10 tips for buying a Gas Grill – BBQ buying guide

10 tips for buying a Gas Grill – BBQ buying guide
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How to Buy A Gas Grill like a pro?

When we choose to buy a Gas Grill that would suit our needs, there are several aspects and considerations that are not necessarily known to all buyeres especially if it is thier first barbecue

Many ask me “what to look for when we buy a gas grill” ?, So here we are to give you our tips how to avoid our mistakes.

First and foremost – it is important to us to match the gas grill that we acquire to our needs and buy a grill with a perfect experience of grilling and a long-lasting barbecue experience

It is similar to when you choose a new car, you have to define whether it is a city car or a 4×4 monster road vehicle. The same go to grills – it is important to set a few answer yourself the following questions:

  • How many guests you typically have? are you a small family with a dog or, large bash of friends?
  •   Are you grilling once a week or only at Memorial and Independence Day?
  • Where to you plan to put the grill – at the backyard or narrow apartment balcony?
  • Budget – basically there are 4 prices ranges for gas grills
    • up to $250 which are smaller, less powerful and less resilient ,
    • between $250-450 – there are lot of variety but we must say it is many of them are not giving the right price-performance.
    • above $450 – these are mainly good grills and the difference is with the different features.
    • Above $1000 – these are premium grills and last long

10 Rules to the BBQ buyer: how to buy a gas grill smarter?

Gas Grill is for experts and buying a gas grill is for professionals

Preface:

Gas Grill is the most efficient, short and accurate to prepare your meat (in comparison to wood-fueled and charcoal grills) . But, this stands only if you picked the right grill.

Rule #1- How much BTU do you need for your BBQ/Grill?

BTU means the ability of the BBQ burners to produce heat.

People should know that there is no way to grill a steak with a gas grill who’s power is less than 100 BTU/square inches

(that is 15 BTU/square cm for our Australians and Britons readers)

Disclaimer: for long BBQing – you can use grills with less than 100 BTU/square inches – but not for Grilling – read more about the difference between Grilling and BBQing

How do you do the calculation? – you take the BTU and divide it by the size of the cooking area.

A numerical example – if you have a grill that gives 54000 BTU , and the area is 25.6″ x 17.3″ (that’s 65 cm x 44 cm) then you calculate 54000/(25.6 * 17.3) = 122 which is above our minimum standard.

(for metric system users that’s 54000/(65*44) = 18 which is above 15)

Infrared burners typically emit intense heat to sear and cook food so Please be noted that infrared burners have better heat dissipation, So grills with infrared burners can have a lower BTU/Area coefficient.

Rule # 2 – What’s the ideal size for the grill cooking area?

The main factor in determining grill size is the cooking area.

Cooking area is calculated in terms of square inches or square cm. The minimal cooking area you need for a family is 400 square inches (or around 68cm x 38 cm) and three burner gas grill should features 400-500 square inches of cooking area. People who use their five or six burners grills should have 5o0-6oo square inches of cooking area.

2 burners can fit no more than 4 hungry people, while while with 3 burners you can satisfy 8 people easily and 12 people with a bit of patience.

Rule # 3- Grill’s footprint

In addition to cooking area, the footprint of a grill must be considered, mainly if you have limited storage room. Most barbecue grills have side shelves that can be displaces or collapsed. As safety concerns, the grill must sit 5-6 feet (2 meters) away from the house and other inflammable materials. you should ensure that your deck or patio can facilitate your new grill’s wingspan.

Rule #4 – Which type of BBQ burners are the best?

As in any car – the most important thing is the engine, so in the grills, the burner are the heart of the grill. If the burners do not work properly, the whole grill is worth nothing!

There are several types and levels of burners in the market:

1. The best burner is the stainless steel burner, this burner is made as a perforated tube. These burners usually last for many years and provide best blue fire.

2. Other burners that exist on the market are the cast iron burners. These solid burner provides the fire with the desired power. But the material from which it is made can rust very quickly, since it is impossible to protect the iron from the fat that falls on it or anything else that causes rust.

