GrillJunkie – Addiction to Grilling-What Fires YOU Up?

Blog Page

Grill Tools Review : Kuisiware Grill Light

Grill Tools Review : Grill Light from Kuisiware

On a consistent basis the team here at GrillJunkie™ sets time aside to evaluate and communicate our formal rating on either a Grilling, BBQ or Burger related product. We do this via our Grilling Product Reviews process. As you certainly can imagine these BBQ Grill Tools and products run the gamut from: Gotta Have It!CoolUsefulUtilitarianRidiculous and the, well, Just Plain Asinine! The spectrum of grilling related products is wide.

NOTE: We are NEVER compensated for our Grilling Product Reviews so as to protect our integrity, brand and Product Review objectivity.

Today’s Grilling Product Reviews candidate:

Kuisiware Grill Light / Lantern

The GrillJunkie™ Grilling Product Reviews (GPR) Scale

Based on our extensive field research, the GrillJunkie Product Review team assigns a formal rating to every product that we test. This rating is based on a 1-5 Firepot structure as depicted through our Grilling Product Review (GPR) scale illustrated below. The number of Firepots given to the grilling product indicates its final rating. The higher the number of Firepots, the more positive the review.  

GrillJunkie Grilling Product Review GPR Firepot key with logo

  GrillJunkie GPR Four FirePot rating Quick Product Reviews Rating: For the more impatient reader who needs to get the rating right away, we gave the Kuisiware Grill Light 4.1 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. This rating equates to a Hot product but not quite Searing.  The product addresses and solves the problem for which it was designed in a highly effective, intelligently designed, highly useful, unique, attractive and durable grill tool product. In fact, this particular Kuisiware grill tool, the Grill Light / Lantern, is not only made of high-quality, heat resistant ABS, can illuminate for up to 50,000 hours, but boasts a unique Touch Sensitive On/Off button that makes the BBQ grill light extremely easy to operate, especially important when your hands are otherwise occupied on the task at hand, grilling.

For more detail on this Grill Tools Product Review, our Top 10 Grilling Tools, as well as the many upcoming Grilling Product Reviews on our schedule, read on! Below is a quick overview YouTube Video of the Kuisiware Grill Light / Grill Tool Product Review.

 


First Up: Our Top Ten Grill Tools

You don’t need much to become a great griller, but there are a few things that make grilling easier and more  successful. There are also a few things you will need in order to take care of your grill. These suggestions are intended to help you put together a few of the basics that work well and make you a better griller. Remember that these are just suggestions. To be a great cook, you need patience, passion and the right tools and accessories that work best for you. Here is our Top 10 Grill Tools list:

Tool 1: The Grill – What Fires You Up?

This is the age old question of outdoor grilling and the main inspiration for our tagline, “What Fires You Up?”  What kind of grill do you want? Although there are grills that run on wood pellets, electricity, and gel fuel, there are two that truly come to the forefront – Charcoal and Gas Grills.

Gas Grill Review of CharBroil Commercial Series GrillJunkie Product ReviewCharcoal grills will give better flavor, depending upon the type of charcoal used, and provide a more authentic grilling experience, but can be challenging to get started and can prove frustrating to maintain a proper temperature. Gas is faster to start and much more convenient for those weekday cookouts. Whether you choose to use your gas grill to grill your meals with propane or natural gas, be sure to use the proper equipment and follow all safety procedures when installing and using these fuel sources.

Deciding between the two main types of grills available, Gas or Charcoal Grills, boils down to what kind of cooking you want to do. Be sure to find a good quality gas or charcoal grill. If used and maintained properly, a good quality grill can last a lifetime. Next, let’s explore the fuel source possibilities available for Charcoal and Gas grills.

Tool 2: Fuel Source

For most gas grills, this is simple; Propane. The small, portable, and refillable tanks are convenient and, with an extra one on hand, your fuel source can last a whole season. You don’t want an angry mob on your hands because you ran out of fuel during your backyard gathering.  Also, some grills can be set up to run on natural gas fed from inside the house. For purists, the charcoal grill is the only way to go. There are many fuel choices, shapes and sizes available including coal-based charcoal briquettes,  all-natural lump charcoal, hardwood charcoal, as well as pure hardwood. When burned, these fuel sources are all designed to transform into embers radiating the heat necessary to cook food.

Hardwood Lump Charcoal is a great alternative to petroleum based briquettes.

Hardwood Lump Charcoal is a great alternative to petroleum based briquettes. Natural, and easy to light.

 

There is contention among grilling enthusiasts on what type of charcoal is best for grilling. Users of charcoal briquettes emphasize the uniformity in size, burn rate, heat creation, and quality exemplified by briquettes. Users of all-natural lump charcoal emphasize subtle smoky aromas, high heat production, and lack of binders and fillers often present in briquettes.

There are many methods and gadgets available to help get your briquettes, lump charcoal, or hardwood fired up besides stinky and unhealthy lighter fluid. These include rolled up newspaper, kindling, and fire starters, but we suggest you look into purchasing a Charcoal Chimney Fire Starter.

Tool 3: Charcoal Fire Starter

An ideal and convenient way to light charcoal is without anything more combustible than a few pieces of rolled-up newspaper. This can be done with a charcoal chimney, available at most any hardware store.

These cone-shaped chimneys allow you to get a lot of coals burning Weber Chimney Starter how to via GrillJunkiecompletely and quickly while avoiding the introduction of anything to the fire that you wouldn’t want to add to your food such as lighter fluid. In addition, charcoal chimney starters allow you to get more coals going while cooking in order to add to the existing fire as needed. This is a great way to help with temperature control on a charcoal grill.

Tool 4: Spatula and/or Tongs

Get your hands on a good spatula and you will be able to tackle even the most challenging of burger or grilled recipes. And let’s be clear on the meaning of the word “good”. A good grilling spatula doesn’t need loads of extra gadgets on it. Get a large bladed, bent and long-handled spatula. You want something that you can get under your burgers easily and large enough to flip a fish fillet without it falling apart. Don’t skimp on this tool, as you really owe it to yourself to get a good quality spatula that will work well and last.

A good spatula should easily slip under foods allowing you to quickly and safely lift, turn and flip. That’s all it needs to do, but it needs to do it well.  A good pair of spring-loaded tongs will also help you get a solid grip on your food and can also help when you need an extra pair of hands or need to grip something.

Long-handled grilling tongs

Long-handled grill tongs. Picked up ours at bbqguys.com

An ideal pair of tongs should be easy to squeeze, yet bounce back quickly allowing you to get a grip on both small and large items without damaging even the most delicate of foods. Find tongs that fit your hand, are lightweight but sturdy and have enough length to reach deep into your grill without leaving your arm over the fire.

Tool 5: Grill Grate Scraper/Brush

Cleaning the metal rack or grill grate is a messy task made simple with a wire brush, (or a bristle brush for non stick coated racks). You will need this important tool for cleaning off the grate before and after you grill. It is most important that you do this after you finish grilling before the foods have had a chance to bake on.

Tool 6: Basting Brushes

It’s a good idea to have a couple of food basting brushes on hand. You can buy these as pastry, basting, mops, or silicon brushes. You decide which is cheaper or better for your particular needs. Don’t spend a lot on these because they don’t tend to last even if you take good care of them. You should have one brush dedicated to oiling surfaces. Dedicating a brush to put a coat of oil over your cooking grate is a good idea. The brush will get the oil over the surface of the grill grate quickly and easily. You need to keep this brush separate from other brushes, since you don’t want to use this one for basting foods. In addition to your oiling brush, you need a brush for basting your food when desired. If you grill a lot of different kinds of food types, you might want several.

 Tool 7: Grill Light

For those of you who grill after a long day at work or after mowing the lawn on the weekends this may all be familiar territory. You begin grilling around 6 pm only to find you’re running out of daylight. You switch to the porch or patio light only to be frustrated by the fact that YOU are now the source of the grill_tools_grilling_light_kuisiwarecasted shadow on the grill with it’s precious contents and you can’t see what you’re doing! When in for the long-haul on a 12 hour low & slow BBQ  smoking of a Brisket, then you really need to rely on more than moonlight. A good grill light can help illuminate the situation. Look for a good quality, adjustable light that you don’t have to fuss with in order to position correctly. Also, look for one with a touch sensitive on-off switch. Your hands should be focused on grilling, not dealing with turning on a hard to handle light switch.

Tool 8: Meat Thermometer

The difference between the perfect meal and a trip to the emergency room due to food poisoning can be only a couple of degrees. Having a good, working thermometer is a must have. There are a whole host of Meat_Thermometergood thermometers on the market, but remember, accuracy is the most important factor, so when buying a thermometer it’s better to bypass cool features in favor of reliability.

 Tool 9: Fire Extinguisher

Although we provide guidance on preventing and dealing with flare-ups in a previous post, entitled, Houston, We Have a Flare-Up” , it is always important to have a small household type fire extinguisher close by just in case things get out of hand.grill-accessory-08

 Tool 10: Grill Mitt

A fireproof mitt allows you to safely complete many grill jobs. Whether it’s a pair of fireproof gloves or a kitchen mitt you should always have something close by that will let you pick up the hot stuff. A pair of fireproof grilling mitts is your best bet, as they not only allow you to pick up hot metal cooking equipment, but they won’t catch on fire if or when flames hit them. Having a kitchen mitt catch fire while you have it on your hand is not fun. You might just find yourself sitting next to the guy who didn’t listen to us about the need for a Meat Thermometer under Tool 8!


Now let’s see how well the Kuisiware Grill Light performed under the GrillJunkie Product Review Team’s merciless testing!

Kuisiware_Grill_Tools_Grilling_LightKuisiware Grill Light – Grill Tool Product Review – Did It Light Up Our BBQ Life?

The GrillJunkie Grill Tools Review follow a comprehensive structure which includes the:

  • Problem that needs to be solved or addressed
  • Solution to that problem
  • Good, Bad and Ugly elements of the product
  • Verdict - the official GrillJunkie™ GPR (Grilling Product Reviews Rating)

Official Product Review and GPR

Problem - The way we view it, first and foremost, as grilling and BBQ addicts we all have the right and privilege to grill 24 x 7 x 365. Unfortunately, as night falls on your backyard BBQ or tailgate, seeing what you’re grilling can be difficult never mind unsafe. And who is a fan of losing money and time only to have burned that NY Strip Steak to a crisp due to lack of proper illumination. Even a well-positioned porch or tent light will not suffice as you are inevitably standing between the light source while tending the grill creating a frustrating shadow. Secondly, the majority of BBQ grill lights on the market today are decent, however most are either awkward, poorly constructed, expensive, unattractive, not bright or focused enough to get the light where you need it most. Lastly, most grill lights are not easy to operate, position or turn off and on; all important variables when your hands are already occupied handling food, spatulas, tongs, tending to the fire and focusing on safety.

Product’s Solution Pitch - The Kuisiware® team’s approach to addressing the problem was to grill_tools_bbq_grill_light_grilling_light_kuisiwaredevelop, market and distribute their line-up of Grill Tools, with a debut focus on their Grill Light / Lantern. According to the company’s marketing material and ad copy:

No more burned meat, no more frustration, no more wasted time and money…only good time with your friends or family. Picture this: It’s summer, it’s 10 o’clock in the evening, and you are grilling some of the most delicious ribeye pork chops and some finger-lickin’ chicken wings on a nice hot grill. You always wanted to be the hero of every BBQ, whether day or night, and this is finally possible thanks to a gadget that is designed to impress. The Kuisiware “Grill Lantern” barbecue grill light will help you cook the perfect BBQ each and every time, no matter how dark the night is, leaving your friends and family wanting for more”.

