Meet the Most Versatile Grill You Can Take Tailgating or Road-Tripping
This modular Magma Crossover grill is a camping stove, grill, griddle, flat top, and pizza oven all in one.
Between football season and fall foliage just a drive away, there’s plenty of opportunity (and reason!) to take your cooking outside—and a lot of portable outdoor cooking appliances to choose from. For RV camping trips and stadium tailgating festivities, few options offer the ability to cook in so many different ways as Magma’s aptly named Crossover grill.
This outdoor cooking appliance’s modular design uses interchangeable cooktops that allow it to function as a camp stove, standard grill, griddle, and flat-top grill. And with its stainless steel construction, it’s also one of the most attractive portable cooking devices on the market.
Although the Magma Crossover is an impressive grill, it also comes with a steep price tag. I put the Crossover through its paces during a 3-day RV trip to determine how well it performs and whether it’s worth the investment.
Magma Crossover Modular Cooking System: At a Glance
- It’s a gas stove, grill, griddle, pizza oven, and flat top all in one.
- Beautifully and durably constructed almost entirely from heavy-gauge stainless steel.
- Grill top gets very hot and heats evenly.
- Pizza oven is difficult to use and lacks instructions.
- Very expensive for a portable grill.
- Can be cumbersome to transport with its stand and multiple cooktops.
What Is the Magma Crossover?
The Magma Crossover isn’t really a grill, a griddle, or a stove—it’s all three. This outdoor cooking appliance combines what is, in essence, a large camping gas stove with an assortment of interchangeable cooktops to function as a variety of outdoor cooking appliances.
Used as is, the Crossover functions as a large propane camping stove. It comes in a single-burner model that supports one cooktop and a two-burner model that supports two. The slimmer model gets power from a 1-pound gas canister, while the double-burner model takes a 20-pound propane tank.
When combined with those cooktops—which can be purchased separately or as a bundle with the firebox—the Crossover can be transformed into a standard gas grill, a nonstick flat-top griddle, a flat-top plancha-style grill, or a pizza oven. Set it all up as a tabletop grill or camp stove, or purchase a telescoping stand to create a stand-alone grill, griddle, or stove.
The Crossover’s modular design not only makes it a versatile cooking appliance but also keeps it lightweight enough to function as a portable outdoor cooking appliance. Although the sum total of the cook box, stand, and cooktops may weigh well beyond what one might consider to be a portable grill, since no single piece weighs more than 50 pounds, the Crossover remains light enough to take along. Pack just the cook box and grill to take to an afternoon tailgating event or picnic, or load up all three attachments for a longer road trip.
Exactly How Easy Is the Magma Crossover to Assemble?
One of the nice things about Magma’s Crossover is that it comes pretty much ready to go right out of the box. Neither the cook box nor the cooktop attachments require any sort of assembly whatsoever.
The firebox features sturdy curved-steel panels that extend down either side and function as feet, which are tall enough to create a buffer between the firebox and whatever surface one decides to rest it upon. I rested my Crossover on a picnic table made of composite boards at our RV campsite. Even with the heat cranked up, the table surface below stayed cool to the touch.
In addition to its tabletop-ready design, Magma also makes a telescoping stand that holds the Crossover aloft. (Unfortunately, my stand arrived sans the hardware required to attach the Magma to the stand, so I was unable to test this specific feature.) Alternatively, hardware can mount the Crossover to trailer hitches and RV bumpers.
Once the base is established, unpacking the double-burner Crossover involves folding out the two side tables that hinge away from the firebox top. With the burners exposed, adding the cooktops was easy: I simply placed the cooktop over one of the 15,000 BTU burners. The cooktops fit inside the recessed edge of the cook box on four sides, eliminating the need to deal with clips or fasteners that might slow down the assembly.
The Crossover also comes with a long gas-supply line, which gave me the flexibility to position the propane tank on the ground away from the cook box. (Magma advises users to keep the tank at least 18 inches away from the cook box to avoid potentially igniting the gas canister.)
In all, setup was easy; it took no more than a few minutes to set up and fire up the grill.
How Portable Is the Magma Crossover?
The Crossover has some things going for it and a few things against it when it comes to portability.
On the plus side: The double firebox toes the line of large but still manageable. I like the folding side tables, which not only make the Crossover more compact when folded in but also contain the burners and cooking grates, ensuring everything is contained.
The Crossover has a collection of large handles to facilitate carrying it. The two side handles make it easy to lift and place the Crossover for setup, while the front handle allows it to be carried like a suitcase when the user carries it from vehicle to cooking location. An optional soft-sided bag for the Crossover (sold separately) also comes equipped with a shoulder strap that makes it a little easier to carry.
