The Death of the Holland Grill

Somewhere in the mid-1970s, Brad Holland became frustrated with his gas grill. It flared up. It burnt his food. And in general, it angered him that such a simple device could cook so poorly. For 12 years Brad worked to improve the gas grill, and in 1988 he began selling The Holland Grill.

It was unique; in fact, it went against all conventional thinking. The solution to flare-ups was simple, though many would say extreme. The Holland Grill separated the food from the burner with a solid sheet of metal. Flare-ups were impossible because fat drippings never hit the flame. However, neither did the food.

The Holland Grill required an explanation. Marketing gurus will tell you that this is a death sentence. This grill sold well for many years, but what made it so unique? The Holland Grill has a single, small, round cast-iron burn. In many models, it produced around 15,000 BTUs or less than half of comparably sized grills. The burner sits under a heavy sheet of steel that isolates it from the cooking chamber. No access to the flame means those drippings can’t catch on fire. So, no flare-ups.

The cooking grate has a diamond pattern steel surface. While durable and lightweight, but not designed to produce grill marks. Then again the Holland Grill doesn’t produce those sorts of

Holland Liberty Gas Grill
Holland Liberty Gas Grill

temperatures anyway. In fact, with the original design, the control valve is either on or off. There is no adjustment. These grills hold a consistent temperature around 350 to 375 degrees F. The perfect temperature range for baking, but not what most consumers expect from a gas grill.

The real strength of the Holland Grill was its versatility. It cooked like an oven and a grill at the same time, with the ability to make burgers one day and lasagna the next. The Holland cooking chamber let little airflow through. A pair of vents on the top could be opened to let heat out, but food wouldn’t dry out quickly. It seemed this grill was nearly foolproof. Simply turn it on, add the food, and check back now and then.

But wait, there’s more. If you put liquid in the watertight cooking chamber below the cooking grate, it steams. Place wood chips on the metal divider sheet, and it will smolder and produce smoke. Close the top vents to hold the steam or smoke inside. Clambakes, smoked ribs, a holiday turkey, name it and this grill could do it. It was this versatility that drove its loyal fandom for nearly two decades.

Nearly 22 years ago, when I started writing about barbecue and grilling, I was told to be careful about criticizing two products, the Big Green Egg and the Holland Grill. Fans were fanatical. For both products, the loyal would gather in parks and parking lots to show off their cooking skills, swap recipes, and techniques. As you can imagine, the users of the Holland Grill were a force to be reckoned with.

Brad Holland and his family-owned business were more than a company looking to sell a grill. They took an active part in the industry. As contributors to trade shows and organizations, they promoted outdoor cooking and helped grow the market space. Holland Grill remained a mainstay at these events, cooking a wide range of food as people flocked around for samples.

At the time, Holland was the ideal small American business producing domestic grills. They deeply embedded themselves into the Mom and Pop grill stores. No big box stores sold their grills, but small local places pushed their product to anyone who walked through the door. The sales pitch always started with the same line, “Do you have a problem with flare-ups and burnt food.” For many, it was a pitch that worked.

Unfortunately,  it seemed that a properly cared for Holland Grill could last for decades. Some of the earliest models are still in use today. While customers remained loyal, they seldom needed a replacement unit. Sales growth was driven by loyal Holland fans who purchased new grills for their kids, parents, and friends. While this brought in new users, it wasn’t the kind of growth that made Holland a big company. It stayed in the family, local, and small. Ultimately, quality played a part in the death of the Holland Grill.

Times change. If you think about how the Holland Grill works you might find yourself comparing it to a Pellet Grill.  Yes, Holland and Traeger came up together. But where Traeger created a niche market, Holland remained what it was, a very specialized grill for a select few who understood its merits.

Holland did have imitators. Phoenix Grills is a duplicate of the Holland Grill and is still in production today under new ownership. Fans launched an attack against Phoenix, but for a short time, there was a narrow market space for both. Phoenix went bankrupt before being acquired by Modern Home Products.

On June 14, 2019, Holland Grill closed its doors. Fans will continue to use this product, but the company is gone. It can be argued that the Holland Grill and its imitators are not traditional grills and that they functioned as a minor blip in the history of outdoor cooking. The truth is that few products in the industry have had that type of loyalty. The demise as a company has much to do with the durability of the product as it does with current market changes. Indeed, pellet grills and the need for smoke have cut into the gas grill space. However, you look at it; the loss of the Holland Grill Company is a loss to the industry.

