ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Equipment Reviews › Need a new grill...outdoor....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Need a new grill...outdoor....

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Needs to be propane, and doesn't need to be huge.

I have an older propane weber I scored of craigslist for 75$ now, i had to replace the inserts and it lasted 2 years, but is now in rough shape...in need of replacement.

Id like something simple, with an only option being a side burner, but not necessary.

I really don't know what to look for as far as grilling surface, which is best, how many sections of temp control, etc. so any help is appreciated.

Thanks!
post #2 of 16
There is no universal answer. It mostly depends what you like to cook and the variety of what you cook.

I like to do some indirect grilling (seems almost like an oxymoron) so I like my multiple burners arranged side to side, not front to back. I prefer three burners so I can turn off the middle one and use the two side burners around the meat such as for soda can chicken. Other multiples more than three are gravy.

Having three burners side to side means a largish grill. The more BTUs per area the better. You can always cook on low no matter the size, but getting REALLY hot is hard for lots of propane grills.

I don't like the metal flavorizer bars. I prefer the ceramic heat diffusers. I think they produce a better flavor--different anyway than the metal bars. There are add in metal bars for grills, but you can't add in the ceramics to a grill built on flavorizers.

Rotisserie burner is a must for me. Check the availability of compatible replacement motors. These things don't last on any brand. They're inexpensive to replace generally, just make sure you can get a replacement easily.

Also in regards to the rotisserie, you MUST MEASURE the clearances of the design to see if it meets your needs. Check to the back and below, plus the ability to remove the cooking grate and place a drip pan below. You might not be able to do that whole turkey or prime rib like you want to on some grills. If you have the right layout, you can rotisserie cook and use a distant side burner to generate some smoke too. Yum.

Also look into the availability and your ability to install new gas lines. These wear out and finding the right hose line or compatible hose line is a pain. So is the installation so look into what's involved.

Try and move a FULL propane tank into and out of the grill. Some grills need strong contortionists to perform this maneuver for you. Don't buy those.

I don't really like side burners. Weak output on most of 'em, but they're standard equipment on any decent rig.

Some niceties to consider:

Spiders love to move into the venturi openings near the control knobs and spin webs/lay eggs. A venturi with a fine mesh is a bonus, but rare.

Covers keep your grill nice longer. Buy one.

Wheels. Most grills come with casters that roll poorly over concrete. The bigger and more robust the wheel, the better. They must lock.

Look into legs that are individually and easily adjusted for height so you can level your grill. This is a big help in how it drains grease and for cooking.

But such a grill as I like might be anathema to other grillers.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #3 of 16
I didn't answer grilling surface. Cast iron is the best, but I only see that in EXPENSIVE units.

The ceramic coated grids chips easily. The chromed wear through and rust. Both of these often sag too.

The burner itself is something to consider. Coated sheet metal doesn't last. Cast iron or aluminum would be better. I think there are some stainless steel ones now but I've never used them. They could be good if well built, but if they're just thin stamped stainless, I don't think they'd be any better.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at the new webers (i must admit, my weber was pretty good and dad loves his) Im looking at the E or the S 320's

the grilling surface is porcelain covered cast-iron and porcelain covered flavorizor bars.

I actually have a rotisserie kit for mine, that i've used once, i'll have to look to see if its compatible.
post #5 of 16
What's your price range? What will you use it for?

The market is very dynamic, reacting quickly to consumer prejudices. However, most consumers are not well informed as to what does and doesn't make a good grill and are often deceived into big-ticket purchases by a few "buzz word" features. "304 Stainless Steel," and "infra-red" are no longer guarantees of quality. A great number of grill "manufacturers" assemble their grills completely from generic parts purchased from China. Many "manufacturers" license their names to real manufacturers who turn out grills under a variety of names. These sorts of grills include some luxury stove company names as well as big box (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) sellers' house names. Those are the grills best avoided.

The number of burners in a grill, is a function of the grll's dimensions, and of how the burners are oriented. Since burners are almost always oriented front to back, rather than side to side, width is the usual determinant. Some very good grills use proprietary burners.

It's possible to do indirect cooking in a propane grill, but difficult to do a good job. The reason is not the fuel, but the relatively confined dimensions which require to close a proximity of the burner to the food. Also, gas grills tend to be rather drafty. With a little thought, and a little extra trouble, a gas grill can be an adequate smoker. But won't compete with a $200 Weber Smokey Mountain.

The most common grate surfaces are chromed steel wire; porcelain over steel; porcelain over iron; cast iron; and, stainless steel.

Chromed steel is always made using heavy gauge wire. An example is a Weber (charcoal) Kettle grate. This type of grate is usually confined to the least expensive gas grills. They are difficult to keep clean, bend easily, and are generally not as good as the alternatives.

As you already know, porcelain chips -- and having begun to chip, deteriorates quickly. Porcelain grates are relatively easy to clean, resistant to corrosion and (typically) made with a substrate that cooks well.
One doesn't find quality cast iron very often in gas grills. Although they are good performers, they require lots of maintenance to avoid corrosion. They are almost, if not just as expensive as stainless. I've used cast iron cooking grates for years in charcoal and gas grills, and would not recommend it for gas -- except for the exceptional user.

Stainless steel is the current up-market favorite for cooking grates. If you can afford it, it's your best choice. Grates can be made from round, square, or rectangular bar stock; or round, square or rectangular tubing. It doesn't make much of a difference to the cook, as long as the grate is strong and well made. You don't need to be an expert to tell by look and feel. Remove the grate, heft it, tweak the bars, look at the welds -- you'll know.

