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How to choose a Bar B-Q grill - gas

Before you go shopping for a bar b-q grill you should know what you are looking for. If you have an idea of what is important to you the money you spend will be better invested. This will also make the time you spend grilling much more enjoyable. May people choose a gas grill because cooking on a gas grill is easier than a charcoal grill. Most have a push button start, so you can just flip a switch and let it warm up just like an oven. They heat quickly, and there's much less mess.

Gas grills are usually more expensive than charcoal grills. It's a matter of paying extra for the convenience of instant heat. Here are a few other things to take into consideration when looking for the perfect gas grill.

Things You'll Need

  • Stainless steel gas grill
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    • 1

      Know your Price range!

      You get what you pay for! Gas Grills come in a large price range. Some residential gas grills can be over $10,000. So you should decide how much you want to spend before you shop.

      When considering the amount of money to spend on a grill you can always look at the cost per usage. A good example of this is the cost of an average gas grill is around $300. Most grills will last an average of 5 years. If you use your grill 20 times a year then the grill costs $3 each time you use it. That's not a bad price!
      To figure your starting price range you will need to think about how many times you plan to use your grill each year. Multiply that number by 5 and then multiply that by how much you think is a good price per use. Of course you may have your grill longer than the typical average of 5 years, but this will give you a pretty good starting point.
      You should also consider the features that come with the grill. Will it cost more to purchase a more basic grill and buy a few extra features or does one that has everything built in make more since? Also find out if a propane tank is included. This can add about $20 to $30 dollars to your total cost if you have to buy it separately and they will be empty when they come with the grill.

    • 2

      Know your fuel preference!

      Do you prefer propane or natural gas? Natural gas will require a gas line running to your grill and many cheaper priced grills do not have this option. You should know which type of gas you would like to use before looking for a grill since you can't run a propane grill on natural gas or visa versa. You may also be able to purchase a natural gas conversion kit, they usually cost from $50 to $100. The added attraction to natural gas is that it will cost you less in the long run and save you trips to the propane store.

    • 3

      Know your BTU's!

      A BTU is a measure of the amount of heat that is created at the burner on a gas grill. A grill with higher BTUs doesn't necessarily produce more heat. It is a factor of the heat created, the size of the grill and how well it holds and distributes that heat. Don't buy a grill just because it has a high BTU number. You should always compare the BTU number with the size and the shape of the grill. Some grills that are smaller and more compact can produce higher cooking temperatures with lower BTUs. A well constructed grill will distribute the heat evenly and allow for a more consistent cooking temperature.

    • 4

      Know your metal!

      Recently there have been more and more "stainless steel" grills on the market but you should use caution when purchasing a "stainless steel" because not all stainless still is the same! There are dozens of different types of stainless steel each with its own unique qualities. When looking for good quality stainless steel you should be able to answer these questions:

      Will a magnet stick to it?
      For stainless steel with a grade value in the 300 range you will have a better quality of metal. Stainless steel with a grade series of 300 is more resistant to rust and more durable than stainless steel with a grade series of 400. The best way to tell if your grill is of the better quality stainless still is to test it with a magnetic, steel in the 300 series will hold a magnet to it while still in the 400 series will not. You should avoid grills that will hold a magnet to them, even if only for a second, these grills are of a lesser quality and tend to rust more quickly.

      How thick is the metal?
      The thickness of the metal is very important because thicker stainless steel will not discolor as fast as thinner stainless steel. You can generally tell the thickness of the stainless steel by the weight of the grill, a good quality stainless still will be heaver than a lesser quality one. Next you should check to see how hard the surface feels. Press on the metal surfaces of the grill, if it doesn't budge and feels hard when you push in the center of hood or other large metal areas its probably pretty thick.

      How smooth is the surface?
      To test this simply run your hand over the stainless steel surface of the grill. The metal should feel even and the finish should be clean. If the metal is uneven it will allow moisture and cleaning supplies into the tiny holes that will led to rust. There are many different finishes available on grills, but no matter what the finish is it should feel even to the touch.

    • 5

      Know how well its put together!

      There are many "stainless steel" grills that have painted steel frames that will easily rust. Look over the whole grill to see how it's put together. Spot welding will give corrosion points to the metal. The best stainless steel grills are completely welded. Look at each of the corners where the metal meets to make sure they line up right. Pop-rivets are a bad idea and if it isn't welded look for bolted joints. The bolts should be checked with your magnet because steel bolts will rust quickly. You can also try to shake the grill, does it feel sturdy? Do the legs appear to start buckling with just a little weight? Companies will take shortcuts with metal and you should always make sure you are getting what you are paying for.

    • 6

      Know your size!

      Once you have these factors decided, you need to pick the size of grill you want. You should think about the kinds of things you will want to cook on your grill and for how many people you might want to cook for. If you're planning on a turkey, being able to cook up lots of food at one time, or cooking for large groups of people you'll want a larger grill. If you just cook a few steaks or hamburgers and hot dogs once in a while, you'll probably want a smaller grill.

    • 7

      Know your features!

      You will need to decide what features are important to you. Would you use a side burner? Do you cook items at different heat settings at once that require multiple level cooking surfaces? Do you want a smoker box to give a smoke taste to your gas grill? Side burner, rotisserie burner, lights, or any one of a dozen things can be added to your gas grill.

      The side burner is one of the most popular features on a grill. Many people have them but very few actually use it. If you want to heat something while you are grilling then this might be a good feature. If you don't see yourself using it then look for a unit without the side burner as this will save you some money. Keep in mind that a basic grill will do a lot of stuff and most of the extras are very seldom used. Features really add to the cost of the grill so only buy the features you will use!