Author Topic: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?  (Read 14326 times)

strider3700

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I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« on: March 31, 2014, 02:32:44 PM »
when I first got married I was given a decent but nothing amazing propane BBQ.  I used it a lot but after 7 years it was really rusty.  I went to fix it and discovered that really there wasn't much left to fix.   Heatplates, gas tubes, and the actual enclosure had all rusted out.   Last year I replaced it with a small $30 propane travel BBQ that I had for camping.   Best  I can say is it took meat from raw to not raw if you gave it enough time.

This summer I want another BBQ.  I'd like it to last and I'd like it to not cost more then my vehicles (I'm not joking you can buy 5 figure BBQ's...)     A quick review suggests that charcoal is way cheaper to purchase a decent grill.  I've never used charcoal though.   Asking charcoal vs propane on a BBQ forum appears to be the equivalent of starting a holy war.  THe other thing is I do a lot of food processing outdoors so I used to use the side burner on the BBQ.   Last summer I switched to using the camp stove which works well but is a pain the ass.  Also I worry about someone walking away with it if I don't clean up and put it away after it cools down.

Due to the amount of processing we do I'd love an outdoor kitchen type setup.  It sucks to have a canner bubbling away  from sun up to sun down in the kitchen on the hottest days of the year.  5 minutes on google suggests that people spend an insane amount of money on these things.   My guess is some PT lumber cement board and tile would do pretty well with the actual cabinetry/counter.   The issue still comes up  what to do for  a BBQ and burners.   The units designed to go into the insanely priced cabinetry are also insanely priced.   

<Edit> changed BBQ out of the title as apparently it's a regional thing.   even the stores here call them BBQ's </edit>
I started looking into building my own BBQ using off the shelf burners/regulators... as they're easy enough to get a hold of but some searching online suggests almost everyone that builds their own does charcoal.  if I did charcoal(not sure I want to) then I'd still need to track down some sort of burner setup that would be gas....   

I'm almost certain I could buy a BBQ, a burner and build the counter/cabinets to hold them all but that could easily cost way more then just buying another crappy standalone BBQ which will last 5-7 years and still cost then I want to spend.      Anyone go down this road before?
   
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 08:21:16 PM by strider3700 »

Spork

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 02:48:52 PM »
It may be the word "BBQ" that sets people off.  I've noticed that almost every culture has a different (and awesome) meaning for that.

You might use the word "grill" (and someone will tell me THAT means something special somewhere.)

In the south, BBQ refers to smoking meats over very low heat.  (I actually have both a BBQ and a propane grill.)

I think I paid $200 for my propane grill in 1995.  It was by no means the fanciest one.  I've replaced both the guts (burners, etc) and the grill at least twice ... maybe 3 times.  It was a name brand and parts have always been available.  I think a whole refresh on it is about $50-60.

Edit to add:

my grill is a Char-Broil.  It's not the most awesome ever.  I have minor complaints on it.  It's not a stainless steel beauty to behold.  But it works.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 03:05:58 PM by Spork »

greaper007

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 02:57:07 PM »
I've had a weber for 8 years that stays outside all year and works great.    Less than $100 for charcoal and charcoal just tastes better.    Buy a charcoal chimney and charcoal is no harder to use than gas.

If you want a proper bbq I'd suggest looking up Ugly Drum Smoker.    I built one a couple years ago for about 70 bucks.    Makes great 'que.

As far as outdoor stoves.    Camp chef makes some great outdoor camp stoves for less than 150.   What are you processing?    I use a turkey fryer to make beer.

cdub

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 03:00:55 PM »
http://amazingribs.com/

Read and never eat the same way again.

strider3700

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 03:09:34 PM »
Yes,  it's a Grill I'm looking for...  They've always been called BBQ's here but it appears the rest of the world calls them a grill.

Spork

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 03:10:52 PM »
I've had a weber for 8 years that stays outside all year and works great.    Less than $100 for charcoal and charcoal just tastes better.    Buy a charcoal chimney and charcoal is no harder to use than gas.


I like real charcoal... but I'll add: wood tastes even better.  I generally use hickory or oak ... but I'm using whatever hardwood trees fall down.

Now that pressed sawdust crap... not the least bit interested in that.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 03:20:55 PM »
I love your whole outdoor kitchen idea. man, would I ever be jealous of that!