Even the individual cooktops are also designed for transport. The grill top and pizza oven have clips to hold lids and doors closed so that they don’t flap open while on the move. All of the four cooktops have strategically placed handles that make them easy to carry from truck or RV to the grill setup, and again, users can elect to purchase soft covers for each one.
It is important to note that, at nearly 50 pounds, the double-burner Crossover isn’t exactly lightweight. Carrying the double-burner cook box from the bed of my truck the 30 or so feet to the campsite picnic table wasn’t strenuous; however, I wouldn’t want to carry it much farther than that, even when using the soft case and its shoulder strap.
In addition to the cook box are the cooktops, which weigh anywhere from 16 to 26 pounds each. And, unless a user plans on taking advantage of an existing table, they’ll also need to tote along the stand, which weighs another 10 pounds. In all, the total setup weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 pounds, which is well above the weight of a standard portable grill. While the Crossover’s modular design makes this setup possible, prepare to carry all of those pieces from point A to point B—and maybe line up some help.
The Crossover’s many pieces—the firebox, cooktops, and stand—took up a chunk of space in the bed of my truck. There’s also the fuel to take into account. While our RV comes equipped with propane tanks that can power the grill, tailgating with the double-burner Crossover would require one to also tote along a 20-pound propane tank.
What I Like Most About the Magma Crossover
Of course, the Magma Crossover impresses most with its numerous configurations and, therefore, its versatility. I really appreciated that I could use the grill top on one burner to cook pork chops while at the same time sautéing squash and onions using the griddle top on the second burner. It was also easy to remove the cooktop accessories and use the grill as a gas stove to cook an omelet in a frying pan for breakfast and boil water for soup for lunch.
When it comes to performance, the Crossover largely keeps up with the best of them. I was able to sear dark grill marks on my pork chops while keeping the insides juicy. Heck, I couldn’t have done a better job on the expensive high-end gas grill I have on my back porch. Large side tables with the removable cutting boards are another plus—these prep surfaces seemed vast even compared to full-size gas grills I’ve tested.
Aside from that, the Crossover also just looks great. Its sleek modern shape and stainless steel construction not only make the Crossover very durable, it also gives it a high-end look.
What I’d Change
While my impressions of the Crossover were generally positive, I did have my gripes. Though it excelled with the grill cooktop reaching up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit in minutes, its griddle was slow to heat up—it took 25 minutes to get hot enough to cook pancakes, and longer to crisp bacon. These two short-order food dishes should really take no time to cook on a griddle.
I also ran into difficulties with the pizza oven getting the cheese to melt without burning the bottom of the pizza (and I lost several pizzas attempting to get it right). This was made more frustrating by the fact that the Crossover came with no instructions for how to use it. In fact, there are no instructions for how to cook with the grill, which seems very out of line with its premium price tag. While cooking instructions may not be necessary for the grill top, there should be guidance for something as novel as a gas-grill pizza oven.
Although I love the versatility of the Crossover’s design and the size of its cooking surface, the sheer size of the full set (cook box, cooktops, and stand) makes it more challenging to transport than other portable grills. It’s a bit cumbersome to transport with all its pieces. But once it’s set up, it’s hard to argue with the sheer performance and versatility of this grill. The ability to configure the grill surface to suit pretty much any type of cooking one can think of truly sets this grill apart from others. A two-burner setup can grill up to 10 small burger patties at once on the grill’s 256-square-inch cooking surface while buns, brats, and vegetables heat up on a griddle—great for feeding a crowd ahead of a game or while serving up a full meal out on the road.
Is the Magma Crossover Worth the Money?
As portable grills go, the Magma Crossover is at or near the top of the list when it comes to price. I received my Magma Crossover system for free to review fairly and honestly, but the firebox alone starts at $500 for the single-burner model. Users who want to use it for anything more than an outdoor gas stove will need to purchase the cooktops, which range from $200 to $300 apiece, and a stand, which is another $260. And while the Crossover can do more than most other portable grills can, that’s still a steep price to pay.
That said, the Crossover performs very well, is quite versatile, and is also one of the sturdiest (not to mention best-looking) portable grills on the market. This design makes it ideal for RV trips that require one to prepare meals ranging from pancakes and bacon to burgers and hotdogs—and even soup and grilled sandwiches.
The bottom line: It’s designed for hard-core tailgaters or RV owners who want a grill that effectively serves as a complete outdoor kitchen. For those who can stomach its price tag, the Magma Crossover is a worthy investment for premium grilling on the go.
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