Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

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Luke Duke
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by Luke Duke »

Go with the nicest Weber that you can afford. Don't be afraid to look on Craigslist for one. Spare parts are very easy to find.
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RobLyons
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by RobLyons »

lazydavid wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:17 am I absolutely love cooking outdoors, always have. As such, I've spent a lot of years (and $$$) expanding and tweaking my grill/smoker inventory. At peak I've had six, and I've now whittled it down to two, which seems to be absolutely perfect for me. The first revelation was when I got my Kamado 4 years ago. That instantly eliminated the need for my vertical smokers and my Weber Performer kettle. So much easier, with results far better than anything I've ever used. And it will literally last forever, with a lifetime warranty on all the ceramic parts.

This relegated my Weber Genesis (natural gas) to remedial tasks such as hot dogs or veggies, where there was no real flavor benefit to the charcoal and the speed to heat of the NG won out. But even those occasions became less and less. So almost two years ago I replaced it with a flat top griddle, which I absolutely love to pieces. So versatile and easy to clean. Made blackened red snapper on Saturday, 2.5 lbs of bacon on Sunday for BLTs, and will be doing tacos tonight. It has grill grates under the griddle, so you can still flame-grill food if you want to. I've done it once, and it will probably remain a very rare occurrence.

Everything else I had strewn about the yard has now been sold or given away, and I have no desire to make any further changes.

At this point, if I had no grills and a $500 budget, I would buy a Kamado Joe Jr. and call it a day, hands down. Well, that's not true. I'd also grab a 17" griddle as well (along with its cover and carrying bag, and still come in just under budget.

If I could only have one and it had to be propane/NG, I would either get the same flat top grill I currently have, or perhaps try the one that Sam's Club just introduced.

Thank you for that write up. You sound like quite the grilling enthusiast! Quick question. How would you describe cooking on the griddle vs a normal BBQ? DW feels like a griddle would be similar to cooking on a flat top in a pizza shop, would get the job done but may not be the same as BBQ'ing on a typical grill. Thoughts?
And thanks again! Really appreciate it.
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lazydavid
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by lazydavid »

RobLyons wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 2:47 pm Thank you for that write up. You sound like quite the grilling enthusiast! Quick question. How would you describe cooking on the griddle vs a normal BBQ? DW feels like a griddle would be similar to cooking on a flat top in a pizza shop, would get the job done but may not be the same as BBQ'ing on a typical grill. Thoughts?
And thanks again! Really appreciate it.
It is definitely not like cooking on a normal grill, and particularly no comparison to a good charcoal grill for the things that an enclosed grill truly excels at. The biggest difference is obviously that there's no lid. So indirect cooking is essentially impossible, and cooking that is a combination of searing and roasting (like, say, cooking a nice thick steak) is sub-optimal for sure. But you do get a really nice sear, and get to keep all of the flavors of the juices that come out, which is what flavorizer bars are supposed to help with in a gas grill.

What that means in practical terms is that some things turn out as good or better on a flat top compared to a gas grill. Examples here are burgers, certain kinds of fish, thin cuts or smaller chunks of beef/pork/chicken, hot dogs/sausages, shrimp or scallops. Some things are much better on a more traditional grill, particularly with charcoal. Thick steaks or pork chops, partial or whole chicken (would have to be spatchcocked if whole, and would still not turn out well), roasts, pizza, those kinds of things. I would (and do) cook all of those on my Kamado. And then, there are of course things that can't be done at all (or at least not easily) on a traditional grill, but are fantastic on a griddle. Things like fajitas or tacos, stir-fry type dishes, lots of vegetables. Breakfast like Eggs, pancakes or hash. You can cook with sauces or oils (or bacon!), or deglaze with wine. It's basically a 4.2 square foot cast iron skillet. :)

Again, if I could only have one grill with no other restrictions, it would be a Kamado, hands down. If I could only had one and it had to operate on gas, I would pick a flattop over a traditional gas grill, well aware of the benefits and tradeoffs.
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G12
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by G12 »

lazydavid wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 3:18 pm
RobLyons wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 2:47 pm Thank you for that write up. You sound like quite the grilling enthusiast! Quick question. How would you describe cooking on the griddle vs a normal BBQ? DW feels like a griddle would be similar to cooking on a flat top in a pizza shop, would get the job done but may not be the same as BBQ'ing on a typical grill. Thoughts?
And thanks again! Really appreciate it.
It is definitely not like cooking on a normal grill, and particularly no comparison to a good charcoal grill for the things that an enclosed grill truly excels at. The biggest difference is obviously that there's no lid. So indirect cooking is essentially impossible, and cooking that is a combination of searing and roasting (like, say, cooking a nice thick steak) is sub-optimal for sure. But you do get a really nice sear, and get to keep all of the flavors of the juices that come out, which is what flavorizer bars are supposed to help with in a gas grill.

