Help me choose a grill

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stupac2
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Help me choose a grill

Post by stupac2 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:33 pm

I just moved, and the new place allows propane grills on our little patios. Since grilling is the deliciousiest, manliest, and easiest form of cooking, I want to buy a grill. Pretend I know nothing about what models are out there and relative advantages/disadvantages, what kind would you recommend someone who's mostly grilling for himself get?

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by slaphappy snark » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:36 pm

I recommend that you bake instead. You can't grill cookies!

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by NardoLoopa » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:25 pm

I average grilling 3 times a week from early Spring until late Fall. I bought the cheapest (80$) grill I could find at Lowes. It works like a complete champ. There is no need for anything fancy at all. The heat is uneven on my grill, but you get to know your grill pretty quickly.

It's an old version of this one:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_140390-82210-46 ... 4294937087_

"Char-Broil Quickset Gas Grill "

I've had none of the problems of the other reviewers. Cook steak all the time.
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thacon
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by thacon » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:02 pm

You should get this one!

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by stupac2 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:08 pm

thacon wrote:You should get this one!
I knew someone was going to make that joke, I should have just made it myself.

And thanks nardo, I don't know if I'll get that one, but it is good to know I can just get a cheap one that'll do what I need.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by preniqueezer » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:44 pm

I've got this one:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brinkmann-4-B ... l/10828954

We've been using it for more than two years, and have been really happy. The size means you can cook a lot of stuff if you want (for friends or parties), but you can also just use one burner and cook small amounts pretty quickly when you're in the mood. It's a little more pricey than $80, but you're probably getting something twice as versatile. May be a bit big for small porches.

Edited to add: I don't normally promote Wal-Mart (mostly kinda loathe them, actually) but this is the one thing I've gotten from them that's been really satisfying. My father in law had been trying to get me to buy a similar but slightly less nice grill from Home Depot for $300+, and I put it off and found this one instead.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by thacon » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:50 pm

stupac2 wrote:I knew someone was going to make that joke, I should have just made it myself.
It was either that or suggest a Foreman grill.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by lostcalpolydude » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:22 pm

slaphappy snark wrote:You can't grill cookies!
http://cruftbox.com/blog/archives/001581.html
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by stupac2 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:39 pm

lostcalpolydude wrote:
slaphappy snark wrote:You can't grill cookies!
http://cruftbox.com/blog/archives/001581.html
That is amazing.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by slaphappy snark » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:57 am

That sort of reminds me of my college roommate's experiments with baking cakes in a crockpot.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by Kelemvor » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:58 am

I know the joke has already been made, but I was really hoping you were trying to get people to help you choose the other kind of grill.

Anyway, in all seriousness, I have a backyard and have been meaning to get a grill, but only for social purposes. In terms of cooking for 1-2 people, I much prefer a Foreman grill (there are also plenty of knockoff/high-end brands, if you don't want something with George's name on it). They heat up faster and have much lower maintenance and cleanup needs than an outdoor grill.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by Manendra » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:12 am

Yeah, I agree with Nardo. I had a cheapo Char-Broil gas grill that was more than adequate to make sausages, steaks, chicken, burgers, etc. The only issue I had with it was the starter thingy wouldn't always work, but turning on the gas and chucking in a match worked fine.
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by top1214 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:26 am

I have no grill buying experience, but I nominate the person Stu takes his advice from for a Hank Hill award.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by NardoLoopa » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:42 am

One caveat to my recommendation. The one I have isn't painted black -- it's just iodized metal or something. I can see how the black paint might chip off. But really, who cares.

The stainless steel monster grills are nice to look at on the porch, but:
1) they are big (take up a lot of room)
2) very few people use the hot-plates on the wings
3) The temp gauge is nice, but not necessary
4) I've cooked for up to 8 people on my small grill (fancy dinner steaks, not BBQ plastic fork events). I cooked for 50 people on two small grills going at the same time (borrowed one). You don't need a big grill.
5) They usually have have pretty uniform heat (which is probably the only thing worth paying for), but sometimes that's not a good thing because if you know your grill you can place meats depending on cook time
6) Nothing beats knowing how to cook meat -- and an extra $200 spent on a grill doesn't replace knowing what you're doing.
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by JennyUnderpants » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:03 am

I can't believe I'm delurking to answer this.

I also have a Char-Broil. It's nice for convenience, but after too many last minute runs to the grocery store/Lowe's for a new propane tank, I've decided that I'm a charcoal girl. With a chimney starter and hardwood lump charcoal, it doesn't take a significantly longer time to heat the grill up. The hibachi is cheaper, and it's easier to control the heat for high direct grilling or indirect grilling. Easier to smoke things too.