I like gas grills because they are easy. we grill 3-4x a week in the summer and there is no way we would do it that often with charcoal. I'm sure there is a truly magical taste difference (and maybe I'm being overly intimidated by charcoal) but I am happy with our propane-grilled foods :) I mean, smoked meat is pretty magical too but I personally don't have time for that shit. I have friends for whom smoking is a hobby, and I will gladly eat their ribs and other delicious foods, but I have too many other hobbies already!

Spork

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 03:24:40 PM »
Smoke is a spice.... you may or may not want it -- much like you may or may not want chili pepper in a dish.

Propane grills have their place....   But charcoal (or wood) isn't that hard to start.   As greaper007 mentioned: a chimney will make short work of it.  (You can make one out of a large metal coffee can if you like.)  If you're in a hurry, take an old hair dryer and blow it for a few minutes.  It will be roaring hot in no time.

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 03:30:44 PM »
Hubby has a smoker with an offset fire box...that thing has lasted forever and is still going strong. There is an inset you can purchase separately for charcoal grilling when the mood strikes. The smoker was maybe $250.00 at Lowes 10 years ago.

Gas grills.....grrrrrr.....I'm done with them. We've spent a lot and a little and everything in between. Someone told us the night air has a high salt content because of the gulf close by. The burners just start rusting away as soon as we put it up. Even got a brass burner grill and one time at great expense only to have everything AROUND it to rust.

Now the grill is budget item. We purchase the cheapest little Char-Broil we can find, ($89.00), and replace it every 18 months. We live in a warm clime and grill maybe 4 times a week at the height of summer, so this makes sense to us.

Have you looked at propane fire rings? You can purchase an enormous pot from a restaurant supply company or 2nd hand on ebay and use that for canning. We use to take those camping and make a huge batch of Cajun Low Country Boil for everyone. Such fun.

James

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 03:46:41 PM »
We called grills a "BBQ" growing up, it's pretty common where I come from.


I highly suggest getting a simple weber grill with the burner on the side. They aren't anything special, and buying used is great also, they just work. My dad has one that is 12 years old, and my brother has one that is 8 years old and looks brand new. If you are worried about rust just keep it dry, a standard cover will do the trick. Make sure the grates are enamel coated and they won't rust, and the burners can be replaced as needed once they start rusting. But my brother has never replaced his since he keeps his grill covered and keeps the inside fairly clean.

James

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2014, 03:50:12 PM »
Wow, I just looked, the price of weber grills has gone up!


Maybe focus on the used idea if you can find one.

rescuedog

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2014, 03:53:21 PM »
My husband did oodles of research and determined a Weber Genesis E350 would meet our desires.  It was about $1000 (found the best deal on Amazon and have free shipping through Prime).  Took a couple hours to put it together ourselves.  Then for $300 we had our inside gas line plumbed to the outside of the house where the deck/grill are so that we have gas on demand.  Of course the grill can only roll about 10 feet each direction, but I don't think I'd ever try to take it off the deck (it's a second story deck).

It's been really fun so far!

eil

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2014, 04:34:02 PM »
Gas grill:

Pros: Convenient, clean, and quick. Just turn it on, light it up, preheat for a couple minutes, throw on your food, and you are good to go.

Cons: Taste is only okay, the burners and other equipment tend to wear out, rust, or otherwise go bad quickly unless you pay a _lot_ of money for the grill.

Charcoal grill

Pros: Amazing flavor, very simple to build and set up.

Cons: Takes quite a while to get the coals going, charcoal is really rather expensive for some reason, and you have to deal with ashes after cooking. Also managing the heat and cook time is trickier.

dragoncar

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2014, 04:35:32 PM »
Do you own your own place?  Have natural gas?  I ask because my ideal setup would be a fairly cheap gas grill with natural gas attachment.  Then just build a counter/cabinets next to the grill (it won't look as nice, but I've decided it's not worth the price you typically pay for style points) or better yet use outdoor prep tables that are also on casters.  You'll need to spend some extra cash getting the gas line to run out, but for convenience it can't be beat.

As for charcoal vs. gas for me it's mostly an issue of convenience.  Most days I'm not waiting for the charcoal to come up to temperature.  If I really want charcoal, I'd get a second grill.  Charcoal grills are the simplest things on earth: a place for the charcoal, plus a metal grate on top.  You can probably get both types of grills in good working condition used for next to nothing.  They'll be a bit dirty but who cares?

crk

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2014, 04:48:35 PM »
Get the cheapest weber that is large enough for your needs.  Best value as they last and are inexpensive compared to the high end ones.  The cheap ones fall apart quickly and will cost and frustrate you a lot me in the long run.