The Good - The product has a few important positive attributes. First of all, the Kuisiware® product team did indeed address the problem head on with a top quality, attractively packaged, uniquely-featured grill tool product. Under extensive product testing using various sized grills and a myriad of food , weather and illumination scenarios, the hard to impress GrillJunkie team found that this grilling product:

  • Is packaged in an attractive, visually-rich and see through packaging
  • Has an adjustable screw clamp that makes this a very easy to install LED grill light, suitable for most grill handles
  • Accommodates circular and oval handles (max diameter: 1.45″).
  • Has a unique touch sensitive On/Off button making the BBQ grill light extremely easy to operate
  • grill_tools_grilling_light_kuisiwareCan be turned on or off by touching it with almost anything
  • Includes 3 x 1.5V AA batteries that power the light up to 12 hours
  • Drives 1o super-bright LED bulbs that can illuminate for up to 50,000 hours
  • Swivels 180 degrees horizontally and vertically for full coverage of your grill
  • Is made from heat resistant ABS with a smooth finish, it will withstand intense heat for longer periods of time
  • Was safe to use on the myriad of gas grills, charcoal grills, pellet grills, electric grills and BBQ smokers we have in the GrillJunkie testing lab
  • Is protected by a 12 Month Warranty which completely eliminated the risk out of our purchase

The Bad – The product has a three, mostly minor negative attributes. The first is that the grill light only comes in one flavor, black. For those of you focused on individual style wanting to color match your stainless steel or Blue Weber One Touch grill, at present you may be a bit frustrated with the narrow color-spectrum offering from this product. Secondly, the battery compartment, albeit necessarily weather tight, is accessible via a very tiny Phillips head screw. Lastly, the price of the grill tool product is slightly higher than most of the utilitarian, poorer quality grill lights on the market today. The MSRP of this grill light is $59.99. However we’ve learned that the price is significantly lower on Amazon.com for $28.00 with FREE shipping. Additionally, you can use this code: KREW7OFF We applied it at Amazon.com checkout for another $7 discount, which gave us a total of 65% off list price.

We’ve also learned that they give away a FREE “Grilling Recipes” ebook. As an alternative to using the Coupon code on the Amazon.com link, you could visit the Kuisiware site where signing up for their email list will help you save a few dollars.

Kuisiware Grill_Tools - BBQ Grill_LightThe Ugly- We did not believe that this variable directly applied to this product. In fact, the Kuisiware Grill Light, albeit a tad pricier than some common, lower grade grilling lights, has a clean and enticing package design and the product itself is a very attractive, well produced and extremely effective grilling tool. The only ugliness is that the product line is not available in every retail, BBQ or grocery store worldwide, but they’re getting there! We’ll let the Kuisiware sales and marketing team tackle that one.

Verdict - We give the Kuisiware Grill Light 4.1 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. This rating equates to a Hot product but not quite Searing.  The product addresses and solves the problem for which it was designed in a highly effective, intelligently designed, highly useful, unique, attractive and durable grill tool. In fact, this particular Kuisiware grill tool, the Grill Light / Lantern, is not only made of high-quality, heat resistant ABS, can illuminate for up to 50,000 hours, but  leverages a unique Touch Sensitive On/Off button that makes the BBQ grill light extremely easy to operate, especially important when your hands are otherwise occupied on the task at hand, grilling.

The GrillJunkie team members will now be able to significantly reduce their frustration due to poor lighting and grill lights that are hard to operate, bulky, and just not bright enough. This handle mount grill light eliminates all these problems through its light weight, adjustability, ease of install and touch-sensitive feature. We look forward to conducting our Grilling Product Reviews on any new product developments that will come from the Kuisiware team.

GrillJunkie 4 Firepots

   GrillJunkie Rating of Kuisiware Grill Light 4.1 / 5.0


 

Kettle_Pizza_Grill_ToolsNext Grilling Review: Kettle Pizza

What do you think? What Fires You Up? We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Leave a reply or comment. It’s OK. Bring it on!

Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club, subscribe to our RSS list, or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

 

 

 

Grilling Product Reviews: Fire & Flavor Cedar Grilling Planks

Grilling Product Review : Cedar Grilling Planks from Fire & Flavor

On a consistent basis the team here at GrillJunkie™ sets time aside to evaluate and communicate our formal rating on either a Grilling, BBQ or Burger related product. We do this via our Grilling Product Reviews process. As you certainly can imagine these products run the gamut from: Gotta Have It!CoolUsefulUtilitarianRidiculous and the, well, Just Plain Asinine! The spectrum of grilling related products is wide.

Today’s Grilling Product Reviews candidate:

Fire & Flavor Cedar Grilling Planks

Fire_&_Flavor_grilling_planks

The GrillJunkie™ Grilling Product Reviews (GPR) Scale

Based on our extensive field research, the GrillJunkie Product Review team assigns a formal rating to every product that we test. This rating is based on a 1-5 Firepot structure as depicted through our Grilling Product Review (GPR) scale illustrated below. The number of Firepots given to the grilling product indicates its final rating. The higher the number of Firepots, the more positive the review.  

GrillJunkie Grilling Product Review GPR Firepot key with logo

  GrillJunkie GPR Four FirePot rating Quick Product Reviews Rating: For the more impatient reader who needs to get the rating right away, we gave the Fire & Flavor Cedar Grilling Planks4.2 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. This rating equates to a Hot product but not quite Searing.  The product addresses and solves the problem for which it was designed in an attractively packaged, sustainable, highly effective, affordable and fun to use product. In fact, the Fire & Flavor™ Grilling Planks are not only high-quality, center cut grilling planks, which create a significant taste difference when it comes to the robust aroma and smokiness of the planks, but the company also honors the age-old Indian cooking method of wood plank cooking that has no equal.  For more detail on this Product Review, including a History of Wood Plank Grilling, as well as the many upcoming Grilling Product Reviews on our schedule, read on!

See, or click below for a quick overview YouTube Video of the Fire & Flavor Cedar Plank Product Review:

 

First Up: The Why and History of Plank Grilling

The GrillJunkie team took a deep dive into the subject of wood plank cooking and discovered that early cooks utilized wood plank cooking over open flames to capture the essence of wood as a seasoning in fish and other meats. Today, chefs and home cooks alike prize the simple, straightforward style of plank roasting that adds complex flavors and moist texture to a range of foods. Plank cooking works because the porous wood surface absorbs moisture at room temperature and then releases the moisture and a smoky aroma to flavor foods as they’re slowly cooked in a hot oven or on a BBQ grill. As a result, plank-cooked foods are juicier, more flavorful and less susceptible to nutrient loss with a complex layering of flavors. An added benefit for health-conscious cooks: most recipes can be prepared using less fat or oil, sauces or liquids.
Most of our research uncovered that plank cooking originated in the Pacific Northwest and was the preferred method for salmon and other fish by Native Americans, yet others feel this technique is Scandinavian and brought to America by early travelers. It is well documented, however, that Native Americans occupying the Pacific Northwest would spear or club salmon from the shores of the inland streams during the annual salmon runs. The fish were then brought back to their settlements for cleaning and smoking, then stored for the brutal winter months ahead.Grilling_Planks
Plank cooking originates with seasonal rituals of Pacific Northwest native people. Not surprisingly, many of these rituals are integrally linked with annual wild salmon migrations. For millennia, wild salmon flashing silver as they swim from the open sea to birthplace streams far inland have been a visible presence of sustenance and hope for native tribes living in the region. The native people believed that salmon were a gift bestowed by the sacred water of rivers and ocean. At ritual ceremonies, native villagers living beside the Columbia River and its tributaries celebrated the arrival of the first wild salmon swimming home upstream with dances and songs.
Pacific Northwest people traditionally cooked salmon by smoking a whole fish or a salmon filet on a wood plank. The planks used most often were aromatic wood from indigenous trees of the Pacific Northwest such as alder and cedar, a tree that was also sacred. To prepare the salmon for cooking, women would tack or wrap the fish with vines to secure it on wood planks and stand the planks vertically on end around a fiercely burning open firepit. Slowly roasting in their own juices, the fish absorbed the smoky aroma and moisture of the cedar or alder plank to gain extra flavor and succulence. Pacific Northwest natives later shared the plank cooking method for wild salmon with European explorers and settlers. In the 1890s, the method gained popularity when some of the first hotels in the Northwest treated guests to this dramatic local cooking style.

In the early days, the catch was hung over open fires or tacked to big wood slabs and then slowly cooked, absorbing the natural flavors from the smoke. As the settlers became more civilized, huts and smokehouses were built to contain and intensify the smoke flavor. As these techniques advanced over the centuries  and with the invention of the grill, plank cooking as we know it today was born. The earliest documented recipe for plank cooking appeared in the Boston Cooking School Cookbook in 1911 and was written by Fannie Farmer. This recipe featured planked chicken and duchess potatoes. Today, we have many spices, marinades and sauces to help flavor our foods, but back in the early days wood was the primary source to add flavor. With the evolution of modern smokers and grills, these original methods of smoking have slowly been displaced by easier, quicker techniques. Many traditionalists all over the world still cook over fire pits or in their own hand built smokehouses, but in slightly modified versions. The incredible smoky flavors of wood such as Western Red Cedar, Alder, Sugar Maple, Hickory, Mesquite and Oak from old wine barrels can be infused into your favorite foods as you grill or bake. We highly recommend western red cedar as our choice of wood for plank cooking. It can be used for all types of fish, beef, chicken, pork, even fruits and vegetables.

However, we encourage you to experiment and try other woods on your own. Try to stay away from woods that contain a lot of sap such as Pine. Use of this type of wood will not produce a desirable flavor and could be harmful to your health.

We hope that you will try plank cooking and that you will enjoy one of the most exciting cooking methods in the world. See for yourself why this technique of cooking has become one of the hottest methods of gourmet cooking. Take a look at our Grilled Salmon recipe using Fire & Flavor Cedar Grilling Planks!!

Today, chefs and home cooks alike prize the simple, straightforward style of plank roasting that adds complex flavors and moist texture to a range of foods. Plank cooking works because the porous wood surface absorbs moisture at room temperature and then releases the moisture and a smoky aroma to flavor foods as they’re slowly cooked in a hot oven or on a BBQ grill. As a result, plank-cooked foods are juicier, more flavorful and less susceptible to nutrient loss with a complex layering of flavors. An added benefit for health-conscious cooks: most recipes can be prepared using less fat or oil, sauces or liquids.


Now let’s see how well the Fire & Flavor Cedar Grilling Planks honor this age-old American Indian cooking method!

fandf-site-logo1

Fire & Flavor Product Review – Grilling Plank Masters or Commoners?

The GrillJunkie Grilling Product Reviews follow a comprehensive structure which includes the:

  • Problem that needs to be solved or addressed
  • Solution to that problem
  • Good, Bad and Ugly elements of the product
  • Verdict - the official GrillJunkie™ GPR (Grilling Product Reviews Rating)

Official Product Review and GPR

  • Problem - The way we view it, grilling salmon can be a challenge as it can notoriously stick to a hot grill, and infusing a natural smoky flavor into the delicate flesh is not easy.  Additionally, fish can easily dry out, char, lose flavor and essential nutrients if not cooked correctly, especially on a grill.

Product’s Solution Pitch - The Fire & Flavor™ team’s approach to addressing the problem was to develop, market and distribute their line-up of Grilling Planks and Papers. According to the company’s marketing material and ad copy:

Plank Grilling adds a delicious smoky flavor to your favorite foods. Fire & Flavor’s planks are perfect for seafood, meats, vegetables, and even fruits. Soak the plank for 1 hour or more, heat on an outdoor grill and cook food right atop the plank. Based on an old Native American technique, plank grilling is a fun and easy way to add amazing flavor to your next meal.

How to Use Fire & Flavor™ Grilling Fire & Flavor Grilling_PlanksPlanks

  1. SOAK plank under water for at least one hour.
  2. HEAT grill to 350F, add soaked plank to grill rack, close cover, heat 3 minutes and flip plank.
  3. SMOKE add food to heated plank, close cover: cook until done, no turning or flipping necessary.
  4. EAT super-moist seafood, meats or vegetables with rich, all natural smoky flavor.

 

The Genesis of Fire & Flavor Grilling Planks

Mission: To change the way people think about food. To inspire optimism, balance, and togetherness among those who come in contact with Fire & Flavor.

Their Story

Fire & Flavor’s story began years ago in a busy kitchen in Reynolds, Georgia where Gena Knox prepared many delicious meals with her mother and grandmother. It began with a love of family, friends, and Southern cuisine. In 2003, Gena Knox set a cedar plank on her grill and unknowingly started a culinary and entrepreneurial journey with her husband, Davis. Gena’s love affair with cooking became a passion for sharing delicious, gourmet, natural food with the people she loved.

Today Fire & Flavor shares all kinds of ways to make food more delicious, more nutritious and with less work. Davis and Gena are blessed with large families that share in many Southern traditions—in every one of them (it seems), food was the connector. Food continues to be that today. Sharing food at the

Gena Knox of Fire & Flavor

Gena Knox of Fire & Flavor

table is a time when many memories are created. Laughter, love and happiness make our world a better place.

