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Gas BBQ grill recommendations?


Best Answer DaveF , July 23 2014 - 07:32 PM

Ill mention it to my neighbor if I see him.

We found patio furniture at Sears on end of season sale. And found a random online coupon and got it to 33% off. All set up, and enjoyed it tonight with some grilled pineapple :) Go to the full post


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330 replies to this topic

#1 of 331 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted June 26 2008 - 01:21 PM

A severe thunderstorm, packing 80-MPH winds and grape-sized hail, damaged my gas grill (a 6-burner Brinkmann that cost about $500 five years ago). So now I am in the market for a new one.

What I'm looking for: A full-featured, full-size propane gas grill. My originally planned budget was about $1,000. High-quality construction and breadth of features are the most important considerations for me.

I popped over to bbq.about.com, and started reading their reviews. This was discouraging. I could sum up most of their reviews as follows: "The 'full-featured' stainless steel grills selling at the big-box stores are all junk. They're built with cheap, flimsy parts that will only last you a couple years before rusting out or falling apart." Even grills selling for between $800 and $1,200 fell in this category.

So I've done some research on what are "good" gas grills and came up with the following options (in no particular order):

1) Vermont Castings VCS5008: Can be had for about $1,300. It's a full-blown large gas grill, but made of "430" grade stainless steel (which some say is not of really good quality). But this grill is still made in the USA and has a reputation of being built to last.

2) Weber Summit S-650/670: A 6-burner, full-featured, all high-grade (304) stainless steel grill. Gets an unequivocally good review, but rather pricey at $1,800-$2,000. Replacement parts, should I need them, are readily available but expensive.

3) If I were to blow $2K on a grill, Sam's Club sells an "outdoor kitchen in a box" kit, the "3-in-1 Outdoor Modular Grill." This is a full-size gas grill, plus a sink, griddle, and refrigerator module. If I ever got a covered patio, it would be perfect ... but not much info is available on who makes this grill, or if the build / parts quality is any good.

4) Sam's Club also sells a Member's Mark grill for $900 that even has an oven chamber. I don't really need an outdoor oven - but this grill also has a griddle section (which could be handy). Don't know who makes this grill for Sam's Club either.

5) Lowe's sells Jenn-Air brand grills in the $500-$1,000 price range. These looked reasonably nice, but the reviews at bbq.about.com question their longevity. (Apparently, Lowe's licensed the Jenn-Air name, but these grills are actually sourced from China.)

Anyone have other recommendations? I'm trying to stay away from Brinkmann (poor after-sales support / parts availability) and Charmglow (made by Brinkmann)? I'm not into brand-name snobbery, so the best grill for me may be an unheard-of brand that offers quality parts and full features, but doesn't break the $2K barrier.
Colin Dunn

#2 of 331 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted June 26 2008 - 01:44 PM

Found another option -

There is a Napoleon Mirage line of gas grills. They have two models in my price range, a 90,500 BTU (845 sq. in.) or a 106,500 BTU (1,020 sq. in.) grill. They are $1,400 and $1,800 respectively.

A lot of the "prestige" brands (KitchenAid, Viking, Dacor, Capital) are in the $4K-and-up price range for a similar feature set. I'm assuming something's better about their grills, but part of it is also paying for the brand name...
Colin Dunn

#3 of 331 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted June 27 2008 - 01:53 AM

Weber. Either myself or my family has owned every grill known to man. Ducane, Vermont Castings, Char-Something, etc., etc. The last grill each of us bought? A Weber. Everything else fell apart. My mom's Weber has been going since '98 and since it's always been covered, it looks as good as the day it was bought. Throw the grates in your oven on a clean cycle once a year and you are good to go.

#4 of 331 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted June 27 2008 - 04:26 AM

Colin:

I have NO personal experience with them myself (because they are too rich for my blood)...but a fella I know who is in the propane business swears that Ducane Grills are the way to go. Since I trust the guy giving me the info I thought I'd pass it along.

Myself...I just bought a $200 three burner (plus a side burner) Weber from Target a few weeks ago and am thrilled (so far!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Gatie
Throw the grates in your oven on a clean cycle once a year and you are good to go.

Never thought of that. That makes a a lot of sense. it's a two-fer!

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#5 of 331 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted June 27 2008 - 05:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Frezon
Colin:

I have NO personal experience with them myself (because they are too rich for my blood)...but a fella I know who is in the propane business swears that Ducane Grills are the way to go. Since I trust the guy giving me the info I thought I'd pass it along.

Myself...I just bought a $200 three burner (plus a side burner) Weber from Target a few weeks ago and am thrilled (so far!).



Never thought of that. That makes a a lot of sense. it's a two-fer!

Not going to mention Ducane except that my experience was the direct opposite.

I will say that the self-cleaning oven trick was yet another tip from the mind of one Alton Brown - Cooking God and All Around Kitchen Stud. Posted Image Works so good, I use it on my regular stove burner liners. They come out looking like new. Same thing with my pizza stone.

#6 of 331 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted June 27 2008 - 06:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Gatie
I will say that the self-cleaning oven trick was yet another tip from the mind of one Alton Brown - Cooking God and All Around Kitchen Stud. Posted Image Works so good, I use it on my regular stove burner liners. They come out looking like new. Same thing with my pizza stone.

