, and retired SG18 on right.
New Size, Color & Class
In 2016 Saffire added the new 15" Medium size grill, offering a lower price and weight, and a more compact size, for customers who didn't need the extra space of the larger models. As with the Large and XL grills, the Medium came in either the original class (now called the Silver class) and the Bronze class. Unlike the Large and XL, the ash door didn't include an ember guard.
In addition to the new grill size, Saffire introduced the Platinum Series of grills with standard, all 304 stainless steel grill hardware. This Series came in the Large and XL models. It featured a new stainless steel handle and side shelves, and the beautiful new Sapphire Blue color! It looked amazing, with polished stainless steel hardware accented against the rich sapphire blue ceramics. It was beauty combined with ultimate durability. And she cooks too!
Better in Blue, a Few Goodbyes and the Small Saffire
In 2018 Saffire began offering the sapphire blue glaze color in all grill sizes. In addition, Platinum grills were also now available with the Onyx Black ceramics as well. With the new color it was time to say "goodbye" to Jasper Red grills, and the Silver class, with its 202 stainless cart and bamboo side shelves.
That same year, Saffire also introduced their fourth size of grill with the 13" Small kamado grill model. This extremely compact ceramic kamado is the ideal grill for small areas, tailgating and camping trips brought on camping trips. It has a 13" inner diameter, allowing for several large burgers to cook on the grill at once. The stand is made of sturdy 304 stainless steel, with built-in handles for easier transport.
The Revolutionary Firebox
Cosmetic changes weren't the only things that happened in 2018. One huge advancement to kamado cooking occurred when Saffire introduced the now patent-pending Crucible firebox. The Crucible would now come in the Large, and, soon after, in the Extra-Large models. It was also available as an upgrade for previous models. The new firebox no longer used large pieces of ceramic, which are highly prone to breakage in kamado brands all around the world. The new Crucible Firebox would use a dozen pieces of higher temperature, higher density fire bricks. The higher temperature materials in smaller pieces would now be able to avoid most of the breakage due to thermal expansion of the larger ceramic pieces. The addition of a durable aluminized steel outer shell would also reinforce the structural integrity virtually eliminating the structural failure so common, even rampant, with other models.
The unique new design also provided many operational benefits as well. There was now twice the grate area to provide more air-flow to much more of the charcoal bed for faster lighting. The larger grate area also greatly improved the speed and ease of cleaning the ash. These, and even more, benefits of the Crucible firebox now brought a whole new level of performance, durability, versatility and ease of maintenance to the world of charcoal cooking.
At the same time the Multi-Level Cooking System was also introduced. This brought split grid and split heat deflector versatility for multiple temperature cooking zones. With the Multi-Level Cooking System, cooking can be done on two levels simultaneously. Between the new Crucible and the Multi-Level Cooking System, Saffire added much more control and versatility to their grills out of the box.
XL and Bronze Crucibles
In 2019, the Crucible became standar in all Extra-Large Saffire grills as well.
The large and X-Large Bronze Series grills would now have the new expanded-size grate in the Crucible firebox, while the Platinum Series would have the stainless steel basket grate and a huge ash pan. The basket grate and ash pan would also now be available as an optional accessory for the lower cost Bronze Series.
Saffire Grills Today
Saffire's passion is the same today as it was in 2008:
Innovation for the highest quality, durability and most versatile cooking... and all that for the best dollar value!
It's already on the drawing board.