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Grill Recommendations


helenas
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Home Despot

:laugh: Wish I'd thought of that!

Trust me, Chris didn't think of it. :raz:

Are Home Depot prices actually edging out all of the local places which used to do this kind of business? When I was a kid I remember seeing them in Home & Garden stores most often, although I suppose the occasional hardware store had them as well.

And don't tell me the alternative these days is Lowe's. That's like saying Pepsi is a Coke alternative.

Our local Ace Hardware stores (quite a few - owned by several different families - some own more than 1) - still sell tons of grills (don't know if it's because they match prices - but they do). Ace does middle to low high end. Home Depot/Lowes lower end to middle. Both sell Weber. Another player in our area is BBQs Galore. Robyn

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In terms of volume pricing on Weber, nobody beats Home Depot. Amazon has the 2004 models about $50 cheaper than Home Depot does for the comparative 2005 models, but if you factor in the fact that Home Depot carries the entire Weber line and you can pick it up at the store, that pretty much negates Amazon's advantage unless you live nowhere near one.

A small mom and pop store will probably be able to assemble and deliver your grill for a modest fee, although come to think of it Home Depot probably does as well.

Our local Ace Hardware stores will meet any Home Depot/Lowes price on anything if asked. Ditto with setup and delivery charges on items that have to be set up and delivered. The Ace we use has a guy who really knows a lot about grills - so we have used Ace for grills and grill accessories. Robyn

I beleive when we bought our Weber, it was from an Ace affiliated store and we were able to beat Home Depot on the delivery/setup costs. It wasn't by a lot though.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Weber is one of those "you can't sell for any price lower than this" manufacturers. So if you get the lowest price - you get the lowest price (although - like you say - you might be able to save a bit on set-up or delivery costs charged by the local seller).

Only exception I ever found to this is when Linens & Things here was closing out its Weber stuff (it had an ill-fated experiment selling grills and grill accessories). Some unbelievable bargains (hidden in the pots and pans section of the store - where I happened to be browsing for a new pot). Robyn

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I have a Weber Genesis 1000 that just turned 12. I have replaced the 'Flavorizer Bars', just ordered new cooking grates and had to buy a new propane tank. I switched to propane because I cook on my deck all year and just feel funny about

having a bunch of charcoal up there.

I just got the rotisserie for it (a long time dream) and discovered that when they say 'If you wish to save the drippings for gravy, place a drip pan in the center on top of the Flavorizer Bars before positioning the rotisserie and food in the barbecue.'

What they really should say is something like 'If you would like to make a gravy and or would rather not have to deal with your food item being set afire by the drippings and have to replace the burnt strings on them in what has become an uncomfortably hot environment, place a drip pan in the center on top of the Flavorizer Bars before positioning the rotisserie and food in the barbecue.'

One thing I just got from reading the June issue of Consumers Guide, which covers grills is the fact that there are good and bad alloys of stainless steel. One thing they mention is that the cheep stuff is magnetic. If you are out looking for one, it might be a good idea to bring a refigerator magnet with you and if it sticks to the stainless item in question, keep looking.

Cheers,

HC

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Weber also makes the 18 1/2" charcoal kettle which may fulfill your requirements at present, monetarily and space. It's most likely the least expensive way to go.

I've had an 18 1/2" Weber for a few years now and find I wish I had gotten the 22".

It does OK for most straight ahead grilling; but, is really too small to be used very well for indirect cooking. Plus, if you think you're going to be doing any cooking for parties larger than 4, that extra real estate can make a big difference.

If you've got room the room for the couple extra inches of diameter, I would spend the 20 bucks and get the bigger one.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I've had an 18 1/2" Weber for a few years now and find I wish I had gotten the 22".

It does OK for most straight ahead grilling; but, is really too small to be used very well for indirect cooking.  Plus, if you think you're going to be doing any cooking for parties larger than 4, that extra real estate can make a big difference.

If you've got room the room for the couple extra inches of diameter, I would spend the  20 bucks and get the bigger one.