 

82 thoughts on “The Death of the Holland Grill

  • September 1, 2020 at 4:35 pm
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    Doing some research, it appears Holland grills has been purchased and will start producing grills this year. Albeit with more focus on quality.

    Reply
    • September 16, 2020 at 12:27 am
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      I cant wait to see them cranking them out again. Cant find any information on the new startup yet.

      Reply
  • August 9, 2020 at 3:45 am
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    Bought a new Liberty grill when I found out Holland went out of business. Just got around to putting the new one together and they packed the wrong handle brackets for my Liberty. Anyone know where I can get the correct brackets?? I have a Maverick and it is still going strong!!

    Reply
    • August 22, 2020 at 12:50 am
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      We had a Holland Grill in California but it was sold with the house. We bought a house in Florida and knew we had to have another Holland. Found a dealer about 45 minutes away and brought our new Holland home three years ago. Never have had an issue cooking anything on it, we use it for burgers, steaks, chicken, vegetables…love it. Very sad to learn they’re no longer in business. High quality products.

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      • September 22, 2020 at 12:25 am
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        I was the chef/ director at the country club the Holland’s were members of in Fuquay-Varina, NC. The whole family were nice people. I grew up cooking on holland grills and at the club cooked on many of their big rig cookers. The grills have their own specific place in the market- this article is spot on. I love the idea of being able to bake a cake and a roast Pork butt in the same grill.

        Reply
        • September 23, 2020 at 2:39 pm
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          I bought a Holland grill many years ago from a small appliance store that was going out of business. At first I thought the grill wasn’t designed for cooking burgers because of the indirect heat but as I continued to use the grill I found how versatile the grill actually was. The flare ups are the big problem with gas grills and the Holland found a way to eliminate that problem. My hat goes off to them.

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  • August 8, 2020 at 12:02 am
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    We have a Holland Legacy LS (BH 421 SS-4) that was donated to our charity and is available for sale. I can be reached at [email protected]

    Reply
  • July 12, 2020 at 4:43 pm
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    I was fortunate to find one of these grills at a Thrift shop and paid a donation for it! For what I use it for, doing leg of lamb and smoking of brisket and ribs this thing is great! Sadly in todays world, Most people who have a grill, want hamburgers, brats and steaks as fast as they can get them. This is not the strength of the Holland Grill. Slow and easy gets what I want done just perfect. Kind of a set it and forget it for the right time and ya got perfection! There was no smoking wood pan with the grill I purchased so, I just use an aluminum throw away tray, and put my preferred wood in it well water soaked with a bit of extra water and keep it moist but smoking! Works just great!

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    • August 5, 2020 at 2:23 am
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      I’m here tonight investigating. A lady down the road set one out yesterday. As I drove by I just “COULD NOT” pass up all that stainless steel. I grabbed it as too make sure no one else would. With Hurricane Isaias bearing on Emerald Isle I left it on the trailer. The lady was coming out of her driveway so I made sure it was up for grabs. She was moving and stated it was 20 years old and “HASS BEEN A GOOD ONE”. The salt air combined with heat has done a number on the single burner and the diverter panel. I can fab those parts. Guess I have a “WINNER”.

      Reply
  • July 4, 2020 at 4:26 pm
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    We bought our Holland grill in March of 2019 after a lot of research. I was very pleased that there was so many recipes online on the Holland site. So the next month they closed and took down the website. Ive been looking for a good source for recipes. Thanks for your post.

    Reply
    • September 6, 2020 at 12:46 am
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      Check out Pinterest. Just sayin’!

      Reply
  • July 2, 2020 at 12:15 am
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    We have a Holland Grill. We’ve had it so long, I can’t remember when we bought it. It is a trouper and just keeps going. I think a big talking point being lost here. My husband is a retired LTC and I am a 32 year civil servant. Every year we had a Emergency Briefing to keep us aware of world events, unrest and terrorism. The Holland is the perfect survival cooker for all foods. As was advertised, it can bake, cook and grill. If you have an extra tank or two, you’re in business.