What that means in practical terms is that some things turn out as good or better on a flat top compared to a gas grill. Examples here are burgers, certain kinds of fish, thin cuts or smaller chunks of beef/pork/chicken, hot dogs/sausages, shrimp or scallops. Some things are much better on a more traditional grill, particularly with charcoal. Thick steaks or pork chops, partial or whole chicken (would have to be spatchcocked if whole, and would still not turn out well), roasts, pizza, those kinds of things. I would (and do) cook all of those on my Kamado. And then, there are of course things that can't be done at all (or at least not easily) on a traditional grill, but are fantastic on a griddle. Things like fajitas or tacos, stir-fry type dishes, lots of vegetables. Breakfast like Eggs, pancakes or hash. You can cook with sauces or oils (or bacon!), or deglaze with wine. It's basically a 4.2 square foot cast iron skillet. :)

Again, if I could only have one grill with no other restrictions, it would be a Kamado, hands down. If I could only had one and it had to operate on gas, I would pick a flattop over a traditional gas grill, well aware of the benefits and tradeoffs.
I've had a Primo Oval XL since 2007, recommend them highly but won't fit OP's price point. I just use a large carbon steel skillet that is very well seasoned or cast iron griddle on the XL for vegetables and breakfast items, plus use a heavy cast iron grate for searing meat, etc. Not as convenient as gas, but fine with me, my gasser days are done. May get a pellet smoker one day. OP, I did see kamodos at Costco last year from Louisiana Grills at very competitive prices. Never used one but with Costco warranty might be worth a shot, typically best deals are later in the year.
lazydavid
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by lazydavid »

G12 wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 3:48 pm I've had a Primo Oval XL since 2007, recommend them highly but won't fit OP's price point.
My 24" Big Joe doesn't fit his price point either--I paid $1200, and the current model is even more. But the $400 Joe Jr. (13.5") I linked upthread does. :)
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tennisplyr
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by tennisplyr »

I bought a 3 burner Char Broil gas grill 3 years ago and have no complaints....think I spent under $200 @Lowes fully assembled and delivered.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.
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bottlecap
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by bottlecap »

FinTruth wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 7:10 pm
The three burner Webers have about 30k BTU. The Nexgrill is 60k BTU, twice the heat.
Just twice the heat output. How hot the grill gets is influenced by a number of other factors.

For a gas grill, I have a 9 year old NG Weber Genesis with three regular burners and a sear burner. My in-laws have a propane Nexgrill with 5 burners. I am certain that the Nexgrill has a higher BTU output. Maybe even double.

But there is no way in Hades that that Nexgrill will ever get hotter than the Weber, even with all burners cranked. I've tried.

And its not because the Weber is the hottest thing in town. The Nexgrill is that bad.

I suspect its much to do about the gaping 2-inch gap across the back of it. But it takes far longer than the Weber to cook anything. The temperature swings are outrageous if you are cooking indirectly and have a decent thermometer to track such things accurately (which neither grill has). You basically can't cook indirectly on the Nexgrill. I just hate it. I can't say that enough. I want to type it forty more times, but that wouldn't do it justice. Can I still cook on it? Yes. But why, oh why, do I have to cook on it? To save $350?

The short answer to these questions is that if you don't care about how a grill cooks, spend $200 to $300 at a big box store and rinse and repeat every 3 or 4 years.

The less short answer is if you want a very good gas grill that will last you 15+ years and give you consistent performance over that time, get the Weber. Assuming you are going to do more than cook burgers for two occasionally, get the biggest one you can afford.

The longer answer is do a bunch of research, fork out about Weber money, and hope you picked one at least as good as or better than a Weber. Weber is not always the best. Hours of research might pay off incrementally.

The longest answer is do you really want a gas grill? There are lots of options out there, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Lots of research to do there.

Good luck,

JT
ralph124cf
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by ralph124cf »

12 years ago I bought a HUGE Weber five burner stainless steel grill, (four main burners, one side burner), used, at a moving sale. The owner couldn't tell me how old it was, because he bought it from the previous homeowner. I paid $100.

It has worked perfectly since day one, no visible rust, and it lives outside on the patio in northern Illinois.

Check garage sales and CraigsList.

Ralph
aquaman
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by aquaman »

bottlecap wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 4:47 pmThe less short answer is if you want a very good gas grill that will last you 15+ years and give you consistent performance over that time, get the Weber. Assuming you are going to do more than cook burgers for two occasionally, get the biggest one you can afford.
I agree with your overall post, but thought I'd mention that not all Weber models are created equal, which is also the reason that their warranties are all different.

For instance, bbqguru very appropriately mentioned the fact that Genesis has a special edition line, which gets you upgraded stainless steel innards, which perform better and last longer than the porcelain enameled cast-iron ones on the E-series Genesis. That's a much better value than the standard E-line, and will last longer.
Last edited by aquaman on Mon May 04, 2020 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

bottlecap wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 4:47 pm ...The less short answer is if you want a very good gas grill that will last you 15+ years and give you consistent performance over that time, get the Weber. Assuming you are going to do more than cook burgers for two occasionally, get the biggest one you can afford...
JT
Isn't a bigger one more wasteful than a smaller one which you expect to use most often? Does a bigger one cook better because of a more even temperature distribution?
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five2one
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by five2one »

I have the Weber performer deluxe and it flat kicks ass.