I have a cheap gas smoker too. Second the advice on amazing ribs around this. Much better for smoking than grill. Don't needt o spend much money on this

Thegoblinchief

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2014, 05:25:35 PM »
If buying gas, Weber is the only brand I trust for longevity.

But seriously, do charcoal. Yes, it takes a little longer, even with a chimney, but to me that's part of the attraction. Grilling is a relaxing way to cook dinner.

With hardwood charcoal or just straight firewood, it's also incredible. Never going back to gas again. There is a learning curve, but it's honestly not that hard.

kite

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2014, 05:56:04 PM »
We have a Kamado style grill.  Everything gets cooked in this thing.  We'll do a week's worth of cooking on it during the weekend.   Not an efficient way to make a couple of burgers at all.  Rather a large turkey, a big pork shoulder, a whole chicken or trout.  We'll grill peaches on it, bake bread, make pizza, roast vegetables.   

We don't have air conditioning.  Since we do bake all of our own bread, muffins, etc.... this grill enables us to not turn on the oven inside the house for 4 months of the year. 

strider3700

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2014, 06:41:12 PM »
Thanks all.  I asked my wife looking for her approval on charcoal and she stated that she loves charcoal so I guess I'm going that route.  That greatly lowers the entry point and you get name brands that appear to have a strong following/reputation in the $150 range.

oldtoyota

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2014, 06:52:16 PM »
We got one off of freecycle for zero dollars.


brewer12345

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2014, 07:14:06 PM »
We have had the same Weber gas grill since 2002.  I have done nothing to maintain it other than put a cover on it.  If I ever have to buy another gas grill, I would buy another Weber.

That said, I also have a smoker/BBQ that is charcoal fired (and big enough to smoke a couple of turkeys and a bunch of whatever else I have onhand).  Charcoal/smoke is special and a treat, so worth the trouble.  But given the amount of charcoal and time the thing burns, I only fire it up about a dozen times a year.

The side burner of my Weber grill puts out only 8,000 to 10,000 BTUs/hour, not sufficient for an awful lot of serious cooking/processing tasks.  I limped along with a combination of the Weber burner and a burner on my brewing system (150k BTUs/hour and little flame control).  Over the winter I ran across a camp stove at Cabela's with two burners and an easy connection to a propane tank.  Lots of power and control for $90, and I just plop it on my concrete patio.  I think canning and summer cooking in general will be a lot nicer this summer.  No outdoor kitchen required.

Koala0924

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2014, 07:45:50 PM »
My DH loves to grill, smoke, and BBQ. I greatly enjoy eating his meals. As a wedding present I surprised him with a Big Green Egg. A kamado type cooker that you can cook, bake, grill or smoke. It, hands down, has been one of the best purchases I have ever made.

zachd

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2014, 07:46:46 PM »
It may be the word "BBQ" that sets people off.  I've noticed that almost every culture has a different (and awesome) meaning for that.

You might use the word "grill" (and someone will tell me THAT means something special somewhere.)

In the south, BBQ refers to smoking meats over very low heat.  (I actually have both a BBQ and a propane grill.)

I think I paid $200 for my propane grill in 1995.  It was by no means the fanciest one.  I've replaced both the guts (burners, etc) and the grill at least twice ... maybe 3 times.  It was a name brand and parts have always been available.  I think a whole refresh on it is about $50-60.

Edit to add:

my grill is a Char-Broil.  It's not the most awesome ever.  I have minor complaints on it.  It's not a stainless steel beauty to behold.  But it works.


Yes thanks, I am flipping out OP keeps saying bbq and propane in the same sentence.. BBQ.. propane.. BBQ propane.. NO!!!!

Coincidentally I did a BBQ this weekend, two briskets on the smoker starting at around 5:00 A.M. for my softball team.  It was not a very MMM affair, I ended up spending a lot of money but I have no regrets it was a lot of fun.  Next one should be a lot cheaper. I just couldn't cant cut corners making BBQ for other people.

As for buying a SMOKER or a GRILL, these are the sorts of things that cost a lot up front but are pretty hard to sell second hand - so check craigslist.  I would imagine an older propane type grill could be had cheap if you are wanting to cook with gas. 

It would be interesting to see what the break even would be on a green egg since they cost a lot but use much less charcoal or wood.  Or versus the cost of propane.

You can also make a smoker out of Terra Cotta pots and an electric burner, just google alton brown terra cotta smoker. It costs around $30 for the parts.


