A good bbq can help you make the most of your social time in the summer and turn good food into great food. There are lots of good gas grills to choose from at a wide range of prices but if your budget is limited to $300 your are still going to find there is good choice out there.
Although $300 may seem a lot of money, when it comes to grills that is closer to the lower end of the scale. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a good gas grill, it just means you are likely to have to compromise on something. More that likely you will find your grill doesn’t have as many features or not as much cooking area as some of the more expensive models.
But with that said there are quite a few simple but inexpensive grills available for $300 or less. The main thing to look for is models that give you most of the features that you require as you wont miss the ones that you don’t.
With summer on the way you are likely thinking about grilling and may be considering updating that old grill yiu have in the garage. May you have a charcoal grill and love the taste but hate waiting to heat up charcoal and hate the cleanup afterwards. If you like quick and convenient then a gas grill will definitely make things easier.
The big advantage of gas grills is the the instant heat that you get. With a charcoal grill you need to prepare your charcoal get it lit then get it up to temperature. Then afterwards you need to clean up all the ash from the spent charcoal. With a gas grill you simple turn on the gas ignite and you are ready to rock and roll.
Of course you still need to keep your gas grill clean, but in terms of cleanup it’s much less than you would have to do with any charcoal grill. The other advantage of gas grills is because you control the amount of gas released you can control the amount of heat.
This mean you can cook very consistently. Gas grills can have you very even and consistent cooking which generally means your bbq food will cook well and less likely to be burned or undercooked. Of course even amongst gas grills there are lots of accessories and features that make them even better to cook on.
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Another point is that gas grills are not as harmful to the environment as charcoal grills. This is because gas burns much more cleanly than charcoal so doesnt release soot and other nasties into the atmosphere.
It really depends how you like to grill. Some like to have extra features like side burners, warming racks and cool gadgets like a rotisserie feature. Whereas other grillers like to keep things simple. If that’s you then a simple grill with even cooking and plenty of heat and lots of cooking space is really what you want from your grill.
If you do a lot of grilling you might want to think about getting a grill that can take natural gas. This will involve getting a natural gas line fitted so that you can run can to wherever you want you grill. But the big advantage will be that you won’t have to worry about running to the store to top up on gas bottles so you can grill as much as you need.
Also using natural gas should work out less expensive that using lots of propane tanks. So if you are someone that grills a lot its definitely worth considering. you don’t grill that often or for large numbers then you won’t really get the benefit of using natural gas.
Another thing to consider is the amount or food you need to grill. This is important as will determine the amount of cooking area the you need. Of course you could try and cook for a huge number of people on a tiny portable grill, but the problem would be that it would take a very long time as you could only cook a small amount of food at once.
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Small grills are great and convenient when you have time such as when tailgating or camping. But if you have large numbers of friends, family and neighbours coming over for a summer bbq for example they are going to want to stand around waiting all day for food.
For those kind of events think about a grill that can do a large amount of food at a time. You want to be able to cook burgers, steaks and more and all at the same time if you need to. One thing to remember though is that the larger your grill the more expensive it may well be to run. Large grills will have more burners. More burners equals more Btus which of course means they use more gas. Now of course this is only going to be an issue if your grill doesnt give you independent control of the grills burners. If they do then you will have precise control over how much heat you generate.
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So why are so many people choosing gas grills in preference to charcoal grills these days. It comes down to one thing mostly and that’s convenience. Gas grills are just simpler to use. It’s almost as easy as turn on the gas light to fire and go. Ready to start serious grilling very quickly.
The main reason people love charcoal grills is the smoky flavour that you get in your meats. The spoke off the charcoal gets right into the meat and give it a taste that is very hard to achieve on a gas grill unless u make some effort.
But because gas grills give you fine control of the gas, you can perform very even cooking on a gas grill. You can even slow cook.on gas grill by turning the gas very low down. This is great for cooking meats that benefit from slow cooking like ribs.
But a charcoal grill is not quick to get going. You are going to need at least 15 minutes before you can cook and that will be with a chimney starter. Without a chimney starter expect to wait 30 minutes or more before you can start grilling on a charcoal grill.
Now although you have the hassle of getting new gas tanks before theyvrun out with a gas grill, you have the same need to get charcoal with a charcoal grill. Most reports also agree that the propane gas for a gas grill works out cheaper and lasts longer than charcoal for a charcoal grill.
