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Grill Recommendations


helenas
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I would recommend a charcoal grill (briquets are fine), as would most food appreciators. Whatever you do, unless it is a Weber, don't buy a painted model; they become very ugly (though still serviceable) when the paint peels off. I don't know why only Weber knows how to paint a steel-shell grill.

Ray

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Do yourself a favor and check out a Big Green Egg. You can find their web site here... BigGreenEgg.com. While there, check out their forum, and post any questions you might have, except requesting comparisons. They have a rule there that they don't diss or discuss other products... Otherwise, you'll find some very knowledgable and friendly folks there...

I was never a grill person. Liked burgers, but that was about it. My wife and son bought a big green egg for me one Father's Day, and now I have two!!!. I love them. I've held fires at about 180F for 30 hours, to high temp 1000F+ quick sears on steaks. I'll put a 20# chuck roast on it, and 20 hours (+/-) later, some darn good eating. I make steaks as good as any fine steakhouse....maybe better. Rotisserie??? Forget it. Don't need one with the egg..... You'll find that "eggers" are somewhat fanatical.... but with good reason... Check it out.

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I don't see the point to gas grills, compared with wood/charcoal, so I'll confine myself to 3 charcoal-related suggestions:

1) Get one with a grill rack where the height is easily adjustable. (Someone above mentioned an adjustable-height fire grate, which I suppose achieves the same purpose; though raising & lowering the grill strikes me as simpler than adjusting the height of a tub of burning coals.)

2) Make sure that the model you get has plenty of adjustable air vents, top and bottom, so that you can control the air flow, and thereby the temperature and amount of smoke, at the grilling surface.

3)Get a charcoal chimney starter, like one of these, so that you'll never have to deal with the stench of lighter fluid infusing your food. (I got a cheap version that I found at Home Depot, works like a charm.)

Happy grilling!

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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This Texan will tell you definitely go for wood/charcoal burning. Although they are harder to master, you will get the hang of it soon, and the flavor is infinitely better.

If you can, see if you can find someone in your area who custom builds them by hand. My father does, as a side hobby/business, and I can not tell you how much I love his grills. He makes them from old propane tanks set sideways, sautered onto a base, and he cuts out a door and builds a handle. He can add a fire box for smoking, you can specify size of smoke stack, and the grills come in all sizes, from ones that are so huge they have to be carted on a trailer, and can cook insane amounts of food like twenty briskets at a time, to small ones that can easily be fitted with wheels and moved around a backyard, and are more suited to burgers, steaks, and the occasional turkey. He is building me a medium sized one, with smoke box, and I should have it in a few weeks. I'm so excited! I'll try to post some pictures when mine is ready.

Custom might (actually it probably will) run you a lot more than your average Weber, but that's why it's custom. You can specify exactly, to the letter, what you want. And who can say no to a dual smoker/grill?

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Another vote for the Weber kettle grill. I bought one about five years ago for my husband's birthday -- however, he has only gotten to actually use it himself perhaps 4 times since then. He claims I am the Grill Hog.

We don't have air conditioning, so from mid-May to end of September, the oven doesn't get turned on -- it's grill or stove top only.

Which reminds me that I need to go and get the grill ready for the season. :cool:

Laurie

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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.

I have been cookin with 'wood" for twenty years or so on various grills.

I suggest you go to Barbeque's Galore.

Barbeques Galore

My current grill is a Bar B Chef (their house brand)

Best I have ever used for the money!

This is the rig that Alton Brown uses on his grilling episodes.

These grills have an adjustable fire box (crank handle) like the Hasty Bake (a good model but IMOP expensive).

Cast iron grates etc and a front loading door with easy access to the fire box so you can add fuel easily.

Mine cost me about $500 and is very well made.

also

Barbeques Galore (a chain operation) is a great place-everything one needs for grilling and smoking--from a large selection of fuels to implements to grills gas and wood, charcoal grills and smokers , hot sauces, marinades, you name it they probably got it.

Highly recommended.

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Another vote for the Weber kettle grill.  I bought one about five years ago for my husband's birthday -- however, he has only gotten to actually use it himself perhaps 4 times since then.  He claims I am the Grill Hog.

We don't have air conditioning, so from mid-May to end of September, the oven doesn't get turned on -- it's grill or stove top only.

Which reminds me that I need to go and get the grill ready for the season.  :cool:

Laurie

I, too, will extoll the virtues of the Weber Kettle. Get the big one (21-1/2 griill, and do get the grill thing that has the hinged things so you can easily add charcoal and wood for smoking meat :wub: )

We've had our for somewhere between 20 and 25 years. At one point, the handle came off, and we riveted it back on.

This grill has been a trusty and faithful companion for these many years, and with some practice, and once the grill gets old and heavy, is capable of doing some mighty fine meat smoking, as well as grilling (as I have attested to on may meat smoking topics on the Cooking forum).

It will lasst you many, many years, as mine has. And mine has many, many more miles to go. I love the fact that I am not reliant on a gas tank; charcoal is usually more available, and as I've discovered up at our cabin, wood can work just fine. The vents get a bit loose, which means you can smoke with some ventilation with the vents fully shut.

Over the last year, I've thought about getting something that is a dedicated smoker, but I balk every time because it seems like I would betry such a good and trustworthy friend.

Weber Kettle. Word.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I like my Vermont Casting gas grill! It has a rotisserie with separate heating element in the back. I have used, and liked, the Webers and I still have a samll charcoal grill that I sometimes use, but I like the convenience of the gas grill.

Bob R in OKC

Bob R in OKC

Home Brewer, Beer & Food Lover!

