How to Choose your Gas Barbecue
First, you need to think about how you’d like to cook on a gas grill. Or, as we say around here, what is your grilling style? Do you like putting your meat on the grill and walking away until it is done, or do you like cooking things fast and hot? Do you cook directly over the flame, or indirectly? Once you have figured out what you want out of a gas grill, you’re ready to go shopping.
1. Make sure that the gas grill burner is a good, proportional size to the grill.
A lot of grill manufacturers make a large, impressive looking casting with a little burner – that means lots of hot and cold spots. The all mighty “cooking performance” does not purely depend on the number of burners or output of BTUs, but can best be described by how well heat is evenly distributed across the entire grilling surface.
2. Check out the flame taming devices and make sure they cover the entire burner.
The salt and grease from the food you cook causes most of the damage to the grill. The more exposed the burner is, the faster it burns out. Always make sure the flame tamer is directly over your gas grill burner – not to the side like some grills do. They put lava rocks to the side of the burner, and it defeats the purpose. To get maximum vaporization, you must have a good, even heat.
3. Cooking grids – examine the material used to construct them.
Whether they are made from stainless, porcelain coated or cast iron, most will work well as long as you clean them properly. For example, most mass merchant gas grills with porcelain coated meat grill grids tell you brush your grids off when hot. Please, don’t do that! Porcelain is at its most fragile state when hot. Brushing the porcelain grill grids at that time will cause it to chip. Once chipped, they will rust extremely fast.
4. Most grill housings and frames are pretty good and are usually the last thing to go.
A grill’s construction is synonymous with weld. High quality grills have fully welded, highly polished seams, and double lined commercial grade 304 stainless hoods. Also, keep this in mind – your climate plays a big part in determining how well your grill will hold up. If you live on the coast, almost everything you buy is doomed unless you buy copper. Even stainless will rust. It just takes longer, and that’s where the good warranty comes in. If you live in a high humidity state, then stainless or a thick aluminium grill normally will last longer than most of us.
If you like grilling steaks, the gas grill you purchase should be able to reach at least 600 degrees. You need to get that steak on and off the grill as soon as possible so it does not dry out. A high quality gas grill will reach very high temperatures, but will also grill delicate items at low temperatures- with minimum flare-ups.