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Old 04-06-12, 06:47 AM   #1
Alfster 
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BBQ equipment - what's important?

This is the year I finally have to replace our old grill. It's about 10 years old. It's done it's job pretty well over the years, however there are a few different things I will look for in a new BBQ compared to my old one.

For one, I will never buy a BBQ that has a stainless steel grill. My new one will have a cast iron grill. For those that have a cast iron grill, with a porcelain coating, do you use a wire brush to clean off the grill? Does the porcelain quickly get damaged?

BTU's important? I usually shoot for one that has a minimum of 40,000 BTU's. I usually only cook for the two of us, but once in a while we end up BBQ'ing for a larger group.

Does anyone use a rotisserie? I bought one for my last BBQ, however we promptly lost one of the pieces, which never got replaced. Is a BBQ rotisserie'd chicken taste better than one in the oven?

Grill size is kinda important for us when we have guests over. I usually get one that has a larger cooking surface.

Is natural gas better than propane, other than you don't have to constantly refill a tank if you use natural gas? We have our natural gas meter about 10 feet away from our BBQ area. I could easily have a natural gas line installed for the BBQ.

And then there's the side burner question. Does anyone ever use those side burners for pots? Are they useful, or rarely used? I think I'd rather have extra prep surface, than another burner.

What are other things you guys look for in a new grill? Does anyone have any recommendations? My absolute max budget is $600 + tax.
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Old 04-06-12, 07:05 AM   #2
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Fire....that's the most important thing.
as for my next unit...it will not be gas. Charcoal and wood produce the best flavors as far as I'm concerned.
Pros and con's of different models? dunno.....all that's really important is the ability to produce good smoke and indirect heat for what I need.
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Old 04-06-12, 07:13 AM   #3
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The ceramic/porcelain coated grates can become damaged. I think a true griller needs to have multiple options. A charcoal grill is always nice, and I think we all know why. There are times one is just not afforded the time for charcoal and must switch to gas. Solution is to have both.

In terms of models, I've yet to see a gas one that after time doesn't burn through the burner area metal. Get the heaviest duty thing you can find if it needs to last and make sure it has replaceable parts.
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Old 04-06-12, 07:19 AM   #4
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I use wood or charcoal. What's important to me is stable temperature, so I use an offset firebox smoker, primarily, and if I want a broiled steak, I either run the offset up to 400 degrees and cook close to the heat outlet for the smoking chamber, or on an open grill.
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Old 04-06-12, 07:30 AM   #5
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I'm afraid a wood / charcoal BBQ won't work for me. You see, I can't BBQ without having a beer in my hand. With a gas BBQ I can maybe drink two or three beers while our steaks cook. I'm quite certain buying a charcoal BBQ will turn me into a raging alchoholic. I'll have 6 beers waiting for the charcoal to get to temperature, let alone how many beers I'll have while actually cooking the steaks. At that point I'm also likely to burn myself when I stumble into the BBQ. Nah, I think I'll stick with gas.
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Old 04-06-12, 09:29 AM   #6
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I have a gas grill and a wood grill. The gas grill is nice because it takes less time to heat up.

I've had iron/porcelain grates and they were okay. I would usually end up washing them after a while because I didn't want to scrape too hard with a grill brush. My current grill has regular cast iron grates and I love them.

A while ago I had a grill with a side burner and I never used it once.

I don't have a rotisserie, but my brother does. My dad always cooked the Thanksgiving turkey on the grill with a rotisserie and it is the best thing, ever. My brother has now carried on the tradition.

My brother also has a natural gas grill and he likes not having to refill tanks all the time. Considering it now costs about $22 to refill a small propane tank out here, natural gas is probably cheaper.

I'm limited in the size of grill I can get. I have a small yard so I need a smaller grill since I'm generally only cooking for 1-2 people.
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Old 04-06-12, 09:30 AM   #7
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I'm not sure what it is about having a beer after I mow the lawn and then start the grill, but it must be deeply intwined in the DNA.
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Old 04-06-12, 09:35 AM   #8
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I used a Char Broil Commercial series grill until the burners literally fell apart. They are cast bronze, and Charbroil wants a fortune to replace them. The ceramic coated grates held up well though.
I replaced it with the Char Broil Big Easy Roaster, Smoker, and Grill. Yeah, the grill surface is a little small. I have cooked prime rib, turkey, tri tips, and broiler chicken in it. If I want the real wood flavor, I throw some wood chips into the smoker box.
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Old 04-06-12, 11:13 AM   #9
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I have a holland gas grill hooked to my gas line, works great.