I can have coals ready in ten minutes, can smoke four racks of ribs at once, can do awesome wings, smoke anything, etc.
Not to mention the standard grill food along with wood smoke.

They last forever.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

RobLyons wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:45 am
bbqguru wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 4:08 pm For roughly the same money, skip the Weber Q and look at the Spirit 210 or 310. Much better warranty and features for roughly the same money.

If you can find a Spirit II 210 or 310, jump on it. It's got a 10 year "bumper to bumper" warranty, including the ignitor. Weber discontinued the design this year and went back to the traditional Spirit design, including the reduced warranty.

The Spirit 310 cooking surface is about 4 inches wider than the 210. If you don't need the size and/or extra burner for indirect cooking, the 210 grill will handle anything you throw at it.

Currently at Lowe's eyeing a Spirit ll E-210 for $379. Sign indicated free assembly and local haul away on grills $398 or more. So if I have to pay for assembly I'll step up slightly to the Spirit E-210 for $429.
Already planning to pay for delivery on other items so hopefully they will not charge me for assembly.
I got a weber genesis E?? From lowes last fall. Under 600 incl delivery. Superb grill. Very happy. Wanna marinate some ribs, if we still have the ability go buy meat :?
This time next year, we'll be millionaires!
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bottlecap
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by bottlecap »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:38 pm
bottlecap wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 4:47 pm ...The less short answer is if you want a very good gas grill that will last you 15+ years and give you consistent performance over that time, get the Weber. Assuming you are going to do more than cook burgers for two occasionally, get the biggest one you can afford...
JT
Isn't a bigger one more wasteful than a smaller one which you expect to use most often? Does a bigger one cook better because of a more even temperature distribution?
It's not wasteful from a gas standpoint because you don't have to have all burners going at once. Most times you won't. But unless you're just doing burgers and dogs for 2 people, you need the real estate for chicken and pork.

Lower BTUs is actually a measure of efficiency. If your btu output isn't resulting in more heat than a lower btu rig, you're wasting gas.

JT
bbqguru
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by bbqguru »

RobLyons wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:45 am
bbqguru wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 4:08 pm For roughly the same money, skip the Weber Q and look at the Spirit 210 or 310. Much better warranty and features for roughly the same money.

If you can find a Spirit II 210 or 310, jump on it. It's got a 10 year "bumper to bumper" warranty, including the ignitor. Weber discontinued the design this year and went back to the traditional Spirit design, including the reduced warranty.

The Spirit 310 cooking surface is about 4 inches wider than the 210. If you don't need the size and/or extra burner for indirect cooking, the 210 grill will handle anything you throw at it.

Currently at Lowe's eyeing a Spirit ll E-210 for $379. Sign indicated free assembly and local haul away on grills $398 or more. So if I have to pay for assembly I'll step up slightly to the Spirit E-210 for $429.
Already planning to pay for delivery on other items so hopefully they will not charge me for assembly.
It's probably too late, but you'll get a much better warranty and grill in the Spirit II even if you've got assemble it at home. It takes longer to unpackage everything than it does to assemble. Unless your're my wife... I told her a blind monkey could put one together when she took one to a family member-- she's yet to let me forget that statement after 10 years...
bbqguru
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by bbqguru »

G12 wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 3:48 pm
lazydavid wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 3:18 pm
RobLyons wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 2:47 pm Thank you for that write up. You sound like quite the grilling enthusiast! Quick question. How would you describe cooking on the griddle vs a normal BBQ? DW feels like a griddle would be similar to cooking on a flat top in a pizza shop, would get the job done but may not be the same as BBQ'ing on a typical grill. Thoughts?
And thanks again! Really appreciate it.
It is definitely not like cooking on a normal grill, and particularly no comparison to a good charcoal grill for the things that an enclosed grill truly excels at. The biggest difference is obviously that there's no lid. So indirect cooking is essentially impossible, and cooking that is a combination of searing and roasting (like, say, cooking a nice thick steak) is sub-optimal for sure. But you do get a really nice sear, and get to keep all of the flavors of the juices that come out, which is what flavorizer bars are supposed to help with in a gas grill.

What that means in practical terms is that some things turn out as good or better on a flat top compared to a gas grill. Examples here are burgers, certain kinds of fish, thin cuts or smaller chunks of beef/pork/chicken, hot dogs/sausages, shrimp or scallops. Some things are much better on a more traditional grill, particularly with charcoal. Thick steaks or pork chops, partial or whole chicken (would have to be spatchcocked if whole, and would still not turn out well), roasts, pizza, those kinds of things. I would (and do) cook all of those on my Kamado. And then, there are of course things that can't be done at all (or at least not easily) on a traditional grill, but are fantastic on a griddle. Things like fajitas or tacos, stir-fry type dishes, lots of vegetables. Breakfast like Eggs, pancakes or hash. You can cook with sauces or oils (or bacon!), or deglaze with wine. It's basically a 4.2 square foot cast iron skillet. :)

