Are you a gas grill buying virgin? New to the grill scene? Don’t be ashamed, we’re here to set you on the path to grill nirvana and give you all the insider tips for buying the perfect grill for you. With so many gas grills available on the market and so brands to choose from, we know it can be overwhelming to decide which one to buy. We also know it doesn’t help getting advice from salespeople, pushing you to choose the grill that will give them the best commission and throwing out terms that sound as foreign as another language, such as surface areas, BTUs and the names of different kinds of burners. In the end, you end up having more questions than answers. That’s where we come onto the scene. We are here to help you understand exactly what you need to know before you shop for a gas grill. We are hardcore grill aficionados and have navigated the murky waters of grill spec comparison so you don’t have to.
When shopping for a gas grill, looking at the price tag is the first thing that we do. If you think that paying a briefcase full of cash ensures that you are buying a high quality grill, you are way off base. The most expensive grill on the market isn’t always the best out there; you can find grills with the same features and power at lower prices. The same goes for the cheapest; you can end up buying junk that doesn’t last and fails to give you the grilling experience you’re dreaming of. That’s why it is so important to be aware of what you are buying and know the key features you should have in any gas grill you decide to invest in.
To get to the point, here are the key factors to consider and what they mean:
- At least 2 heating areas. This is an essential consideration, especially dependent on how much you grill or for how many you’re typically cooking for. If you’re only going to grill for small family, then you can save the money instead of paying for the extra grill space that you wouldn’t utlize. If you are often grilling for a larger group, or that capability is important to you, then this is an essential feature.
- Capable of using both propane and natural gas. Some grills may need additional parts and accessories for them to work with both options, which can be quite expensive. Overall, natural gas costs less in the long run.
- Easy to empty and clean drip pan. The lifespan of your grills depends on how well it is taken care of. Bearing this in mind, it is best to keep your grill covered when stored and regularly clean the drip pan. Convenient access is key so that clean up is quick and easy.
- Average BTU. British Thermal Unit or BTU indicates the grill’s gas usage and heating potential. It is important to note that having grills with high BTU capacity doesn’t guarantee faster preheating or better cooking. However, as a rule of thumb, look for grills that have an equivalent of 100 BTUs per square inch; or if not, at least be in the range of 80 to 100 BTUs per square inch to maximize your grill and get the best heat to energy useage ratio.
- Sturdy construction and quality material. Grills boasting stainless steel construction can’t guarantee they will no longer rust, especially for lower end stainless steel options. Some manufacturers claim their grills are stainless steel, but fail to mention that only some parts are made of stainless steel or some are just painted with a steel frame. On a side note, if you try to put a magnet beside the grill and it sticks, most likely this is low grade stainless steel and had different metals mixed in. Thick metals are also lesser prone to easy discoloration. Try and press the grill in the middle of the hood, if it doesn’t budge the metal is most likely thick and of a higher grade.
- Features! Does it have side tables, smoker box and more. But keep in mind though, more features would mean costing more. So make sure to just look for features that are really useful to your needs. Features that are nice to have built-in gas gauge and thermometer, this helps to easily control and monitor heat of the grills. In addition would be side tables to add more work space, a smoker box with dedicated burner and rotisserie attachment with dedicated burner.
- Brand name. It is really nice to look for grills that are manufactured by well-reputed brands. Parts that you might need to replace for your grills will be easier to find and getting good customer service is really a big help especially if you need to avail the product’s warranty.
That wraps up our tutorial on how to buy a gas grill and what to know before you begin the hunt. In the end, it’s all up to you – your budget and grilling needs. What is essential for us may not necessarily be the best for you. It takes time and knowledge to find your ideal gas grill. With such a saturated market, the likelihood of getting the wrong unit is higher than ever. Know what you are looking for and keep our buying tips in mind. Don’t go all in on a spontaneous purchase, invest some time so you don’t end up investing in junk.
While our favorite place to purchase a grill is online, we do think tis great to check out the grills on your hot list in actuals stores first just to have to get a sense of what they are like in person. Once you have a better idea of the grill that you would like to buy, that’s the time to canvass the internets for a lower priced offer for the grill you ogled in person. We love Amazon for this because they often have the best discounts and will ship for free if your order exceeds $25. We love not having the hassle of loading the grill into a car and hauling it home ourselves. Delivery makes life easier and ensures we have more time for football, nachos and some serious couch time.