Also, the Weber rotisserie attachment doesn't fit the 18½" grill. And the 18½-incher's lid doesn't have enough clearance for tall food like beer can chicken (beer can cornish game hens maybe, beer can quail for sure).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I've definitely outgrown my Weber 18 1/2 inch.

I'm sort of torn about what to do about it.

It is too small for parties. At times it just seems the Webers were not designed to take advantage of lump charcoal. They radiate too much heat instead of reflecting back on your food. Still viable/hot pieces of charcoal fall through the grates and out of the grill. It would also be nice to be able to do low heat cooking, without so much fussing.

However, we have a very small porch and patio, so it is nice to be easily able to pick it up and put it somewhere out of the way. If I had a full size charcoal or gas grill I couldn't do that.

Some of the gas grills folks have posted do look very nice. It would be cool to be able to put the grill on my porch, instead of relagating it to the patio. Also nice not to have the sparks from charcoal damage my plants when I dump them.

I guess my cheapest option would be a bigger Weber and a Smoky Mountain Cooker. Those Big Green Eggs and Kamodos sure are pretty, though.

One grill a hardware store here pushes is the Traeger Pellet Grill. It would take up more space; but, from what I've read it would do everything I most of the things I want from a grill/smoker. Specialty fuel, though, and it would take up a permanent spot on my patio or porch. Does anyone have experience with these grills or other similar models?

http://www.traegergrills.com/

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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eje,

A Traeger pellet grill is great for medium heat items like chicken (and will have absolutely no flareups). It's also an excellent smoker, although the smoke flavor will be lighter than what you might get in a more traditional unit. This is because the wood burns very cleanly in the forced air firepit of a Traeger. It won't do everything though - they really can't achieve the high heats necessary for steaks. You'll want to keep your kettle or get say, a Lodge Sportsman grill for that. At BBQ cookoffs, a lot of chicken is cooked on pellet grills. I'll be practicing my competition chicken on my Traeger today. Fuel is expensive, particularly if you don't live near a source of pellets.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just bought a Weber Performer based on the recs from Egulleters.

I am a total grill novice. This is my first grill ever. What do tools and accessories do I really need?

I am planning on using hard lump charcoal. I am thinking of buying a chimney starter and a grill cover? Do I need these?

Any other suggestions?

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I just bought a Weber Performer based on the recs from Egulleters. 

I am a total grill novice.  This is my first grill ever.  What do tools and accessories do I really need?

I am planning on using hard lump charcoal.  I am thinking of buying a chimney starter and a grill cover? Do I need these?

Any other suggestions?

Definitely get a chimney. I have a cover and never use it. Get a good pair of tongs and a large BBQ spatula. And I keep some cooking mitts in the storage compartment of the Performer because the handle on the chimney can get hot and it's just good to have a pair at the ready. If you plan to use the grill on a wood deck, maybe you should invest in a fire-proof mat to go underneath it, in case any burning embers stray. They cost anywhere from $30-$50 and can be quite useful.

Enjoy!

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 10 months later...

There is likely a thread on this somewhere although I could not find it.

After a lifetime spent living in a city, I will be spending the next couple of years living in the suburbs (the sacrifices one makes for marriage). Not to disparage suburban dwellers, It is just that I was born and raised in Manhattan and that is what I am used to and love.

If there is upside for me, aside from trying my hand at planting herbs and perhaps a few vegetables, is that I will be able to purchase an outdoor grill. While I have cooked on a few, I have never been in a position to buy one. Any suggestions from the grill masters out there? Cost is not a big concern, food and cooking is an area of my life where I have no issues spending money for quality.

Thanks.

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There are a plethora of varied opinions on grills, and you know the old saw about opinions. But, enough digression...

Kamado Grills

Merged thread on grill recommendations--primarily gas

eGCI course on Smoking Meat at Home

Another Smoker/Grill thread

I think the main things you should contemplate first are: size, fuel, and cost. Defining two will get you close to fixing the third, but not completely.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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I think your first consideration is which type of fuel you want to use. I've heard opinions both ways, but many people feel they get better flavor from burning charcoal.