Great food is so important to us that we anchor our company on a few core beliefs:

  • We believe in the truth of history and in the optimism of all the tomorrows ahead.
  • We believe great food is the means; memories and togetherness are the end.
  • We believe in the blessings of friendship, the power of family, and the reward in adventure.
  • We believe that great food belongs with people in the places they live.
  • We believe in helping people make food better than they ever have, more easily than they imagined.
  • We believe in all natural, made simple.

The Good - The product has a few important positive attributes. First of all, the Fire & Flavor product team did indeed address the problem head on with a top quality, center cut and attractively packaged product. Under extensive product testing using various sized grills and a myriad of food , seafood, burgers, and of course salmon, the hard to impress GrillJunkie team found that this grilling product:

  • Is packaged in an attractive, visually-rich and see through packaging
  • Comes in a variety of sizes from 6″ square, 4″ x 6″ and the larger 15″ x 5.75″ x .75″, 12.7 oz. size
  • Comes with easy to follow 4 step instructions and in-package recipe suggestions
  • Is made of all-natural Western Red Cedar
  • Derives from the Center Cut of the tree and not lower grade outer cuts
  • Derives from sustainable Canadian forrests
  • Is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • Infuses a robust but not overpoweringly sweet and naturally rich smoky flavor
  • The Cedar grilling planks are great for grilling salmon, beef, pork and other fresh water fish and seafoods
  • Is easy and fun to use on a grill or BBQ
  • Is re-useable up to 2 times if not overly charred

The Bad & The Ugly- We did not believe that this variable directly applied to this product. In fact, the Fire & Flavor Grilling Planks, albeit a tad pricier than some common, lower grade grilling planks, have a clean and enticing package design and the product itself is very attractive, well produced, instruction-rich and extremely effective grilling plank that creates a juicy, aromatic and lusciously sweet, naturally smoky cedar flavor while minimizing essential nutrient loss and essentially eliminating foods from sticking to the grill. The only ugliness is that the product line is not available in every retail, BBQ or grocery store worldwide, but they’re getting there! We’ll let the Fire & Flavor sales and marketing team tackle that one.

Verdict - We give the Fire & Flavor Cedar Grilling Planks 4.2 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. This rating equates to a Hot product but not quite Searing.  The product addresses and solves the problem for which it was designed in an attractively packaged, sustainable, highly effective, affordable and fun to use product. In fact, the Fire & Flavor™ Grilling Planks are not only high-quality, center cut grilling planks, which create a significant taste difference when it comes to the robust aroma and smokiness of the planks, but the company also honors the age-old Indian cooking method of wood plank cooking that has no equal.We look forward to conducting our Grilling Product Reviews on the Grilling Papers, Spices and Brines, their Lump Hardwood Charcoal and any new product developments that will come from the Fire & Flavor team.

GrillJunkie 4 Firepots

   GrillJunkie Rating of Fire & Flavor Cedar Grilling Planks = 4.2 / 5.0


 

Kuisiware Grill Light 

Next Grilling Review: Kuisiware Grill Light

What do you think? What Fires You Up? We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Leave a reply or comment. It’s OK. Bring it on!

Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club or subscribe to our RSS list.

 

Grilled Salmon on Cedar Plank with Cucumber Sauce

Grilled Salmon Recipe: Plank Grilling Nirvana!

This is our GrillJunkie recipe for making memorable Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon, adapted from our friends over at Fire & Flavor. If you’re not familiar with cedar plank salmon, it’s time to get familiar with this simple yet ancient cooking technique. Grilling fresh fish on a wood cedar plank, and other appropriate wood species creates the difference between a mediocre cookout and an incredible backyard cooking memory. The three keys to the recipe are the choice of fish to be grilled, the quality of the cedar plank and the ancient American Indian art of wood plank cooking.


Cedar_Plank_Grilled_Salmon_RecipeMastering wood plank grilling marks the difference between the casual backyard cook and the neighborhood grilling legend. We’re talking about the kind of grilling that professional chefs deliver and win championships that have that perfect mixture of flavor, texture and aroma derived from a rich and earthy hardwood smoke all held together by that unmistakable flavor of salmon.

The technique isn’t terribly difficult to master. Just pick up some cedar planks at a kitchen supply store (or online, or wherever you buy your propane), and use them as a platform for grilling. Check out our Grilling Product Review of some great Grilling Planks from Fire & Flavor. You’ll need to soak the planks in water or cider for a few hours beforehand, but that’s a small price to pay for the smoky, woodsy flavor they lend to meats, vegetables, and especially salmon. Cedar plank grilling is a must at your next barbecue! You really can’t go wrong, but here is one exceptional salmon recipe to get you started:

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon Recipe


Serves: 6 | Prep time: 60 minutes | Grilling time: 12 minutes| Special equipment: Grilling Planks


It’s the wood that makes it sizzle! Based on an old Native American technique, plank grilling is a fun and easy way to add amazing flavor to your next meal. When in season, grilled salmon is a simple and delicious dish. The extra oils and fats (known as omega-3s) that wild salmon store for their upstream journey is what gives them their distinctive taste.

When cooking wild Alaskan salmon on the grill, to make the most of their uniquely delicate flavor soak a cedar plank for an hour or overnight to grill the fish on. After the plank has been soaked, simply season the fish with a little salt and pepper to bring out its natural flavors. Then, place the salmon skin-side down on a heated cedar plank and place it directly on a hot grill. Close the grill lid for 6 to 12 minutes, or until the center of the fish is flaky and opaque in color. When done cooking, the fish should have a deeply succulent but not overwhelming wood-smoked flavor. Fresh wild Alaskan salmon is available from mid-May through the end of September, so fire up your grills and take advantage of this outstanding fish while it’s in season.

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon Recipe: Hardware Essentials

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon Recipe: Ingredients

chili powder

Salmon:
2½ pounds fresh salmon
2 teaspoons olive oil
1½ tablespoons Dry Rub* or try Fire & Flavor Classic Rub
1 (11 or 15-inch) Cedar Plank, soaked

Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce:
1 English cucumber, seeded and chopped
½ cup red onion, sliced into very thin half moons
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 small cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh mint
½ teaspoon salt

Ingredients For the Dry Rub*

  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dill or for a spicier kick use chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon Recipe: Preparation

Soak Cedar Grilling Plank in water or cider for at least an hour before grilling. Soaking overnight is optional but a great experiment if you have the time. Adding a little salt to the water or cider really brings out the flavor of the wood plank when smoked.

Preparation for the Dry Rub

Mix all of the Dry Rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Preparation for Grilling

  • Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium-low heat or 350°F. Rub salmon with oil and season with Dry Rub; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine cucumber and onion. Top with yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, mint, and salt. Fold into cucumber mixture and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside while salmon is grilling.
  • Place soaked plank on grill, close lid and heat for 3 minutes. Flip plank and place salmon on heated side of plank. Close lid and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon. Remove from grill when salmon is medium-rare or medium-well (fish will continue to cook after removing from grill). Serve with Cucumber-Yogurt sauce.

Serves: 6 | Prep time: 60 minutes | Grilling time: 12 minutes| Special equipment: Grilling Planks


Fire & Flavor Grilling_PlanksEnjoy, pound your chest in pride, smile and cherish these precious times with your family and friends.

What are your thoughts? What Fires You Up? We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Bring it on! Leave a reply or comment. Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club or subscribe to our RSS list. We also have a YouTube channel!

Grilled NY Strip Steak Recipes

Grilled NY Strip Steak Recipes

NY_Strip_Steak_RecipeNew York Strip is one of the GrillJunkie team’s favorite steaks to grill.  Grilling recipes for steak don’t get any simpler, succulent and enjoyable than this!  As with many high end steak cuts, less is more when grilling NY strip steaks.  The best way to grill this kind of steak is over direct high heat.  This method is ideal for NY Strip Steak as it seals in the juices and cooks the steak quickly, not allowing the steak to dry out. 

Tip 1: Keep the Dry-Aged NY Strip Steaks dry by patting with paper towels before grilling…otherwise any excess moisture steams the meat leaving a tough chew!

Tip 2: Look for meat with the most marbling, i.e., visible grains of fat running through the steak. As the steak is cooking, the fat melts, naturally tenderizing the meat and building in flavor. (Avoid vein steaks — the ones with a half-moon-shaped vein running through the cut — because they’re too tough.)

_________________________________________________

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 30-45 15 minutes | Grilling time: 10-12 minutes | Special equipment: Small Sauce Pan and Grilling Tongs

_________________________________________________

 Grilled NY Strip Steak Recipes: EQUIPMENT

    • Gas or Charcoal Grill
    • Long-handled Grilling Tongs
    • Large Serving Plate
    • Small Sauce Pan

 Grilled NY Strip Steak Recipes: INGREDIENTS

  • 4 prime-grade, dry-aged New York strip steaks (1 1/2 inches thick, about 14 to 16 ounces each;  thickness is more important than the weight)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup corn oilNY_Strip_Steak_Recipe
  • 8 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 teaspoons cracked black pepper

 

Grilled NY Strip Steak Recipes: PREPARATION

  • In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and skim the milk solids from the surface. This clarifies the butter. Set aside to cool.
  • Remove the steaks from the refrigerator about 30 to 40 minutes before grilling. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the steaks to come to room temperature. Before grilling, shape and stabilize the steaks by gently pushing the sides into the center to create height.
  • Mix the oil and 1/2 cup of unsalted, clarified butter on a large serving plate. Put the steaks into the oil-butter mix to coat each side, then lift the steaks to allow the excess oil to drip off. (Make sure that the steaks don’t have too much oil-butter mix on them, as this will create unwanted flare-ups on the grill.)
  • Coat each side of the steaks with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

 

Grilled NY Strip Steak Recipes: GRILLING

  • Pre-heat Gas or Charcoal Grill to High heat. Note: For charcoal grills, wait until red hot coals peak and to all gray before placing steaks onto grill.
  • NY_Strip_Steak_RecipePlace the NY Strip Steaks on the hottest part of the grill. If at any time the grill flares up, move the steaks to the outside edge, returning them to the center when the flame dies down.
  • NEVER slide the steaks across the grill; gently pick them up with tongs. The key is not to flip them around. Ultimately you want to turn a New York strip steak only three times, cooking each side twice for 3 minutes at a time (for a total cooking time of 12 minutes), to get a rare steak with adequate char.
  • Remember!! The secret is dipping the steak in a combination of butter and oil, coating it with a generous layer of kosher salt and cracked black pepper, and searing it over the hottest possible fire.
  • The Goal – the perfect steak defined by the contrast between the charred exterior and the warm, juicy center.

_______________________________________________________

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 30-45 minutes | Grilling time: 10-12 minutes | Special equipment: Small Sauce Pan and Grilling Tongs

_____________________________________________

What are your thoughts on this Grilled New York Strip Steak NY_Strip_Steak_RecipeRecipe? What Fires YOU Up? We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Leave a reply or comment. It’s OK. Bring it on!

Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club, subscribe to our RSS list or our YouTube Channel!

 

Grilled Cheesy Jalapeno Bison Burger Recipes

Grilled Burger Recipes - Jalapeño Bison with Caramelized Onion Burger

Bison_Burger_recipesThere is nothing more American, tempting and satisfying than a perfectly prepared, grilled, seared and stacked Hamburger! Make it into a Bison Cheeseburger with incomparable Wisconsin Cheese and, well, America shines and life does not get much tastier. Add jalapeños and onion rings and bam!

The team here at GrillJunkie is constantly tweaking and evolving all of our grilling recipes, and one our favorite categories is the incomparable Grilled Bison Burger Recipes. Growing our burger recipe repertoire is one of our favorite pastimes. We love to prepare and share our free on-line recipes with our readers. This one is directly adapted from, yet inspired by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s, Cheese-lovers www.cheeseandburger.com site. We call it The Cheesy Jalapeño Bison Burger and is described as such:

“This bison burger is one of our all-time favorite patty concoctions. Look past the fried onions and jalapeños and health nuts even get to justify that you’re eating lean meat. This burger is devoured by friends and family looking for the enjoyment of a regular burger, but wanting a little kick into the extraordinary. The lure of fried jalapeños appeals to the “heat”-seeker. The bison is lean and rich, and combines well with the spice from the jalapeños and sweetness of the honey-dijon spread.”

