Are you ready to buy a barbeque grill?
Now is a good time to buy your own grill or replace your old one.
One would think it was fairly easy to buy a barbeque grill. Look for one that is easy to start-up, fits nicely in your backyard or balcony and maybe has a lid for the grill.
Barbeque grills have come a long way from a balancing some sort of grill on some rocks with charcoal underneath. Now we have charcoal grills, propane gas grills and even natural gas grills. There are electric grills, tabletop models and portable grills. The choices are endless.
You have to consider the materials the different parts are made of, how long it will last, how much heat it can generate and if it comes with any other features. All at the right price of course!
Depending on what factor is more important to you, this list will try to help you understand and interpret the literature you will find on barbeque grills in simpler terms.
Before you grab the first one you see, here is a list of factors that will help you choose the grill that is right for you.
1. Performance – This refers to how much grilling and cooking you can get out of your grill. You will be looking for things like cooking area, BTU, number of burners and even additional things like a side burner, sear burner and rotisserie.
Total Cooking Area or Total Cooking Surface- This is the measurement of the main cooking grates and warming rack (if included) and given in square inches.
Burger Count - Some descriptions tell you how many burger you can grill in one go. The count is based only on the size of main cooking grates.
BTU – This stands for British Thermal Unit which is the basic measurement of thermal (heat) energy. In other words it is the heat power it can give. A higher BTU means more cooking heat.
The total BTU count includes the main burners, side burners and rotisserie burners.
Number of Burners – These are the count of the main burners. Extra burners can be 1 or 2 side burners, sear burners and maybe a rotisserie.
2. Durability – Rust is the enemy of a grill. The quality of the materials used in the grill will determine if it will be resilient to rust and how long it will last. Materials used vary from cast iron, stainless steel, porcelain coated steel, stamped steel and many more. Some models have stainless steel burners and a porcelain-coated steel cooking surface.
The important grill parts to look at for durability are:
Cooking Grates– the surface where you place your uncooked food for grilling. Stainless steel grates are rust resistant and retains heat more. Porcelain-coated cast iron grates also resist rust and can keep food from sticking to it. Chrome-plated steel wire rods are rust resistant. Decide what
features you want for the grates.
Burners – this is found underneath the grates and responsible for generating the heat. Most gas grills now have stainless steel burners but there are models with cast iron burners. Remember this is the heart of your grill and should be durable.
Grill body – this is the housing that contains your cooking grates and burners. Stainless steel, porcelain steel or powder coated steel are all rust resistant.
Ignition – this is responsible for the connection to start-up the grill. There is an electric ignition; or a “push and turn” of a knob to create a spark; or a manual ignition using a flame or match to get the fire started.
3. Accessories – This refers to additional features or extras for the grill. Some models include the grill cover and a rotisserie. Check the product description to see what is included in the price.
Grill cover – this is made of different waterproof materials to cover the grill and protect it from the outdoor elements.
Rotisserie – the rotating spit used to cook meat while roasting
Natural Gas Conversion Kit –a kit to convert a gas grill from using liquid propane to natural gas for cooking.
Folding Stand – a stand for smaller portable grills
Utensils - grilling utensils such as tongs and forks
4. Warranties – This refers to the terms of agreement about repair or replacement of the grill. There is a difference in warranty for the burners and for the parts.
The warranty for the burners is usually longer than those for the parts.
Also look into extended warranties if any are offered and accessibility of replacement parts and customer support.
5. Price – This is the cost of the grill. The budget you set aside to buy a grill is a good guiding factor to get you the grill you need.
Expect higher end brands like Webber to be expensive but there are also other brands that offer a wider range of models at affordable prices. Small portable and tabletop grills are fairly inexpensive.
You can also check if there is a payment plan available for larger grill purchases.
Not all grill customers want and need the same things. An occasional griller might be satisfied with a tabletop grill. A frequent party thrower can be in the market for a longer lasting model. A small family can be content with a mid-priced grill for their burgers and hotdogs. The camper with a need for luxury might want a high end portable grill.
Not all grills are created equal either. There are so many brands and models to choose from. You will see brands like Weber, CuisineArt, Master Chef, Napoleon, Master Forge, Char-Broil, Kenmore, Grill Boss, Grill Master, Alfresco, Coleman, Uniflame and many more.
But doing some research before buying a grill will help you choose the right model for you. It is good to have an idea of what you want before you go to a store and see the display models. If you have access to a computer, find out reviews on barbeque grills to help you decide what to look for.
Take the time to inspect the grills on display. Look inside the grill and inspect the parts. Some stores have very helpful and knowledgeable staff willing to help you. Ask them your questions. Check out different stores because some have exclusive brands only available to them.
Ask the store if they offer free assembly and delivery fee. Chances are you have to pay for at least one of these services. Measure the area where you plan to put the grill. It is good to remember that larger barbeque grills are harder to return to the store if you are not satisfied with it. All grills should include a multi-lingual manual to guide you in assembling it yourself. So before you bring your grill home, choose wisely.
Let me know if this was helpful to you. Happy Grilling!
Sources: assorted in-store flyers and pamphlets from local stores such as Lowes. Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Rona, Walmart, Sears