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Old 01-11-2010, 02:38 PM   #1
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ISO Propane Grill Advice!

ok grill-heads, i need some advice

so i recently bought my first house, and am excited to have a deck and a backyard....now i gotta pick out a grill, and could use some help....i want propane - i dont have access to natural gas, and would prefer propane over charcoal for now

could anyone recommend sources and/or guides that i could read that will help me decide the best one for me? something that will tell me how to tell if a grill is quality, what sort of features are "needs" vs "wants", brand recommendations, material recommendations
i have done a bit of research on the above, but just need a little more help....what would really help would be ideas on where, when (now? wait till spring?) and how to buy to get the best deal possible

in case some people want to make some specific recommendations, ill list a few of the things im looking for

- prefer to spend $200 - $300
- quality is very important (and i plan on taking care of it)
- must be able to produce high heat for searing
- 3 zones (left to right or front to back?)
- no real need for a side burner....im not totally against it, but id rather save a few bucks on that feature for higher quality on the rest
- aesthetics are always nice - a pretty stainless one would be cool, as long as it wont look dingy and fingerprint-y within a month (the weber genesis lines looks VERY nice, but it has a price to match)

thanks!

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Old 01-11-2010, 03:10 PM   #2
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I would highly recommend the Weber grills. Many of them will fit your criteria perfectly.

As far as quality, when my parents were buying their grill over 20 years ago they were looking at a number of different grills. When the salesman was talking about the quality of the Weber he actually got up and stood on the grill top and jumped up and down. He weighted over 200lbs. The grill faired perfectly. You would never have been able to tell a large man was just jumping on it. He said the Weber is the only grill that he sells that he would be able to do that to.

I have a Weber Genesis and have nothing, but great things to say about it. It is solidly built, large cooking area, 3 zones (front to back), reliable, and looks good. You can find Webers in your price range, but many of them will be a bit more too. A grill is an investment though. If you get a good one then it can last you many many years. If you get a cheap on then you might have to replace it every year or two. For me, I would rather pay a little more up front to save in the long run.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:17 PM   #3
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i would love a weber....could you show me where they have some in my price range? maybe im looking in the wrong places, but they seem to be $400 and up (genesis being more like $600+)
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:23 PM   #4
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Hmm shoot, looks like you are right. I thought the Spirit line was around $300, but looks like they either upped it by $100 or I just had my numbers wrong all along. Sorry to get your hopes up!

Well, if it is at all a possibility to up your limit by $100 then the Spirit would be a great grill for you, but that is a lot more than you were looking to spend.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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too bad...i got excited for a minute there! i agree that its worth it to spend a few more dollars on something that will last, so maybe i will go for it, but i want to check out my other options too....new house = lots of expenses, and unfortunately the grill isn't #1

what about Char-Broil? they seem to be a common brand, and have a few more lower priced options....other brands?

as for where to buy - do you walk into lowes/home depot, or is there a better way to go? online seems like a good idea, but shipping has got to kill any deal...plus, i like to buy something tangible, not just a pic on a screen
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:48 PM   #6
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You can't expect great quality for the minimum price.

That being said, end of January and into February are the best times to buy, very cheap prices.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:54 PM   #7
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Sorry to get your hopes up.

Some will tell you they like Char-Broil. I am not a fan of them. I have seen too many of them with rusted our bottoms and they seem to have very uneven heating from what I have seen.

Another good brand is Vermont Castings, but I think they will probably be out of your price range too. I have not checked though so it may be worth a little research.

I think going to Lowes/Home Depot is a great way to do your initial research so you can touch them and see them in person. Even if they do not have a particular model you are looking for you can at least get an idea of how solidly the brand in general is made. At those stores you can either buy the grill already assembled, or you can buy it in the box and put it together yourself, the later being less expensive. I bought mine pre-assembled, but I also bought one for my office and that one I put together myself. It took no longer than a half hour and was very easy to do with just one person.

I would shop the stores in person then see if you can get a better deal online. Chances are, with shipping, you will probably do better in the store in person.

The only possible issue you would have with the Spirit is the size of the cooking area. I think you will be able to get larger cooking areas from less expensive grills. It all depends on what is more important to you though. If quality is more important than cooking area then go for the Weber. If cooking area is more important then go with another less expensive model, but know there is a chance you will need to replace it sooner than with a Weber.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:39 PM   #8
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I have a Brinkmann stainless 3 burner model that works great! My wife got it for a steal at $169 3.5 years ago. It has held up well despite being outdoors for the entire time, uncovered no less. Some would say that is abuse, but I say it makes it easier for me to grill. Just turn it on and I'm grilling in minutes. I have replaced some parts on the inside this past summer. The heat deflectors that came with it eventually corroded, but I replaced them for about $30 or so.

I like the Weber quality, but cannot afford the price right now. Also I don't care for the knobs on the right side shelf of the Webers. I like a shelf on both sides to put food, BBQ sauce, etc.

Most any propane grill will get hot enough to sear. What you need is one that will burn low enough to cook things slower. Mine will do all that at a budget price. Once you have one and get experience you will know what features you need, and years down the road you can pick up a more expensive grill. maybe by then Weber will move the temp selectors to the front!
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:46 PM   #9
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Char broil, at least the one we had had uneven heating. Cheap grills that just warped I guess you could call it. They just bent sagged, and yes it rusted, even though it was kept covered when not in use.

Last one we bought was on Amazon, Strathwood brand. We've been very happy with it. The grills don't melt :)

Amazon.com: Strathwood Stainless Steel 5-Burner Gas Grill: Patio, Lawn & Garden

Good luck.

Munky.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:25 PM   #10
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Here is a pretty good forum to get some info. BBQ Source Forums (Powered by Invision Power Board)

Try to find a SS grill, go look at some NOW. What you want to do with it will decide features you want or can do without.

I got a 5 burner a few years ago from Lowes that they had marked down $500. I think it was the first of February, getting rid of old stock and bringing in the new.
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