If I were super OMG rich, I'd get a Big Green Egg<3

Anyway, if you have your heart set on a propane grill, I never use the silly side burner on my Char-Broil. Just get the one with two burners so you can at least attempt to do some indirect grilling. Also, ping me when you want to learn my Rib-fu :D
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by stupac2 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:40 am

It's not that I have my heart set, it's that I CAN'T get a charcoal grill. I think they're illegal on balconies in CA.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by JennyUnderpants » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:43 am

Asshole California balconies.
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by Awsomo » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:18 pm

Personally I would make sure the grill
a) has a rotisserie because rotisserie chicken is absolutely amazing
b) is large enough to cook on indirect heat so that you can do some slow cooking meats like ribs and some smoking. Probably want the grill to be 3 burners wide. If the extra size is going to take up too much space though you can always start the meat in the oven and then finish it on the grill which is a perfect alternative

As for other features I don't think there is a ton of differences. You will learn all the hot and cold spots of the grill pretty soon and with good maintenance the surface will last well.
Last edited by Awsomo on Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by stupac2 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:20 pm

Define "good maintenance". I never cleaned the one back home, I think my mom/dad always did that.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by Awsomo » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:38 pm

Scraping the grill before every use and then once every 2 or 3 months putting any removable surface pieces into q bucket of soapy water for a few hours and then rinsing them off

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by zombiepops » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:06 pm

Awsomo wrote:Scraping the grill before every use and then once every 2 or 3 months putting any removable surface pieces into q bucket of soapy water for a few hours and then rinsing them off
or just running the through the self cleaning cycle of your oven works wonders too. my one recommendation to add is make sure what ever you buy has nice heavy cast iron grilling surface. I can't stand the stainless steel grilling surfaces (not the outside shell, the metal grid/slats you put food on to cook). way to hot and don't hold heat well, they only look pretty.
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by Pantsless » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:48 pm

I recommend going on craigslist and getting the cheapest working grill you can find. Mine was $5 and other than having to replace the rusted-out grill surface (for I think $15 or so) it has been working fine for me for 3 years.

Second the recommendation to get a George Foreman though; at least for those times when it is pouring rain outside but you still want to eat a steak.

EDIT: I see this thread is a month old so you probably have bought your grill by now. So, uh, how's the grilling going?
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by Eigenbasis » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:01 pm

A grill pan that can fit on your stove is vastly superior to a George Foreman.

-Eigen, whose landlord doesn't allow outdoor grills
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by Verdigris97 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:33 pm

Eigenbasis wrote:-Eigen, whose landlord doesn't allow outdoor grills
Clearly the optimal course of action is to buy a house, THEN buy a grill. Apparently they cost about the same these days...

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by zombiepops » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:08 am

Verdigris97 wrote: Clearly the optimal course of action is to buy a house, THEN buy a grill. Apparently they cost about the same these days...
And a big umbrella for when it rains, because you're lying to yourself if you think a george forman or a grill pan are comparable to grilling.
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by Eigenbasis » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:24 pm

zombiepops wrote:
Verdigris97 wrote: Clearly the optimal course of action is to buy a house, THEN buy a grill. Apparently they cost about the same these days...
And a big umbrella for when it rains, because you're lying to yourself if you think a george forman or a grill pan are comparable to grilling.
When cooking for 1 or 2, a grill pan is comparable to an electric grill. Of course, propane and charcoal grills are superior to electric.
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by JennyUnderpants » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:39 pm

Stuart, dear. I forgot about this thread. What kind of grill did you get, and where are the pictures of all the charred meats you've made?
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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by stupac2 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:15 pm

JennyUnderpants wrote:Stuart, dear. I forgot about this thread. What kind of grill did you get, and where are the pictures of all the charred meats you've made?
I think it was like the one Nardo recommended. I actually haven't been using it much lately, since I'm all lazy and have been eating mostly trader joe's salads and pizza.

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by Fred Nefler » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:36 pm

I love my George Foreman grill. But then again, I'm a lazy, eternally single, inexperienced cook. So I've no one to impress and no desire to improve, which means I am unable to distinguish between "adequate" and "awesome".

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Re: Help me choose a grill

Post by Turtle Juice » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:39 am

My grill is an Aussie ... and it is the best grill I have ever owned (of course being big enough to grill a cow whole is pretty sweet too). But, they have all different sizes.

http://www.aussiegrills.com/

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