Again, if I could only have one grill with no other restrictions, it would be a Kamado, hands down. If I could only had one and it had to operate on gas, I would pick a flattop over a traditional gas grill, well aware of the benefits and tradeoffs.
I've had a Primo Oval XL since 2007, recommend them highly but won't fit OP's price point. I just use a large carbon steel skillet that is very well seasoned or cast iron griddle on the XL for vegetables and breakfast items, plus use a heavy cast iron grate for searing meat, etc. Not as convenient as gas, but fine with me, my gasser days are done. May get a pellet smoker one day. OP, I did see kamodos at Costco last year from Louisiana Grills at very competitive prices. Never used one but with Costco warranty might be worth a shot, typically best deals are later in the year.
Primo makes a great grill. A few years ago they had an issue with the firebox expanding too much under heat and it sounded like a cannon going off on your back deck. I'm friends with the new owner of Primo and they're going to have some good things coming down the pipe...
bbqguru
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by bbqguru »

lazydavid wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 3:54 pm
G12 wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 3:48 pm I've had a Primo Oval XL since 2007, recommend them highly but won't fit OP's price point.
My 24" Big Joe doesn't fit his price point either--I paid $1200, and the current model is even more. But the $400 Joe Jr. (13.5") I linked upthread does. :)
KJ started out as a good grill with a lot of innovation. We had literally some of the first grills from them in the country. They tried to get into the mid-tier gas and expand the line a bit too quick and they lost some of their magic. I think they're still a goodvalue for the money and Masterbuilt will do good things with them.

The biggest thing to make any kamado style grill perform is finding a good lump charcoal. It burns hot and slow and when you're done you can reignite it the next time.
kabob
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by kabob »

tennisplyr wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 4:31 pm I bought a 3 burner Char Broil gas grill 3 years ago and have no complaints....think I spent under $200 @Lowes fully assembled and delivered.
+1 - CharBroil Oh Yea! Have had 3 in last 30ys, on the patio or deck, easy access, always the X-frame, 2 rollers, 2 side wings, simple in grill burners only! Gets used Every! Sunday Sundown, its a Thing for the wife and I to always start the week with Steak, Salad & bottle a wine - ALONE!
A pretty nice practical convince (quick & easy, keeps the kitchen clean), gets used a couple times thru the week, charbroiled chicken, porkchops, most anything's good Charbroiled! Most CharBroll's aint roasters or slow cookers, they start out pretty HOT and that's usually bout goodnuff. But thats what they are: CharBroil (ers) - Pretty good at it and last well (and parts, burners and such are easily found). Also always have a nice quick & easy, Solid, tank mount too.
sport
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by sport »

When we moved into our new house, we bought a $850 grill made by Pacific Gas Specialties. It has a cast aluminum housing and stainless steel burner and grids. We had a natural gas line run to the grill. So, we do not have to wrestle tanks, and we never have to worry about running out of gas, nor where to store a spare tank. The fuel is also very inexpensive. My understanding is that if you want to use natural gas instead of propane, there is an orifice that must be changed. It sure is convenient to just turn the knob with confidence that the fuel will always be there.
onourway
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by onourway »

RobLyons wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 2:47 pm Thank you for that write up. You sound like quite the grilling enthusiast! Quick question. How would you describe cooking on the griddle vs a normal BBQ? DW feels like a griddle would be similar to cooking on a flat top in a pizza shop, would get the job done but may not be the same as BBQ'ing on a typical grill. Thoughts?
And thanks again! Really appreciate it.
I will strongly second the flat top griddle, specifically the Camp Chef - I have the same model @lazydavid suggests. I was going to suggest it when you first started this thread, but I am decidedly not a traditional grilling enthusiast, I held off.

For the money, I think the Camp Chef is hard to beat. The equivalent price Weber looks and feels like a toy in comparison. The Camp Chef has all stainless construction in the main cook box, and very high quality igniters and burners, and an absolute rock of a cast iron flat top grill surface. Cooking on it is definitely different than a regular grill though, and you have to be willing to make that change. I find I much prefer the flat top for how we cook - it has greatly expanded the number of things I can easily and enjoyably cook outside.

:sharebeer
goblue100
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by goblue100 »

I have a Weber gas grill and the Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. I've had both close to 20 years, and from the outside both look as good as when I bought them. I've replaced the flavorizer bars and will need to do the grates soon on the gas grill, and that is it. You might pay a little more up front, but not dragging the grill to the curb every 3 years makes up for it.
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OnTrack2020
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by OnTrack2020 »

The best grill/s you will ever buy are the small tabletop grills for under $20. They are compact and work great. At the end of the grilling season, either keep it or throw it away and buy another one the following year. You will be able to buy 25 years worth of grills with your $500.
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by aquaman »

sport wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 12:19 am When we moved into our new house, we bought a $850 grill made by Pacific Gas Specialties. It has a cast aluminum housing and stainless steel burner and grids. We had a natural gas line run to the grill. So, we do not have to wrestle tanks, and we never have to worry about running out of gas, nor where to store a spare tank. The fuel is also very inexpensive. My understanding is that if you want to use natural gas instead of propane, there is an orifice that must be changed. It sure is convenient to just turn the knob with confidence that the fuel will always be there.
Pacific Gas Specialties grills are referred to as PGS grills. Are you talking about their small, 2 burner grills? They're still extremely well made, but PGS' larger grills are $3K to $8K. They're superb, extremely durable grills that just infuse food with flavor, and have fantastic warranties, but are above the OP's budget.
Iorek
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by Iorek »

We have a Weber Genesis that is 19 years old and working great. We’ve replaced several parts (the intake valve, flavorizer bars, grates) but that has been easy and cheap.