___________________________________________________________________

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Grilling time: 10 to 12 minutes | Special equipment: Grilling Sauté Pan

____________________________________________________________________

Burger Recipes - Tools and Equipment

  • Gas or Charcoal Grill
  • Long-Handled Grilling Tongs
  • Long handled Spatula
  • Paper Towels
  • 1/4 cup Canola Oil
  • Grilling Sauté Pan

Burger Recipes - Patty and Fixings Ingredients

80% lean chuck burger patty with center impression to avoid bulging when grilled.

Lean Bison burger patty with center impression to avoid bulging when grilled.

  • 24 ounces ground bison
  • 8 slices Beefsteak tomato
  • 4 pieces red leaf romaine
  • 8 slices of apple-smoked bacon – cooked
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced Vidalia onions
  • 8 jalapeños sliced in half lengthwise
  • 4 tablespoons honey dijon spread (mix equal parts mayo and honey-Dijon)
  • 4 slice white Wisconsin cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup of canola or light olive oil
  • 4 hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls

Bison_Burger_recipes

Burger Recipes - Instructions

 

For Perfect Burger Recipe Grilling Tips see our Basic Burger Recipes and/or our Burger Infographic.

  1. In a large bowl, gently divide the Bison meat into four equal portions. Each patty should consist of approximately 6 ounces of ground meat.
  2. Carefully and loosely form each divided portion into a patty that is ¾ – 1 inch thick and about 4 & ½ inches in diameter, again being careful to not overwork the meat. Make a shallow depression in the center of each of the meat patties with your thumb. This helps to keep the burger from bulging up in the middle while grilling which, if not done, causes a round burger and inconsistent cooking temperature throughout.  Plus, it’s kinda cool to do! (Check out our GrillJunkie™ Build a Better Burger Infographic)
  3. Once formed, place patties on a clean plate, sprinkle both sides with salt and gently press the black peppercorns into the meat, cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  4. In a heated sauté pan, add olive oil and sauté both the jalapeño slices and Vidalia onions until the onions are translucent and nicely caramelized to a light golden brown. Be sure to keep the flame at medium heat so as to not burn the jalapeños. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean plate.Set aside.
  5. Preheat the gas or charcoal grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F). If using a charcoal grill make a two heat range fire: one at high heat, the other at medium.
  6. Brush the cooking grates clean. With a canola oil soaked paper towel held with grilling tongs, oil the grates to prevent patties or the skillet from sticking.
  7. Adjust the heat of the grill to medium-high heat and again coat grill grates with cooking oil so as to avoid patties from sticking. Remove Bison patties from refrigeration, brush the burgers with light olive or canola oil, and place the patties on the hot grill grates. Ah, the joy of grilling a burger! Grill and sear patties over medium-high heat for 4‐5 minutes per side, or to desired done-ness being sure they are cooked through and have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  8. NEVER press down on burgers while they are grilling. Yes, it’s fun to create a flare-up but all your doing is drying out the burger into a dried out hockey puck.
  9. During the last minute of cooking time let’s turn those Burgers into Cheeseburgers by placing a slice of the earthy and richly textured Wisconsin White Cheddar onto each patty to melt. You can build a small, loose covering tent made of aluminum foil over each patty to help melt the cheese but in most cases simply closing the lid works wonders.
  10. About 30 seconds to 1 minute prior to removing the burgers from the grill, place the bacon slices directly on the grill to warm them. Warm the jalapenos and onions in a saute pan. Remove grilled patties from grill and let them rest for 2‐3 minutes.
  11. To assemble and stack, arrange the Hamburger or Kaiser roll bottoms on a clean plate, spread each bun bottom with 1 TBSP of honey mustard, lay down 1 slice of tomato and lettuce, layer on the burger patty with melted White Cheddar followed by two bacon slices. Top with the jalapeños and caramelized onions. Finally, crown with the upper bun slice! Your Cheesy Jalapeno Bison Burger is now ready to be admired and of course consumed!
  12. Serve, Smile, and Pound your chest in pride and enjoy the precious time with family and friends.

______________________________________________________________

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Grilling time: 10 to 12 minutes | Special equipment: Grilling Sauté Pan

______________________________________________________________

What are your thoughts on this Grilled Burger Recipe? What Bison_Burger_recipeFires YOU Up? We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Leave a reply or comment. It’s OK. Bring it on!

Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club, subscribe to our RSS list or our YouTube Channel!

Grilling Product Reviews: GrillBot – Did it Push Our Hot Buttons?

Grilling Product Review : GrillBot – Did it Push Our Buttons?

On a consistent basis the team here at GrillJunkie™ sets time aside to evaluate and communicate our formal rating on either a Grilling, BBQ or Burger related product. We do this via our Grilling Product Reviews process. As you certainly can imagine these products run the gamut from: Gotta Have It!CoolUsefulUtilitarianRidiculous and the, well, Just Plain Asinine! The spectrum of grilling related products is wide.

Today’s Grilling Product Reviews candidate:

GrillBot

 

GrillBot_Grilling_Product_Review

The GrillJunkie™ Grilling Product Reviews (GPR) Scale

Based on our extensive field research, the GrillJunkie Product Review team assigns a formal rating to every product that we test. This rating is based on a 1-5 Firepot structure as depicted through our Grilling Product Review (GPR) scale illustrated below. The number of Firepots given to the grilling product indicates its final rating. The higher the number of Firepots, the more positive the review.  

GrillJunkie Grilling Product Review GPR Firepot key with logo

  GrillJunkie GPR Four FirePot rating Quick Product Reviews Rating: For the more impatient reader who needs to get the rating right away, we gave the GrillBot4.3 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. This rating equates to a Hot product but not quite Searing.  The product brilliantly addresses and solves the problem for which it was designed in an attractive, energy efficient, rechargeable, durable and well engineered robotic grill cleaning product. In fact, the GrillBot may be one of the best ideas to arrive on the grilling scene in years as it directly addresses one of the main challenges of grilling; clean up by minimizing, if not eliminating the chore of manually scraping your grilling surface leaving more time for you to enjoy precious time with family and friends. For more detail on this Product Review, including an overview of the present array of grilling surface and cleaning tool choices, as well as the many upcoming Grilling Product Reviews on our schedule, read on!

Here’s a quick overview YouTube Video of the GrillBot Product Review:

First Up: 7 Types of Grilling Surfaces

Type 1: Stainless Steel - Stainless steel can be made from thin or thick rods. Stainless steel grates are not to be confused with chrome or nickel plated grates which are not as beneficial. The real advantage to stainless steel is that it has the potential to have a long life span and is easy to clean. Good quality and/or true stainless steel grates will never rust or corrode while cheap stainless eventually ceases to be truly “stainless”, and eventually will require replacement. Stainess_Steel_Grill_Grates_GrillJunkieThe last thing you want on your grates is rust or other oxides that can make their way onto your food. Some prefer thinner stainless steel grates that allow more radiant heat through, especially for charcoal grills. There are those that believe that the challenge with thick rods is that they block radiant heat and, although they make large dark grill marks, some find them less adequate in creating all over and even browning.

Type 2: Enamel-Coated PorcelainA sturdy porcelain enamel coating is applied to a variety of metals Enamel_coated_porcelain_grill_grates_GrillJunkieof different weights. Some grill manufacturers put it on rods or on upside down V or U-shaped rails. It can be coated on cast iron or tempered steel. Some prefer the thin rods so they don’t block the radiant heat needed to brown the surfaces of foods. Porcelain is easy to clean. It is hard to crack the surface, but dropping them can create a fissure in the coating allowing for the creation of rust. Vigorous scrubbing and scraping can scratch them and eventually wear off the coating. However, with proper care they work just fine, should last for years, and are much less expensive than stainless.

Type 3: Chrome or Nickel Plated WireInexpensive and easily replaceable, these types of grates warp under extremely high heat. After a year or two they pit and the plating begins to chip off. Once this occurs the exposed metal is susceptible to rust. But they’re so cheap that replacing them is not a budget-breaker. Their main advantage is that they allow radiant heat from below to find the food on the grate by leaving the heating surface of the grill open for real searing. They’re the next best thing to no grates at all and as close to open fire cooking that you can get. An example is what you will find as standard equipment with the Weber Hinged Cooking Grate.  weber grill grates

Type 4: Cast Iron Grates - Unlike cast iron fry pans and griddles that can become non-stick with use, many people believe that the same is true for cast iron grill grates. Untrue! Pans and griddles become non-stick due to their design. The metal is slightly porous and the surface is textured so oil becomes embedded in the surface pores forming a slippery polymer that can last for years.  The key to the longevity of these types of surfaces is to not allow them to become overheated or scrubbed with abrasives. Therein lies the problem with cast-iron grill grates. They become a lot hotter than most frying pans and that intense heat burns off the embedded surface oil and/or turns it to carbon. This eliminates the intended advantage of a non-stick surface. When finished cooking on a grill, excessively scrubbing and scraping the grease and food residue off actually removes those non-stick properties.

Cast_iron_grill_grate_GrillJunkie_product_reviewAdditionally, because cast iron grates are so heavy and therefore highly efficient at holding and transmitting heat to meat, they make definitive grill marks. You might ask, “What’s wrong with that?” The answer lies in the fact that it’s not the grill marks in and of themselves but the intensity of and quickness at which the grill marks were created! What is produced at too high of a surface temperature is a very significant contrast between those marks and the rest of the meat, leaving much of the meat surface under cooked and underdeveloped, never mind the potential of unsafely under heating the inner portions of the meat. What is desired is an even browning of the meat across the entire surface leaving dark mahogany tones of brown caramelized stripes slightly contrasted by medium mahogany surface colors between the stripes. Not only does the food being grilled look richer and more attractive, the taste tones are more satisfying and complex!

Furthermore, cast iron grates need extra and immediate TLC. You have to scrape them immediately after cooking, then oil them while they are still warm. The oil will fill the pores that have opened during cooking and prevent rust. To perform this maintenance ritual constantly and consistently is a hassle as you will find yourself on a frantic time scheduled obstacle course of leaving the fire on in order to burn off residue, running the food into the house, and while everyone is waiting for you, running back out to scrape and re-oil. If you forget to do this, you will notice that within days the cast-iron grates can start rusting. If you don’t use cast iron grates for months, they will rust even if you oiled them after the last use.

expanded metal grill grate Type 5: Tempered SteelCommon on large barbecue pits, tempered steel grates often come in expanded metal diamond grids. Their main advantages are that they are lightweight, inexpensive, and make diamond shaped grill marks without having to rotate the meat. Their disadvantages are that they rust, warp easily and they are extremely hard to clean. Similar to cast iron, they must be oiled.

Type 6: Teflon and Non-Stick Coatings - These surfaces are typically found on electric “grills” and a few portable gas grills. As with non-stick pans, the surface is easily scratched, must be treated gingerly and the use of a metal spatula, tongs, or fork, never mind a grill cleaning brush is verboten. Also, some are known to put out dangerous gases if they get very hot. Depending on the specific coating, “very hot” is usually 500° F, which is the range of a good direct grill surface. Their top feature is that they clean up easily, usually with mild soap and water, and some can even go through the dishwasher.

Type 7: Hard-Anodized Cast AluminumMade from aircraft quality aluminum into various shapes, (either as a pure flat plate, aerated and shaped for strength and air-flow, or raised railed wide rectangles), this light weight material is well suited for grilling as it allows if not epitomizes the infrared cooking method. Not GrillGrate_Product_Review_GrillJunkie_GPR4typically used as standard grilling surface material direct from the original equipment manufacturer – OEM, they are available as an after market product either as complete replacement grates or designed to sit on top of existing grates. Dependent upon the surface shape and design, aluminum grates have been shown to amplify heat, reduce hot spots by evening out the heat transfer across the grilling surface, minimize flare-ups and are easier to clean. The GrillGrate is made of this material and is shaped to maximize the infrared grilling method. Click here for the GrillGrate Product Review.

