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While Nexgrill has dramatically broadened the Oakford line this year, it began last year with pellet grills. We were intrigued by Nexgrill’s new connected grills, so we bought an Oakford 580 to test out.
The three pellet grills in the Oakford line are the Oakford 580, the Oakford 790, and the Oakford 1000, with the number representing the cooking surface area. They are basically the same grill in different sizes, with the following, minimal differences.
- The retail price on the Oakford 580 is $449 (check price), the Oakford 790 is $549 (check price), and the Oakford 1000 is $649 (check price)
- The Oakford 790 and 1000 have a folding front shelf
- The Oakford 1000 comes with 2 meat probes
- The Oakford 790 and 1000 have 32 lb pellet hoppers, compared to 22 on the Oakford 580
The Oakford 790 and 1000 are sold exclusively at Home Depot, while the 580 can be also purchased at Nexgrill’s website. They sell it for $50 more though on their website for some reason.
- Great price
- Premium features
- Phone connectivity
- Small barrel
- App needs improvements
- Sparks fly from the grease drain
Features and Specs
Beyond the sizing and pricing, below are some of the key features and specs for the Oakford pellet grill.
- Bluetooth and WiFi enabled controller with 4 temperature probe ports
- Temperature range of 160°F to 550°F
- 2 wheels and 2 casters to make moving it around easy
- Fixed side shelf for added prep space
- 5-year warranty of the firebox, 3-year warranty on the electrical and cooking grates
Premium Features without the Price
The Nexgrill Oakford could be the best value in pellet grilling. A big part of that is it’s one of the least expensive connected pellet grills around. At it’s price point, you usually have to sacrifice being able to operate the grill with your phone.
We didn’t have any trouble with connectivity with an iPhone either. Information from the grill was always ready to go, which is something that we can’t say for even more expensive grills on the market.
The only knock on the app is that outside of the grill interface, the other tabs aren’t native to the app. The recipes, for example, are just from Nexgrill’s website like you’d see in any other browser. We’d like to see a more seamless interface.
Easy to Move
Beyond the controller it’s nice that the grill comes with wheels or caters for each leg. That’s a nice feature for moving the grill around, and something that you see at higher price points.
Insulated Grill Lid
One feature that’s really nice, and almost unheard of at the price of the Oakford, is an insulated lid. We were impressed that the Oakford not only has an insulated lid, but it’s also gasketed to keep the smoke in and the cold air out. That’s big for efficiency and also cold weather cooking.
Assembly of the Oakford was a straightforward process. The whole thing can easily be put together in under an hour. The only difficulty worth mentioning is that you’ll probably need two people to put all of the legs on. There was one that was too far of a reach, even with my long, monkey arms.
The Oakford has an impressive temperature range of 160°F to 550°F. That’s great for smoke flavor on the low side, or searing on high end. Like with any pellet grill, searing isn’t a problem if you buy some cast iron cookware, and 550°F is definitely hot enough to get it done.
You can see in the picture below that we used it for our review of Crowd Cow filets. It did a great job reverse searing.
The grill held temps well, and the actual cooking process was easy, which is what you want in a pellet grill. The temperature probe that was included with the grill was also accurate when compared to our ThermoWorks Thermapen.
The only odd thing to mention with cooking was at max temperature our grill would shoot sparks out of the grease drain.
It wasn’t enough where we thought it would start a grease fire, but it’s not what you want either. Our guess is it probably would happen on the larger Oakford pellet grills because the grease drain is further away from the fire pot.
When choosing between Oakford models, we’d recommend going bigger. You can see in the picture below next to a Traeger Pro 575, that despite the Oakford 580 being listed as having slightly more cooking area, it’s a much smaller grill.
We like to have a little more space in the barrel to maneuver food around. That’s why we’d recommend sizing-up, if your budget allows.
If you’re on a tight budget for a pellet smoker, but don’t want to sacrifice on features, we don’t think you can beat the Nexgrill Oakford. It’s the best value on a connected grill around.