3. The latter are tin burners, which are found in simple grills and these burners are ineffective. Most of them rust in less than a year.  They also do not  provide the desired amount of heat.

4. Infrared burners. In general, Infrared burners are only for giving the meat a “heat shock” and caramelising and make the meat with crunchy edges.  BUT, it is a kind of an ax –  not suitable for delicate jobs. If you do not stop in time, the meat will become dry and dark.

Use the infrared mainly for the last minutes to give the last browning.  In high quality grills the infra will be used only in the back or as side burners

Rule #5 – Heat distribution

Uneven heat distribution is one of the major problems of grills, but you can lower your risks that your grill would have uneven heat distribution and inconsistent temperatures by the following tips

  • Check what it farthest point from your burners – a point above a feet (30 cm) will be cooler than required.
  • Grills with metal burner shield have better distribution of heat, even though the shield itself reduces the over all heat (see rule number 1)
  • High BTU Burner location – if the burner are too close to the surface, the heat will too focused and not distributed across the entire grid, if you have a grill with 5-7 high BTU burners which are too close you will need to put lava stones or ceramic rods to ensure better heat distribution

Rule #6 –  The materials from which the grill is built

The grill body material is critical and significant. Good material will ensure the longevity of the outdoor grills and also the quality of daily grills. Good grills are made of Aluminium cast and stainless steel – other metals are probably less qualified.

Cast Aluminium

A lot of grills have bodies made of cast aluminium, which has traditionally been used because of its resistance to rust and its ability hols heat and distribute it evenly.

Aluminium castings are very durable and often come with 10 year to lifetime guarantees.

The quality of the casting varies by thickness and grade of aluminum.

Also available are porcelain coated steel and stainless steel grill bodies which offer a high level of rust resistance while sacrificing some grill efficiency.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel is the best for your grill body

But, be careful since not all stainless steel is created equal. For durability and performance, you want both the grill body and the frame to be made from stainless steel.

It is important to know that there are several types of stainless steel with significant differences in price – Model 304 and Model 430 (and 316 model which is a little less popular). When it comes to stainless steel the smaller the number the more quality of the stainless steel. The 304 model contains 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel. The 430 model contains 17 percent chromium and 0.12 percent carbon. This means that the 304 model stands at higher temperatures less rusting and maintains a glossy appearance over time.

Trick for Professionals: if you want to know which stainless steel model the grill has? Take a magnet for the refrigerator and place it on the inner part of the grill. If it sticks, then it is the lower quality 430, if it does not stick, then it is the quality is 304

Rule #7 –  The grill’s lid test

The first thing you need to test is – the lid’s weight – the heavier the better

You also need a lid that closes fairly tight for smoking. Alas, gassers do not seal tightly due to laws to prevent them from building up explosive gases.

Gas grills usually don’t have tight lids in order to allow combustion gases to escape and flamable gas to escape in case of a flameou

 

In high  quality BBQs, the grill cover will cover and sit well on the bottom of the grill, the higher the weight of the lid, the higher its quality and the better the heat inside the grill and save you energy. A low-quality grille will cover your hands, indicating poor quality and material savings

6 – Avoiding flare-ups

Flare-ups are usually caused by fat that drops onto the burners, in order to reduce the effect it is advised that the burner ports would be located on the sides of the burner, rather than the top it.

Other valid options – there are several type of grates that were designed to protect the burners from the drifting fat. Nonetheless, infrared burners are less sensitive to fat and generate less flare-ups

 

Grill’s fire color

The Grill’s fire color may impact the grilling performance – the color of the flame must be light blue without any red-yellow-orange spikes. Yellow flame means incomplete burn when part of the gas has only heated and not totally burnt. These kind yellow orange flames usually cause uncontrolled flare-ups that stick the meat and causes gray soot on it. When you have only blue flame, the burning process is complete.