Boy that's smart. I always think about the energy that function uses for such a simple (yet admittedly difficult) task. I will now feel much better knowing I'm doing something else useful during that time. Posted Image

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#7 of 331 OFFLINE   Mort Corey

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Posted June 27 2008 - 07:26 AM

I've got a Cal-Flame rig which is OK....works as intended and good construction. The best stuff I've ever seen is made by Lynx....but it's pretty darn pricey....it will be my next purchase when I have the outdoor kitchen built.

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#8 of 331 OFFLINE   Marc S Kessler

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Posted June 27 2008 - 10:06 AM

Weber. And their after sale service is great.
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#9 of 331 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted June 27 2008 - 11:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Frezon
Boy that's smart. I always think about the energy that function uses for such a simple (yet admittedly difficult) task. I will now feel much better knowing I'm doing something else useful during that time. Posted Image

Alton Brown - King of the multi-taskers.

#10 of 331 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted June 27 2008 - 11:53 AM

Since you live in TX, try these guys: Barbeques Galore - Welcome to Barbeques Galore! They have two stores in Austin.

They started decades ago importing BBQs from Australia, where wood is dear and smog laws demand gas BBQs. I got a "classic turbo" from them in 1990 and it's still going strong. They stock parts "forever".

EDIT How crappy. They changed their website, dropping the user forum. They also appear to have finally (after 25 years) dropped the black-porcelanized "classic turbo" models.
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#11 of 331 OFFLINE   Paul D G

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Posted June 27 2008 - 07:51 PM

Just to toss it in - we have a Vermont Castings 4 burner with a side burner that we're very satisfied with. Mind that we're not big time grillers but we'll grill burgers, brats and steaks on it at least once a week.

We had it converted to natural gas and have it plugged into the house.

Will that self cleaning oven trick work on porcelain trays? I would imagine it would but thought I'd better ask before I find myself ordering a new set. What a great tip!

#12 of 331 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 28 2008 - 02:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Gatie
I will say that the self-cleaning oven trick was yet another tip from the mind of one Alton Brown - Cooking God and All Around Kitchen Stud. Posted Image Works so good, I use it on my regular stove burner liners. They come out looking like new. Same thing with my pizza stone.
We use some stoneware and was intrigued by this idea. But searching finds equal recommendations not to oven-clean stoneware for risk of breaking it by thermal shock from the rapid heating. Posted Image

Typical comment:
Quote:
To prevent cracking of the stone by thermal shock, the pizza stone should be placed on a cold oven and heated over at least 45 minutes, and it should be allowed to cool down slowly inside the oven after switching it off. Because of the possibility of rapid temperature change, pizza stones should not be left in an oven while it is in self-cleaning mode.

I like the tip of cleaning my grill grates in my oven Posted Image

#13 of 331 OFFLINE   LewB

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Posted June 28 2008 - 03:12 AM

Grill grates are supposed to be cleaned ? Posted Image
At the start of the season, I fire up the sucker full blast for 30 mins to 'burn off' anything that might be in there (I guess that could be considered 'cleaning'). After that, I use a grill scraper before each grilling session.
FWIW, I have a Vermont Castings 3 burner I got at Home Depot a couple of years ago. I am quite satisfied with it, as are my 2 friends who bought the same model.

#14 of 331 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted June 28 2008 - 06:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
We use some stoneware and was intrigued by this idea. But searching finds equal recommendations not to oven-clean stoneware for risk of breaking it by thermal shock from the rapid heating. Posted Image

Typical comment:

I like the tip of cleaning my grill grates in my oven Posted Image

The first time I "cleaned" my pizza stone, it was because I forgot it was in the oven. Posted Image I've since done it a couple more times on purpose and it's been fine so far. Probably one of those "just in case it happens, we aren't liable" warnings.

#15 of 331 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 29 2008 - 02:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Gatie
The first time I "cleaned" my pizza stone, it was because I forgot it was in the oven. Posted Image I've since done it a couple more times on purpose and it's been fine so far. Probably one of those "just in case it happens, we aren't liable" warnings.
My wife said she was told or read that cleaning it thusly burns off the seasoning. Good if you want to restart the seasoning process; bad if you don't.

#16 of 331 OFFLINE   John Gido

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Posted June 29 2008 - 03:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Gatie
Throw the grates in your oven on a clean cycle once a year and you are good to go.

Great idea!

Does anyone know if this method will damage porcelan coated cast iron grates?
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#17 of 331 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted June 29 2008 - 04:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
My wife said she was told or read that cleaning it thusly burns off the seasoning. Good if you want to restart the seasoning process; bad if you don't.

I don't know why that would happen, I usually season a cast iron pan by smearing on Crisco and putting it in the oven on high heat for a couple hours. I've never seen a difference in the cast grates I've done this to, so who knows?

#18 of 331 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted June 29 2008 - 07:24 AM

But there's a big difference between "high heat" and the excessive heat reached during a "self-clean" cycle.
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#19 of 331 OFFLINE   Ray Chuang

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Posted June 29 2008 - 11:54 PM

By the way, I found a great way to clean a barbecue grill grate unit: high-pressure steam cleaner. I was able to completely clean up a gunked-up grate in only a few minutes, mostly because high-pressure steam will blast away grease quite easily. Posted Image It works really well cleaning a charcoal grill, too.
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#20 of 331 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted June 30 2008 - 06:41 AM

I finally decided and ordered a Weber Summit S-670. That hit the top end of my budget, but was the only of the five options that got unanimously good reviews.

There were too many stories about other grills (even Vermont Castings and Ducane) rusting out after a few years. With the cheaper imported grills, parts availability can be a problem. At least with the Weber, if rust starts developing, parts and support should be readily available for years to come.
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