We replaced the vinyl cover a couple of times before reading somewhere that a cover is unnecessary — curious what others do (we are in the mid-atlantic, a fair bit of rain and sun and a bit of snow).
lazydavid
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by lazydavid »

Iorek wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:16 am We replaced the vinyl cover a couple of times before reading somewhere that a cover is unnecessary — curious what others do (we are in the mid-atlantic, a fair bit of rain and sun and a bit of snow).
Covers in general are not great, because they trap moisture which then causes corrosion. That said, the OE cover for my former Genesis Gold had a mesh panel probably 8" high running the full width of the firebox, right at the level of the handle, so it was able to vent easily and presumably wouldn't have this issue. However, after it blew away one day I never replaced it, and 10+ years later the grill still looked and worked just fine.
abner kravitz
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by abner kravitz »

lazydavid wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:48 am
Iorek wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:16 am We replaced the vinyl cover a couple of times before reading somewhere that a cover is unnecessary — curious what others do (we are in the mid-atlantic, a fair bit of rain and sun and a bit of snow).
Covers in general are not great, because they trap moisture which then causes corrosion.
This has been my experience.
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by sport »

aquaman wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 6:58 am
sport wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 12:19 am When we moved into our new house, we bought a $850 grill made by Pacific Gas Specialties. It has a cast aluminum housing and stainless steel burner and grids. We had a natural gas line run to the grill. So, we do not have to wrestle tanks, and we never have to worry about running out of gas, nor where to store a spare tank. The fuel is also very inexpensive. My understanding is that if you want to use natural gas instead of propane, there is an orifice that must be changed. It sure is convenient to just turn the knob with confidence that the fuel will always be there.
Pacific Gas Specialties grills are referred to as PGS grills. Are you talking about their small, 2 burner grills? They're still extremely well made, but PGS' larger grills are $3K to $8K. They're superb, extremely durable grills that just infuse food with flavor, and have fantastic warranties, but are above the OP's budget.
Yes, we have the small 2 burner grill. It is more than large enough for us.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

onourway wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 5:22 am
RobLyons wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 2:47 pm Thank you for that write up. You sound like quite the grilling enthusiast! Quick question. How would you describe cooking on the griddle vs a normal BBQ? DW feels like a griddle would be similar to cooking on a flat top in a pizza shop, would get the job done but may not be the same as BBQ'ing on a typical grill. Thoughts?
And thanks again! Really appreciate it.
I will strongly second the flat top griddle, specifically the Camp Chef - I have the same model @lazydavid suggests. I was going to suggest it when you first started this thread, but I am decidedly not a traditional grilling enthusiast, I held off.

For the money, I think the Camp Chef is hard to beat. The equivalent price Weber looks and feels like a toy in comparison. The Camp Chef has all stainless construction in the main cook box, and very high quality igniters and burners, and an absolute rock of a cast iron flat top grill surface. Cooking on it is definitely different than a regular grill though, and you have to be willing to make that change. I find I much prefer the flat top for how we cook - it has greatly expanded the number of things I can easily and enjoyably cook outside.

:sharebeer
Thanks to this thread I have now begun shopping for a flat top griddle. Camp Chef is the early leader by a pretty wide margin.

Curse you and lazydavid! :wink:
Hogan773
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by Hogan773 »

Kenkat wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 4:00 pm I have a Weber Spirit E-310 that I bought in 2007 that is still going strong. My first Weber after buying the typical Home Depot $200 grills that would last 5 years or so. I’ve replaced a few parts on the Weber (flavorizer bars, thermometer, burners) but those parts have been inexpensive, readily available and easy to install.
My Weber Genesis Silver B from 2000 is still great. I have replaced the burners once, the grates a few times, the flavorizer bars a couple times, and the igniter once. Parts are easy to find. It is really hard to go wrong with the all-aluminum firebox and porcelain lid. It's a tank. The crappy $150 grills will rust out after a few years and so you will spend much more over the long run, and you will be using an inferior grill the whole time too (much more hot and cold spots, etc)