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  • June 4, 2020 at 10:53 pm
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    Sorry to hear they closed their business. We have had our Holland Grill for over 20 years. Only had to replace the heating plate once. Got use to the non-adjustable so that was never a problem. It beat the other grills whose burners would have to be replaced every one or two years. This had a cast iron burner like an indoor gas range or stove top.

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  • May 25, 2020 at 2:48 pm
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    Bought my in 1992 with a life time warranty! The Company replaced everything but the pedestal. Had a welder to fabricate the top and bottom with the same dimensions out of stainless. Still cooking so thanks to Holland !

    Reply
  • May 25, 2020 at 1:53 pm
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    Check out the Phoenix Grill. http://www.newphoenixgrills.com/. It’s the same oven method, but the Phoenix has 2 adjustable burners and can go as low as 200 degrees and over 500 degrees. It does appear that if I put my meats near the back of the grill they’ll burn a little faster than on the Holland, but I’ll trade that for an adjustable temperature. Learning to adjust the temperature takes some getting used to since Holland made it so easy. When my Phoenix was new I did have a couple of large flare ups but realized it was the manufacturers oil burning off and also that my drip pan needed to get seasoned. It’s fine now.
    So sad that Holland is gone. I used Holland for over 20 years. I felt that no grill in the world could turn out a steak or chicken like a Holland, but I’m learning that the Phoenix cooks as well as the Holland. I just couldn’t become an Egg-head after being loyal to Holland for so long. I’m now very happy with my Phoenix. Please know, I have no ties or relationship with anyone at Phoenix.

    Reply
    • June 20, 2020 at 3:11 pm
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      I have a Phoenix Grill , love it. I can put chicken or salmon on it and not worry about having to watch it . I bought my son a Holland grill a few years ago for same reason . Now when it comes to grilling steaks . We use Old Time iron pipe pits with real wood . Sad to hear about a Holland .

      Reply
  • May 25, 2020 at 1:37 am
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    I purchased our Holland about 1999. We cook on it all year round. It is not the speediest but, I like the way it does steaks over my Coleman tailgate grill. We have it directly plumbed to the propane tanks we use for our fireplaces. About 4 years ago, I had to replace a few items, still under warranty and the company sent them to me without any hassles. I’ve cooked Thanksgiving turkeys on it, today did a turkey breast basting every so often. I will probably use this until it rusts out or doesn’t light.

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  • April 29, 2020 at 10:08 pm
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    I’ve had two Holland grills in my life. The first lasted for 17 years and I’m on my second. Absolutely the best grill ever made. I’m sorry to hear that it has ceased production. Don’t know what I’ll do in fifteen more years when this one needs to be replaced. A truly great American made company!

    Reply
    • May 19, 2020 at 7:52 pm
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      I’ve only had one Holland. My mother in law found it at a divorce sale… 60 bucks.

      She called me and asked if I wanted it… DUH!

      Have had it for 20 plus years. Need to clean the burners once every ten years or so, but dang nice grill/oven.

      I think it’s more like a convection oven than a grill, but I love this thing.

      Funny story. When she found it and I brought it home I was going to make some nice big fat ribeyes. Fired it up and threw on the steaks. 1 beer, 2, beers, 3 beers, 6 beers later, steaks were not cooked.

      I knew nothing about Holland grills at the time. I was trying to cook steaks with the lid open. “If you’re lookin’ you ain’t cookin’.” Yeah, beer was good, steaks, not so much. Lesson learned.

      After that I did some research and figured it out. Awesome grill. Mainly use it for roasts, smoked pork butts. Smoke you pork butts for a few hours, put them in an aluminum tray and cover with foil. Kick back and have a few beers. Best pulled pork around. Been doing that for years.

      Reply
  • April 28, 2020 at 4:07 am
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    Seems as if these are on clearance right now at my local hardware store. I was shopping for one last year(right as the went under). I couldn’t justify paying $1000 plus for a grill that was going out of business. However now that same grill is $400…… yes 400 for an epic or independence… I’m buying one this week!

    Reply
    • May 24, 2020 at 6:34 pm
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      Where. I would love getting one to replace mine that died.

      Reply
    • June 28, 2020 at 1:40 am
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      Where did you find one on clearance. I want to buy one for my mom and dad’s 62nd anniversary.

