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thinking of getting a gas grill. help me pick a good one.

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

i've used a weber kettle charcoal grill for years, and i love it, but we grill so often, i think the ease of a gas grill is warranted. 

 

i don't need fancy features. what i need is something that can take a lot of grilling year after year and stand up to the elements. 

 

so far, i think i'm narrowing to a choice between a weber genesis and a napoleon prestige. both are around $700-$800. 

 

i want heavier gauge steel and high-quality burners. 

 

are there any other brands i should consider? which ones should i avoid? and is there anything to these infrared grills that char-broil is touting? i like the high temps they purport, but i'm concerned about durability and ease of cleanup.

 

any advice is appreciated.

 

thanks!

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post #2 of 21

I just bought one of these at Home depot, you can use as a Charcoal grill, Smoker, then have a Gas grill on the other side. The best of all worlds of cooking. I smoked a Ham last week and Bacon before that..................

 

 

Brinkmann Dual Zone Charcoal Gas Grill Model # 810-3820-S The Brinkmann $299

post #3 of 21
I'm not a fan of the flavorizer bars that everyone is using any more. I like the ceramic tiles or even the lava rock better. But that's only available on lower end systems anymore.

I've found it useful to divide the BTU rating by the surface area in comparing grills. Because it's not just about area or BTUs, you need to know how much heat can be directed to a given area to make a fair comparison. The need for infra-red burners arise more from weak BTU per area in my opinion. But they do have their uses.

I prefer to have burners laid out so they are controlled from side to side rather than from front to back. This is a better arrangement for indirect grilling. However, manufacturers often use the front to back arrangement so one burner can double as the rotisserie burner. This saves them money in adding features, but you lose flexibility. Get one with a dedicated rotisserie burner if you want a rotisserie (and it's a great feature IMHO)--usually an infra-red set up at the back of the grill.

I have no recommendations. I decided that rather than replace my current OLD gas grill, I'll rebuild it with new parts to put what I want in it and save some money. It will still cost me a few hundred dollars, but I'll get what I want and save in the long run. Anything I was really liking was more in the 4 figure range. I couldn't justify it.

Last year, KyHeirloomer and Boar_d_laze were talking grills as KyH was going to buy a gas grill. I haven't successfully searched out that thread yet. It would be a good thing for you to look at.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post

Last year, KyHeirloomer and Boar_d_laze were talking grills as KyH was going to buy a gas grill. I haven't successfully searched out that thread yet. It would be a good thing for you to look at.

 

i'll look for that thread, thanks. i did a cursory search and found a couple of "gas versus charcoal" threads, but nothing specific on buying a gas grill. 

 

i still plan on keeping my weber kettle though. i love that thing. 

post #5 of 21
It's been a few years since looking seriously at gas grills, and because things change so much in that racket it's impossible for me to make an informed, specific recommendation. As a general rule, Weber represents fair value for the money, you can find spare parts easily, and manages to always be a good choice.

You don't want a backyard cluttered up with barbecues and grills, but (again) as a general rule, the specialists to a better job than the convertible. If you're planning on doing a fair amount of smoking AND grilling, it's worth having a separate smoker and a separate grill.

Weber charcoal kettles offer you some interesting choice, especially when it comes to cooking hot and covered -- whether direct or indirect -- and are nice to have around, In terms of versatility, keeping your kettle is a great choice. They aren't bad, but aren't the best when it comes to cooking open-face, direct because you don't get to adjust the distance between the fuel and food grates. A gas grill is not a charcoal grill; and a charcoal grill is not a wood burner; but a wood burner can usually burn charcoal as well as wood. Gas grills are quick and convenient, but they can't turn out the quality of product that a good charcoal or/and wood burner can. A "kabobonator" does kabobs better than just about any other set up. And so it goes; horses for courses.

Perhaps the best all-rounders are the quality ceramic cookers, such as the BGE

While you're thinking about that, remember that when it comes to keeping the backyard classy, multiple grills... well...

What were we talking about?

BDL
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post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

While you're thinking about that, remember that when it comes to keeping the backyard classy, multiple grills... well...
What were we talking about?
BDL

 

true that. 

