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Shopping for a gas grill
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  • Shopping for a gas grill

    Post #1 - April 10th, 2006, 3:48 pm
    Post #1 - April 10th, 2006, 3:48 pm Post #1 - April 10th, 2006, 3:48 pm
    Rack this one up next to the long-lived post about buying a smoker.

    I'm currently in the throes of some significant buyer's remorse concerning a decent, but not great, liquid propane grill I brought home from the big orange home supply place. It's not exactly the grill I thought I would wanted, but for the money ($200, plus or minus) I thought it was a decent purchase.

    I got it home, assembled it in the garage and wheeled it out back and just before attaching the hose to the LP tank I started thinking maybe it was too little what I wanted to keep. For one thing, it has one of those goofy side mounted gas burners (so you can make a pot of oatmeal while you wait for the fish to finish on the grill, I guess); for another, the cooking surface is enamel coated cast iron (I'd prefer plain old cast iron, I think)

    Anyone have any strong opinions about the latest crop of gas grills? I'm trying to keep it under $300 or so.
  • Post #2 - April 11th, 2006, 7:41 am
    Post #2 - April 11th, 2006, 7:41 am Post #2 - April 11th, 2006, 7:41 am
    ghollander, Thank you for posting this request.

    I am also in the market for a gas grill for my balcony since the assoc prohibits charcoal grills. I've grown up in a household using charcoal grills, so now this is a whole new arena for me. I'd like to spend closer to $200 though. I'm curious to know how essential is it to have that side burner?
  • Post #3 - April 11th, 2006, 7:49 am
    Post #3 - April 11th, 2006, 7:49 am Post #3 - April 11th, 2006, 7:49 am
    I just bought the midline CharBroil 4 burner at the large, orange home improvement center.

    Previously I've used a Weber Kettle and a old Weber Genesis Gas. We'll share this with my elderly grandparents, hence the need for the simplicity of gas.

    I hope to post my reviews soon. It looks great and went together easily.
  • Post #4 - April 11th, 2006, 7:51 am
    Post #4 - April 11th, 2006, 7:51 am Post #4 - April 11th, 2006, 7:51 am
    The side burner is only as essential as you feel it is to be stirring a pot of green beans or whatever at the side of your meat. In other words, not very.

    Here's an older gas grill thread, and here's another one which includes my straight-from-the-Weber-company-to-their-ad-agency explanation of what the enamelized iron bars are doing there.
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  • Post #5 - April 11th, 2006, 8:44 am
    Post #5 - April 11th, 2006, 8:44 am Post #5 - April 11th, 2006, 8:44 am
    As I said in the other thread, my Genesis Silver B has been a great workhorse for the past year or so, with much better performance than my old one. Consumer Reports in the past has like Vermont Castings, which is stocked at Home Depot.

    A couple features to look for:
    1) Ease of cleaning out grease drippings
    2) Control over burners: The Genesis has three burners that run left to right, meaning it's very hard to get a cool section and a really hot section. I'd have been much happier if they ran front-to-back, so I can leave one side off for indirect heat, warming while grilling, etc.

    Don't worry about thermometers in the lid -- they're wildly inaccurate. Get a nice remote probe, or at least use a good oven thermometer so you can calibrate the lid one.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #6 - April 11th, 2006, 11:46 am
    Post #6 - April 11th, 2006, 11:46 am Post #6 - April 11th, 2006, 11:46 am
    I've found the side burner to be a terrific asset since my husband hates to smell of cabbage, brussels sprouts, etc - (any of the cabbage family) cooking. I just pop out to the deck and fire up the side burner -- also cook corned beef & cabbage on side burner !!

    In the summer cook entire dinner on grill - roast, baking potatoes along with the veggie - never heat up the house.
  • Post #7 - April 12th, 2006, 1:29 pm
    Post #7 - April 12th, 2006, 1:29 pm Post #7 - April 12th, 2006, 1:29 pm
    A good resource to check out is www.bbq.about.com. Some good info and grill reviews.