Next Up: Traditional Grill Surface Cleaning Tools

There are many tools that can be used to scrape and clean your grilling surfaces. These tools run the gamut from the traditional brass grill brush to cleaning stones to steam cleaners and even using an onion. Here are a few of the most frequently used grill surface cleaning tools:

Traditional Grill Surface Cleaning Brush – The utilitarian brass-bristled brush with handle canthLRZBGUZS typically last a whole season, does a respectable job of cleaning grilling surfaces but usually needs to be replaced or repaired after one season.

thJ74N6XE5Triangular Grill Brush – A bit different than the traditional handled brush, this design is more flexible to avoid scratching sensitive surfaces, covers more surface area, yet is capable of getting into nook and crannies.

Steam Cleaners – Exemplified by the GrillDaddy steamer, this type of grill surface cleaning tool combines hot water vapor with the traditional brush design.

Grill Cleaning Stones – Either mounted on a handle or as a standalone, grill cleaning stones are designed to conform to the grill grate surface to do its part in cleaning your grill.thVLQ2ZWIC

Aluminum Foil – By rolling aluminum foil into a loose ball and gripping the ball with grilling tongs you can make a decent make-shift grill cleaning tool.

An Onion? – By cutting an onion in half and grasping it with tongs to slide across the grilling surface you can not only clean the surface but lubricate it as well as the onion contains oils that prevent food from sticking to the hot surface.  


Now let’s see how the GrillBot stood up to cleaning these surfaces and it’s competition:

GrillBot logoGrillBot Product Review – New BBQ Cleaning King or Elitist Toy?

The GrillJunkie Grilling Product Reviews follow a comprehensive structure which includes the:

  • Problem that needs to be solved or addressed
  • Solution to that problem
  • Good, Bad and Ugly elements of the product
  • Verdict - the official GrillJunkie™ GPR (Grilling Product Reviews Rating)

So let’s dig in to the GrillBot product review.

Official Product Review and GPR

  • Problem - The way we view it, although the options for cleaning your grill are vast, mostly we all wish we had only one option; to NOT do it!  There are some chores we simply all despise doing. From backyard weekend warriors to grill pros everywhere, the last thing we look forward to is having to clean the grill after an enjoyable and successful grill gathering. The GrillJunkie team adamantly agrees as we have up to 15 grills in our outdoor test kitchen all of which need to be constantly cleaned in preparation for our next product review session.

Product’s Solution Pitch - The GrillBot team’s approach to addressing the problem was to develop, market and distribute the GrillBot™ lineup of grill cleaning robots. According to the company’s marketing material and ad copy:

“The GrillBot, which was invented by Ethan Woods, is the world’s first automatic grill cleaning robot. Launched January 13, 2014 GrillBot is here to make your life easier. Our mission is to enrich your life by simplifying it. We believe that by taking the grunt work out of cleaning your grill it will leave more time to enjoy your friends, family and grillbot brushesthe party! Simply place the GrillBot on your grill, press a button and you’re done. The GrillBot does all the work for you. No more scrubbing the grill. The GrillBot is the easy-to-use, fun-to-watch, fully automated device that easily cleans your grill with just the push of a button.”

The Genesis of GrillBot

Ethan Woods didn’t like cleaning his grill either. Woods had his “a-ha” moment while attempting to scrub and clean his grill with a wire wheel brush. An inventive minded guy, he attached the wire wheeled brush to a power drill and the impetus for the Grillbot was afoot.

“For most of my adult life, it’s been a dream to invent a product and bring it to market,” says Woods. “After some research it was clear there was a very large market for something like this. I certainly was not the only person who did not look forward to scraping my grill with a poorly made grill brush. So I started by contacting engineers and prototype development companies and, surprisingly, they all said it couldn’t be done. It was just too difficult with the heat issue on a grill and you can’t make anything move around well enough to cover this type of surface.Not one to take no for an answer, I finally found some very sharp German engineers in California who said they could do it. They develop high tech medical equipment, among other things such as pool robots so I decided to give them a chance.”

GrillBot on grillEnd Result: The GrillBot

What Woods developed is the heat-resistant plastic Grillbot that features three independent motors, in addition to three rotary brass or stainless steel brushes that spin as it maneuvers itself in a repetitive, random pattern across your grill’s surface. The Grillbot will clean your grill in about 30 minutes or less and all you have to do is put it on the grate, push a button and close the grill’s lid. And if the grill gets hotter than 250 degrees, the device has a sensor that will set off an alarm. It also has a smart computer brain to regulate speed and direction and can be recharged with an AC adapter.

Grillbot features:

  • Push button operation
  • Three electric motors
  • Three replaceable brushes WIN_20140422_095041
  • Built in LCD alarm and timer
  • Smart CPU or computer brain to regulate speed and direction
  • Rechargeable battery with AC adaptor
  • Four colors

The Good - The product has a few important positive attributes. First of all, the GrillBot product team did indeed address the problem head on with an attractive, well designed, well constructed, automated, materially strong and versatile product. Under extensive product testing using various sized grills and a myriad of food and burnt-on messes, the hard to impress GrillJunkie team found that this grilling product:

    • Arrived in an attractive, appropriately hefty and see through packaging
    • Comes with an informational DVD
    • Is easy to charge and re-charge
    • Is powered by three strong electronic motors
    • Has a built in, easy to read LCD timer and audible alarm
    • Is easy to clean with removable brass cleaning wheels
    • Can be upgraded to use stainless steel brushes (optional)
    • Performed well on all sized surfaces: rectangular, square and round
    • Can be time adjusted for various sized grills and messes
    • Shuts off automatically if it overheats

05_21_grillbot_product_reviewThe Bad - There are, however, four main negative attributes to the GrillBot.

  • Price – Presently, the GrillBot retails for $129.95. This may be a bit steep for the budget conscious casual griller who may opt to simply stick with his or her utilitarian brass scraping tool. However, the laws of supply and demand may be in your favor as the GrillJunkie team believes that there are plans to get the price below the $99 point. With that said, we look forward to not only cleaning our grills more easily but maybe buying a few and entering a modified GrillBot into MIT’s annual Robot Wars.  Don’t try this at home kids!
  • Carrying Case Please – This product screams for a carrying case in order to store the device, its AC adapter and DVD safely between grilling sessions. In fact, it appears that one may be in the works as you can see by the dedicated spot on the GrillBot website.
  • Keep the Lid Closed – (For those without a substantial front or surrounding lip edge) – Although it is fun to watch the GrillBot in action, it is so powerful and grime hungry that the lid must be closed while in use as without a substantial front lip on your grill the device may pull itself off the grill surface before the electronic sensor realizes that it needs to make a critical turnaround.
  • Teflon Averse - Cannot be used on Teflon grilling surfaces – Similar to all grill cleaning products, the GrillBot cannot be used to clean Teflon surfaces. Not a big deal as these sensitive surfaces are designed to be cleaned easily with a simple wipe.

The Ugly - We did not believe that this variable directly applied to this product. In fact, the GrillBot has a clean and enticing package design and the product itself is very attractive, well designed and extremely effective. The only ugliness is that the product cannot clean the entire underbody, heat chamber, grease canister while also shining up the exterior stainless steel! We’ll get Ethan Woods on that right way. Stay tuned.

Verdict - We give the GrillBot a 4.3 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. This rating equates to a Hot product but not quite Searing.  The product brilliantly addresses and solves the problem for which it was designed in an uncomplicated, attractive, energy efficient, durable, and well engineered product. In fact, the GrillBot may be one of the best ideas to arrive on the grilling scene in years as it directly addresses one of the main challenges of grilling; clean up by minimizing, if not eliminating the chore of manually scraping your grilling surface leaving more time for you to enjoy precious time with family and friends. We look forward to any new product developments that will come from the GrillBot team.

GrillJunkie 4 Firepots

    GrillJunkie Rating of GrillBot = 4.3 / 5.0


 

Fire_and_Flavor _grilling_planks

Next Review: Fire & Flavor Cedar Grilling Planks

What do you think? What Fires You Up? We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Leave a reply or comment. It’s OK. Bring it on!

Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club or subscribe to our RSS list.

 

Squealers Smokin’ Hot BBQ Sauce Reviews – Did it Curl Our Tails?

Squealers BBQ Smokin’ Hot Sauce: On the BBQ Sauce Reviews Hot Seat

On a consistent basis the team here at GrillJunkie™ sets time aside to conduct and communicate our formal opinion on either a Grilling, BBQ or Burger related product inclusive of BBQ Sauce Reviews & Rubs. As you certainly can imagine, and most likely have experienced yourself, these products run the gamut from Gotta Have It!CoolUtilitarianRidiculous and the, well, Just Plain Assinine!

Today’s BBQ Sauce Reviews candidate is:

Squealers BBQ Smokin Hot BBQ Sauce

Squealers Barbeque Sauce Reviews

 

Based on our extensive field research, the GrillJunkie Product Review team assigns a formal rating to every product that we test. This rating is based on a 1-5 Firepot structure as illustrated by our Grilling Product Review (GPR) scale below. The number of Firepots given to the grilling product indicates the product’s final rating. The higher the number of Firepots, the more positive the BBQ Sauce Review.

We are NEVER compensated for our Grilling Product Reviews so as to protect our integrity, brand and Product Review objectivity.

GrillJunkie Grilling Product Review GPR Firepot key with logo

GrillJunkie GPR Four FirePot ratingQuick BBQ Sauce Reviews Rating: For the more impatient reader who needs to get the rating right away, we gave the Squealers® BBQ Smokin’ Hot Sauce 4.25 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots on our BBQ Sauce Reviews scaleThis rating equates to a Hot product but not quite Searing.  This BBQ Sauce was a well balanced Hot style BBQ Sauce that curled our toes, made us squeal with taste drenched delight while not overpowering us with off-the-chart and unnecessary heat. The Squealers Barbeque Smokin’ Hot Sauce has both Outside Bottle appeal and gusto that delivers Inside the Bottle with a balanced formula of a not to sweet real tomato-based sauce with the layered depth of a strong but not overwhelming jalapeño kick, rich molasses, the tangy crispness of apple juice and fresh garlic and onion undertones. For more detail on this BBQ Sauce Review, including a History of BBQ Sauce as well as the many upcoming BBQ Sauce Reviews and Grilling Product Reviews on our schedule, read on!

 

First Up: A Bit of BBQ Sauce History

The precise origin of barbecue sauce is unclear. Some trace it to the end of the 15th century, when Christopher Columbus brought a sauce back from Hispaniola, while others place it at the formation of the first American colonies in the 17th century.

References to the “saucy” substance start occurring in both English and French literature over the next two hundred years. South Carolina mustard sauce, a type of barbecue sauce, can be traced to German settlers in the 18th century.

Not Far Enough Back My Friends! Think this is pretty far back in time, huh? Well, think again. The idea of putting sauces on food goes back much, much further. In fact, according to Harold McGee’s superb book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, in 239 B.C., Chinese Chef I Yin, in “Master Lü’s Spring and Autumn Annals” discusses the harmonious blending of sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty, and the importance of balancing them harmoniously in sauces.Arawak Tribe - Grilling History

“The transformation which occurs in the cauldron is quintessential and wondrous, subtle and delicate. The mouth cannot express in words; the mind cannot fix upon an analogy. It is like the subtlety of archery and horsemanship, the transformation of Yin and Yang, or the revolution of the four seasons.”

The Yin and Yang of mixing sweet and sour is, of course, a Chinese specialty, and at the heart of most barbecue sauces. McGee also quotes a Latin poem from 25 A.D. It describes a farmer pounding herbs, cheese, oil, and vinegar, and adding it to a flatbread. The paste sounds quite a bit like pesto genovese, and the flatbread sounds like a pesto pizza or calzone.

The first actual mention of the term “barbecue sauce” we have found was in the Bolivar Bulletin from Hardeman County, TN in 1871. The author of an article thanks a Dr. J.H. Larwill for:

“a fine lot of Barbecue Sauce, of his own invention. For fresh meats of all kinds it cannot be excelled.”

For a more detailed History of  BBQ Sauce, we highly recommend the article from Meathead Goldwyn of AmazingRibs.com.

Did it Curl Our Tails?: Squealers Barbeque Smokin’ Hot BBQ Sauce

Before we proceed to the formal BBQ Sauce Review, it is important to note that our BBQ Sauce Reviews follow an organized and comprehensive structure which includes the:

  • Product Source Stats
  • Outside the Bottle Review
  • Inside the Bottle Review
  • Final Verdict and GrillJunkie™ GPR (Grilling Product Rating)

So let’s dig in to Squealers Smokin’ Hot BBQ Sauce!