      Reply
    • August 11, 2020 at 8:55 am
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      Where are they for that price

      Reply
  • April 28, 2020 at 1:05 am
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    I have worked for Camping World for 18 years .The Holland Companion grill that we sold here is the best grill I have ever used. We do ” GRILL FEST every year and I have cooked on the Holland forever ,we stop selling this grill a few years ago ,what a mistake, I own 4 companions by far no other grill can hold a candle to these grills . So sorry to here of their closing. I hope someone takes then under there wings and brings them back ……

    Reply
  • April 27, 2020 at 4:16 pm
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    We bought a Holland grill and time to replace a few parts is this possible anywhere? or cut our loses and buy a new one. Love the grill, but need an ignitor (hard to start now esicially in the cold–yes from MN) and need new drip tray (forgot to clean to many times unable to get baked stuff off) suggestions?

    Reply
    • May 18, 2020 at 7:19 pm
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      I use a chisel on the food grate both sides and on the drip pan to scrape out the particles, then pressure wash it. Also pressure the pipe

      Reply
    • June 16, 2020 at 1:54 am
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      Parts available in many locations. I have had mine since 1995 and I did rebuilt some of the inner parts by having a welder fabricate the new with even a heavier steel than the original. It had better not quit or I will have to burn the deck down also. Search the web many sites with the parts.

      Reply
  • April 18, 2020 at 4:47 pm
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    This is heartbreaking! Best grill ever!

    Reply
    • May 19, 2020 at 2:50 pm
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      I bought this grill used a few years ago and turned it into an argentine/santa maria type grill. I didn’t need to design much. Just a firebrick liner and the up and down mechanism. Love it!

      Reply
  • April 14, 2020 at 7:08 pm
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    Hold on folks The Holland is being resurrected! Stay tuned for more information.

    Reply
    • April 14, 2020 at 8:31 pm
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      Dan,

      When you can, please reach out to me. I would love hear more.

      Derrick Riches

      Reply
      • May 3, 2020 at 6:58 pm
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        Please let me know when the new Holland becomes available! Nothing compares to it!
        Patti ONeal

        Reply
        • May 5, 2020 at 8:26 pm
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          Their website says they are being redone. If you leave your info, they’ll contact you when they are up and running.

          Reply
      • May 10, 2020 at 10:12 pm
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        I would like to buy a Holland grill to put back! Where can I get 1?

        Reply
      • July 13, 2020 at 1:58 pm
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        Any update on the resurrection of the Holland company ? My grill being 18 yrs old I’m looking to replace. Best money ever spent !!!

        Reply
    • April 26, 2020 at 4:37 pm
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      When and were can I purchase

      Reply
      • April 30, 2020 at 6:01 pm
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        Hello, Valerie. Our company has 2 Liberty grills and 1 Epic left. We are located in Liberty,NY

        Reply
        • May 1, 2020 at 3:13 am
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          Still using my Tradition bought in 2001! Great grills but may have to replace it before long. Too bad they are out of business.

          Reply
        • May 4, 2020 at 2:44 pm
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          Do you have holland liberty grill in stock

          Reply
          • May 22, 2020 at 1:47 am
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            HD Distributiors. Ohio

        • May 10, 2020 at 2:01 pm
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          I would love to purchase your grill, please contact me with details

          Reply
        • June 28, 2020 at 1:32 am
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          Hopefully you have one grill left. I want to buy one for my mom and dad’s 62nd anniversary.

          Reply
        • July 21, 2020 at 4:55 pm
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          Do you still have them? I figure you do not, but just checking. I was jut made aware they went out of business, and my FIL bought one last summer, so he could have two, just in case one died! I am in TN!

          Reply
    • April 29, 2020 at 7:38 pm
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      Any new developments..

      Reply
    • May 6, 2020 at 3:11 pm
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      Please update me on the status of this as I am on my 2nd Holland and it is time to replace.

      Thanks

      Reply
    • June 23, 2020 at 1:45 pm
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      Dan, did you work at Holland?

      Reply
  • April 13, 2020 at 4:31 pm
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    Well this is most disturbing news,,I live here in east Tn now but was in sales in Va, and sold a lot of these grills, the one i have came with me and its 32 years old and still cooks great ,wanted to purchase another one for back up. I had the pleasure to meet Brad Holland and he was a hoot to be around, we were cooking and demonstrating at Richmond State Fare, i’m going to keep looking maybe some dealer over in back country of WV may still have one. RIP Holland Grill and remember If you are looking you are not cooking .. and most of all 1 beer is med rare and 2 beers is well done.. love my Holland

    Reply
    • May 5, 2020 at 3:41 am
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      I have an old holland that needs parts. Make me an offer.

