20 Things to Know When Buying a Grill

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20 Things to Know When Buying a Grill
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20 Things to Know When Buying a Grill

Read on for the best tips to for buying grills.

Fuel

The fuel grills require can differ drastically. There are many types of fuel, but the charcoal versus gas debate is much like choosing between chocolate and vanilla. Charcoal, gas, wood, electric: let's explore which might be best for you.

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Fuel: Charcoal

Charcoal grills are more of a commitment due to the loading and clean up of the grill. Fans of charcoal say that the flavor is better and most of the best steakhouses would agree. Charcoal grills also produce more smoke, which affects the flavor of thicker meats, but not hot dogs, burgers or thin steaks. The charcoal also helps the grill get hotter than the standard gas grill.

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Fuel: Gas

Gas grills are super convenient because they require less clean up. Gas grills also provide a very controlled environment to cook with because they can heat up in 10 to 15 minutes and maintain a consistent temperature. Many gas grills even come with great accessories like side burners, side tables, spice racks or even night lights.

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Fuel: Wood

Wood pellet burmers are ideal for adding a lot of smoke to meats. The only problem is, they smoke everything, so this is a great choice if you love smoky flavor.

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Fuel: Electric

Electric grills are ideal for individuals who have to cook inside. They don't achieve the same flavor as gas, charcoal or wood pellet grills. The electric grill works fine for cooking thin veggies and thin meats. Just make sure to season the dishes before cooking them since the grill doesn't provide a smoky flavor.

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Grates

There's no rule that says you have to keep the grates that come with your grill and with a such variety to choose from, pick the kind that works best for you. Stainless steel grates are great because they are very lasting, easy to clean and the good kinds won't rust. AmazingRibs.com recommends thinner grates to allow more radiant heat. Thin porcelain enamel coated grates work very well with charcoal grills, but need to be cleaned often to maintain them.

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Materials

The best quality grills are made of "...cast iron, powder coated steel, vitreous enamel bonded to steel, cast aluminum, and high quality stainless steel," according to AmazingRibs.com. Heavy steel helps to hold and distribute the heat better than cast aluminum or thin steel. Regular steel and cast iron are more prone to developing rust.

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Size

Buying a big grill is great until you realize there's no room for it at your house. Measure where you plan to keep the grill and choose accordingly. Bigger grills tend to be more stable than smaller ones, but not necessarily any safer.

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Durability

As mentioned before, the materials that make up the grill are crucial to it lasting a long time, but the way you treat the grill greatly affects its lifespan. Make sure to clean it well after use. The average grill needs a new part every 14 months, so if you have the option, get a grill from a company that is big enough to have spare parts in stock.

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Extra Features

Many grills come with exciting accessories like side burners or extra cooking surfaces. These can be very tempting, but bonus features increase the price of the grill. Just buy into the features that you will definitely use.

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How Many Are You Cooking For?

Sure it seems smart to buy a huge grill to accommodate a large party, but how many people do you plan to cook for on an average night? Take this into account when selecting your grill size.

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Thermometer

Many grills come with thermometers, but they aren't usually accurate. Invest in a good digital thermometer.

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Weatherproofing

Even though grilling season is warm and beautiful, this grill has to last the whole year. Make sure you have a place to store it in the winter, which can help to extend the life of your grill. Try to pick one that has a weatherproof cover or wheels to make storage simple.

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Price

So, how much should you spend on a grill anyway? The answer really depends on your preference of fuel and how often you plan to grill. Grills can be anywhere from $100 to $5,000, but just remember quality isn't necessarily determined by the price.

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Necessary Kitchen Accessories

Certain basic kitchen tools can make grilling so much easier. Some ideal tools for a great barbecue include: a spatula, tongs, spices, wire brushes and paper towels.

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Carts and Wheels

Many grills come with carts and wheels, which are an ideal feature to help move and store the grill. Make sure that the carts and wheels are rainproof and sturdy.

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Warranty

Make sure to hang on to the warranty of the new grill and ensure that it is a good one. A five to ten year warranty is ideal.

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Safety

Make sure the grill is set up in a solid place. The ideal place for a grill would be where pets and children can't get to it. Electrical parts should be protected from rain and snow.

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Cleaning Ease

Cleaning your grill will help to keep it in lasting condition. Keep this in mind when you buy a grill. Will you have the patience to clean a very big one? Is it easy to remove the grates?

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Starter or Igniter

All grills need something to generate the heat. Gas grills need a starter or an igniter. These can be electric, battery-powered or sometimes a button ignites the spark. Electronic grills are faster at lighting the grill, but not a deal breaker according to AmazingRibs.com.

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Looking to buy a new grill this season? Nothing complements spring and summer quite like a tasty hamburger or grilled veggies. The tastes of the season really are tied in with your grill, so choosing the right one is essential.

It's not always easy to navigate the home grill offerings at stores. Customers must choose between charcoal or gas, size and even durability of their grills. We'll help you to decide which grill suits your needs.

Check out the slideshow above for 20 things you need to know when buying a grill.

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