How do I know a powerful natural gas grill from a not-so powerful grill?
When you’re looking for a grill, you want one that will get very hot in a short amount of time. The key is to look for the BTU (stands for British Thermal Unit), which represents the maximum amount of heat that a burner puts in an hour. One BTU equals a pound of water getting raised by one degree in one hour.
What does BTU really mean?
In the real world, a high BTU does not necessary mean the grill is powerful. An absurdly high BTU probably means the grill can’t hold heat very well, so the cooking surface won’t be heated consistently or evenly. Watch out for grills that give the total number of the BTUs instead of what each individual burner is.
So, how high of a BTU should I get for my grill?
Measure the BTU in comparison to the size of the grill. If the grill has a smaller area, it will heat up faster, so it doesn’t need an extremely high BTU. On the other hand, if the grill has a larger surface area, the heat spreads out more, so you do want a number that’s more in the 35,000+ range to get a grill that heats up fast.
How long should a grill last?
A grill is a big purchase, so you want one that’s going to last a long time and justifies you paying a lot of money. You want to look for durable materials that can withstand a lot of heat on a regular basis. Stainless steel is one of the best materials for high heat, so grills like the Weber Genesis S-310 (that has stainless steel burners and flavorizer bars) that use a lot of stainless steel are good options. A good grill should last 10+ years; the best can stay in use for two decades.
I want to have complete say over my grilling. What features allow for total heat control?
When it comes to having complete control, you want to look for features like infinite control valve settings and separate ignitions for every burner. Infinite valve settings allow you to tinker with direct and indirect heat, so you can monitor the exact amount of heat your meat and veggies are getting. Grills with dual-tube burners like the Broil King Signet 20 provide even more precision with high and even consistent heat distribution.
I want a grill that has features to help my food taste great. What should I get?
The Weber grills come with unique flavorizer bars that are designed to catch food drippings and turn them into smoke, which further flavors the cooking food. A similar feature, the Flav-R-Wave, is on the Broil King Imperial XL. Like the flavorizer bars, the Flav-R-Wave system catches and vaporizes grease.
How hard is it to clean a grill?
One of the main concerns with grills is that they can be hard to clean. Grills also need to be winterized, which can be a hassle as you have to get to areas you don’t usually clean. Grill brands like Webers have grease management systems that catch extra grease in a disposable pan so cleaning is as easy as throwing away the grease and replacing the catch tray. For winterizing, a lot of grills are designed to make this process easy by having removable burner grates so you can scrap food residue easily.
I’m not good with putting things together. How hard are grills to assemble?
Grills are a little hard to assemble if you aren’t experienced with putting together household equipment; that’s just how it is. However, grills like the Weber brands have good instructions and are considered easier than many other grills that require assembly. The Weber also has a grill – the portable Q 3200 – that comes mostly pre-assembled except for a few pieces.
How much cooking space should I have?
It really depends on how much you like to cook at once and how much prep work you do right on your grill. Grills with larger cooking areas let you cook lots of food like burgers and chicken at once; reducing the overall time you spend over the grill. A lot of grills are also designed with lots of prep space included, so check to see how the square-inch space is divided up.
I’m new to grilling. What would be a great starter grill that’s durable?
A solid choice for a first grill that will also last a while is the Weber Q 3200. It’s a compact grill with two stainless-steel burners, a good amount of work space, and is easy to start and use. Some other grills have a lot of features that are designed with more experienced grillers in mind who want a lot of precise control, but those can be intimidating. It is also on the less expensive side.
Are there grills that will let me cook in a variety of ways, like smoking and roasting?
There are several good options for grills that have really cool burner features like rotisseries and ovens. The Weber Summit S-670 has a sear station, smoker, and rotisserie, while the Broil King Imperial XL has two ovens, a rotisserie, and a side burner. For a grill with a smoker for slow cooking ribs, look to the Weber Summit S-470 with its side burner, rotisserie, sear station, and smoker.
I don’t have a lot of space for a big grill. What are my options?
There are a few strong options when it comes to compact, but still powerful grills. The Napoleon Prestige (one of many portable grills that brand makes) has four burners as well as a side and rear burner, all within a compact size.The Dyna-Glo Black & Stainless Steel Premium natural gas grill is also great for apartments and smaller decks, and has 4 main burners and one side burner. The Weber Q 3200 is also on the smaller side with prep stations that fold up, making it easy to store when you’re not using it.
What’s the price range on natural gas grills?
Grills are big purchases, so expect to pay at least $600 for a good grill that will last you a long time. Don’t cheap out on grills because you want them to do their job well without breaking down after only a few years. Generally speaking, the more burners and special features the grill has, the more expensive it will get. A medium-range for a grill with at least 4 burners and some kind of side burner or sear station will be around $1500. The more expensive ones can top off at $3000. Grills are kind of like cars in that there will always be one that’s more expensive and has more cool frills to it, but you want to really think about how many of those features you’ll be using and how often. You don’t want to buy a really expensive grill only to find out you could have done just fine with one that’s hundreds of dollars cheaper.