      Reply
  • March 25, 2020 at 3:16 pm
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    you need to turn off tank unhook gas line then hook back up turn tank on turn burner on light some one turne d burner on befor tank that sets of safty device in reg

    Reply
  • March 8, 2020 at 12:14 am
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    HG Distributing in Ohio Master distributor of parts

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    • March 22, 2020 at 12:44 am
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      Purchased a Holland grill in April 2019 and am ready to give to charity. Our local fire department has two Holland grills available for free. The grill works heats to 375 degrees in warm temperatures or indoors, but about 250 degrees in 50 degree weather or less. The food is great but we can’t rely on the seasonal design.

      Reply
      • March 31, 2020 at 8:06 pm
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        i’ll come pickup the grill if you don’t want it : jwspiker at gmail 🙂

        Reply
      • April 6, 2020 at 11:23 pm
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        If you still have the grill, we would be interested. Where are you licated, we are in TN. Our nearly 20 year old Holland grill has too much rust on bottom.

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      • April 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm
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        where is the fire department. I would love to get one

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      • April 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm
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        sounds like operator error. I live in SE Minn. and have no trouble during winter getting 325 to 350. Been using for 12 yrs, and thru 2 Holland grills…

        Reply
  • January 26, 2020 at 12:54 am
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    I have had my Holland grill for 16 years. Love it but had an accident with it and gas valve assembly got broke. Can’t find a new part to replace. Tried repairing but still leaked so now out of luck. Any one know where could find part? Have looked all over on internet but that part is not available. Any information would appreciated

    Reply
  • January 11, 2020 at 7:49 pm
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    Just found out about Holland closing their doors. Bought mine in 1996 and after I replaced a few parts following a recall (precautionary vs critical path), it’s performed extraordinarily until now. The lip that holds up the cooking grate is starting to show a level of cancerous rust that makes me think it’s months not years from the end.

    I’ve found an interesting alternative by Wilmington Grills. It’s effectively a very similar design except that they have 2 burners so you can sear food (40K BTUs, I think). It’s all 304 SS so it’s a one and done unit, but it it not cheap – but the good stuff rarely is, right?

    RIP Holland…and remember if you are looking, you are not cooking. 🙂

    Reply
  • December 2, 2019 at 1:09 am
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    I got a Holland grill had or years. With stainless side burner. drip pan showing some wear. Will be looking to sale in the near future. Not sure at what price yet. The side burner was over 200 bucks when I put it on, It is a Holland too.

    Reply
    • April 2, 2020 at 10:51 pm
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      Best Grill I have ever owned. 27 years old and still cooks like it is brand new. So sorry to see the company go. So few things mad as good as this product was.

      Reply
  • November 28, 2019 at 3:12 pm
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    Just bought a Apex yesterday. The local dealer had a good closeout sale. I appreciate everyone’s comments and looking forward to using it. I would like to buy the side seating unit. Please let me know if you know where I can find one? Thanks!

    Reply
    • March 16, 2020 at 9:52 pm
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      I have a brand new black SearMate in a box… never opened… I can sell you for $249.99 + tax + shipping! Ask for Julie.

      Reply
  • November 28, 2019 at 9:59 am
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    I’m a Holland die hard. Having grown up in the Piedmont of North Carolina – these were a staple of Sunday afternoon when I was a kid and dad would have a bird or chunk of hog on it since 10AM that came off just perfect by Sunday lunch.

    I’ve never called it a “grill” so much as a “BBQ.” And believe me, I’ve argued the distinction a great deal since I brought my old clunky Holland Classic out to Los Angeles. It’s one of the few things that I’ve had for .. damn, nearly 20 years now that I’ve never let go.

    I’m glad I replaced a few parts in 2018 so hopefully it’ll serve me a good 10 or 15 years longer. And honestly, I didn’t NEED to replace any of the bits – I just got too lazy to clean them. So who knows how long it’ll go with this in mind. Definitely be putting more effort in to upkeep now that I know I won’t be able to replace anything that breaks down.