 

i'd probably store the weber in the garage. 

 

i just want to get something that's decently put-together. thick steel. heavy grates. that sort of thing. and i want to be able to sear a nice steak, so it's gotta get hot

post #7 of 21
I do a lot of BBQ, my weber kettle I bought back about 1981 or 82, my weber Genesis about 1999, my smoker about 6 years ago. So I have used charcoal, gas, and electric + wood for smoke. During the season which for us starts in May and ends around end of October, we grill on the gas Genesis about 3 or 4 times a week. During the winter we will grill about every other week. Since we bought a new home (new to us a "foreclosure"), I now have a covered area to grill or smoke in the winter. I am frequently asked to grill at various BBQ parties for others. So I have used a variety of other equipment (mostly gas).

A few years ago you would have only heard me recommend Weber for a stand alone BBQ either the Genesis series or the Summit series. However now both the Genesis & the Summit series are made in China just like everything else. In fact is you grab the sides of my 1999 Silver Genesis cast iron box, and try to get some flex there is none. Grab the sides of the newer Genesis made in China and there is a flex, thus they are not made out as heavy a gauge material today. The same holds true for the Summit series.

So I am not going to claim any longer Weber is the best store bought grill any more, I think there are others on par for construction and design. Where Weber separates it's self from the competition is support. You can find Weber parts either locally or call weber and order. I have replaced the burner tubes 3 times, the Flavorizer bars twice, regulator once, igniter once, and the grates once. If you are going to buy get the stainless grates & flavorizer bars, they last longer and cleanup easier.

Burner design both the new weber Genesis & Summit now have front to back burners. My old Genesis had side to side, I have cooked with both and prefer front to back, it gives you better zone control, so you can be grilling steaks on one side very hot, and keeping something warm on the opposite side of the grill, side to side you really can't do that.

Get the biggest grill you can afford, BBQ grills are like boats, TVs, and meat smokers, bigger is better.
Get a backup propane bottle, so you always have a full one in reserve.
My old Genesis doesn't have a side burner so I use an electric hot plate. I have used both a gas side burner and my hot plate, when it's windy the hot plate works better. However if I was to buy a new BBQ I would get one with a side plate, it just is convenient.

P.S. I also own a electric smoker capable of smoking 16 racks of ribs, I use it about every 3rd week for ribs, pork butt, brisket. I also still use my weber kettle occasionally, I do wood flavored pizza in it and other stuff. My next back yard cooking acquisition will be a pizza oven.

Today I would buy a Summit or a custom built-in. Our Weber Silver Genesis cost about $400+ at the time using 425/13years that is less than $33 a year. Our household is down to 3 but I did two BBQs this past week one for 9 people the other for 7, and have done several other BBQs so far this year for up to 15 people, so I would still buy the biggest I could afford, because if you like it others will too and want to join you for BBQs.

My sister & her hubby, used to buy other brands of gas grills, all rusted out and all were basically non functional after 3 or 4 years. I convinced him to buy a Weber Summit, they love it, still used it and it's been about 6 years.
Edited by deltadude - 5/14/12 at 3:55pm
post #8 of 21

This was my dream gas-grill (in your price range) until some friends bought me a grill the other day. ;)

 

http://www.broilkingbbq.com/grills/sovereign-series/sovereign-xls.html

 

412

post #9 of 21

I had a Ducane for years and it finally bit the dust last winter when a sheet of snow/ice fell 25ft onto it and crushed it.  I purchased a Weber Genesis after a long search and found for the money there isnt much better out there.  Its built to last, has an outstanding warranty and works. My dad has had his Weber gas for 20+ years and it looks like its only a year or two old and he uses it 3 times a week for 9 months out of the year. Webers are tough, well built and start up every time.