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Let’s have a look at the main things you should look out for when considering the purchase of a new gas grill.
It’s worth investigating how good a grill manufacturers customer support is. If you have spent good money on a grill then you want to know that there is someone you can call for help if you run into trouble with the grill during assembly or when you start using it. This is especially important if you are looking at more expensive models of grills that off more features and have more complex designs and parts.
It’s also worth checking how long the warranty lasts for on the model of grill you are purchasing versus other models as this is a good indication of the quality of the grill and also if the manufacturer has faith in their product.
For instance Weber is well know for having fantastic customer support for their products and also famous for keeping a good stock of parts for the variety of models they have produced so that customers can keep the Weber grills going years after they have purchased them. That level of care is how they maintain loyal customers that buy their products over and over again and has given them such a good reputation with customers.
Know what size of grill you need to buy. If you grill a lot and have a good space in your yard you may well want a large natural gas grill that you can connect up to the gas from your home and be able to cook for large numbers.
If you hardly ever grill and have a small family perhaps a much smaller inexpensive grill that you can push into the garage when not needed might be a more sensible option. It really comes down to how often you grill and how man people you are likely to need to grill for at one time. You might even find a small portable grill might be enough if it’s just you and your partner and such a grill would be great for tailgating and camping too.
So what’s the difference between a cheap grill and an expensive one. Well the big differences you are likely to see are in build quality and in features. At the end of the day we all know that more or less you get what you pay for.
A budget grill that cost you less than $300 dollars is going to be designed to work well but might not have the longevity of something more expensive. You are likely to get a few years use out of it before its starts to rust and show signs of wear and tear as it has been made with cheaper materials and parts to keep the cost down.
This isn’t necessarily a problem. For instance if you are buying your first grill you might not want to spend a lot of money until you know more about grilling and learn the types of features that are important to you.
The most popular grills on the market are usually price between $300 to $500. At this price you should be able to find a grill that is durable enough to last a long time and also enough features and even cooking to help you create great bbq food.
One tip when looking for grills that you intend to keep for a long time is to avoid the store branded models. This is not because these grills are goibg to be particularly bad as very likely that they are made by one of the top manufacturers anyway.
But the downside to them is that stores are likely to change their suppliers and models on a regular basis. This means that if you need new parts for your grill they may be a lot harder to come by once the store stops using that manufacturer for its grills.
Remember when looking for grills to try and focus on the features that you actually need. Don’t increase the cost getting side burners and rotisserie features that just get in the way and make your grill heavy, bulky and cumbersome unless you are likely to use them. If you are just going to be grilling burgers, wings and steaks a lot of the extra gadgets may well be of no use to you so save your money.
How To Make Your Grill Last Longer
The main issue with grills is that the cheaper models are not designed to last. But you can get a much longer life out of them by looking after them. The main way to do this is to keep your grill clean. So as soon as possible after the grill has cooled off its a goid idea to clean your grill before any residue has the chance to stick.
The most typical problems with a grill that the electronic ignition has stopped working or that the burner aren’t working properly. If the electronic ignition can’t be fixed the manual lighters can be used.
Burners are best kept trouble free by keeping them clean. Clean any dirt or grease from the burners but also check the holes to ensure that they haven’t become blocked over time. Otherwise you will find less and less gas being produced as holes get blocked and thus your grill not performing as well as it should.
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One of the best things you can do when gfilling is to know what temperature your grill is cooking at. To do this invest in a goid cooking or grill thermometer. This is important for producing the best bbq food and ensuring that your food is cooked through. There are good value analog and digital cooking thermometers available at reasonable prices right now.
Your grill should be heating at 450F maximum on a high heat and 250F minimum on a low heat. Too low and your food isnt going to cook through. Too high a temperature and its likely your food is going to burn.
As mentioned before to keep your grill performing well keep your grill clean. A good stiff wire brush works well for removing residue. These actually work even better when the grill is still hot so just after cooking use the brush to remove and stuch on or left over foid and grease. This will ensure that ghere is nothing on your grill to get contaminated or mouldy and wont taint the flavour of youf food when you cook next time. You can also do this before you grill to keep it extra clean.
More Great Grilling Info
Grilling.com – Grilling Tips
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