You don't need to pay up for the giant Webers unless you really want to make a statement, but just whatever the normal $500 three burner version is now will be great
Hogan773
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by Hogan773 »

lazydavid wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:48 am
Iorek wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:16 am We replaced the vinyl cover a couple of times before reading somewhere that a cover is unnecessary — curious what others do (we are in the mid-atlantic, a fair bit of rain and sun and a bit of snow).
Covers in general are not great, because they trap moisture which then causes corrosion. That said, the OE cover for my former Genesis Gold had a mesh panel probably 8" high running the full width of the firebox, right at the level of the handle, so it was able to vent easily and presumably wouldn't have this issue. However, after it blew away one day I never replaced it, and 10+ years later the grill still looked and worked just fine.
I have used a Weber cover for 20 years and a couple years ago got a knock-off version from Amazon for $20 that also works well. I just make sure that it doesn't drape all over the ground, so air can get in. It may "cause corrosion" but my Weber is 20 years old and still looks great. Somehow I feel like having the metal frame out in the rain and snow for 20 years would cause more corrosion and damage than protecting it and whatever "moisture" might get "trapped" from time to time. The frame certainly will not be blasted with rain, snow and ice over and over so I think some vapor will be less damaging
DSInvestor
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by DSInvestor »

badger42 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 3:40 pm Most if not all of the Weber Q models use small, expensive propane cylinders, not the cheap standard 20lb ones
You can use 20lb propane tank with the smaller Q models if you use a propane adapter hose like these:

Weber: https://www.weber.com/US/en/accessories ... /6501.html
Home depot: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gas-One-8-f ... /312460908

While I provided an example made by weber, they are not brand specific to your grill. They have threading similar to the 1lb green propane canisters on the end that connects to the grill and the other end has the connection to the standard 20lb tank.

Should be able to find similar products at local Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Big-5 etc.
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highercall
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by highercall »

bob60014 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 3:42 pm We have had a Weber E-310 for a couple years now and it works well for us. Its outdoors all year is low maintenance and always fires right up. The Weber it replaced was 20 years old and I expect to get the same mileage from this one.
+1
ZapRowsdower
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by ZapRowsdower »

Doom&Gloom wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 12:10 pm
onourway wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 5:22 am
RobLyons wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 2:47 pm Thank you for that write up. You sound like quite the grilling enthusiast! Quick question. How would you describe cooking on the griddle vs a normal BBQ? DW feels like a griddle would be similar to cooking on a flat top in a pizza shop, would get the job done but may not be the same as BBQ'ing on a typical grill. Thoughts?
And thanks again! Really appreciate it.
I will strongly second the flat top griddle, specifically the Camp Chef - I have the same model @lazydavid suggests. I was going to suggest it when you first started this thread, but I am decidedly not a traditional grilling enthusiast, I held off.

For the money, I think the Camp Chef is hard to beat. The equivalent price Weber looks and feels like a toy in comparison. The Camp Chef has all stainless construction in the main cook box, and very high quality igniters and burners, and an absolute rock of a cast iron flat top grill surface. Cooking on it is definitely different than a regular grill though, and you have to be willing to make that change. I find I much prefer the flat top for how we cook - it has greatly expanded the number of things I can easily and enjoyably cook outside.

:sharebeer
Thanks to this thread I have now begun shopping for a flat top griddle. Camp Chef is the early leader by a pretty wide margin.

Curse you and lazydavid! :wink:
+1 - I had been toying with the idea for a while, and have had the camp chef FTG600 sitting in my amazon cart for months.... Might be time to pull the trigger. :sharebeer
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

ZapRowsdower wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 12:48 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 12:10 pm
onourway wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 5:22 am
RobLyons wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 2:47 pm Thank you for that write up. You sound like quite the grilling enthusiast! Quick question. How would you describe cooking on the griddle vs a normal BBQ? DW feels like a griddle would be similar to cooking on a flat top in a pizza shop, would get the job done but may not be the same as BBQ'ing on a typical grill. Thoughts?
And thanks again! Really appreciate it.
I will strongly second the flat top griddle, specifically the Camp Chef - I have the same model @lazydavid suggests. I was going to suggest it when you first started this thread, but I am decidedly not a traditional grilling enthusiast, I held off.

For the money, I think the Camp Chef is hard to beat. The equivalent price Weber looks and feels like a toy in comparison. The Camp Chef has all stainless construction in the main cook box, and very high quality igniters and burners, and an absolute rock of a cast iron flat top grill surface. Cooking on it is definitely different than a regular grill though, and you have to be willing to make that change. I find I much prefer the flat top for how we cook - it has greatly expanded the number of things I can easily and enjoyably cook outside.

:sharebeer
Thanks to this thread I have now begun shopping for a flat top griddle. Camp Chef is the early leader by a pretty wide margin.

Curse you and lazydavid! :wink:
+1 - I had been toying with the idea for a while, and have had the camp chef FTG600 sitting in my amazon cart for months.... Might be time to pull the trigger. :sharebeer
Before you buy from Amazon, check Camp Chef's website. I only looked quickly last night, but it seemed to be quite a bit cheaper directly from Camp Chef.
edit: nm. I just checked again, and it isn't.
Luke Duke
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by Luke Duke »

I've got a 6 burner Weber Summit, a Blackstone 4 burner flattop and two offset smokers (one is on a trailer and one is in the backyard).

