- 304-grade stainless steel construction with outstandingly thick components
- Extremely even temperatures and heat zone separators make grilling easy
- Push & Turn flame-thrower ignition ensures effortless startup every time
- Backed by Blaze’s best-in-class, lifetime warranty for residential use
- Great for contractors thanks to its 3-year, commercial warranty for multi-user settings
From the beginning, Blaze has committed to pushing the boundaries of affordable Premium-class grills and outdoor living products. The Blaze Prelude LBM gas grill is just the latest example of the company’s ingenuity in action, with many Blaze hallmarks making an appearance: 304-grade stainless steel construction, heat zone separators, foolproof ignition, a best-in-class warranty, and more. Throw in a multi-user warranty for property owners and contractors, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a commercial-style grill anyone can use.
We didn’t pick just anyone for this Blaze Prelude grill review, though — it was none other than Chef Tony, our resident grill master, who conducted every test you’ll read about below. He measured all aspects of quality, performance, and features through a series of data-driven and real-world grilling tests, giving us a complete picture of the Blaze Prelude LBM grill’s value. Chef Tony used the freestanding Blaze Prelude 4-burner gas grill for this test; the Prelude is also available as 3-burner, with built-in variations for each model. (If you’re inserting the Prelude into a BBQ island made of combustible materials like wood, be sure you have a Blaze insulated grill jacket for safety.)
To see just how seriously the Blaze Prelude grill takes premium quality, Chef Tony inspected the chemical composition of every component using an XRF analyzer. He wasn’t surprised to discover the Blaze Prelude LBM grill features commercial-grade stainless steel inside and out — minus a few key spots. The only components not made with 304-grade material are the interior hood lining, perforated flame stabilizing grids, and firebox, which registered as 443-grade stainless. This is smart, intentional engineering: the high titanium content of 443 stainless steel lends superior strength and flexibility under intense heat, meaning it’s less likely to crack, warp, or suffer broken welds.
Chef Tony then used calipers to measure the thickness of each component. The exterior hood checked in at 16-gauge, while the interior lining was a bit thinner at 18-gauge; this double-walled construction protects the steel from discoloration due to heat, helping the grill maintain its shiny finish. As for the grill grates, they earn their “heavy-duty” name with solid 8mm stainless steel rods that provide equal amounts of longevity and searing capability. The Prelude’s perforated flame stabilizing grids proved to be 14-gauge — “definitely above average quality for a Premium-class grill,” per Chef Tony — and the newly designed tube burners (16-gauge), control panel (16-gauge), and firebox (18-gauge) all returned desirable thicknesses as well. “All of this together certainly sets the Blaze Prelude grill toward the top of the Premium class,” Chef Tony says.
Blaze drives home the Prelude LBM grill’s rock-solid quality with the best-in-class, lifetime residential warranty for which the brand is so well known. The difference here, though, is Blaze’s addition of a 3-year, multi-user warranty covering commercial applications like apartment complexes, condos, multi-family dwellings, resorts, and more. That’s a massive advantage for contractors, builders, and property managers seeking an affordable yet high-quality grill.
Chef Tony’s performance tests started with objective temperature readings collected from thermocouples placed across the grill surface. The low-temperature trial saw all burners set to low for 30 minutes, producing an average of 230°F and all probes within 30°F–40°F of that number. According to Chef Tony, “That’s as good as, or better, than most home ovens.” The 15-minute preheat test with all burners on high yielded 595°F on average, more than hot enough to sear a steak. After an additional 5 minutes on high, the average temperature climbed to 655°F; the maximum variance was located in the rear-center of the grill, where the temperature probe was 60°F hotter than the average. “Certainly nothing to cry about,” says Chef Tony, who then turned to real-world grilling tests for another perspective on performance.
First up, the burger test: 24 patties covering the cooking grates end to end. The Blaze Prelude LBM gas grill cruised through with no problem despite the front being a little cooler than the rear and middle — Chef Tony noted the burgers closest to him simply needed another minute or two, no front-to-back shuffling required. To gauge how well the heat zone separators work, he simultaneously grilled cedar-plank salmon, broccolini, sliced bell peppers, and whole red onions at different temperatures. The results, Chef? “Pretty much flawless.” Gentler heat was equally accessible for the Blaze Prelude grill, which just as easily handled rosemary and sea salt-crusted flatbreads.
Finally, Chef Tony sprung for an “All-American meal and grill test” — lucky him, huh? — featuring potato medallions and a few steaks. The potatoes received a thin, crispy crust with smooth and creamy centers, while the steaks came out with crosshatched sear marks. All things considered, Chef Tony assigned the Blaze Prelude grill “very high marks for the performance portion of our test.”
One of the first things that stood out to Chef Tony was the Prelude grill’s bead-blasted cooking grates, which have a smooth tooth for cooking oils to stick to. This allows the grates to season faster and keep that seasoning longer than a smooth-polished rod would. On the 4-burner model, those bead-blasted grates provide 748 square inches between the main grilling area and removable warming rack; that total dips to 558 square inches on the 3-burner Blaze Prelude LBM. And as noted in the Performance section, the stainless steel heat zone separators create a true multi-zone grilling environment to simplify the grilling experience.
Speaking of burners, each of the Blaze Prelude’s commercial-style burners are rated for a powerful 14,000 BTUs and ignited using Push & Turn flame-thrower technology. Chef Tony calls this “one of the best approaches to ignition on the market,” and the design takes things to the next level with crossover channels between each burner that make it possible to light the entire grill from a single flame. In the highly unlikely event primary ignition fails, Chef Tony found the backup flash tube ignition to be extremely easy to use. The flash tube carries a flame down to the main burners, meaning you don’t have to remove anything or even get your hands dirty. That last point applies at large, too: Blaze’s full-width, slide-out drip tray makes cleanup incredibly simple, something Chef Tony appreciated during his many grilling tests.
The final features are specific to the freestanding cart model — remember, the Blaze Prelude LBM gas grill is available in a built-in configuration — but worth calling out all the same. For starters, the freestanding Prelude has a pair of side shelves that offer convenient prep space and can be removed when storage space is tight. Within the cart is a dedicated spot for propane tank storage, complete with a locking bolt to keep the tank secure, along with a paper towel holder attached inside the left door. Not to be overlooked, Blaze includes 4 heavy-duty caster wheels on the cart for easy mobility around the backyard. Freestanding or built in, 3 burners or 4, we can confidently say the Blaze Prelude gas grill is poised to deliver on its promise of affordable premium grilling.