If you're thinking about propane, keep in mind that you need to keep the grill well away from the house. A full tank of propane, I've been told, is the equivalent of a couple of sticks of dynamite. Every year in our community, we lose some very nice houses because propane tanks exploded. So far, no loss of life, fortunately.

Whichever type you purchase, make sure you have an appropriate fire extinguisher nearby at all times. Even if you are extremely competent, grills can always malfunction.

Also, a lot of grilling is done by having a heat source on one half of the grill, and placing the food on the other half, with a drip pan underneath. You may want to make sure the grill you get is large enough for that.

Don't forget to avail yourself of the different kinds of wood chips on the market, and experiment with the lovely flavors they can contribute!

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I'm a big fan (in terms of bang for buck) of whatever it is they are calling the high end Weber charcoal these days.

A Weber kettle, with a cart, and (here is the nice part) propane assist for igniting the charcoal.

And, as always, use hardwood charcoal. Briquets are evil.

--Dave

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i've had both gas and charcoal and i now use a weber kettle. if you're going to do this you absolutely HAVE to spend the extra $25 and get the model with the ash catcher underneath. on my third one, i finally did and it is the greatest thing since ... hardwood charcoal?

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There is likely a thread on this somewhere although I could not find it.

After a lifetime spent living in a city, I will be spending the next couple of years living in the suburbs (the sacrifices one makes for marriage).

Should you choose charcoal for your fuel, I don't think you can go wrong with the Weber. I grill alot and my Weber is as good now as it was when I got it in 1979.

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I'll weigh in here for gas and say if you go that route, you can't go wrong with Vermont Castings. They come in both natural gas and propane models.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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My vermont castings has a rotisserie with an infra red gas burner. I do spit roasting all the time and it's wonderul.

There's a sort of reasonable picture of it

here

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Weber manufactures a rotisserie for the 22" kettle as an optional piece of equipment.

Kettle Rotisserie

That item has a proven track record and works well for most grilling and rotisserie chores. The one lacking requisite of the weber kettle is the unfullfilling ability to adjust the fire rack height. Now mind you it's possible to bank the lump charcoal off to the sides and play with the air intake, located at the bottom of the kettle to control air flow which in turn can somewhat fine tune the heat emitted by the hot coals, but you will find it somewhat clumsy after time, at least I do.

The best of all world's is to have an adustable fire box or grate which can easily be raised or lowered to meet your needs at any particuliar time, and can also be fitted with a rotisserie. For that you require a more modest piece of equipment made by Hasty Bake.

With just minimal care the unit will easily last a lifetime, and put you on the road of a grilling guru.

woodburner

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About 40 years ago I started out with a hibachi and I don’t even know if they make them anymore. Anyway, I quickly moved to a Weber charcoal kettle grill and I couldn’t kill it. I left it outside for about 30 years and the porcelain finish looked as good as the first day (bright red). I became too lazy to use it and it just sat on the patio until a young contractor was doing some work and commented on how cool it was. He left with it and I kept $50 in my pocket, about ½ what I paid for it many years before. Then I bought a Webber gas unit and I’ve loved it. I have controlled heat and with my digital, remote temperature probe I can roam around and everything comes out perfect. I’ve had good luck with that brand.

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The best of all world's is to have an adustable fire box or grate which can easily be raised or lowered to meet your needs at any particuliar time, and can also be fitted with a rotisserie. For that you require a more modest piece of equipment made by Hasty Bake.

Thanks woodburner. I want to go the charcoal route and was curious about how you effectively adjust the heat, Hasty Bake's option of an adjustable fire box does seem to give you the best of both worlds.

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I have had good luck with Webers, but my current grill and the favorite of all the gas or charcoal ones that I've used over the years has to be the Chargriller Super Pro. It's inexpensive; you can adjust the height of the coals; and it has cast iron grates, which I prefer. I opted against the one with the side firebox simply because I already have a dedicated smoker.

You can find them at Lowe's as well as the manufacturers online store.

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