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10/23/2014
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Gas Grill FAQs

 

Gas Grill FAQs
What is the best grill?
It doesn't matter if you consider barbecuing a way of life or just something to do for parties, this guide will help you find the perfect grill for you. Gas and electric grills in this guide are easier to clean and faster to light than charcoal grills, but they do tend to cost more. Don't let the price be the only thing that you consider when shopping for a grill. The descriptions of key characteristics of gas and electric grills listed on this page will help you identify the features you want on the grill at your next barbecue.
 
In general, as the number of features increases on a grill so does its cost. Carts, side burners, rotisseries, thickness of burners, thickness of grates, and stainless steel construction all add to a grill's price, but many manufacturers make these features optional which allows you to have greater control over the price of your grill.
 
What is the best burner?
Burners can be made from the following:
Sheet Metal (Advantage: low price | Disadvantage: Will not last)
Cast Iron (Advantage: Retains heat | Disadvantage: Will rust through)
Cast Brass - used in commercial settings (Advantage: Will not rust, burn through, warp, crack, or twist | Disadvantage: Does not last as long as cast stainless steel)
Stainless Steel Sheet Metal (Advantage: Lasts longer than sheet metal | Disadvantage: Can burn through)
Pipe Stainless Steel (Advantage: Will not rust | Disadvantage: Can burn through)
Cast Stainless Steel (Advantage: Will never rust & cannot be damaged by grease | Disadvantage: high price)
 
Why is it important?
This is what you will have to replace most often.
 
Also, ask about the burners. Do they power the left and right sides or the front and back? When you need to use only half the grill — say, for hot dogs for the kids — the left or right side is less awkward to use than the front or back.
 
 
What is the best cooking surface?
Grates can be made from the following:
Porcelain Coated Wire (Advantage: low price | Disadvantage: Must replace every 1-2 years)
Porcelain Coated Steel (Advantage: Lasts longer that wire | Disadvantage: Can rust & must replace every 2-5 years)
Stainless Steel (Advantage: Will never rust & cannot be damaged by food or cooking utensils. You will never have to buy another grate. | Disadvantage: High price)
Cast Iron (Advantage: Retains heat | Disadvantage: Will rust & must replace every 5-7 years)
Porcelain Coated Cast Iron (Advantage: Retains heat longer | Disadvantage: Can rust if porcelain is chipped off)
 
Why is it important?
Grates are the second most replaced item on your grill.
 
 
Should I choose charcoal, electric, propane or natural gas?
A grill either uses a fuel such as propane, natural gas, or charcoal or it has an electric burner similar to one found in an electric kitchen range.
 
The two kinds of gas that can be used with gas grills are Natural Gas (NG) and Propane Gas (LP). NG is usually connected to your house. It will cost more to install but is much cheaper to use. With NG you never have to refill the a tank. While LP is usually sold in 20 pound tanks and is cheaper to set up, the cost of propane gas (LP) is more than NG and you will need to re-fill the tank.
 
The advantage to both propane and natural gas grills is convenience. Adjusting the heat is as simple as turning a knob.
 
Electric grills require an outlet and take longer to heat to the desired temperature.
 
Why is it important?
Charcoal grills tend to be less expensive, but they can be messy and typically have fewer amenities then other grills. However, many enthusiasts love the process of getting their grill burning and swear the food tastes better. Both propane and natural gas grills are very convenient; usually a flip of a switch or the push of a button will get a flame going and when you finish there is no charcoal or ashes to get rid of. Maintaining or adjusting the heat on gas and electric models is also not a problem because many have well marked dial controls and temperature gauges to help you out. Keep in mind that Electric models require an outlet, which can be an inconvenience, and they have few parts that wear out or break.
 
What about BTUs?
 