    Reply
  • November 26, 2019 at 7:57 pm
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    What a grill, I have had my grill since 1995 and still cooking like it should. 4 of the 6 of my family have Holland’s. Cook year around in Ohio weather and getting ready to cook Thanksgiving turkey on the grill. I hope the grill holds up for many more years.

    Reply
  • November 22, 2019 at 6:20 pm
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    does anyone know if you can get infer red side burner parts anywhere? I love mine but I need some parts.

    Thanks

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    • February 2, 2020 at 2:27 pm
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      Steaks on the Holland are the best ever. Love my grill

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    • March 16, 2020 at 9:55 pm
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      I don’t have parts but I have a brand new one in an unopened box I can sell you at a discount. Ask for Julie.

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      • April 9, 2020 at 5:48 pm
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        Julie, you say you have a brand new Holland grill in an unopened box???
        What model is it?
        How much are you asking?
        Where would it be coming from and how much does it way so I could calculate shipping?

        Reply
      • April 10, 2020 at 2:46 pm
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        do you still have the grill for sale?

        Reply
  • November 11, 2019 at 9:19 pm
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    Would anyone have the recipe for Theresa’s Incredible Boston Butt? All the links seem to be gone. Thanks!My email is [email protected]

    Reply
  • November 1, 2019 at 3:18 am
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    There is no substitute for grilling lamb on a Holland Grill.
    I have done many lamb chops to perfection and several
    times a whole leg of lamb. It always comes out perfectly.
    With enough garlic spikes inserted, it is incomparable.
    It may take a little effort to keep clean, but the time spent
    is worth it. May someone resurrect the company so that
    I can buy my third one in forty years! I LOVE the HOLLAND
    Grill. By the way, the grill surface is perfect for mushrooms
    and vegetables, peppers and onions. (Doing a couple ducks
    tomorrow). It renders the fat into the bucket and the skin
    browns beautifully, as well as crisp!

    Reply
  • October 30, 2019 at 2:46 am
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    So, What is happening with the Holland Company? Can it be bought out of bankruptcy? Can the patents be bought?

    Reply
    • October 30, 2019 at 2:11 pm
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      That is certainly possible and there have been rumors that someone is looking into buying Holland. Fingers crossed.

      Reply
  • August 2, 2019 at 11:38 am
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    I was stationed in Warner Robins Georgia in the 90’s and they have the Georgia’s National State Fair in that county where all of the grill company’s show there goods. We had purchased a Ducane gas grill (with lifetime warrantee) which performed well as a backyard microwave. 13 minutes and ready to go. We were introduced to the New Holland and I was intrigued to their introduction that my roses would be better and the lawn greener…… From what? Do they use the grease drippings for fertilizer? No! They fixed the flame ups and you can build equipment, remodel, landscape, change oil, till gardens etc and come back and flip the meat and go back to work without offering a burnt sacrifice. I often leave four whole fryers on and come back 2.25 hours later and remove. The Ducane was left at the lake cabin and we dragged the New Holland around the states until I retired and now its directly plumbed to the house LP under the exterior stairs where I can grill most all year even in 300 inches plus of annual snow fall in the UP.
    The Holland are great grills and I talked several folks into getting one. Mine is 20 years old and the searing grill accessory satisfies my wife’s desire for grill marks. I can throttle it down and cook beans on it. I have not tried the wood chips on the pan directly but will soon. I am sorry to hear they closed their doors. They had great customer service. We needed a bigger jet for cold climates.
    The Ducane now resides in the barn where it still gets used when speed is needed or the weather dips down in the minus zero ranges.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 8:26 pm
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    We have 2 Holland grills. 1 at our home and another at our summer home. The first one I bought in 2000 and the second one I bought from a Holland Grill dealer used in 2015. He had it at his home. That one has the infer red side burner which is neat.
    We live in Minnesota and I grill year around. I hope our grills keep working great for years to come.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 10:41 pm
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    It was a good solid grill 15-20 years ago,I sold a lot of them and owned one.The quality get going down year after year.I guess maybe the public got smart.

    Reply
    • October 26, 2019 at 11:40 am
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      So sorry to hear Hollon grills have closed the doors. I love mine. I have 3 Hollon grills 2 at home and one at the lake. My turkey at thanksgiving was beautiful, golden brown. I love my steaks cooked on it. Meatloaf wrapped in bacon is delicious.

      Reply

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