It is almost summer in Seattle which means time spent with family and friends outdoors, surrounded by fun and food. Speaking of food, how is your old grill holding up? Seeing any rust spots? Is it still heating up the way it used to? Are you having a tough time getting up to searing temperature? These are all things that tend to get discovered as we all ease into Summer. Well, don’t fear! If you’re considering installing a new grill we are going to talk about two of the best and compare them head to head.
As companies, Lynx and Hestan have very different backgrounds, so it is interesting how they both became makers of the best outdoor grills in the marketplace. Hestan began in the world of professional kitchens; outdoor cooking is one of their newest ventures. Lynx was founded with the purpose of creating the best luxury outdoor cooking experience, and they have done a very good job in that.
Hestan’s story begins in the 1970’s when Stanley Cheng, who’s father owned an aluminum manufacturing plant in Hong Kong, licensed DuPont’s new material Teflon to use on cookware. This led to him creating cookware that had ridges in it to help protect the non-stick surface, which he named Circulon. After that, he then created a tougher, anodized aluminum pan which he called Analon. Thus starting the Hestan (a portmanteau of Helen, his wife, and Stanley) empire was begun. From there he went to create commercial kitchen appliances which are used and loved by some of the world’s biggest chefs. He also made award winning wines from his vineyard in Napa, innovative cookware, Hestan appliances for the home and finally and Hestan Outdoor. Hestan Outdoor uses the same technological advancements that they have used for decades.
Digging in to Hestan’s grills, we will start by looking at their Aspire by Hestan line. Their grill is available in three sizes, with or without a rotisserie. The sizes are; 30”, 36” and 42”, either with a cart or just the grill head itself that can be installed into an outdoor kitchen.
What you will first notice on this grill is the amazing colors that are available in the Hestan Aspire. The color portion will be the grill front and the handles on the grill cart, if you choose that option.
Let’s open the hood on this grill. Literally. The hood is on a spring assisted assembly, which allows the hood to open extremely easily, even with one finger. First though, let’s look at the front panel.
There are LED lit, die cast knobs in front of the Patented Marquise Accented™ control panel. The hood handle with commercial-grade end caps provides industry-exclusive durability and style as well as having the marquise accent as well. At the bottom right hand corner of the panel is the one touch button for the exterior LED lighting as well as the interior lighting. The interior lights are unique inside the Aspire, as they use two 20 watt bulbs on either side of the back of the grill, ensuring that the light will illuminate the entire cooking surface. Most grills in this class have one central 10 watt bulb.
One of the best features that covers the Hestan Aspire series, as well as Hestan Pro grills, is the hot surface ignition system. This system, when you turn on the burner, does not require you to press and hold the valve to make sure that your grill lights. Once you turn the burner on, you simply let go and the burner will light via the box shown circled in the image below. Once lit, this ignition point will turn off and you are all set to use your grill!
While we have this photo above still on our mind, look at the shape of the burner. That U-shape, 304 stainless steel burner will give you extremely even heating across the depth of your grill. Directly above the burners is their patent-pending symmetrical flip-to-clean radiant tray with ceramic disc briquettes. These ceramic discs will ensure that your heat is even more even than just by the burner alone. Additionally, when this is dirty, you just flip the tray over and, while grilling, the flame will clean the reverse side! It makes so much sense, that you wonder why it took so long!
One more feature that I want to talk about that also carries over to the regular Hestan grill is the high-performance variable ceramic infrared sear burner that delivers an additional 23,000 BTUs of searing heat to lock in flavor. This infrared burner is a variable heat burner. What this means is that you do not have to move what you are searing to a cooler part of the grill. Just turn the ceramic burner down, close the lid and you are all set!
Lynx was founded in 1996, and much like Hestan, the group was very experienced in commercial kitchen cooking, however unlike Hestan, they wanted to revolutionize the outdoor cooking industry and transform it into a luxury experience that would last year after year. Soon after release, a review claimed the Lynx Professional as “the world’s greatest grill.” What helped them along, was the Lynx proprietary welding process that created seamless corners and eliminated gaps where residues could collect, while also giving Lynx grills its trademark gleam.
Now let’s take a look at the Lynx Sedona which is comparable to the Hestan Aspire.
We will start with the Lynx Sedona grill and its overall appearance. It is built with gleaming stainless teel and hand welded (never machine attached) to eliminate gaps in the finish to make the grill wind resistant as well as to cover all gaps where grilling residue may reside and build up. The front panel is lit with blue LED lights around each knob and backed in stainless steel. The hood is attached with the Lynx Hood Assist system, which makes it feel light as a feather and at the same time, holding in heat and keeping out wind.
When looking at the interior of this grill, you will first notice the stainless steel grilling grates. Made of a high guage stainless steel, they ensure the perfect grill marks every time, as well as being very easy to clean. Under those grill grates are trays of ceramic briquettes that evenly distribute the heat that is generated by the gas burners. These trays, when covered with grilling residue, can we flipped over and after about five minutes on high, are clean and ready to be cooled off and flipped back over.
The gas burners on the Lynx Sedona are U-shaped and are perforated to give exceptionally even heating. They are made of stainless steel and are going to be able to endure temperatures of up to 2,000° F. and come with a lifetime warranty. These burners, partnered with the ceramic briquettes, provide quick and adjustable even heat that give you perfect results time after time.
The U-shaped gas burners are not the only burner option for the Sedona by Lynx. They also offer the ProSear infrared burner to replace any of the traditional gas burners in the unit. The ProSear infrared burner is acclaimed for its immediate response for up to 22,000 BTUs of intensive heat, but it can also do much more! Unlike a traditional searing burner that has limited settings, the ProSear is totally variable so you can put a hard sear on your steak or use it for delicate items as well. As with the U-shaped burner, this also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Also available is an optional rotisserie that uses a dedicated infrared burner. What is different about the rotisserie is one of the accessories that you can purchase to go with it. Lynx offers a rotisserie basket that you can use for frilling items like vegetables. My mouth is watering just thinking of all of the roasted green chilis I would be able to make with this! One more thing. You can also roast coffee beans in the rotisserie basket!
When comparing the Hestan Aspire and the Sedona by Lynx, you will see that some of their features are very similar with small differences between the two. A lot of people that prefer the Aspire grill appreciate the many colors that are available to add some pizazz to their outdoor kitchen. For the people that prefer the Sedona grill, you will see that they appreciate the time and research that went into creating this grill. For me it is a draw. If you choose the Aspire by Hestan or the Sedona by Lynx, you will have one of the best grills on the market.
We invite you to contact us at Metropolitan Appliance to see these grills inside and out. Come in and ask our Specialists any questions you have on grills. They’re happy to assist you in creating your perfect outdoor cooking space.