Don't be wowed by BTUs. The British Thermal Unit rating is an indication of the amount of heat a burner emits. Though more BTUs should generate higher temperatures, size and design also affect how hot a grill gets. We looked at cheaper models with BTU ratings as high as 45,000 that didn't grill as well as ones with lower ratings. So don't let a high number blind you to overall quality and user-friendly features.
 
As the number of BTUs increases, so does the amount of fuel that is used. A 20 pound tank can hold about 475,000 BTU’s. A BTU rating of 45,000 should be adequate for a grill with 300 - 400 square inches of area. Gas grills can range from 5,000 to 150,000 BTU’s.
What is the best; post, pedestal or cabinet?
 
A cart places your grill on wheels and adds to its mobility.
 
A pedestal is a large base that can be permanently mounted on your deck or patio.
 
A post is concreted into the ground.
Why is it important?
If rain or snow is a problem in your area or if space is limited in your backyard a cart makes your grill easy to move unlike a models mounted on your patio. Many carts also provide extra storage area and tool holders.
How large does the cooking surface need to be?
 
The total cooking area is measured in square inches and includes both the primary cooking area and the warming rack dimensions.
 
Why is it important?
When deciding how large you want your total cooking area to be, keep in mind the number of people you usually cook for and the type of food you cook.
 
Range: 175-1594 square inches
Accessories
Do I need a rotisserie?
 
    Rotisseries have a motor to rotate the food to reduce burning of the food.
    The best rotisserie uses an Infrared Back Burner because the heat comes from the side of the food, not the bottom. This eliminates flare ups caused by grease drippings.
    The standard rotisserie uses a back burner which does not get as hot as an Infrared.
    The least expensive rotisserie kit uses heat from the main burners which can produce many flare ups and burn the food.
 
Why is it important?
Many people prefer meat cooked on a rotisserie and enjoy not having to flip their meat! The constant basting keeps the meat juicy and tender.
 
What is the drip pan?
 
The bottom tray that collects drippings which makes cleaning quick and easy.
 
Do I need a quick disconnect?
 
If you plan to switch fuels from NG to LP or vice versa, you will need a quick disconnect to make the switch easier.
 
Do I need side burners?
 
Do I need a smoker?
 
A smoker is a tray or a container that can hold charcoal or wood chips to be heated so that the food will have a smokey flavor. Your style of cooking will determine your need for this accessory.
 
What is the difference between briquettes and flavorizer bars?
 
Briquettes are made of lava rock in the shape of charcoal briquettes and are used under the cooking grids to catch drippings and add some smoke flavor.
 
Flavorizer bars are flat steel bars placed under the cooking grids that take the or parties, this guide will help you find the perfect grill for you. Gas and electric grills in this guide are easier to clean and faster to light than charcoal grills, but they do tend to cost more. Don't let the price be the only thing that you consider grills, but they do tend to cost more. Don't let the price be the only thing that you conside but they do tend to cost more. Don't let the price be the only thing that you consider when shopping for a grill. The descriptions of key characteristics of gas and electric grills listed on this page will help you identify the features you want on the grill at your next barbecue.
 
In general, as the number of features increases on a grill so does its cost. Carts, side burners, rotisseries, thickness of burners, thickness of grates, and stainless steel construction all add to a grill's price, but many manufacturers make these features optional which allows you to have greater control over the price of your grill.
 
What is the best burner?
Burners can be made from the following:
Sheet Metal (Advantage: low price | Disadvantage: Will not last)
Cast Iron (Advantage: Retains heat | Disadvantage: Will rust through)
Cast Brass - used in commercial settings (Advantage: Will not rust, burn through, warp, crack, or twist | Disadvantage: Does not last as long as cast stainless steel)
Stainless Steel Sheet Metal (Advantage: Lasts longer than sheet metal | Disadvantage: Can burn through)
Pipe Stainless Steel (Advantage: Will not rust | Disadvantage: Can burn through)
Cast Stainless Steel (Advantage: Will never rust & cannot be damaged by grease | Disadvantage: high price)
 
Why is it important?
This is what you wi