    The low price end for gas grills is filled with a lot of stuff that you might get a year or two out of but that's about it. The Weber Genesis Silver B is a great grill but is more than what you want to spend ($450-500). Broil King/Broil Mate are decent grills as well and they have some models around $300. Not high tech looking, but very functional. [/url]
    Bob in RSM, CA...yes, I know, it's a long way from Chicago
  • Post #8 - April 14th, 2006, 9:42 pm
    Post #8 - April 14th, 2006, 9:42 pm Post #8 - April 14th, 2006, 9:42 pm
    RSMBob wrote:The low price end for gas grills is filled with a lot of stuff that you might get a year or two out of but that's about it.

    We received an Aussie Bushman as a gift. Let me just say that I don't think anyone who's serious about cooking would be happy with it. If all you do are burgers and hot dogs, it's fine, but doesn't cook evenly at all. Maybe I haven't got the hang of it, but even bratwurst are troublesome.

    For anyone else who has an Aussie Grill, see www.aussiegrill.com for news about a recall.
  • Post #9 - April 20th, 2006, 4:10 pm
    Post #9 - April 20th, 2006, 4:10 pm Post #9 - April 20th, 2006, 4:10 pm
    JoelF wrote:As I said in the other thread, my Genesis Silver B has been a great workhorse for the past year or so


    _____I completely agree. I was a die-hard charcoal guy who traded up for a gas grill (partially because of our wooden-decked apartment, and it was a chance to get myself a phat grill). I've loved it ever since! Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of charcoal still, but the Genesis Silver B is a great mid-sized grill.
    _____If you want, you can stop by Cooks Illustrated. Two or three years ago (as long as I've had my grill) they did an "even cooking" assessment of various grills. Weber came out on top.

    Barnew wrote:I've found the side burner to be a terrific asset


    _____The only thing I would like with my grill is the side burner. I thought it superfluous for what I typically cook, but after I got a wok my wife has done nothing but complain about "stinkin' up the house". If you're going to wok-it-up or do any other...intense flavorings, I would recommend it.

    RSMBob wrote:We received an Aussie Bushman as a gift. Let me just say that I don't think anyone who's serious about cooking would be happy with it.


    _____Funny you mention that it's only good for burgers & hot dogs. A buddy of mine has one and that's about all he ever does. :D I actually considered pickin' one up just based post-college grill nights. But if that's what you cook, then you have to decide what’s best for ya.

    Z
  • Post #10 - April 25th, 2006, 10:00 am
    Post #10 - April 25th, 2006, 10:00 am Post #10 - April 25th, 2006, 10:00 am
    last year while shopping for a grill, i made my way to that big orange home supply store...i talked to a guy there who was very enthusiastic and gave me a physics lesson in what to buy and not buy... he highly recommended weber, saying it should last years and years... he was very very against the charbroil stuff, and had a whole list of reasons that seemed to be both good and valid. he was also against anything that was a stainless steel casing or stainless steel grill grids, saying it was for looks but functional-wise they're much more inefficient at holding heat..

    i suppose also if you're looking for just a cheap grill that won't last half as long as a weber with there are a lot of options...

    i was at k-mart and they had a line of that seemed to be a copy of weber's genesis grills... not sure about quality, but the price was half or less...
  • Post #11 - April 26th, 2006, 7:54 pm
    Post #11 - April 26th, 2006, 7:54 pm Post #11 - April 26th, 2006, 7:54 pm
    I picked up a Brinkman grill from Menards a year ago or so.It works quite well and still looks new thanks to the cover.I even used some Brasso on the stainless body to keep it looking new.It uses a flavor bar type of set-up like the Weber.This is on a condo balcony in Chicago 'burbs,but in SC i have a red full size Weber and a $99 junk gasser that i bought at the Bi-Lo.
  • Post #12 - April 27th, 2006, 6:42 am
    Post #12 - April 27th, 2006, 6:42 am Post #12 - April 27th, 2006, 6:42 am
    Im partial to Weber..they are a bit more expensive but they last forever and their customer service is second to none..
    after burning out three cheaper gas grills (yea i cook outside all year long) i bought a Weber and its been going strong for over 10 years. I would never consider another brand at this point
  • Post #13 - April 28th, 2006, 5:43 pm
    Post #13 - April 28th, 2006, 5:43 pm Post #13 - April 28th, 2006, 5:43 pm
    Do your research...consumer reports recommends the Weber Silver model and so do I for inexpensive gas grilling. I now have the 3 burner model which I inherited whwn I bought my new house, but my old 2 burner model also did the trick. Honestly, Weber has the best product for the best price. I am a cooking freak and I love it for consistency, ease and finished product. Buy one.
  • Post #14 - April 30th, 2006, 11:54 am
    Post #14 - April 30th, 2006, 11:54 am Post #14 - April 30th, 2006, 11:54 am
    i also have a weber genesis silver b and i'm also very happy with it. it's going on it's fourth year and still seems newish. and i grill often in the summer and sometimes in the winter.

