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Introduction to Buying a New Grill

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Buying a grill is a big deal. Just like any major purchase, the more you know, the better off you’ll be.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sea of grills. Stainless steel, kamado style, different fuels, 1 burner or 6 burners. There is a lot to choose from. Many of them appear to have endless entertaining features and appealing gadgets. (Click here to compare the brands Gerten's carries.) But don’t be fooled, not all grills are created equal. While some grills may have more features, they may not be as good of quality.

 

To make sure you’re getting the most value for your dollar, you should figure out exactly what you want and have a good picture in your head before you walk into the store or order online.

 

1) You’ll first want to decide what type of grill you want to purchase: gas, charcoal or pellets.

(Click here for an article explaining the differences in fuel types.) This is really a matter of preference. Using a charcoal grill can be a slower-paced experience filled with rich, smoky flavor. Pellet fed grills give you that rich flavor and are quicker to warm to cooking temperature. Conversely when you want to just get right into it, gas grills are quick and easy. Yes, you can have two or three grills, many do. It's nice to have options when you want to grill.

                   

 2) Next you’ll want to figure out your price range. (Click here for an article explaining which grill is right for you.)  It’s important to remember that buying a grill can be quite an investment. Grills can range anywhere from $50 to $3,000.Make sure you decide what features are most important to you, and how much you’re willing to spend. One factor that’s constantly overlooked is grill performance, so steer clear of models that boast lots of features, but don’t have the quality to pull them off. Once you’ve figured out type and price, it’s time to assess the key components of every grill.

 3) Cooking System: The core of any good grill is the cooking system. A well-made charcoal grill will contain a sturdy, heavy-duty, plated steel cooking grate and a charcoal grate to place the fuel on. A lid with air vents should top things off. A kamado style charcoal grill will have thick walls, venting at the bottom and on top and a solid 'fire box' for the charcoal.For a free-standing, non-portable gas grill, you should look for models that have two or more separate burners (not just control knobs), which allow for greater heat control. Smaller, portable and electric models may have fewer burners but should still have solutions for heat control and emit even, consistent heat. All grills should also have an efficient grease or ash collection system to keep the heat source clear of any clogs and any run-off juices from making a mess of your gorgeous grill. The best systems quickly flash the drippings, eliminating flare-ups and creating flavorful smoke.

grill cooking systems

4) Accessories: Are you looking for specific grilling capabilities like rotisserie, smartphone thermometer, lighting, etc.? Find out if the grill you are interested in has them already or can be added later on. (click here for some accessories tips)

5) Construction: A quick way to test construction is with a simple shake. A good quality grill will feel solid and sturdy when you shake it. A poorly made grill will wiggle unevenly and may sound loose or flimsy. If a grill isn’t solid on the sales floor, chances are it will fall apart rather quickly on your patio or deck.

6) Assembly: Assembly can be a real headache. Choosing to have your grill assembled will save you hours. Some grills require hours upon hours to assemble. Better brands reduce or eliminate the amount of assembly required by the consumer.

7) Service and Warranties: Top-notch customer service should come with any quality-made grill. This should include thorough, easy-to-read information about the product, and a toll-free service line for any questions after you get the grill home.

Remember, your food’s only going to be as good as your grill, so make sure a one-time bargain doesn’t turn into a long-term disappointment.