If you’re using fresh charcoal, this won’t be a problem. The 560 is Wi-Fi- and BlueTooth-enabled. Of course, the 560 doesn’t run on gas. If you dismissed using charcoal in the past for the hassle and cleanup it demands, the speed and ease of starting the 560 make it worth reconsidering. Naturally, this generates a lot of interest. The ease of ash clean up is another major selling point. The flames and heat are forced by a fan horizontally into the grill where they enter a large diffuser, creating an even heat that rises to the grates. The features list is mostly the same, but you get a folding front shelf, cord storage and those warming/smoking grates fold up so you can easily access the main cooking area at the bottom. Cast iron is great for searing, but they require a lot more maintenance than regular metal grates. in. The app is also a great resource for barbecue, grilling, and smoking recipes. The fuel and heat source are on the side of the cooking area, so the heat and smoke travel into the main chamber. All it took was a glance at the grill display to check our progress. Masterbuilt has managed to take care of it all. With the Gravity Series 560, Masterbuilt has designed a charcoal grill that gives aspiring pitmasters an alternative to wood pellets. The company offers the familiarity and convenience of charcoal with a WiFi-connected setup that works well as both a smoker and a high-temperature searing machine. The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. Unlike Traeger or Weber, the app doesn’t let you know when a shutdown cycle is complete as the controller turns off immediately. It has a pretty typical cooking box and lid. There are switches on both the hopper lid and the side door, both of which stop the fan while you’re loading or performing maintenance. Popular Mechanics participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. The app also allows you to turn the grill off remotely. When grilling burgers, we set the temperature to 500 degrees, a bit short of the 700 max. Regardless of your experience level, you can expand your barbecue capabilities, and menu, with the 560 Digital Charcoal Grill. Price: $499Fuel: CharcoalCooking surface: 560 sq. For the same price, you can get the Pro 575 from Traeger, which gives you all the connectivity and software features you would need. At $500, it ’s a considerable value compared to gas grills of similar size, especially when you factor in the versatility. And that’s it. However, if we were smoking big cuts of meat over 10 hours, it would be easy to see how useful the app could be. All rights reserved. If that’s not enough, Masterbuilt also has the Gravity Series 1050 for $800. From start up to clean up, the innovative design eliminates some of the biggest issues people have using charcoal. The only thing you’ll have to clean is the grease collection pan. Instead, there’s a tall gravity-fed charcoal hopper on the right side. Masterbuilt says you can use lump charcoal or briquettes in the 560. Even then, the 560 takes a while to cool down enough to where you can put the cover on. Unfortunately, you don’t get the error in the app, so you’ll want to stay close to the grill until you’re sure the fire is going. We tested all the app functions to be sure they worked as advertised, but didn’t need to use them. Sure, you can find them at hardware stores and online, but most likely you can’t add a bag to your regular grocery order. Because of its higher temperature range, the 560 does a better job of searing than any of the pellet grills I’ve tested. A paper towel works, but not nearly as well since it burns so quickly. In the case of the 560, you pour charcoal in the top of this chamber and a side door on the bottom gives you access to clean out ash and light the charcoal from the bottom. We found this to be a nice temp, between a sear and slower cook, that gave our burgers a deep, brownish red color with dark grill lines. Inside Masterbuilt made some design choices to really help with cleanup. If you have the temperature set high enough for searing, you’ll see flames too. The Weber SmokeFire outperforms Traeger, but Masterbuilt gave me even better results when searing steaks than either one of those. There have been some reports of issues with these switches failing, which means the grill always thinks one of the three doors is open and the fan doesn’t operate normally, making it unusable. In my experience, charcoal alone only produced a modest amount of smoke on the 560, but the company says you can add wood chunks or charcoal to the ash bin at the bottom of the hopper to boost it. And from the side door, that container can be quickly removed, dumped and returned in a matter of seconds -- even during a cook. The range was higher right after the initial preheat cycle, but it leveled out after a few minutes. And when you’re cooking fatty meats like pork or brisket, or saucy wings and ribs, those require more attention. You can simply reset the temperature and try again. 10 hours on a bag is still pretty good though, as it was enough for 2-3 cooks at varying temperatures. It can do that too. The Takeaway: Masterbuilt just made charcoal grilling a whole lot easier with the 560 Digital. There’s one on the main grill lid too, and while that one doesn’t stop the fan entirely, it does alert the controller that you have the 560 open. And there’s virtually no learning curve. We cooked chicken on the bone—placed on the racks above the grill grates and away from the heat—to perfection in about 40 minutes with the temperature backed down to 400 degrees. 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