The Weber is best for for grilling chicken, sausage links, fajitas and searing steaks.
The flat top is best for burgers, breakfast (bacon, eggs, hash browns, pancakes, etc), stir fry, fried rice.
The smokers are obviously used to smoke larger cuts of meat (briskets, pork butts, ribs, turkeys, sausage, pork loins, etc.)
The oven gets used for pizza and to start the steak reverse searing process.

Every piece of equipment has it's place and does certain things better than the rest.
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RobLyons
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by RobLyons »

abner kravitz wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 8:09 am
lazydavid wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:48 am
Iorek wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:16 am We replaced the vinyl cover a couple of times before reading somewhere that a cover is unnecessary — curious what others do (we are in the mid-atlantic, a fair bit of rain and sun and a bit of snow).
Covers in general are not great, because they trap moisture which then causes corrosion.
This has been my experience.

So no cover, should I store it in my shed or basement instead?
Thanks
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
Onlineid3089
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by Onlineid3089 »

I believe Webers are pretty much all made in China now. We picked up a stainless 4 burner Broil King last month as they're made in the US and Canada. I can't speak to longevity for it yet, but when I put it together it was noticeable how heavy and well built it seemed to be. It does take longer to pre-heat with the heavy cast iron grates, but sure seems to cook really well so far.
lazydavid
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by lazydavid »

RobLyons wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:58 pm
abner kravitz wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 8:09 am
lazydavid wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:48 am
Iorek wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 7:16 am We replaced the vinyl cover a couple of times before reading somewhere that a cover is unnecessary — curious what others do (we are in the mid-atlantic, a fair bit of rain and sun and a bit of snow).
Covers in general are not great, because they trap moisture which then causes corrosion.
This has been my experience.

So no cover, should I store it in my shed or basement instead?
Thanks
No. Just let it be. My Weber went probably 12 years without a cover, following 4 years with a cover. At those 16 years, the bottom shelf (painted steel) had some rust on it. Probably would have rusted through in another 4 years. But I'm sure replacing that shelf after 20 years would still be cheaper than buying five covers. Other than that shelf, it was in perfectly fine condition. Plastics were a little lighter shade of grey than when new but whatever.
dsmclone
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by dsmclone »

I've had about everything when it comes to grills smokers. A few months ago I bought one of these. It's a game changer and there is nothing like it.

https://www.masterbuilt.com/products/gr ... ill-smoker

A few observations

Works great for smoking. Keeps a very steady temperature and you get a lot better/more smoke than a pellet.Electric, pellet, offset, etc. this has been the best that I've used.

Works great for reverse searing.

VERY fast to get up to temp.

The app that goes with it isn't exactly ready for prime time but has gotten better.

It's a $500 smoker. The quality is not as high as $1,000 smokers. This is something that will probably last 10 years instead of 20 but it's also a lot cheaper. The good thing is that it's a very simple design so if you had to, you could just swap out parts.
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KSOC
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by KSOC »

RobLyons wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 2:47 pm
lazydavid wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:17 am I absolutely love cooking outdoors, always have. As such, I've spent a lot of years (and $$$) expanding and tweaking my grill/smoker inventory. At peak I've had six, and I've now whittled it down to two, which seems to be absolutely perfect for me. The first revelation was when I got my Kamado 4 years ago. That instantly eliminated the need for my vertical smokers and my Weber Performer kettle. So much easier, with results far better than anything I've ever used. And it will literally last forever, with a lifetime warranty on all the ceramic parts.

This relegated my Weber Genesis (natural gas) to remedial tasks such as hot dogs or veggies, where there was no real flavor benefit to the charcoal and the speed to heat of the NG won out. But even those occasions became less and less. So almost two years ago I replaced it with a flat top griddle, which I absolutely love to pieces. So versatile and easy to clean. Made blackened red snapper on Saturday, 2.5 lbs of bacon on Sunday for BLTs, and will be doing tacos tonight. It has grill grates under the griddle, so you can still flame-grill food if you want to. I've done it once, and it will probably remain a very rare occurrence.

Everything else I had strewn about the yard has now been sold or given away, and I have no desire to make any further changes.

At this point, if I had no grills and a $500 budget, I would buy a Kamado Joe Jr. and call it a day, hands down. Well, that's not true. I'd also grab a 17" griddle as well (along with its cover and carrying bag, and still come in just under budget.

If I could only have one and it had to be propane/NG, I would either get the same flat top grill I currently have, or perhaps try the one that Sam's Club just introduced.