    one thing i found was that weber puts out different models for different stores, so there are slight variances from home depot to ace hardware to wherever else.

    when i was buying, one of the things they were marketing was that if you bought it at home depot, it came with cast iron grids as opposed to the enamel-coated cast iron which i've always had problems with in the past.

    but when i actually went to hd, they only had enamel-coated. the more expensive grills had cast iron grids and i got them to swap them out for me. and i'm so glad i did. the cast iron is so easy to deal with. every spring it's all rusty, and i simply scrape it down with a steel brush wipe it with an oily rag and then re-season it by spraying the grids down with spray oil and heating for a couple hours.

    highly recommeded!
  • Post #15 - May 5th, 2006, 7:51 am
    Post #15 - May 5th, 2006, 7:51 am Post #15 - May 5th, 2006, 7:51 am
    We finely fired up the Char-Broil last night. In the past we had a Weber Genesis up in Wisconsin - I think the one up there is about 10 years old.

    We didn't want to spend over $400 on a new grill though. I did some research and Consumer Reports really liked the Char-Broil 3 burner and considered it a Best Buy.

    It ignited quickly and easily and got very hot very fast. (The thermometer on the top, which I realize isn't wholly accurate read 600 degrees after about 5 minutes with all 4 berners on) I oiled the grate with a paper towel, tongs, and some olive oil. We had some simply seasoned pork chops. They grilled up in about 8 minutes, perfectly seared. Nothing burned. I'll be interested in seeing how it weathers, but so far, for under $300, I have to concur with Consumer Reports - it's a great grill for the money.
  • Post #16 - May 31st, 2006, 12:25 pm
    Post #16 - May 31st, 2006, 12:25 pm Post #16 - May 31st, 2006, 12:25 pm
    This week'sNPR's Kitchen Window is about tips for gas grills.

    As a single girl in her 20's, I've been thinking about getting a Weber Q. The size and price seem about right for my needs. Anybody here have one?
  • Post #17 - May 31st, 2006, 2:55 pm
    Post #17 - May 31st, 2006, 2:55 pm Post #17 - May 31st, 2006, 2:55 pm
    Pucca wrote:This week'sNPR's Kitchen Window is about tips for gas grills.

    As a single girl in her 20's, I've been thinking about getting a Weber Q. The size and price seem about right for my needs. Anybody here have one?


    My sister bought one for her condo. I've used it a number of times when I've visited since I always seem to hijack kitchens when I visit. the heat seems fairly consistent overall. I do recommend that if you plan to use it for more than tailgaiting that you do invest in the 20lb gas tank and adapter. I also recommend the stand for it to sit on your porch. Both make the use of the Q much easier.

    Flip
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #18 - May 31st, 2006, 7:57 pm
    Post #18 - May 31st, 2006, 7:57 pm Post #18 - May 31st, 2006, 7:57 pm
    My girlfriend and I just bought a BBQ Grillware gas grill from Lowe's (This is a Lowe's branded item). It was $200 and has a side burner. We are normally charcoal fans (and quite serious about our hardwood). But we wanted to add an inexpensive gas grill to the collection for times when we didn't want to spend the time getting a charcoal grill ready. We are reasonably happy with this grill.

