I first became aware of the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal line of barbecues because I’m a huge fan of Heston Blumenthal. Blumenthal is a Michelin Star chef whose restaurant ‘The Fat Duck’ uses science to continually push the boundaries of culinary arts. I highly recommend his book ‘Heston Blumenthal at Home’ for home cooks who want to experiment with his style of cooking.
I was initially interested in the Everdure Hub II; a beautiful self-igniting charcoal grill with an electronically controlled rotisserie. With a push of a button you can raise and lower your food further or closer to the hot coals. What got me was the beauty of the device; it seemed to be equally a piece of art and an exciting outdoor culinary tool.
I figured that if Heston Blumenthal was willing to put his name on Everdure products, it had to be good.
Couldn’t source the Everdure Hub II locally, but that’s when I discovered the 4K
I went on a search for the Everdure Hub II; unfortunately, I was unable to locate it locally. What I did end up locating locally though was the Everdure 4K; a kamado style grill that was unique because it had a digital temperature display, along with four probes to measure the temperature of the food and the grate. It also had a covered port on the side of the unit; the port came with a lid that could be removed in order to load more charcoal and wood chips—it seemed ideal for long smoking sessions.
The Everdure 4K is also the most beautiful charcoal kamado grill I’ve ever seen; much more aesthetically pleasing than the Big Green Egg or a Kamado Joe grill. I fell in love with the grill immediately when I saw it in the store.
Malfunctioning probes, tripped breakers, and other problems
However, as soon as I received the grill I discovered that the four temperature probes gave me absolutely no reading. As soon as I plugged in the probes and toggled through the temperatures, I got a “- -” instead of temperature read out. I also tried using the phone app in order to come up with a probe reading, and it still wasn’t giving me a read out. To make matters worse, the bluetooth range of the phone app was severely limiting; I had to be right next to the grill in order to guarantee a stable connection. A WiFi connection would have been a wiser choice by Everdure. This was a huge disappointment for such an expensive grill; the probes were one thing that I used to justify the premium price.
The beginning of my six weeks of trying to utilize Everdure’s 10-year warranty
I immediately contacted customer service and tried to register my warranty. Despite having an official distributor in western Canada, Everdure’s website had no option for Canadian address information for warranty registration! I had to reach out to Everdure via Facebook in order to get this resolved. To their credit, they added “Canada” as an option a few days after my initial contact.
This, however, wasn’t the end of my trouble with utilizing the warranty for the Everdure 4K. Meanwhile, I discovered that the grill was tripping my breaker when I exceeded 500 degrees fahrenheit; considering that the manual advertises temperatures in excess of 500 degrees, this was very concerning. I also noticed that the air intake knob would slowly rotate on its own which was very frustrating when I wanted to leave it fully open in order to maximize the temperature during direct heat grilling. I solved the rotating knob problem by wrapping the prongs of the knob in electrical tape; however, this seemed a bit janky for such an expensive device.
I let Everdure know about these additional problems but did not hear a peep back to them via email. It was only by contacting them through Facebook that I heard a response via email; and that only happened once. I never heard from them again via email and all my correspondence was via Facebook. To be fair, the person running the Facebook account would respond to my concerns within 24 hours consistently, but I felt like this was a side channel. Registering for the warranty happens through the Everdure website, but they seemed to be completely unresponsive through this channel. Kudos to whoever is running their social media accounts, as I would have felt completely ignored otherwise.
The back and forth with Everdure via Facebook took 6 weeks to come to a resolution; considering how short Canada’s summer is, this is extremely frustrating. At one point I was told that a new Everdure 4K unit, along with some extra accessories, would be shipped to me via Everdure’s California warehouse, but I was later informed that this would not be possible due to “shipping restrictions and limitations”—I’m not entirely sure what was meant by that as I have items shipped to me from the United States all the time. I was ensured at the time that the team was working on an alternative solution.
I did not hear back from Everdure for two weeks after that last update, so I reached out again. At this point in the time I was told that Everdure’s “entire server” was “down” and that they couldn’t access their email to proceed with my warranty issues; I was starting to grow impatient but I still remained polite. A few days later, Everdure reached out to me and told me that their server was still down; again frustrating, but I thanked the representative from Everdure for keeping me in the loop.
That was the last I heard from Everdure.
One week later I got a phone call from the store I purchased the 4K from. They told me Everdure had been in contact with them and that the only solution was to return the unit for a refund; there was no option for a replacement. This was extremely frustrating as there were parts of the Everdure 4K that I really enjoyed: the easy ignition, the side loading of charcoal and wood chips, and the overall attractiveness of the grill! I really wanted to own a 4K, but I wanted one that was fully operational.
I reluctantly agreed to the refund after six weeks of no progress on the warranty side of things. In the end I was out $50 for the delivery of the grill that wasn’t refunded.
During my short time using the grill, I will say that it operated in a way that a standard kamado grill should; it was well insulated, could easily maintain temperatures, and produced some excellent char flavour. The push-button ignition was a huge bonus for convenience and ease of use. Even the lightbulb inside the grill was a nice added touch for night-time grilling; however, that was only part of the Everdure 4K’s advertised value. Considering the price of the unit, I expected all the electronic features to operate but many of them failed right out of the box. I also expected to be able to get replacement parts for malfunctioning physical components (i.e. the air intake knob) and not have to rely on electrical tape; however, not once was I offered a replacement knob even though I had specially requested one.
At the end of the day, I could buy an equivalent sized Kamado grill like the Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe for half the price; sure they wouldn’t come with all the bells and whistles of the Everdure 4K, but when many of those bells and whistles are malfunctioning and warranty service is non-existent, half-price is very tempting.
If I received satisfactory warranty service, I may be able to chalk up my experience as “receiving a lemon” but I will never know as I never got to utilize my warranty.
Unfortunately I can’t give the Everdure 4K more than 2.5 stars out of 5 due to the malfunctioning parts and lack of warranty service. I keep wondering if I just received a lemon; but I don’t know, as I was not able to the utilize the warranty on the grill. I know that there is a Facebook group of avid Everdure users. Some of these users have had similar issues that were resolved with warranty, but from what I can tell those users were in Australia, where Everdure’s head office is located. It seems like Everdure does not have the same capacity to fulfil their warranty obligations to North American customers as they do for their customer base in Australia.
The whole situation is a real shame as I was looking forward to purchasing the Everdure Hub II when it became available in my local area, but knowing what I know now, I can’t count on the warranty if anything goes wrong with such an expensive piece of backyard kitchen equipment. So I will have to pass on it and look for another barbecue solution.