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My friend gave us a large-size Weber Kettle as a wedding present 16 years ago. Still have it, and use it regularly. I've only had to replace the cooking grill because of rust. The replacement grill I bought allows you to flip up the sides to add coals.

I agree that real wood charcoal is the way to go. I use Connecticut or Cowboy brand wood charcoal. It lights fast and burns faster and hotter than briquets, and yields superior results. Charcoal does make a difference. I've used gas grills and found the results inferior. The flame just isn't the same. Tip: It's better to use a little more rather than too little charcoal for your fire, or the cooking takes place too slow at too low heat. I use a chimney to start the fire. Avoids accelerant smells and flavor on the food.

The Weber produces tremendous burgers, dogs, steaks, chicken, lamb chops, kabobs. I place the charcoal to the sides, put the lid on, and cook chickens and turkeys in the middle of the grill in one hour. Makes really good roast chicken or turkey--juicy interior, barbequed exterior. Stuffed or unstuffed. Same for roasted leg of lamb.

"Yo, I want one of those!"

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I use a Weber Genesis Silver-C, a gas one. I've had it for five years and am extremely happy with it. It's built like a tank and is essentially maintenance free.

http://www.weber.com/bbq/pub/grill/2005/gas/gg_gen_sc.aspx

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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Another vote for Weber both propane and charcoal. If you go the charcoal route buy a chimney starter, the coals are ready a lot quicker.

We use the propane for quick things and charcoal for low and slow or all day cooking events.

I have also read favorable reviews of Vermont Casting grills.

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I was an inveterate propane grill user for many years. The ease with which you have a prepared, hot grill and the lack of cleanup necessity were the main drivers. A friend convinced me to get a charcoal grill and for a time I used both.

I've come to realize that the apparent speed benefit of propane does not really exist. In the time it takes to get the gas grill to temp, a chimney starter has the coals ready to roll.

I abandoned my gas grill about 18 months ago and have not missed it one bit.

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Yeah, but what about all the charcoal ash you have to throw out each time you use it? That's definitely a consideration you have to factor in.

And you really need to wait about 20 minutes after lighting charcoals to get them white hot and for even heat distribution, even with a chimney starter, for the best results. On a gas or LP Weber grill, you set all the burners to high, close the lid, and in five minutes you're ready to go.

I'm not saying that charcoal grilling isn't wonderful. It is. But there are definite advantages to gas and to say charcoal is better for speed reasons is not accurate.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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Yeah, but what about all the charcoal ash you have to throw out each time you use it? That's definitely a consideration you have to factor in.

And you really need to wait about 20 minutes after lighting charcoals to get them white hot and for even heat distribution, even with a chimney starter, for the best results. On a gas or LP Weber grill, you set all the burners to high, close the lid, and in five minutes you're ready to go.

I'm not saying that charcoal grilling isn't wonderful. It is. But there are definite advantages to gas and to say charcoal is better for speed reasons is not accurate.

Jason, when I cook on my weber with lump charcoal (using a chimney), I'm cooking within literally 10-15 minutes of ignition. Even with gas, I generally pre-heat for about 10 minutes or so, so the difference in time is slight.

Afterwards, the ash is only mildly annoying. I bought a steel trash can with a lid, which resides right next to my weber. I simply dump the spent ashes into it before each cooking session. When that can gets full, I dump it into a bag and send it out with the trash.

That said, I also have a gas grill and do think they're occasionally useful. But, if I had to choose only one, I'd select charcoal because not only do I think the food cooked on them tastes better, but they're also a bit more versatile as they can be used for smoking, etc. But yeah, gas is marginally faster, especially when you factor in the clean-up time.

=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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Real wood charcoal lights a lot faster than briquettes. Ball up a couple of pieces of newspaper, stuff them in the chimney bottom, pour the charcoal in the top part, place the unit on the grill, and light the newspaper. Five minutes later, you're ready to go.

The ashes fall through the slit in the Weber bottom into a tray. Every so often you empty the tray. No big deal.

"Yo, I want one of those!"

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to say charcoal is better for speed reasons is not accurate.

Well, I never actually said that. I said the speed benefit to gas doesn't really exist. I don't think either have a significant benefit when it comes to speed, but I do think that everyone thinks there is with gas.

Cleanup is a bit of an issue, for sure. Maybe that's a draw with filling the propane tank? (No, not really) Cleanup can also be a bigger issue depending upon where you live. I have tons of woods around our yard and can just dump (the 1-2 days past burned out) coals in the back 40 somewhere. Or I can put them in the compost. In an urban environment it's more of a pain.

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what do the grilling folks think of this jam right here:

brinkmann all-in-one

seems like the ultimate convenience, serving as a gas or charcoal grill or smoker, or as a turkey or fish fryer or boiler, OR as a superpowered stir-fry implement. do any of you see any downside, besides that it's kind of expensive and there's no storage for the propane tank?

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what do the grilling folks think of this jam right here:

brinkmann all-in-one

seems like the ultimate convenience, serving as a gas or charcoal grill or smoker, or as a turkey or fish fryer or boiler, OR as a superpowered stir-fry implement.  do any of you see any downside, besides that it's kind of expensive and there's no storage for the propane tank?

Perhaps a case of trying to do too many things and none of them well? It doesn't look like it would have very much surface area for the grilling applications. My experience with charcoal grilling has informed me that the breathing ability of the grill is vital. Where are the vents on this thing?

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i don't know, but i can't imagine it doesn't have vents.  then it wouldn't work pretty much at all, would it?

i need to see one in person, i think, before dropping that kind of coin.

I'd think it has them, but I'm wondering where, how big, how many, etc. I had a grill that couldn't breathe well and it was totally aggravating.

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