Official BBQ Sauce Review and GPR

Product Source Stats - The Facts M’am. Just the Facts.

  • Name: Squealers® Barbeque Smokin’ Hot BBQ Sauce
  • Cost: $5.29 MSRP / 18 fl. oz or 510 ml
  • Ingredients: Tomato puree from concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, Jalapeño peppers, molasses, sugar, distilled vinegar, apple juice concentrate, modified food starch,salt, natural flavor, caramel color, dehydrated garlic and onion, less than 1/10 of 1% sodium benzoate added as a preservative
  • Color: Deep Dark Rich Red / Reddish BrownSquealers_Smokin_Hot_Sauce

Outside the Bottle

This subcategory reviews the variables such as the attractiveness of the product, its overall visual appeal and/or how “perty” it is, etc. This subcategory does come with a GrillJunkie GPR rating.

  • Packaging & Labeling - Upon unpacking, we found the 18 oz. wide-mouthed glass bottle attractive, quirky, eye catching, smoking hot with personality and adorned with awards. You’ll find who we called “squealy”, the central logo-figure on the label, added a touch of uniqueness. The package, labeling and overall design were complete and seem to have been professionally designed. A few fonts were hard to read, due to the predominantly dark and rich color of the labels, but overall a step above most of the packaging out there without going too mainstream and generic.
  • Story/Background - A great concept born from a obvious BBQ passion and good old American hard work and stamina. Jeff Yater is the founder and creator behind the Squealers Barbeque restaurants, BBQ Awards and BBQ Sauce lineup. Here’s the basic story:

“Squealers Smokin’ Trail: With a vision of the finest Barbeque, Squealers Award Winning Barbeque hit the road to put their stamp on the BBQ circuit. The first step was to equip a well thought out design for a custom smokin’ wagon. End result; a 30 foot enclosed trailer with a 500 spk smoking bad boy with a 3 bay sink system and refrigeration. Very easy to see, it’s “all in” on this one. 

With the smokin’ wagon ready Squealers started their journey in the world of cooking outstanding BBQ. Competing and selling in over 24 cities in 1999 Squealers got a real feel of what it takes to score high with the judges and win the “now” loyal customers over. Achieving over 65 awards at assorted National barbecue, World barbecue, and Ribfest events through the South, East, and Midwest, Squealers wanted to bring home all the expertise they had acquired. As the smoke grew high so did the need for Squealers to fuel the fire. 

In May of 2001 came the first Squealers dine-in barbeque restaurant with 175 seats, a full bar, and a banquet room to hold 125 festive people. Squealers was just needed that one main ingredient to make a giant splash in Mooresville,

Jeff Yater_Squealers Barbeque_bbq_sauce_reviews

Jeff Yater of Squealers Barbeque

Indiana… GREAT BARBEQUE. Squealers delivered the great barbeque and is now known for great eats miles around. It was not long before it was time to make a wave in a bigger pool. 

In 2004 Squealers Award Winning Barbeque did it again. This time equipped with 212 seats, a full, separate bar, and 2 spk 700 Southern Pride smokin’ pits, they were ready to tag the Indianapolis market with great award winning southern style barbeque, once again hitting a home run with this outstanding truly authentic smoked barbeque.”

Squealers has become a favorite stop to many around. We’re the real deal — come join us for lunch or dinner, we would be happy to have you!

  • Logo & Graphics - The Product Review team found the Squealers BBQ Smokin Hot Sauce logo appropriate and effective as it leverages the trail that’s been blazed by Jeff Yater and his team. What you’ll find is a beefy looking hog standing proud with a race winning checkered flag apron, with flames behind him while he admires a couple of brats he just fired up. Appropriately cannibalistic and right on target with masculine subtle humor without being to contrived. However, the entire label is a bit dark and its great appeal may get lost in the crowd if it gets on a large grocery store shelf. Maybe a bit more white background or a border may help here. Please note that a few of us on the GrillJunkie team are branding experts, a.k.a. “snobs”so the compliment is genuine and we apologize for the residual corporate pretense.
  • Cyber Marketing Presence / Web Site: Although we found the physical outside product appeal to be strong, we were a bit disappointed with the company’s web site utility. Not the web site itself, which tells a great story both visually and verbally about the  company history, BBQ Awards, restaurants, menu, etc. When looking for specific information about the BBQ Sauce line, ingredients, pictures and the like we were left a bit Squealers_ordersaucehungry for more. Maybe a dedicated page focused on the retail food products and BBQ Sauce. Just a thought. With such a good looking product that will inevitably draw consumers to the site to not only learn more and order a few bottles, it seems that they may be leaving a few dollars on the table by not enhancing the site’s appeal and interactive links. Again, more pretense and corporate blah, blah blah from the GrillJunkie team sticking their noses in it as usual.
  • GPR#: 4.2/5.0 Firepots

Inside the Bottle

This subcategory reviews important variables such as the Flavor Profile, Consistency and Taste before being cooked and after. This subcategory come with a GrillJunkie GPR rating as well.

  • Dominant Taste / Ingredient Match - The Dominant Taste of this Smokin’ Hot BBQ Sauce matched fairly well with our expectations from the product label and ingredient list. Strong fresh tomato-base, not ketchup-ish (thank you), strong taste and texture of tomato, jalapeno, molasses and tart apple with salty garlic and onion undertones. Therein lies an issue. We were prepared for more heat and maybe a bit of smokiness from this bottle as indicated by the labeling. We expected Tomotoes_Dominant_BBQ_Sauce_Reviewsmore heat but were pleased that we weren’t dealing with yet another heat drenched sauce that overwhelms the overall balance of the remaining earthy flavors.
  • Pre-cooked Flavor Profile - A strong and balanced Flavor Profile. We found a thick tomato-based sauce that unveiled layers of spice, acidity, molasses and tangy apple but not an overwhelming and off-balancing amount of chunky jalapeno, and the earthy tones of brown sugar. Overall, a well-balanced mixture of natural sweet,jalapeno_for_Squealers_BBQ_Sauce_Reviews spice and savory warmth that leaves you hankering for  more to drench on some ribs or to just dip into as a sauce.
  • Consistency and Texture - Although we would categorize this BBQ Sauce as thick, we found that the extra texture of the sauce, due to the tomato and peppers possibly, created solid differentiation. The thickness of the tomato base, the molasses and the spice define the texture and consistency of this BBQ sauce. A good thing when trying to get an even crust on our baby back ribs and/or for simply using as a dipping sauce.
  • BBQ Sauce on Ribs GrillJunkieSlathered & Cooked Flavor Profile - Compared to the “intense heat-lack” we experienced during the pre-cooked portion of the BBQ Sauce Review, we found that the kick and spicy depth of the jalapeño awakened when the sauce was mopped on, slathered and cooked, especially during longer periods such as on our 6 hour brisket smoke-a-thon. However the lack of off the chart kick was replaced by a deeper tone of smoky molasses, sugar and the awakening of the jalapeño. Not at all a bad thing for the GrillJunkie team but a possible disappointment for those who expect to get their “tongue burning-to-dollars” ratio worth. Those folks should do their research and realize that we were not dealing with habanero or the California Reaper…which are way off the Scoville SHU scale.
  • GPR# - 4.3/5.0

The Verdict

Squealers_Smokin_Hot_SauceOverall, the GrillJunkie Product Review Team give Squealers Barbeque Smokin Hot BBQ Sauce a 4.25 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. Hot! product but not quite Searing! This BBQ Sauce was a well balanced Hot style BBQ Sauce that curled our toes, made us squeal with taste drenched delight while not overpowering us with off-the-chart and unnecessary heat. The Squealers Barbeque Smokin’ Hot Sauce has both Outside Bottle appeal that delivers Inside the Bottle with a balanced formula of a not to sweet real tomato-based sauce with the layered depth of a strong but not overwhelming jalapeño kick, rich molasses, tangy crispness of apple juice and the fresh and earthy aroma of garlic and onion undertones.  The GrillJunkie BBQ Sauce Reviews team is very much looking forward to reviewing Squealers Barbeque Mustard Madness Sauce. Stay tuned!

GrillJunkie 4 Firepots

 

GrillBot_Grilling_Product_ReviewNext Grilling Product Review:  The GrillBot

What are your thoughts? What Fires You Up? 

We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Leave a reply or comment. It’s OK. Bring it on! Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and up!

Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

In case you didn’t know, May is National BBQ Month! It’s time for our Top 10 Gas Grills list. Every year, every May as the winter weather subsides and Spring has sprung our great nation pays tribute to one of America’s greatest passions and pastimes: firing up the grill, smoker or BBQ and creating a great meal for family and friends. As a tradition, each year the team here at GrillJunkie conducts a quick review of the new gas grills on the market and lists our top 10 gas grills. We are NEVER compensated for our review lists or our Grilling Product Reviews so as to protect our integrity, brand and Product Review objectivity.

Okay, so let’s dig into our list! There is more to buying a grill than running out to the hardware or cheapest big value store so don’t be hasty.  Yes, the shiny new gas grill or the one with the light up knobs would look great on your patio, but will it perform well on a Return on Investment scale by measuring its grilling abilities and structural integrity? It is important to note that there are certain things to look for in a gas grill and that there are a lot more grills out there than you’ll find in just one store. As such, the GrillJunkie Grilling Product Review team has evaluated, broken down and listed what we believe are the best gas grills on the market by price category. We do this so our readers can locate the perfect gas grill for your needs and not watch your hard earned money go up in flames! You may also want to peruse our article on How to Buy a Gas Grill: The 7 Keys.

Looking for our Top 10 Gas Grills List below $250? Click here

Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

Are you or someone you know or love thinking of buying a new gas grill and your budget is in the $250 + up to $1,000 range? The GrillJunkie team believes that the gas grills we’ve evaluated and compiled below are the best value gas grills for you to put on your shopping list. As this is the $250 and above price level you are getting into higher quality and longer lasting grill territory. In this price range expect to end up with a better than average grill that can cook well and last around 5 years. At the higher end, you will find gas grills that put out plenty of heat, are built solid and have all the versatility you want. As always, with a little TLC and a some routine maintenance they should serve you well for many years and do an excellent job of grilling not just the basics such as steaks, burgers and hot dogs while also being fully capable of high end rotisserie and long slow, even cooking such as a grilled turkey or ham.

Number 1 – Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

You may have noticed that Home Depot sells a special or deluxe version of some of the line of Weber gas grills. For 2014, the Spirit line of grills have Weber’s Gourmet BBQ Accessory System added for no extra price. Identical at its core to the standard Spirit E-210, this model has a special porcelain coated cast circular iron cooking grate with a removable center piece that can be swapped out for a large number of accessory cooking equipment including a pizza stone, chicken roaster, and a griddle.

The Good: Pros

  • Fold down side tables for smaller footprint
  • Quality construction
  • Versatile cooking system with additional accessories available

The Bad: Cons

  • Lower grades of stainless steel throughout
  • Front panel awkward to open
  • Pre-heating times a bit long

Product Features List

  • Two 13,250 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
  • 360 square inches of primary cooking area with 450 square inches of total cooking area
  • 26,500 BTUs from the main burners
  • Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates with removable center section
  • Electric (AA-Battery) cross over ignition
  • Porcelain enameled steel, stainless steel (400 series) and cast aluminum construction
  • Comes with porcelain coated cast iron griddle accessory
  • Fold down side tables
  • Hood mounted thermometer and propane tank gauge
  • Cover and propane tank sold separately
  • Built in China by Weber-Stephen Products Company exclusively for Home Depot

Grilling Product Review Guide - Weber Spirit E-210 Gourmet BBQ System

For all you grilling addicts that demand more than basic grilling, the Gourmet BBQ System from Weber is a clincher here as it offers almost unlimited potential for any accessory you will ever need, and frequently use. While this grill comes with a standard griddle attachment there are a spectrum of other accessories available. The price for these grilling accessories range in price from around $35 USD to $55 USD. What this special version offers  is a free accessory system. For the consumer in search of solid value in a gas grill this is an excellent grill.