Everyone wants those sexy grill marks tattooed on their food. The key is a pre-heated, clean grate. Stainless is good because it cleans so easily and can stand up to vigorous cleaning. The primary benefit of cast iron -- seasoning -- does not come into play at all, because the grates must be cleaned so often. I clean and oil the cast iron grates on my charcoal grill (Bar B Chef Texas Charcoal) after and before every use. Stainless, I only clean and oil before.

You'll have to decide for yourself if you're going to do enough rotisserie cooking to justify a rotisserie burner across the back of the grill. If you eat a lot of steak, I'd highly recommend purchasing a grill with an "infra-red" a k a "sear" burner. Write back with more information, and we can get into it a little more deeply.

Weber does not make the best gas grill for everyone. But they do make a good grill, sell it for an honest price, maintain a parts inventory for decades after model changes, and a helpful "help line." Weber = safe choice. Sears "Craftsman" grills are also good value for money. But, again, if you want to explore some of the less common brands like Cal Flame, or Napoleon, or the big-ticket faves like Viking and Kalamazoo, write back and let us know.

Let us know,
BDL
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for taking the time. I have a three burner, front to back now, and its OK, i'm not a master BBQer but since I've taken up cooking, i'd like to branch out more.

My father has 5 smokers.....yes 5. all the way up to the electric automatic biscuit feeding ones..haha so while I love smoked BBQ, i could borrow his, BUT wouldn't mind the capability if it comes up.

I kind of want something simple, my only requirements being durable, with a good grilling surface, and a side burner. I rarely have more than 6 people or so at a BBQ.

my price range is about 1000.00
post #7 of 16
Side burners are actually getting less popular, and metal costs have driven overall costs on decent quality grills up. There aren't as many good choices outside of the big-box low quality grills as their used to be.

One choice really stands out at $1,000 with a side burner. It's not the best looking grill, but it's a much better grill than it looks. Broil King Sovereign XLS 90. When a grill packs as many features at as low a price as the Broil King, it's usually a "too good to be true" warning. Not in this case, though.

The next best choice is the Weber Genesis S-320. There are a lot of good reasons everyone and his brother has a Weber. A lot of quality, a lot of good support, a side burner -- but the main burners are a little short on output.

BDL
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
yeah, because of my experience with weber in the past (I still have numerous charcoal grills, hibachis, etc.) and my current grill is a weber (albeit used and neglected) I'm leaning towards the E or the S 320.

This summer is 'revamp the patio' summer at my place so I'll probably blow the big load on a grill a new patio set and a chiminea.

Those sears kenmore elites don't look too bad either, but I'm a little skeptical.
post #9 of 16
didnt read all teh posts but...

Stick with a weber. ncie even heating and there are options and addons you can get and they are realyl a great company.

Get a new weber and get a cover for it it will last decades
post #10 of 16
Every time this comes up, I suggest a look at the grills made by Grand Hall for about $600, both at Sam's and Costco. Yes, they're Chinese; they have a good parts supply, and mine has lasted about 7 years without needing any replacements. I have had to replace the pressure regulator hose connection about five times. It's not OEM, but just hardware-store versions.

They are all-stainless case, 12,000BTU side burner, 3 18,000BTU side-by-side cast-iron burners, and a 10,000 IR rotiss burner, cast-iron grill grids with ceramic diffusers below. The grill is 32" wide, which gives plenty of room for indirect cooking.

You could take a look at comments at

ยป Grand Hall & Member's Mark Barbeque BBQ Grill FAQ from Sam's Club
travelling gourmand
Reply
travelling gourmand
Reply
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Cooked a ribeye on my falling apart weber (it was abused, and sat outside uncovered for years before i got hold of it) and it still grilled me a **** good steak last night!

I'm still going to try to seriously consider all the other recommendations though.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've settled on the weber S-320 or the E-320 (I don't know if I really "need" stainless, I'll decide at the store)

I looked at the Kenmore's this weekend and while they were nice, they seemed a little more "complicated" as far as parts were concerned, where the weber looked a little tougher, simpler. And since my only experience with grills has been weber and they have been good, I'm going to stick with it.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
NOW I'm cooking with gas....

Birthday Present to myself! S-320 with side burner....girlfriend got me the weber grilling cookbook too and it actually looks pretty good! Lot's of pictures and just what I need when prepping meat, it shows you step by step. Sorry for the crappy picture it's a cell phone shot and it's in the garage for tonight. I live in a safe area, heck, I had a 20$ bill taped to my door the other day and no one took it (don't ask) and never lock my car doors, but I think I'll put a lock on this JUST to be sure.....

post #14 of 16
I have a Weber Q 300. My wife and I call the grates "porcelain over rust". They're being replace after less than two years.....

Buzz
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
these are REALLY hefty stainless steel grates (ask my foot). My old weber, I had the cheap grates and would replace them every 2-3 years as well. there is a BIG reason why there is a difference in price between the weber replacement grates...do yourself a favor and get the better ones.
post #16 of 16
I looked EVERYWHERE for Q 300 grates and could only get them from Weber. There were no options so I suppose they'll be the same ones.

Deep in the Weber web site it can be found that they do not want the grates cleaned after use. They say the gunk protects and therefore should not be removed until just prior to the next use. I'll try that.

Buzz :smoking:
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Equipment Reviews
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Equipment Reviews › Need a new grill...outdoor....