I need a new grill. Advice?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by lord patton, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    So my POS Kenmore grill we bought 7 years ago is toast. Or at least, the burners are (holes the size of quarters). It doesn't make sense replacing them. Any advice for what to look for in a new grill?

    I don't need a large surface. Mostly I make 2-4 steaks at a time (the two-year-old is a ravenous carnivour). I'm staying cheap, say $250-300. I could be convinced to go to $400 if it was worth it. I need propane. I'd love to find the grill that eschews worthless features (side-burner? really?) but is built with the right materials.

    Any ideas? I could do my usual of scouring the internet for reviews (and probably will :rolleyes:) but… MR has never let me down before. Plus this way we can discuss steak! Lately I've been loving the ribeye. Fatty and delicious!
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Propane ... :eek:

    Anyway, I like my char-broil one, it's charcoal but they make a $100 gas one and it's sold at Lowes. It's real basic, two burners, takes propane and has no side burners or anything fancy. If you're just interested in grilling a steak here and there that's a good bet. If you want to smoke something or anything like that then you'd want more surface area for indirect heat and what not but that doesn't seem like your bag.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Weber Charcoal grill FTW

    I prefer charcoal over propane :D
     
  4. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #4
    I'd go with char broil or weber, companies that specialize in grills. I have a three year old kenmore and the thing is a pile of crap. It cooks fine but worn out parts cost as much as a new grill so I'm basically just waiting until I either move or it breaks beyond use.
     
  5. lord patton thread starter macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #5
    Yeah, propane.:eek:

    I should say, one of the most awesome grills I ever saw used propane… to ignite an integrated chimney of charcoal. Then you would dump the hot coals into the grill and be ready to go. It had the speed of propane and the, well, it had charcoals!

    That was probably 7 years ago. My friend said it cost him $1000.

    I want speed and less mess, but who knows? Maybe I should reconsider the fuel.

    ----------

    I know, right? My three burners would cost $90. And if they're rotted out, what else is about to die that I can't see?

    It's like charging $800 to replace the logic board of a $1000 computer… oh, wait. :D
     
  6. diane143 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #6
    So what are the pros and cons of charcoal and propane? I've always used propane. Like the OP, I just like a basic grill, nothing fancy (are they really that expensive for plain ones these days??? sheesh!!!!)
     
  7. lord patton thread starter macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
  8. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #8
    Weber Spirit E310. It is a quality 3-burner grill but without the side burner; they also make a 2-burner version for $100 less. Get the one from Home Depot as it has cast iron grates (the same girl at other places have steamed steel grates). It is so far ahead of my previous cheap grills that I wonder why I ever bothered with anything else. And Weber has the best warranty in the business.


    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...53&langId=-1&keyword=weber+e310&storeId=10051
     
  9. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #9
    Charcoal gets you better flavor on your grilled items without a doubt. Propane is simply an easy way to heat your food up. Charcoal takes awhile to "warm up" so it's not really used for that quickly grilled meal. That and once you're done with grilling, disposing of the ashes can be a pain too. Cleaning a charcoal grill is easier and they generally cost less since all you're really buying is a metal tub with some holes in it. Charcoal fuel can also be a lot cheaper than buying/refilling propane tanks

    Propane is for the weekend warrior grillers. Quick to cook food with and no hassle with disposing of ashes or anything. Cleaning propane grills is quite the pain in the ass sometimes especially those stainless steel ones. You think your iPad/iPhone screen gets a lot of greasy fingerprints on it? The stainless steel grills are fingerprint magnets. The propane grills are generally more over-the-top with side burners, rotisserie attachments, temp gauges, etc. I won't even go into the infrared grills as those are like the iPhone of grills.

    Most people will opt for propane grills since it's easier/quicker to use than charcoal ones. Again, purists always always always use charcoal grills (just watch any of those Food Network shows on grilling). If you want the ultimate in laziness, get one of those George Foreman grills.
     
  10. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #10
    I agree with most everything you say here. I guess I was just lazy and took the easy way out with a gas grill again. HOWEVER, as to the Food Network shows, I have seen several that use gas grills (maybe they are more interested in showing the actal cooking and not the flavor, since it is only a show after all).
     
  11. diane143 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #11

    That's expensive to me :(

    (would rather put the $$ into a new machine or something)

    Thanks for the input onthe charcoal vs propane. I had no idea. We've actually been using the grill almost every night since last August. A tank used to last me at least a year, I think we've bought 4 since then <sigh>. Well hopefully mine will last awhile longer. I got lucky and scored it when a friend moved out of state.
     
  12. mscriv, Apr 13, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012

    mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #12
    We picked up this Grill Master 4 burner propane grill last year and it has been great for us.

    We don't always need all four burners, but it's nice to have them when we are having some friends over and want to grill burgers, corn, peppers, etc. etc.