Hotstreak

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2014, 07:53:33 PM »
I'm another fan of Weber.  I've seen people using models from 15-20 years ago.  Parts are fairly universal, and they're very easy to deal with. 

I like gas (propane) for a lot of reasons.  It's cleaner, less mess.  That propane tank can sit outside, the charcoal you have to keep dry.  You can turn it on for a short or long cook, versus your charcoal is burning until it's done whether you finished cooking or not.  Also more temperature control.

That being said, charcoal sure does taste good.  Hard wood tastes even better.  They are also very easy to keep up.. there's almost nothing to break.

Personally I have a small Weber I use at least 2-3 meals a week, and more like 4-5 in the summer.  I also have a cheap charcoal (free on the side of the road) that I use for easy, slow cooking if I feel like taking time on the weekend.  I would NOT want only a charcoal though, there are months at a time I just run out and back inside, don't want to be spending any more time that I have to!

zachd

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2014, 07:54:40 PM »
http://amazingribs.com/

Read and never eat the same way again.

This site is amazing, everything you could want to know about cooking, smoking, or grilling any type of meat...
Youtube is a great resource also for things like learning how to smoke a brisket which is pretty hard if you haven't done it a few times.

From the rest of this thread...

Kamodos.. would love to get one someday. 

Also for those with chimney starts.. in case you haven't gotten this down a friend showed me the best way.  Get some newspaper (Or paper or paper towels, newspaper is best).  Wad up 4 or 5 pieces at the bottom but leave the middle open.  I like to put some dry sticks on top of that which I have in my backyard but not necessary.  Put charcoal on top.  Pour some cooking oil on top so that it runs down to the paper.  Light it up, if you see the grey heavy smoke it's working, and it will be on fire in no time.  The cooking oil was the key, before that it was always hit and miss for me to have it start right away.


greaper007

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2014, 08:48:23 PM »
I stuff my chimney with hardwood lump, shove some newspaper in the bottom, light it up and watch for a couple mins.   If it starts burning, I just walk back inside and finish preparing the meal.   By the time my fries are in the oven and the lettuce and tomato are chopped, the grill is ready to go (about 15 mins).   It's not harder or longer than propane at all, you just have to plan ahead.

Here's another tip.    Close off your vents when you're done.   I can generally stretch each load of charcoal at least twice for something simple like a burger or a steak.   With my Ugly Drum Smoker, 10 pounds of lump will generally give me 2.5-3 good burns.   Those are 6-8 hour burns mind you.

MrsPete

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2014, 06:13:56 AM »
My DH loves to grill, smoke, and BBQ. I greatly enjoy eating his meals. As a wedding present I surprised him with a Big Green Egg. A kamado type cooker that you can cook, bake, grill or smoke. It, hands down, has been one of the best purchases I have ever made.
I was going to say the same thing -- except, make it a milestone birthday, not a wedding present.  It IS very expensive, but it cooks like nothing else, and it's a lifetime purchase -- it may need some maintenance occasionally, but he will still own in on the day he dies. 

When we build our retirement home (and we're working towards that project slowly), he's going to build himself a small outdoor kitchen, and the Egg'll be the centerpiece. 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2014, 06:40:33 AM »
A paper grocery bag works great in the chimney. And who gets the newspaper anymore? :P

zarfus

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2014, 07:23:14 AM »
I use a 30 year old weber charcoal.  Don't even keep it covered haha, this thing is a tank.

I inherited this grill, and sucked at charcoal for probably many of the same reasons why you're hesitant to get one.  Chimney's help get things started, and speed things up.  I was using this grill as a temp until I could afford a gas grill (or found one on sale), but I don't see me getting a gas grill now.  We probably grill twice a week in the summer, more often if the week is relaxing. 

I find that it suits my lifestyle:
1) Fire up the grill
2) prepare the rest of dinner (i.e. start beer boiling brats, cutting veggies, etc)
3) Have a beer and sit outside with the family while grill is heating up.  Why rush? :)

greaper007

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2014, 12:26:37 PM »
A paper grocery bag works great in the chimney. And who gets the newspaper anymore? :P

What, you don't get that crappy local newspaper that you forget to pickup from the front yard until it makes a multi-colored stain on the concrete twice a week?

The police blotter can be entertaining though.

kite

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2014, 05:46:09 PM »
Want to echo the advice to close vents when you are done with the charcoal cooking.   We save plenty of fuel for the mext cook.

We had one of those little hibachi grills that used briquettes for the first few years of marriage.   It made hotdogs,  hamburgers and once the embers were dying,  we'd toast marshmallows.   Not at all mustachian to waste that heat.  Not especially good tasting either.  But a BGE or other Kamado takes it to a whole new level. 

