Boost your BBQ IQ: so you need a new gas grill? You don't have to settle for one that's just a step up from a campfire. Gas grills now offer features that eliminate flare-ups, cook food evenly, and stand up to years of use. But, all grills are not created equal
Here are five steps to make shopping for a gas grill easier:
1 GIVE IT THE WIGGLE TEST
If it isn't sturdy at the store, it could fall apart in your backyard. A well-built grill feels solid. The best grills are made of high-grade steel, baked-on porcelain enamel, and heavy-gauge stainless steel so they will stand the test of time.
2 NOW LOOK UNDER THE HOOD
The first thing you'll see are the cooking grates. If they are made from nickel- or chrome-plated aluminum, they can rust. Better grills come with heavy-duty grates made out of stainless steel, porcelain-enameled steel or porcelain-enameled cast-iron. Pick them up and compare the weight. Heavier means thicker material, and thicker material means it's going to last longer. The cooking grates on the be grills are individually welded porcelain-enameled steel or stainless steel.
3 NEXT, LIFT THE GRATES COMPLETELY OUT AND TAKE A LOOK INSIDE.
Don't be shy. Dive in and take a look. Above the burners you'll find materials to disperse the heat. Beware of ceramic briquets or lava rocks. Juice drippings from your food can pool in these materials and create flare-ups, which means you'll likely be eating charred dry things, not juicy grilled food. The best design is one with inverted v-shaped metal bars. Did you know Weber invented this design? Their Flavorizer[R] bars are specifically engineered to completely cover the burners so drippings won't clog them, and feature a steep v-angle to vaporize the juices when they hit the hot metal surface. That means great grilled flavor and no flare-ups.
4 NOW, TAKE OUT THE STEEL BARS OR BRIQUETS.
Most lower-priced grills have only one or two burners that are shaped like an H or a U, or are round like a stovetop burner. These designs don't heat As well, and may result in hot and cold spots on the cooking surface. Better grills generally have at least two separate and individually controlled burners with valves that allow infinite heat settings--not just low, medium, and high. And they have high-grade stainless steel burners that run all the way across the grill, from front to back or side to side. This design provides totally adjustable and even heat across the cooking grates.
5 PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS.
Look for a grill that includes a tank scale so you don't run out of fuel mid-BBQ. And you'll want an easy to access grease catch tray that's at least one inch deep. For safety sake, the best grills have the gas line, tank, and electrical wires routed safely away from the hot underside of the grill. Finally, look at the name on the lid. Who's backing your purchase? Will they be there when you need them? Weber owners are covered by at least a 5 year/50,000 burger warranty from a company that's been making grills for over 50 years. How's that for piece of mind? And if you ever have a question about your grill or just want some grilling advice, you can call a Weber Certified BBQ Expert[TM] toll-free, 24/7, 364 days a year. What's more, registered Weber owners get a free grilling newsletter packed with recipes and tips twice a year.