    We had a large party last weekend and, among other dishes, made beer brats. We had a roasting pan with beer, butter, onions, and peppers simmering on the side burner, and as brats came off the grill, we'd add them to the broth. We also used the side burner to whip up some carmelized onions while the rest of the grill was filled with other items. (So that should answer the question, what would you use a side burner for?)

    So why did we pick this grill? First, we wanted to spend $200 or less. We didn't want to spend the extra $200-$300 to get the Weber, which is clearly a better quality grill. Second, this grill has enameled cast iron grates, which I preferred to the smaller wire grates that are common on grills in this price range. Third, this grill has space to add an optional rotisserie. We wanted to check out the $200 Fiesta that was given a good rating by Cooks Illustrated, but it didn't seem to be sold anywhere in the Chicago area.
  • Post #19 - May 31st, 2006, 9:21 pm
    Post #19 - May 31st, 2006, 9:21 pm Post #19 - May 31st, 2006, 9:21 pm
    I read through this thread and noticed the side burner kinda being dissed.

    My side burner comes in extremely useful, in fact, its only use, to light a chimney (or partial chimney) of lump for the WSM, or a half chimney for the kettle.

    Don't overlook the non-cooking versatility of the side car burner.
    Bill-Aurora
  • Post #20 - June 1st, 2006, 7:03 am
    Post #20 - June 1st, 2006, 7:03 am Post #20 - June 1st, 2006, 7:03 am
    Willkat98--

    You nailed that one! The highest and best use of the side-car on my KC housie's humongeous console is to light off a chimney of charcoal in record time!

    But we've also used it to take care of various necessary fluids--sauces, soups, etc.--that go along with the main course.

    Just one more useful option awaiting creative functions.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #21 - June 18th, 2006, 9:00 pm
    Post #21 - June 18th, 2006, 9:00 pm Post #21 - June 18th, 2006, 9:00 pm
    Stumbled across this site with some interesting grills, including gas, electric and wood.
  • Post #22 - May 8th, 2009, 8:28 am
    Post #22 - May 8th, 2009, 8:28 am Post #22 - May 8th, 2009, 8:28 am
    Any new developments in the world of gas grills? We're shopping for a new one and I'm looking at one or two of the Weber's entry level models. Some reviews say they're not made as sturdy as they used to be. Any thoughts are appreciated...

    Oh - and what are the thoughts on porcelain versus steel cooking grates?

    - Mike
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #23 - May 8th, 2009, 8:37 am
    Post #23 - May 8th, 2009, 8:37 am Post #23 - May 8th, 2009, 8:37 am
    ChgoMike wrote:Any new developments in the world of gas grills? We're shopping for a new one and I'm looking at one or two of the Weber's entry level models. Some reviews say they're not made as sturdy as they used to be. Any thoughts are appreciated...

    Oh - and what are the thoughts on porcelain versus steel cooking grates?

    - Mike


    Love 'em or hate 'em (personally, I have no use for gas grills), Weber makes products that are well built and desigend to last a long time. I don't think construction quality with Weber is an issue. The fact that they run on gas...well that's another thing altogether.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #24 - May 8th, 2009, 8:43 am
    Post #24 - May 8th, 2009, 8:43 am Post #24 - May 8th, 2009, 8:43 am
    I haven't done any research on gas grills since my 2006 post above. But, a good source for reviews and information is http://bbq.about.com/. It is run by Derrick Riches, who knows his stuff.

    I think you are right that Webers are not made they way they used to be (esp the lower priced models), but this change happened years ago. They are still among the best grills out there.

    I prefer heavy cast iron cooking grates, but these seem harder find now (esp on lower priced grills). This is what Derrick says about alternatives:

    A good, heavy cast iron grate should last for decades if you take care of it. If you simply are not willing to do the work, go for a high quality porcelain coated cast iron grate. You get the heat characteristics of cast iron in a rust resistant surface. When you buy your cooking grate though, get a good grill cleaning brush that won't chip the porcelain.