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post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

thanks for the responses, everyone. i've been grilling with charcoal for 20 years, but i know nothing about gas. so this is all very helpful.

post #11 of 21

After 10 years of hard core use I finally decided, this year, it was time to purchase a new gas grill.  My old one was definitely salvagable, but I was ready for something a little bigger and more flexible.  All I really needed to do was replace the old burner, which was finally starting to crumble after years of year round use.  While I really wanted a nice, high-end gas grill, my budget was only in the $300-400 range.  For that money I ended up with a Kenmore Grill from Sears.  Say what you want about Kenmore but my last gas grill (the one that lasted 10 years with serious year round use) was a Kenmore.  In my opinion, for the price, you can't get much better, although they can't compare to grills that are twice their price, or more.  More important than brand though, to me, is burner configuration and how heavy the grates are.  I agree with most of the posters here, in that you have more flexibility with a front to back configuration instead of a side to side or "U" shaped configuration.

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post #12 of 21
Why do you like front to back? I find it gets too hot on the side nearer the lit burner because I don't have as much space to work with compared to side to side. I find temp control better side to side than front to back.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bscepter View Post

i don't need fancy features. what i need is something that can take a lot of grilling year after year and stand up to the elements. 

 

Do you have to stick with a tank or do you have the option of a hard line for NG? I used a Broilmaster for years with a dedicated line on my deck. After getting a BGE I can't imagine ever going back to gas even with a hard line.

 

Dave

 

 

 

http://www.broilmaster.com/bm/index.php?view=h-series&parid=79&pagid=89&mlnid=79

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post #14 of 21
I was thinking last night that we might be confused about each of us mean about burner orientation. I realize I meant more by how the burner is controlled, not oriented so there's probalby some miscommunication between us and I began thinking we really agreed on burner layout.

So I made a quick sketch to illustrate what I mean at least.

686

The top grill would probably have the 3 burner controls, each controlling two adjacent burners. This layout conforms to what I mean as burners running side to side in that you control burners by the side they're on.

The middle grill has burners arranged front to back. On control is for the back burner, one for the front. This is a common configuration and gives a maker the ability to use the back burner for a rotisserrie burner as well. I don't like this sort of layout as the space available is cramped for indirect cooking.

The bottom grill actually represents the current burner I have in my grill. It's sort of an H configuration but is controlled separately for the left and right sides. So I drew that line in the middle to indicate the sides are controlled separately.
post #15 of 21

I went gas a few years ago, back to charcoal again. The flavor isn't the same and you don't get the high heat like you can with charcoal.

post #16 of 21

Phatch, according to your picture and the way you describe them you and I are getting at the same thing but using opposite terminology.  To me front to back refers to the orientation of each individual burner.

 

Mary, I would never give up my Weber kettle grill (charcoal) but I like my gas grill for quick, spontaneous grilling after a long, hard day of work-just kick it on and go.  It also makes a great second grill for doing the vegetables, baked potatoes, and such when the charcoal grill is packed with steaks or burgers.  If I had to only choose 1 then I would definitely choose the charcoal grill, but since my wife allows me to keep 2 (actually 4 if you also count the smoker and the little portable picnic Weber) I like that I have the options available.

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post #17 of 21

  Hi!

 

  I'm just not sure that I would recommend any gas grills right now.  In a few short years the build quality and burner quality has gone downhill on every approachable gas grill I've looked at (short of a Kalamazoo).  A few years back I would have also recommended Weber gas grills, this is what we get at work...the thing is leagues away from the grill they were making five to seven years back.  I would recommend a Weber Kettle or a Green Egg type with a propane torch to light the fuel.

 

 

Dan

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

i ended up buying a ducane grill on closeout from lowe's a couple of summers ago. so far, it's been really reliable and pretty decent. my only complaint is that the actual steel is pretty flimsy, but the grates are cast iron and the burners are good and hot. and with a cover, it seems to be lasting pretty well. 

post #19 of 21

What is your budget I have seen them up to $895.00.. For speed it is gas  for flavor charcoal.

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post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post
 

What is your budget I have seen them up to $895.00.. For speed it is gas  for flavor charcoal.

i ended up paying about $350 for my ducane. 

post #21 of 21

That's a touch choice. Both are in the same range, have almost similar features and capable of natural gas as fuel. Because of that, I'll just consider the brand, so I'll go with Weber! You might also save a few dollars for going for Weber.

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