    A tip I picked up a few years ago for those of you who want to cut down on your propane cost is don't swap your tanks at the local gas station or grocery store like most people do. Look for a place in your area that refills tanks. There's a Uhaul close to me that refills propane tanks and I generally save anywhere from $6 - $10 per filling over just doing a swap somewhere else. It could just be salesmanship, but the people who work there told me that swapped tanks are not usually filled to max capacity because of safety regulations. We don't grill every weekend or anything like that, but last year my filled tank got us through the whole summer and fall. So, for me, one tank a year at $16 is pretty affordable.

    The charcoal vs. propane debate is generally a personal preference thing. For smoking I would say definitely use charcoal and your desired wood of choice, but for general grilling the end product is going to be much more influenced by how you season and marinate your food vs. whether you used charcoal or propane.


    [​IMG]

    Allegro is one of the best out there in my opinion. But then again, I'm from TN where it's made.
     
  13. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #13
    exactly. I think that's the game now, they'd rather you replaced than repaired.

    I'd say this is about right. I know charcoal is better for making great tasting stuff but propane heats quickly and cooks quickly. Part of grilling for me is the ability to cook relatively quickly and easily. The one thing I'm not looking forward to with a new grill is learning all of its little nuances. I'm used to my grill so that's the only thing stopping me from getting a new one besides waiting for it to fail.

    I would avoid stainless though like some other posters said. It stays clean for about 2 seconds and then its impossible to keep clean unless you don't take it out of the box. Go with black or at least a painted one so you can clean it up nicely.
     
  14. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #14
    Have you tried an offset smoker barbeque? The food that comes out of these is so juicy, flavorful and tender it's unbelievable.

    You can get units that only allow smoking or grill and smoker combos. The combo is best so you can quickly grill a steak or slowly smoke some ribs that fall apart at the slightest touch.

    http://www.amazon.com/Char-Broil-Of...FI9Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334326874&sr=8-1

    41E47bL1qvL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

    If you go with a charcoal grill or a smoker/grill combo you should get a chimney starter.

    http://www.amazon.com/Weber-7416-Ra...1?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1334327259&sr=1-1

    41op98ZacWL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
     
  15. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #15
    Quite true. Most of the "cooking shows" are just that; shows. Obviously the viewer isn't going to be able to "taste" the difference between food cooked on propane grill vs charcoal grill so most will use propane grills just for the sake of speed to show the viewer what the end result will look like. If you watch those grilling cook off shows, I doubt you'd see a single propane grill on those shows. From the looks of its, for those hard core, competitive grillers it's

    1. Jesus/'Merica
    2. Charcoal grill
    3. Everything else
     
  16. diane143 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #16
    That's a more reasonable price to me! :) I'd even be happy with two burners.


    I think it's $17.99 from the local hardware store here to do a refill. They'll take my old unuseable tanks and recycle them for free. I did find one place that was $2 less but I'd spend that much in gas to get down there.


    We haven't begun to experiment with marinades yet. I'm super lazy, I just toss stuff on the grill (horrors, I know!). He likes to season and yes they taste great. He's mentioned marinating though so I know it's coming :)
     
  17. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #17
    Yes but you get what you pay for here. Just realize that a $199 4-burner grill will probably heat unevenly, not maintain temperatures well, is made out of very flimsy material, and will only last a few seasons (if that). Just compare the 1 year/3 year warranty on this grill to the 10 year/25 year warranty on the Weber that I mentioned. That should give you some indication of the comparative quality.
     
  18. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    #18
    The corroded burners is from, AFAIK, the water condensation from burning the propane (ideally, C3H8 + 5 O2 -> 4 H2O + 3 CO2 + heat or something like that,) and possibly some carbonic acid which results from CO2 dissolved in water, that eventually do a number on the steel burners.

    I've already replaced the three burners on my particular grill once.

    But since the rest of the grill isn't exposed to these chemicals to the degree the burners are, you probably don't have to worry about any additional unseen damage.

    Makes me wish I had gotten a propane grill with BRASS burners instead.
    Unfortunately, there aren't too many of them, and they're expensive.
    But any propane grill with steel burners will eventually have burners that rot out.
     
  19. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #20
    This is my grill. For smoking I love using the small side box that is actually a portable grill if you're willing to f with the screws and such. But I put wood in that, coals in the main and smoke away. I also found that for a steak a small pile of coals will heat up in about 20 minutes, which is long enough for me to take the steak out of the fridge and let it come up to near room temp. I don't mind the wait.
     
  20. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #21

    You can make one of these starter chimney things with an empty coffee can. Cut out the bottom and ventilate the lower end with a can opener. Fill it with charcoal and lighter fluid.

    Dale
     

    Attached Files:

  21. lord patton thread starter macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #22
    took me a second and then… lol. That's funny.
     
  22. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #23
    Part of the joy of using one of these is not to have to use any lighter fluid. I used to get mine started only with a few sheets of newsprint.

    B
     
  23. iBreatheApple macrumors 68020

    iBreatheApple

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    Florida
  24. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
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    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #25
    The OP is on a quest for meat that is carcinogenic on the outside. ;)
     

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