    I don't know the relative prices of replacement grates, but one thing that I love about the grates on my Weber charcoal grills is that they are cheap to replace and easy to find. You'll see above that I bought a Lowe's brand grill a few years ago. I've been happy with it, but the grill is not available anymore. When the time comes for replacement parts, I may be out of luck.
    Last edited by Darren72 on May 8th, 2009, 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #25 - May 8th, 2009, 9:55 am
    Post #25 - May 8th, 2009, 9:55 am Post #25 - May 8th, 2009, 9:55 am
    Mike G wrote:The side burner is only as essential as you feel it is to be stirring a pot of green beans or whatever at the side of your meat. In other words, not very.

    Here's an older gas grill thread, and here's another one which includes my straight-from-the-Weber-company-to-their-ad-agency explanation of what the enamelized iron bars are doing there.


    I wish my gas grill had a side burner. For example, I like to eat pasta (Tortalloni yum, and pasta salad) all year round, but when it’s 90 degrees out and my A/C unit is already working hard to keep my house cool, the last thing I want to do is fire up the stove. On the flip side to that last winter I made roasted red onion soup on my grill. When I told a friend of mine what I was going to make he said ”That’s gonna stink up your house for days” so I came up with the idea to use my grill as an outside oven. It worked fantastically. I'd love to use charcoal (I've been thinking about getting a smoker lately) but I'm single and live alone, so it's just not practical.
    The most dangerous food to eat is wedding cake.
    Proverb
  • Post #26 - May 8th, 2009, 10:22 am
    Post #26 - May 8th, 2009, 10:22 am Post #26 - May 8th, 2009, 10:22 am
    Thanks for the tips so far.

    I consider myself very open minded and bi-grillual - that is to say, I use both gas and charcoal grills. When it's 6pm on a Wednesday night and I'm alone with three kids under five-years old and two of them are cranky because they're hungry and want hot dogs, gas it is! In spite of my legal advocacy training, I've yet been able to sell them on, "Guys, the charcoal will take about thirty minutes via the chimney starter and then we've got to a wait a bit longer for the grill to get hot and then there is the cooking time... yada yada yada..."
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #27 - June 6th, 2009, 1:16 pm
    Post #27 - June 6th, 2009, 1:16 pm Post #27 - June 6th, 2009, 1:16 pm
    We recently just bought a Weber Genesis. I realize that's a bit out of the price range, but any Weber grill is going to last you forever if you maintain and take care of it.

    This gas grill creates near restaurant quality grill marks. It heats up quickly (less than 10 mins to get to 550).

    We looked long and hard for a grill and the benefits of the weber more than make up for the extra cost. Most cheap grills don't retain heat, have drastic hot spots, large flame ups and won't last nearly as long as a good weber.
  • Post #28 - June 6th, 2009, 5:13 pm
    Post #28 - June 6th, 2009, 5:13 pm Post #28 - June 6th, 2009, 5:13 pm
    My next grill is going to be the Weber Summit S-670. I've been milking my kenmore for 3 years now and its definitely on my short list in the next year or so.
  • Post #29 - June 6th, 2009, 5:58 pm
    Post #29 - June 6th, 2009, 5:58 pm Post #29 - June 6th, 2009, 5:58 pm
    I'm pleased with my Weber (an older "Genesis Silver"), with one exception: It has three burners running left to right. That means that it's kind of awkward to do an indirect heat, as the margins of what's hot to what's not are pretty narrow. I'd have been much happier if the three burners ran front to back, then I could do hot on the left, cold on the right, and put a decent sized roast over the cold half.

    I've seen a newer model that has four front-to-back burners -- that would be just fine.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #30 - June 16th, 2009, 8:55 pm
    Post #30 - June 16th, 2009, 8:55 pm Post #30 - June 16th, 2009, 8:55 pm
    I am in the market as well for a gas grill in addition to my WSM and Weber Kettle.
    I have heard good things about the Ducane brand.
    Does anyone here own a Ducane, thoughts?

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