Arkla is one of the oldest names in the grilling industry, as the company has been credited with designing one of the first outdoor gas grills. This was done because Arkla Embermatic, which is actually the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company, wanted to sell more natural gas to its customers. As a result, these grills became a regular household item, as many people were sick of dealing with briquettes and lighter fluid. Arkla grills grew in popularity and other companies began selling similar items.
Even though this company is no longer involved in the grilling industry, there are a lot of these grills in daily use. Arkla barbecues and many manufacturers from an older, different era of quality made commodities that were built to last many years. The H burners and Oval burners used in older model barbecue grills are easily replaced and the rest of the grills can easily function for many decades of outdoor barbecuing.
Many Arkla Embermatic grills date back to the 1960s, so it can be difficult to track down replacement grill parts. One of the most common problems with these grills is that the burner stops functioning which is easy to fix. The majority of the GR40 models feature a larger cooking area and use an H-burner. There are a number of different styles of H-burners but there were dozens of manufacturers each with dozens of models who all used the same design of H burner, if not the exact same size with double and single venturi tubes to attach to the grill valves. Most of the 3000 and 4000 level Arkla grills also use this style of burner, while the smaller grills used an oval styled burner. All of these burners are made from stainless steel or a thick cast iron.
Heat shields on an older Arka BBQ grill will eventually corrode and the type of Arkla replacement vaporizer shield will be dependent on the size and model of the grill. The 2000 and 3000 level grill use a 10 5/8″ x 18 1/4″ shield, the 4000, 5000 and GB models use a 10 5/8″ x 20 1/2″ or a 10 5/8″ x 23 3/4″ shield. It is useful to know the Arkla grill model number in order to find the right replacement heat shield but often grill repairs can use the same product from a different model or make of gas grill. Most BBQ grills will be designed with either a grid to support lava rocks or a vaporizer shield. A briquette grid is designed to add heat at the grilling surface by conducting heat while the vaporizer plate is designed to spread convectional heat while deflecting dropping grease while barbecuing. The vast majority of Arkla Embermatic barbecues used lava rocks grids. Grids are easily replaced and are available in hundreds of sizes.
The Arkla BBQ replacement rock grates are dependent on the size of the grill indicated by the model. The majority of the 2000 level grills, along with some of the larger ones, use a 10 3/16″ x 18 3/16″ grate, while most of the 3000 and 4000 level models require an 11 5/8″ x 17 1/4″ grate. There are a few 3000 and 4000 level grills that use a 11 3/4″ x 19″ or 11 3/4″ x 20″ rock grate, although the largest grills that are offered by this company go all the way up to 12 1/2″ x 27 1/4″. Replacement briquette grids can be off-sized as long as the depth from fron to back within the fire box is correct. Because the grid mounts in the barbeque grill firebox front and back this must be measured but the width from left to right can be a few sizes too small and still properly conduct heat for barbecuing. All of these products are made from carbon steel or cast iron that has been porcelain enameled or galvanized and designed hold up against all kinds of use and outdoor weather.
Arkla grills were sold at Sears under the Kenmore name during the 1980s. Through its long history, Kenmore barbeque grills have been manufactured by a large number of grill companies and importers. As a true manufacturer, Arkla made solid products under the Arkla name but also Embermatic and Preway built to last for many decades regardless of extreme heat, rain and freezing snow. The Arkla Embermatic barbecue grills that are still in use are grilling strong in both residential and commercial environments and are certainly worth repairing. Even the best made gas grills need gas grill replacement parts from time to time but the Arkla barbecues are reliably built for decades of use with minimal grill repairs.