Thank you for that write up. You sound like quite the grilling enthusiast! Quick question. How would you describe cooking on the griddle vs a normal BBQ? DW feels like a griddle would be similar to cooking on a flat top in a pizza shop, would get the job done but may not be the same as BBQ'ing on a typical grill. Thoughts?
And thanks again! Really appreciate it.
I use a 19" x 10" cast iron double sided griddle on my Weber gasser. I get it good'n hot, put my burgers on it, then get some flame on them, then slap cheese & put back on the griddle. Pretty much turn grill into a flat top for $20 bucks. A little more work for sure, but one less thing on my porch. I've done fish, bacon, eggs, hash brown, vegetables, pancakes, toast & sandwich melts on it. Can't say I've ever used the ridged side on the back.
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round. | Nobody told me there'd be days like these.
John88
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by John88 »

I think the thread has evolved into what one likes to cook with. The op just wants a propane grill under $500, with that said his original selection of a q3200 is perfectly acceptable, unless cooking for large groups and even then it can be done in batches.
international001
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by international001 »

FinTruth wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 7:10 pm
international001 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 6:55 pm
FinTruth wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 6:50 pm I think it depends on how you cook. I have a Weber Q that I use for camping, it is great, but I do not think I could cook a charred steak with it. It simply does not get hot enough. I also had another Weber grill that also did not get hot enough for me.
What temperature do you get with it? I can get 550F-600F with it. Do you have cast iron grates?
Usually, the problem I have is the oppossite. I cannot cool it down enough (or put it into a lower burner) to finish it with indirect heat
The three burner Webers have about 30k BTU. The Nexgrill is 60k BTU, twice the heat.

I was usually able to get larger Weber to around 500 degrees, maybe a little higher, but it took forever. The Weber Q I have is great for camping, it does not have a thermometer, but I am sure it does not get too hot. I warm it up for 20 minutes to start cooking chicken. If I opened the lid on either, it would take minutes to get back to high heat. I did have cast iron grates. The Nexgrill I use above gets to 650 or higher depending on ambient temp, in no time. I can cook restaurant quality medium rare steaks in just a few minutes, including warm up. The heat output cannot be compared to my previous Webers. Family raves about the food on the Nexgrill as well.

Just did a quick google search, but it is interesting that this analysis reflects my personal experiences:
https://www.consumerreports.org/gas-gri ... ot-enough/
Well.. a Q heats up quickly because it has less room above the dome. You can drill a hole and install a Weber thermometer, if it doesn't have one. Mine gets to 550-600 F
But the temperature of the air under the dome is not of much use. This is for indirect heating, and you cannot do indirect heating with one burner unless you hack it.
If anything, what matters for direct heating is the amount of BTUs an the fact that the grates are cast iron.

Instead of trying to just get higher temperature, please educate yourself about how to grill properly
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

bottlecap wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 9:01 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:38 pm
bottlecap wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 4:47 pm ...The less short answer is if you want a very good gas grill that will last you 15+ years and give you consistent performance over that time, get the Weber. Assuming you are going to do more than cook burgers for two occasionally, get the biggest one you can afford...
JT
Isn't a bigger one more wasteful than a smaller one which you expect to use most often? Does a bigger one cook better because of a more even temperature distribution?
It's not wasteful from a gas standpoint because you don't have to have all burners going at once. Most times you won't. But unless you're just doing burgers and dogs for 2 people, you need the real estate for chicken and pork.

Lower BTUs is actually a measure of efficiency. If your btu output isn't resulting in more heat than a lower btu rig, you're wasting gas.

JT
A Weber direction suggests that all the burners should be ON all the time for a direct cooking. If the amount of food is small enough for a single burner, it looks like I still have to turn all three or four burners on.
https://consumer-care.weber.com/hc/en-u ... ct-Cooking
international001
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by international001 »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 1:16 pm A Weber direction suggests that all the burners should be ON all the time for a direct cooking. If the amount of food is small enough for a single burner, it looks like I still have to turn all three or four burners on.
https://consumer-care.weber.com/hc/en-u ... ct-Cooking
That's a simplification. Direct heat is when you have a burner under your food. If you have others on, higher temperature for more intense 'simultaneous' indirect heat

Direct heat: lots of temperature, burner under your food
Indirect heat: less temperature, burner not directly under your food

You can play with all the variables, of course. But typical method is to do some direct heating (2-3 minutes for side) and then the rest of indirect heat. If meat is thin, you don't have to worry about indirect heating.

Problem with one burner grills is that you cannot do indirect heat. Try to hack it: https://www.weber.com/AU/en/grill-skill ... 27430.html

Grilling is like investing. Not difficult, but really easy to mess it up. Try a few combinations and see that your food will improve.
investor997
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Re: Best [BBQ grill] for the money?

Post by investor997 »

I have three grills: A Weber Spirit E-210 (2-burner gas), a Green Mountain Davy Crockett (pellet smoker) and a bare-bones 22" Weber kettle (charcoal) with a "Slow 'n' Sear" (https://snsgrills.com/products/slow-n-sear-deluxe) add-on.

Out of the three, the one that consistently produces the best tasting food is the kettle/Slow 'n' Sear combo.
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bottlecap
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Re: Best BBQ for the money?

Post by bottlecap »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 1:16 pm
A Weber direction suggests that all the burners should be ON all the time for a direct cooking. If the amount of food is small enough for a single burner, it looks like I still have to turn all three or four burners on.
https://consumer-care.weber.com/hc/en-u ... ct-Cooking
You only need as many burners as necessary to cook your food.

If the grill won't blow up when you turn a burner off to cook indirectly, it won't blow up if you turn one off and cook indirectly. The grill doesn't even realize the difference!

JT
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