I also have a charcoal grill/smoker. It's like a big green egg but red

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Old 04-06-12, 11:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
I'm afraid a wood / charcoal BBQ won't work for me. You see, I can't BBQ without having a beer in my hand. With a gas BBQ I can maybe drink two or three beers while our steaks cook. I'm quite certain buying a charcoal BBQ will turn me into a raging alchoholic. I'll have 6 beers waiting for the charcoal to get to temperature, let alone how many beers I'll have while actually cooking the steaks. At that point I'm also likely to burn myself when I stumble into the BBQ. Nah, I think I'll stick with gas.
You need one of these

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Old 04-06-12, 03:38 PM   #11
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Okay, where did you get the apron or post a link, Please.
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Old 04-06-12, 03:56 PM   #12
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Okay, where did you get the apron or post a link, Please.
http://www.yugster.com/deals/40004-t...eant-bbq-apron
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Old 04-06-12, 03:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
I've had iron/porcelain grates and they were okay. I would usually end up washing them after a while because I didn't want to scrape too hard with a grill brush. My current grill has regular cast iron grates and I love them.

A while ago I had a grill with a side burner and I never used it once.
Thanks for the heads-up on the porcelain grates. I would prefer to be able to use a steel brush to clean them, so porcelain probably isn't my best bet. I've never had a side burner on a BBQ. Personally I don't see when I would use it.
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Old 04-06-12, 04:00 PM   #14
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I'm not sure what it is about having a beer after I mow the lawn and then start the grill, but it must be deeply intwined in the DNA.
I'm Canadian, so it's part of our culture ... not necessarily our DNA.

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You need one of these

That's absolutely brilliant. Now if only that beer holster was able to keep the beers cool at the same time. Hmmm....
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Old 04-06-12, 04:04 PM   #15
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Looking through our local flyers, looks like the typical brands available to me are: Cuisinart, Weber, Coleman, and Chef. I can get fancier ones at a specialty store, but they cost quite a bit more money.
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Old 04-06-12, 10:20 PM   #16
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The most important thing is MEAT.
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Old 04-07-12, 06:39 PM   #17
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Well, we were checking out new BBQ's today when my cheap side came out. I decided to pick up some parts to keep my old one working for a few more years. Cost about $80, and 7 hours of my time today (long story) ... but it fires up like days of old
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Old 04-07-12, 07:46 PM   #18
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I have a propane grill that was free. The wind knocked it over and now I need two knobs and a handle, but otherwise it is fine. Flames come out and it cooks.
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Old 04-08-12, 08:35 AM   #19
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A grill is something used to expose meat to flame. BBQ is slow cooked pork/beef/goat/turkey/etc. at @170-210 degrees F then covered with a dry rub or mustard, vinegar, or tomato based sauce.
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Old 04-08-12, 10:29 AM   #20
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Charcoal doesn't have to take 6 beer to warm up. You just need the right equipment to make it a 1 beer warm up.


Crumple up a little paper in the bottom, fill the chimney, light the paper, 15-20 minutes later you are ready to grill...really not much longer than waiting for your gas grill to warm up properly.
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Old 04-08-12, 12:38 PM   #21
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Charcoal doesn't have to take 6 beer to warm up. You just need the right equipment to make it a 1 beer warm up.


Crumple up a little paper in the bottom, fill the chimney, light the paper, 15-20 minutes later you are ready to grill...really not much longer than waiting for your gas grill to warm up properly.
Those things work great! 1 beer should do it for the warm up time, don't forget the ladle to use to load the old coals into the chimney for the next fire.
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Old 04-09-12, 10:50 AM   #22
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Natural gas hook up to your house. Weber grills are expensive, but the lifetime guarantee is awesome. I work for a hardware company and I have seen several grills replaced even for episodes that were clealry user error.
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Old 04-09-12, 11:46 AM   #23
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I have a gas grill that I use for weeknight grilling and a weber charcoal grill that I use on the weekends. I just got a rotisserie for the weber and it's awesome. As far as the sideburner question goes I'd consider it if you like to cook things like boiling corn on the cob and would rather not steam up your house in the summer otherwise I'd probably pass.
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Old 04-09-12, 01:08 PM   #24
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I have a Coleman grill ~54k btu. It has a rotisserie built in. I have had the grill for 7 yrs and used the rotisserie once. It has the porcelain grates and I always use a wire brush, but I don't push down hard. I usually let it burn off everything before I scrape it. But I have not had any issues with them. I have always wante the SS grates but apparently you do not recommend them. I have never used a side burner so I bought one that had a side deep fryer. I rarely use it. The biggest use I get from it is when we have a block party and I keep it full of water with hotdogs in it for the kids. I would recommend the biggest surface area without any of the extra fluff and multiple burners so you can use as much or as little as you need. We have 6 or so block parties a year, usually at my house. I have my big gas grill and one of the Brinkman smoke pit. I love both.
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Old 04-10-12, 01:07 AM   #25
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CharGriller, best i have every used. 4 cast iron grates, smoke stack, i can smell the ribs now.
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