I wanted to add, while we are getting it up to temperature,  we roast potatoes in their jackets.   Then after whatever was actually planned to be cooked:  chicken, ribs, etc., we shut the vents and put the spuds back in as twice baked potatoes for a later in the week meal unto themselves.   We'll also cook some stuffed mushrooms this way with the residual heat. It does take a while for the ceramic to cool, so we're trying to squeeze every minute of cooking time, even after the lump wood charcoal is no longer 'lit'

Koala0924

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2014, 07:27:41 PM »
My DH loves to grill, smoke, and BBQ. I greatly enjoy eating his meals. As a wedding present I surprised him with a Big Green Egg. A kamado type cooker that you can cook, bake, grill or smoke. It, hands down, has been one of the best purchases I have ever made.
I was going to say the same thing -- except, make it a milestone birthday, not a wedding present.  It IS very expensive, but it cooks like nothing else, and it's a lifetime purchase -- it may need some maintenance occasionally, but he will still own in on the day he dies. 

When we build our retirement home (and we're working towards that project slowly), he's going to build himself a small outdoor kitchen, and the Egg'll be the centerpiece.

Great minds think alike. We also plan to have an outdoor kitchen (eventually) that features the BGE. My DH couldn't believe that I bought him one. He had lusted after one for years but never splurged. I will never top that present. : )

sleepyguy

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2014, 09:24:31 PM »
Weber Q100 is awesome for us.  We have it with the foldable stand so it goes with us on camping trips so it has double duty.  Had it for 7yrs or so now.  We have an adapter to use full size tanks (when at home) or portable cannisters when on the road.

Fireman

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2014, 01:37:20 AM »
A paper grocery bag works great in the chimney. And who gets the newspaper anymore? :P

Using bags from the store is sooooo last year.  (I still do it though)!

SnackDog

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2014, 04:03:53 AM »
The most frugal grill is the one my father has used his whole life: the Swanniebrai Safari grill.   It runs on a few pages of newspaper!  He used to bet people in camp grounds he could cook four t-bones on less than ten pages of the Sunday news.  As long as whatever you are grilling has a bit of fat (steak, hamburgers) the Safari grill will cook it to perfection in about 12 minutes.  When I was growing up we had steaks or burgers off this grill all summer.  There was minor kerfuffle when the original one, which he purchased in the 60s, rusted through in the 80s and we had to find a new one.  The grill weighs nothing, telescopes down to the size of a breadbox, and is cleaned by just wiping the grill in the kitchen sink.  Genius.



chasesfish

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Re: I want a BBQ. Any suggestions?
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2014, 04:47:31 AM »
Get the cheapest weber that is large enough for your needs.  Best value as they last and are inexpensive compared to the high end ones.  The cheap ones fall apart quickly and will cost and frustrate you a lot me in the long run.

I have a cheap gas smoker too. Second the advice on amazing ribs around this. Much better for smoking than grill. Don't needt o spend much money on this

+1 - I'm about to pay up for a two burner Weber.  I use a gas grill a lot and have been through two in 10 years

Thegoblinchief

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2014, 06:14:53 AM »
For smoking, if you don't have the time to babysit, everyone I know that has one of the fancy electric smokers which auto feeds wood is very happy with it.

Essentially the crockpots of BBQ.

Fireman

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2014, 10:26:33 AM »
I received a cheap gas grill as a gift about 8 years ago and used it religiously until recently when I moved to an apartment. So instead of storing it or some such nonsense, I regifted it and it's still being used today!

It was a Walmart grill, Charbroil I think, and I liked it more than the very expensive Weber that I got a couple years ago.

TrMama

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2014, 11:20:47 AM »
Somewhat OT question - Is there a particular type of grill that's more rat proof than the standard version sold at hardware stores?

We got rid of our rusted out grill last summer after it's second rat invasion in 6 months. I'm not planning on buying another rat hotel, but DH has been grumbling about the lack of grilling in our lives.

Fireman

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Re: I want a Grill. Any suggestions?
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2014, 11:47:03 AM »
Somewhat OT question - Is there a particular type of grill that's more rat proof than the standard version sold at hardware stores?

We got rid of our rusted out grill last summer after it's second rat invasion in 6 months. I'm not planning on buying another rat hotel, but DH has been grumbling about the lack of grilling in our lives.

I've never run into this situation but a quick Google search for "rodent proof grill" landed me here and here.