When buying a barbecue, what you need to keep in mind is that it is not a disposable item. Outdoor grills are meant to be used for a long period of time. To be able to do so many factors come into play such as the build quality, heat distribution, reliability, size and most importantly warranty. There has never been a better time to use the proverb: “You get what you pay for”. So, should you buy an expensive BBQ? Yes, you should!
Let’s have a deeper look!
The most important components of your barbecue are the burners and those burners get very hot. The lower priced barbecues use cheap metals in their burners and then coat them with stainless steel. The simple trick is to take a magnet and see if it sticks to the burners. If it sticks it means that it is not real stainless steel and therefore the heat, grease and rust build up will eventually make you order new ones. When you buy an expensive BBQ from a brand such as Weber, Napoleon and Broil King, you will most of the time get 304 Steel burners. This type of stainless steel is more expensive but it resists much longer to corrosion than other grades.
Cooking grates usually come in three different materials.
- Stainless Steel – These grates will last a long a time if the stainless steel that was used is of good quality. (Use the same magnet trick!).
- Porcelain-enameled cast iron – The porcelain-enamel finish prevents the grates from rusting. The core made of cast iron is very durable and retains a lot of heat. It also gives you incredible sear marks.
- Porcelain-enameled steel – They are made of ordinary steel and are coated in porcelain and enamel. The outer coating protects them but they are less likely to last since the main material is of lesser quality.
What about the heat?
At this point you understand the importance of good quality burners and grates, but what about heat distribution?
Unless you cook two identical pieces of meat at the same time, you need the ability to control the heat levels on different spots of your grates.
Lower priced grills will usually only have one knob. This knob controls the flow of gas going to all the burners. When you buy an expensive BBQ, you get different sets of knobs. These knobs will control each burner separately to give you full control over the cooking space.
How many BTU’s?
BTU is a measure of energy consumption and not heat output.
The correct way to calculate the amount of BTU you need is: 100 BTU per inch of cooking space.
The quality of materials and the technology manufacturers use to fabricate a grill directly impacts how well those BTU’s are used.
Proper lid closure, airflow and piping quality are good examples.
When you buy an expensive barbecue with 50000 BTU’s, you can easily expect it to be more efficient and energy saving than a lower quality barbecue with 75000 or even 90000 BTU’s.
Size does matter!
Outdoor grilling is very similar to cooking at home. Sometimes you cook for yourself and other times you cook for friends and family. The same way that your cooking stove has four or more elements, a grill should have enough cooking space for different occasions. Now, there are some inexpensive grills that offer size for a 100$ dollars but after reading through this article you probably know what to expect.
How well is it built?
If you decide to buy an expensive BBQ with good quality burners, resistant grates and a fully functional cooking space, you are one the right track! But what about the way the grill is built?
Exterior materials are important because a barbecue obviously stays outside all year long.
Low priced barbecues use cheap metals and plastic to save on cost to offer you a low cost.
Premium ones on the other hand are more likely to use good materials to keep up their good reputation.
Warranty, Warranty and Warranty!
The warranty that comes with any barbecue is in direct correlation with the build quality. Outdoor grill manufacturers are well aware of the material they use when they build those barbecues. Premium brands offer a 10 to 20 years warranty. They can to do so because they know that they won’t need to replace parts for years. On the opposite side, cheap brands include only a few years of warranty and they usually don’t cover the important components…You already know why…
Here it is Folks! Should you buy an expensive BBQ or should i say “invest” more money in a better quality BBQ? Yes, you should!
Thanks for reading and i hope this blog gave you a better understanding of what to look out for when you shop for a new BBQ!
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