With a small footprint, this is essentially a very basic 2-burner gas grill. The 2 burners generate 26,500 BTUs of heat across 360 square inches of porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates. Don’t expect this grill, however, to burn down the neighborhood as it is not a very powerful grill and the GrillJunkie team found out that preheat times are long. However, the we did notice that the grates hold a ton of heat, allow for good heat transfer and temperature evenness. This grill will do a very good job of grilling a steak or burgers, while the complementary Gourmet BBQ system expands the horizons to pizza recipes and whole chickens or roasts. As far as the temperature range is concerned, you will find it wide, so low temperature cooking is very solid which opens the avenue to low and slow BBQ cooking. The 2-burner design gives enough space to indirectly cook a whole chicken, medium sized turkey or a roast.

The construction is of this grill is good but not superb. Weber seems to have abandoned higher quality stainless steel in favor of price control at this model level, so don’t expect the durability of Weber of the past, but it is still a well made grill. Business is business. The majority of the body is solid enameled steel, a staple of Weber and something the company is very good at. If you’re tempted to upgrade to the higher priced stainless steel version, think twice as we believe you will get many more years and less maintenance pangs out of this version compared to the more expensive stainless steel body paneled Spirit S-210. Oh, and don’t forget you get the Gourmet BBQ System as part of the deal! All this makes the Weber Spirt S-210 Grill with Gourmet BBQ System #1 on the GrillJunkie Top 10 Gas Grills list.

Number 2 - Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

2. Broil-King Signet 20

There are a gamut of 3-burner gas grills on the market today in the under $500 USD range. Be warned, however, that most are not well made nor solidly designed. The good news is that the Broil King Signet rises above the 3-burner trend and proves that it is not one of “those” grills. The burner design provides even heating, the heavy cast iron cooking grates create excellent heat transfer, while the fire box Broil_King_signet-20_top_10_gas_grillsdesign holds in precious heat for diverse and versatile cooking abilities. For circa $400 USD, this grill is a superior value. Our secret shopper picked ours up at Lowe’s.

 

The Good: Pros

  • Impressive Dual-Tube Stainless Steel burners
  • Solid construction with durable components
  • Heavy and durable cooking grates

The Bad: Cons

  • Some construction metal pieces are somewhat thin
  • Thin cast aluminum lid and body
  • Not convertible between LP and Natural Gas

Grilling Product Features List

  • Three 13,333 BTU Dual-Tube stainless steel burners
  • 400 square inches of primary cooking space with a total of 635 square inches
  • 40,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • Heavy cast iron cooking grates
  • Electronic Ignition
  • Cast Aluminum body with stainless steel components
  • Good warranty
  • Cover and propane tank sold separately
  • Made in Canada and sold through various outlets including Lowe’s

Grilling Product Review Guide - Broil-King Signet 20

This is a powerful and well-sized gas grill. The impressive firebox design provides a high, even heat that pre-heats fast. The heavy cast iron cooking grates and powerful output will create a great searing surface, while the excellent linear flow control valves give you massive temperature control.

Broil-King is famous for it’s infinity-8 burner. As such, we found that the the Dual-Tube stainless steel burners on this grill were unique and lived up to their revolutionary status. The difference, comparatively speaking, is that the these burners create even gas flow front to back, a feature no other tubular burner can claim. The inner tube distributes gas completely throughout its outer tube which delivers a very even flow of gas.

 All components on this grill are made to endure, so your money will be well spent. The grill’s body is a combination of cast aluminum and stainless steel. For the price category, there are very few grills of this size that can boast and illustrate this kind of build quality.

Number 3 - Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

3. Napoleon LA200 SB 2-Burner

Napoleon_la200sb-300x300_top_10_gas_grills
This simple, 2-burner grill has Napoleon high quality built into a mini-sized unit. In fact, this is Napoleon’s entry point into the smaller grill market space and provides a great alternative for those grilling addicts in search of a full function gas grill, while not wanting to large of a footprint. That balance come with a price of course, as we found that this wasn’t the least expensive grill of this type, but it was certainly one of the better ones. Ideal for an urban environment, apartment or studio terrace, small patio, or balcony, the Napoleon LA200 is a solid grill in a compact package.

The Good: Pros

  • Small foot-printed, but well featured gas grill
  • Good quality construction
  • High heat output, evenness and pre-heating

The Bad: Cons

  • Infrared side burners seem impractical and gimmicky

Product Features List

  • Two 12,500 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
  • 325 square inches of primary cooking area for a total of 435 square inches of grilling space
  • 35,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • 8,000 BTU infrared side burner under a flush mounted cover
  • Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Side table fold down to reduce the space it takes up
  • Stainless steel and enameled steel construction
  • Cover, propane tank, and rotisserie kit sold separately
  • Made by Napoleon in China

Grilling Product Review Guide - Napoleon LA200 2-Burner

Napoleon manufactures and stealthily markets a very good lineup of gas grills. This particular model that enters them into the smaller grill market is absolutely no exception. Among the wave of small footprint grills, this model, is simple, solid and small. As a basic 2-burner, this Terrace or Urban grill doesn’t possess any extras, except maybe the impractical side burner. The side tables conveniently fold down to reduce the space it uses. Until now, this feature meant no side burner, but Napoleon has figured that stumbling block out and provides this model with an infrared side burner, flush mounted into a fold down side table. Impressive although we still stick to our view that side burners are impractical and hardly used. We’ll give them 5 stars for engineering tenacity and ingenuity! A 23,000 BTU grill, with just under 325 square inches of porcelain coated cast iron cooking grate to be proud of. 

As for the construction quality on this small patio grill, well, it is better than most comparable units. That comes with having to shell out a few more Benjamins, but for those who are tired of replacing your gas grill every few years, then you should take a seriously long look at this one.

Number 4 - Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

4. Weber Genesis E-330

Admittedly, the GrillJunkie team is a bit biased as we have all owned and been happy with the many Weber’s across the years. So, suffice is to say that we believe the Weber Genesis line of grills are the best you can buy in the close to $1,000 price range and beyond. The list price is $949 USD but look around, do some searching online and in the aisles and you will most likely be able to find one for around $800 USD. The Genesis E-330 is a three burner grill with a 12,000 BTU side burner and a 10,000 BTU internally mounted sear burner. It comes in three color options also. Other Weber models in this Genesis series come without the side burner or the sear burner. Weber_Genesis_E330_gas_grill_top_10_gas_grills

The Good: Pros

  • Solid construction of durable parts
  • Weber Support
  • Sear burner provides extremely high temperature capability

The Bad: Cons

  • Low grades of stainless steel throughout
  • Slower preheat times

Product Features List

  • Three 12,666 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
  • 507 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 637 square inches
  • 38,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • 12,000 BTU standard side burner under a flush mounted cover
  • 10,000 BTU internal booster sear burner
  • Push button electric (AA-battery) ignition
  • Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Constructed of cast aluminum, enameled steel and stainless steel (400 series stainless)
  • Dual layer hood with double vaporization system for heat retention
  • Made in the USA by the Weber-Stephen Products Company

Grilling Product Review Guide - Weber Genesis E-330

Simply put, this Weber Genesis model grill is one of the most efficient standard gas grills on the market. It is also one of the most solidly built in its class and for what you will pay for it there really isn’t a better grill value on the market. It will last forever with some TLC, a cover and some Grill Cleaning 101. While admittedly a basic, no frills gas grill, the Genesis does what you want in a grill; it grills fast and hot, while being fully capable of performing difficult to perfect low and slow, indirect grilling.

Take a careful look inside the Genesis’s firebox and you will find three burners that put 38,000 BTUs under and across 507 square inches of cooking space. While this may seem low as compared to other gas grills, the Weber Genesis can boast higher efficiency than most grills. However, the reduction of BTUs means that this grill will not heat up as quickly as Weber’s pre-2011 older models wherein the burners were placed the other way. However, the addition of the sear burner in the Genesis E-330 creates higher cooking grate temperatures than previous Genesis Grill. Give yourself just a few more minutes of pre-heating time and you will cranking out beautifully seared and tasty treats for family and friends!

The main standout of the Weber Genesis E-330 is its quality. With engineering driven attention to detail, and a incomparable Quality Control mandate that every grills gets fired up before its packaged and shipped, everything on this grill works before it leaves the factory. Add to that a 10 year warranty on virtually everything in this grill and you should count on having this great outdoor cooking tool as part of the family for at least a decade, if not longer.

Number 5 - Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

5. Broil King Baron 5-Burner 590-S

Broil_King_baron-590_top_10_gas_grillsThis is a big grill with a impressive profile. This one will grill enough for a dozen people and if that is the need, then this is an excellent choice. For a reasonable price of $849USD, the Baron 590-S, or as it is also known the Broil King Baron 5-Burner Stainless Steel, is a large, well built grill.

The Good: Pros

  • Dual tube burners for even heating front to back
  • Quality construction
  • Heavy stainless steel cooking grates
  • A full rotisserie system, expanding the versatility of the grill

The Bad: Cons

  • Under powered side burner

Product Features List

  • 50,000 BTU stainless steel Dual-Tube burner system
  • 10,000 BTU professional inset side burner
  • 15,000 BTU stainless steel rear rotisserie burner
  • Premium rotisserie kit included
  • 805 sq. in. / 5,194 sq. cm. total cooking surface including porcelain coated warming rack
  • 555 sq. in. / 3,581 sq. cm. primary cooking surface
  • Heavy duty cast iron cooking grids
  • Stainless steel Flav-R-Wave cooking system
  • Five stainless steel Dual-Tube burners
  • Linear-Flow valves with 180° Sensi-Touch control
  • Sure-Lite electronic ignition system
  • Deluxe Accu-Temp thermometer
  • Electric (AA-battery) ignition
  • Propane tank and cover sold separately
  • Made in the USA by Onward Manufacturing Company

Grilling Product Review Guide - Broil King Baron 5-Burner 590-S

For a reasonable size/value price value of around $849 USD, the Baron 590-S, or as it is also known the Broil King Baron 5-Burner Stainless Steel, is a large, well built grill. As a general rule, we advise that you buy a grill only as big as you really need, as this particularly large grill will fit the needs of only those who cook for a large gang.

Aside from the size issue, this model exemplifies Broil King’s reputation of superior construction and features. Its stainless steel burners are two tubes, one inside the other, designed to allow for an even flow of gas flow from front to back. While many front to back burner gas grills suffer from uneven heating, the dual-tube burners on the Baron 590-S model seems to compensate for that problem as we experienced even heat under relentless testing. While five burners requires a few more than usual a knobs to turn and adjust, this configuration provides evens heat across the entire surface of the grill grates, side to side and front to front.

On the con side, there is a 10,000 BTU side burner that we found lightweight and a bit under-powered for such a comparatively large main grill body. If a powerful side burner is an absolute essential, then you’ve got a deal breaker on your hands. Fortunately most people don’t use the side burner on their grill so this isn’t much of an issue, but we felt it essential to point it out for those in the market for a sturdy and powerful side burner so as to avoid disappointment afterwards.

Number 6 - Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

6. Saber Cast 500 P

For those in the market for a reliable, easy to use and unique looking gas grill, this Saber Cast 500 P just might be the ideal grill. Ignore all the nomenclature about the infrared cooking system and the 24,000 BTUs under 500 square inches of primary grilling space. What makes this particular grill one of the best for the price is that it heats quickly, gets very hot, and cooks efficiently. Those are the 3 top essentials in a grill. Whether you are a very experienced, serious griller or a novice, first time outdoor cook, you will soon learn that Saber Grills don’t flare-up and actually significantly reduce the chance of burning food. Although not a low temperature champ, we acknowledge that there is a ton of impressive engineering design, science and innovation behind the design, but to the average consumer that’s over the top, confusing mumbo-jumbo. This is a solidly built basic grill for a basic price, but an excellent value.Saber_Cast_500P_top_10_gas_grills

The Good: Pros

  • Highly efficient heating
  • All stainless steel is high grade 304 stainless steel
  • Fast pre-heating
  • High, even heating

The Bad: Cons

  • Water may tend to get inside the grill and drip pan if left uncovered
  • Does not perform well at low temperatures

Product Features List

  • Three 8,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners under stainless steel infrared emitters in separate and independent heat zones
  • 500 square inches of primary cooking area for a total of 675 square inches of grilling space
  • 24,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • Individual electronic (AA-Battery) ignition
  • Cast aluminum, powder coated and 304 stainless steel construction
  • Stainless steel U-shaped folded sheet metal cooking grates
  • Individual temperature gauges for each burner mounted above burner knobs
  • Two internal halogen lights (grill must be plugged in for lights to work)
  • Propane tank and cover sold separately
  • Made in China by Saber Grills and sold through specialty retailers

Grill Review Guide - Saber Cast 500 P 3-Burner Model# R50CC0612

Although the GrillJunkie team generally avoids grills covered in stainless steel, this may be an exception. The Saber Cast 500 P has high quality stainless steel (304 grade) burners, cooking grates, infrared emitter, and control panel. The remainder of the core of the grill is enameled steel and painted cast aluminum. As for features, there really aren’t any, and that may not be a weakness. This is a basic, 3-burner gas grill. The fact that it is infrared gives it incredible efficiency with high and even heat.

