Southern men love to cook outside and if you’re grill is on its last leg, late summer is a great time to find a bargain on a gas grill. Here are a few tips to aid your search for the ideal outside cooking machine.
After the fourth of July holiday, grill prices, along with outdoor furnishings tend to drop in price. Mid-August to Labor Day is prime grill-buying season so start making your list of gas grill options now. Savings of up to 70 percent are possible.
Floor models are an option but make sure the hood opens easily and also check for scratches and other signs of wear. Having the salesperson hook it up to a gas cylinder to make sure it lights and works isn’t a bad idea either. Check the warranty to make sure you’re covered under manufacturers guidelines.
Here are 7 guidelines to use before making your final decision:
- Make sure the grill manufacturer has a good warranty
This should keep you from having to spend money on parts that shouldn’t have broken in the first place. Look for brands with a burner warranty around 10 years, and brands with lifetime warranties- some even cover the labor for replacement. We’ve even made comparing the warranties from the top brands easy for you with our Gas Grill Warranty Comparison Chart.
- Make sure that the gas grill burner is a good, proportional size to the grill
A lot of grill manufacturers make a large, impressive looking casting with a little burner – that means lots of hot and cold spots. The all mighty “cooking performance” does not purely depend on the number of burners or output of BTUs, but can best be described by how well heat is evenly distributed across the entire grilling surface.
- Check out the flame taming devices and make sure they cover the entire burner
The salt and grease from the food you cook causes most of the damage to the grill. The more exposed the burner is, the faster it burns out. Always make sure the flame tamer is directly over your gas grill burner – not to the side like some grills do. They put lava rocks to the side of the burner, and it defeats the purpose. To get maximum vaporization, you must have a good, even heat. Stay away from lava rocks. They are irregularly shaped, and do not hold heat evenly. That’s why most grills with lava rocks are a flare up nightmare.
- Cooking grids – examine the material used to construct them
Whether they are made from stainless, porcelain coated or cast iron, most will work well as long as you clean them properly. For example, most mass merchant gas grills with porcelain coated meat grill grids tell you brush your grids off when hot. Please, don’t do that! Porcelain is at its most fragile state when hot. Brushing the porcelain grill grids at that time will cause it to chip. Once chipped, they will rust extremely fast – and most gas grills only have one-year warranty. OneSouthernMan prefers cast iron grates.
- Most grill housings and frames are pretty good and are usually the last thing to go
A grill’s construction is synonymous with weld. High quality grills have fully welded, highly polished seams, and double lined commercial grade 304 stainless hoods. Also, keep this in mind – your climate plays a big part in determining how well your grill will hold up. If you live on the coast, almost everything you buy is doomed unless you buy copper. Even stainless will rust. It just takes longer, and that’s where the good warranty comes in. If you live in a high humidity state, then stainless or a thick aluminum grill normally will last longer than most of us.
If you like grilling steaks, the gas grill you purchase should be able to reach at least 600 degrees. You need to get that steak on and off the grill as soon as possible so it does not dry out. A high quality gas grill will reach very high temperatures, but will also grill delicate items at low temperatures- with minimum flare-ups.
- Grill Reviews
Realizing you may not necessarily have a lot of time to compare every gas grill and learn all of their features. To make things easier, the guys at BBQGUYS.com have taken the time to test and review their most popular gas grills, and you can view them here.