A unique design feature in this grill is that the burners are in separate boxes. This creates a situation wherein that heat generated by each burner has a heat zone of its very own. The burners focus their heat at a well placed stainless steel sheet of perforated metal placed directly under the U-shape cooking grates. The small perforations in the infrared emitter are strategically situated under the U’s in the cooking grate. What this creates is an environment wherein virtually no drippings get through and no hot air reaches the food. Grilling is performed completely by contact with the hot grates and heat radiated by the metal emitter and grates. See our article / blog on the three types of cooking.

Aside from all the grill geek technical speak, the practicality is that this is an extremely easy and safe grill to use. The specific design makes flare-ups virtually impossible. The grill grate surface gets hot enough to create grill makes and to sear a steak, however the distribution of the heat reduces the chances of foods burning. Due to the fact that the grill is completely infrared and the burner’s air flow is essentially channeled away from foods’ the result is a significant reduction of the high and dry “drying” affect that many grills can have.

Two main negative comes with this grill, however. We noticed the first one during a very rainy day. Although we always recommend covering your grill, we were guilty of not purchasing one for our product review. When rain fell on the hood of this grill it ran down the front and some of it poured inside, filling the drip pan. The second challenge we had was attempting to grill at low temperatures while trying to cook a demanding Brisket recipe. This grill does not perform well at low temperatures. Although we don’t consider this a weakness, it is important to note that Saber grills are not a mass market product and are only available through specialty retailers. See the Saber Website to find a dealer near you.

Number 7 - Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

7. Huntington Rebel Model# 612384

Welcome to the world of Huntington Grills. Huntington grills come in two product series, the Classic and the Rebel. This Rebel gas grill from Huntington is a top of the line version at around $600 – $700 USD. The Huntinton grill line is Broil-King’s specialty, high-end line. Think Lexus to the Toyota company. What you get is a 5-burner gas grill with a side and rotisserie burner, making this a very large basic grill. At first glance, it may seem that this is a little too much grill for the price. However, this Onward Manufacturing product is well built, and has most of the features that makes their Broil-King Huntinton_Rebel_612384-612389_top_10_gas_grillsspecialty line among the best grills available at this price. Certainly a grill that is hard to beat.

The Good: Pros

  • Good quality construction
  • Good, even heat
  • Fast pre-heater

The Bad: Cons

  • Under powered side burner

Product Features List

  • 40,000 BTU stainless steel tube burner system
  • 10,000 BTU stainless steel side burner
  • 15,000 BTU stainless steel rear rotisserie burner
  • Premium rotisserie kit included
  • 644 sq. in. total cooking surface including porcelain coated warming rack
  • 444 sq. in. primary cooking surface
  • Cast iron cooking grids
  • Porcelain coated Flav-R-Wave™ cooking system
  • Four stainless steel tube burners
  • Linear Flow™ valves
  • Sure-Lite™ electronic ignition system
  • Deluxe Accu-Temp™ thermometer
  • Enameled steel, stainless steel, and cast aluminum construction
  • Propane tank and cover sold separately
  • Made in the United States by Onward Manufacturing

Grill Review Guide - Huntington Rebel Model# 612384

Huntington Grills is a brand of Onward Manufacturing Company, makers of Broil-King and Broil-Mate gas grills. A Canadian company, they purchased a factory in Huntington IN, to start building a line of gas grills with a big label on the box reading, “Made in the U.S.A”.

The Huntington Rebel is the more expensive of the Huntington line of gas grills. At between $600 – $700 USD you get a 5-burner gas grill with side burner and full rotisserie system, including a 15,000 BTU rear mounted rotisserie burner. In essence, this is a large, full function gas grill. The cooking system on the Huntington Rebel Model# 612384 grill is made with standard stainless steel tubular burners under a porcelain coated metal barrier. The firebox is porcelain coated which means that you shouldn’t have trouble with rust for several years. The porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates are a bit on the light side of the weight scale but good at generating grill marks and transferring heat.

Packed onto this grill is also a standard side burner, though at 10,000 BTUs it isn’t going to produce a lot of heat. Its size is fairly large so it might be useful for warming up a small saucepan or maybe frying a couple of eggs, but it will take a long time to bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Number 8 - Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

8. Napoleon Mirage Gas Grill Model# M485RB

Napoleon gas grills are among the best you get your hands on, but they tend to be on the expensive end. The Mirage line is Napoleon’s more affordable collection of gas grills, and this one, the M485RB, is the most basic and least expensive yet it still lists for nearly $900 USD. That makes it more expensive than comparable Weber or Broil-King grills. This gas grill is a 3-burner unit with an infrared rotisserie burner (but the rotisserie kit is extra).top_10_gas_grills_Napoleon_Mirage_m485rb-gas-grill

The Good: Pros

  • Quality construction
  • Heavy stainless steel rod cooking grates
  • Wide range of optional extras

The Bad: Cons

  • Comes with rotisserie burner, but rotisserie kit sold separately
  • Heat tends to not be as even as it should be but not spectacular
  • Comparatively expensive

Product Features List

  • Three 16,000 BTU 304 stainless steel tubular burners
  • 485 square inches of primary cooking area for a total of 675 square inches of grilling space
  • 48,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • 13,500 BTU rear mounted infrared rotisserie burner (rotisserie kit extra)
  • Heavy stainless steel rod cooking grates
  • On knob piezoelectric with continuous ignition pilot lighting
  • Stainless steel, cast aluminum, and steel construction
  • Back-lit control knobs
  • Propane tank, cover, and rotisserie kit sold separately
  • Made in China by Napoleon Grills

Gas Grill Review Guide - Napoleon Mirage Model# M485RB

Napoleon is Canada’s premier maker of gas grills. Making grills ranging from around $900 USD to over $3,000 USD. The company boasts an impressive range of products. The Mirage line from Napoleon is their Chinese made “discount” line offering Napoleon engineering at a more reasonable price. This 3-burner grill is large and powerful by providing a rear mounted infrared rotisserie burner (interesting and unfortunately the rotisserie kit is extra). This is a solid grill, but not off the charts remarkable. It is comparable in every way to some of the best gas grills under $1,000 except one, price. That is really the issue with Napoleon.

While the Mirage M485RB is made in China by Napoleon and incorporates the best of Napoleon engineering it has been cut down to reduce weight. The burners are impressively thick, 304 stainless steel while the cooking grates and heavy stainless steel rod go along for the ride. The cooking system is well made but the short cuts come into play related to the cabinetry. The doors are lightweight, tended to move around and we noticed that they didn’t always line up. The firebox is well insulated and makes the most of the 99 BTUs per square inch. However, the heating was a tad uneven and it was more prone to flare-ups.

So why did we list this grill among our top 10 gas grills? Well, it is a good grill for the price and yes, Napoleon’s competitors are also making cut backs in materials and quality. The one trick with this is that Napoleon doesn’t have the best distribution, particularly in the U.S. If there is a dealer in your area you can go in and kick the casters, otherwise you are forced to do your shopping online. Remember that online sales do not have the same support that dealer sales will so don’t expect Napoleon to jump through hoops to help you out with a problem you have with a grill you buy online.

 

Number 9 - Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

9. Weber Genesis S-330

The Weber Genesis line of grills are the best you can buy in this price range. The list price is $1,099 USD but you can typically find it for around $950 USD. What you get with the S-330 is a solid powerhouse of a three burner grill, a 12,000 BTU side burner, and a 10,000 BTU internally mounted sear burner. Other models in this series come without the side burner or the sear burner. You decide which configuration works for you and buy only what you need. The only issues we had are with the longer than usual pre-heating time and the lower end of stainless steel.Weber_Genesis_S330_gas_grill_top_10_gas_grills

The Good: Pros

  • Efficient heat design
  • Solid construction of durable parts
  • Weber Support
  • Sear burner provides extremely high temperature capability

The Bad: Cons

  • Low grades of stainless steel throughout
  • Slower preheat times

Product Features List

  • Three 12,666 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
  • 507 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 637 square inches
  • 38,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • 12,000 BTU standard side burner under a flush mounted cover
  • 10,000 BTU internal booster sear burner
  • Push button electric (AA-battery) ignition
  • Stainless steel rod cooking grates
  • Constructed of cast aluminum and stainless steel (400 series stainless)
  • Dual layer hood with double vaporization system for heat retention
  • Made in the USA by the Weber-Stephen Products Company

Grill Review Guide - Weber Genesis S-330

In 2011 Weber redesigned their popular line of Genesis grills. The burners, which used to run parallel to the front of the grill, with controls on the right side table, now run perpendicular to the front of the grill with the controls in the front. Now, after 25 years, the Weber Genesis grill is designed much more like all the other grills on the market, at least as far as the burner design goes. This wasn’t a hasty decision by Weber, but after three years of development, the new Genesis grill is a much more efficient product line. The good news is that this grill really hasn’t changed the way the grill cooks.

This grill is one of the most efficient standard gas grills on the market as well as one of the best built. For the price there really isn’t a better grill on the market, and while this is a basic, no frills gas grill it does what it was designed to do, grill hot and fast while giving you the ability to perform low, indirect grilling….something not every grill can claim.

The three burners inside the firebox put out only 38,000 BTUs under 507 square inches of cooking space or about 75 BTUs per square inch. While this is low when compared to other gas grills, the key differentiation is that the efficient design holds in heat. The problem is that with just the main burners, it takes longer to preheat than more powerful grills. The sear burner is going to give you fantastic searing heat, but note that that feature is only on the left side of the grill. This sear burner is simply an additional, standard burner built inside the firebox between the center and left burners. This boosts the heat output on this side of the grill giving you an intense heat for searing. Plan on letting this grill heat up for a good 20 minutes before it hits high temperatures.

What really makes the Weber Genesis S-330 stand out is its quality. The attention to detail that takes 3 years to change the burner design can be seen in every part of this grill. This means that everything on this grill works, and since there is a 10 year warranty on virtually everything in this grill you can rely on it to last for at least a decade. This model includes a 12,000 BTU side burner under a flush mounted cover on the right side table and a 10,000 BTU sear burner.

This grill is, at its core, the same as the Genesis E-330 which sells for $100 USD less. What this model has is a different suit and tie with its stainless steel body panels and lid, stainless steel rod cooking grates, and stainless steel vaporization bars. Obviously the prettier stainless steel version isn’t going to grill any better than its more painted and color optional brethren.

Number 10 - Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: $250 and Above

10. Vermont Castings 4-Burner VCS324SSP

The Vermont Castings VCS324 is a heavy grill with heavy cast iron and stainless steel body parts. The 40,500 BTU output comes from three stainless steel burners and., in our opinion, is more than enough to heat the nearly 440 square inches of primary grilling surface area. Recently construction of Vermont_Castings_V324_top_10_gas_grillsthe Vermont Castings grills has moved from China to the United States. The materials used are excellent while the construction and assembly are clearly superior to the mass market grills. Look to spend around $1,200 USD for this solidly built and American made gas grill. An optional side burner can be added either a standard gas burner or infrared sear burner.

The Good: Pros

  • Solid construction of cast iron and 304 stainless steel
  • High and even heat output
  • Full function gas grill with side burner and rotisserie system
  • Lighted control panel and attached grill light

The Bad: Cons

  • Heavy lid

Product Features List

  • Three 13,500 BTU 304 Stainless Steel tubular burners
  • 440 square inches of primary cooking area for a total grilling space of 673 square inches
  • 40,500 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • 15,000 BTU rear mounted infrared rotisserie burner with full rotisserie kit and motor storage
  • Mixed enameled coated cast iron and heavy gauge 304 stainless steel body
  • Heavy porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Includes side mounted LED grilling light, lighted control panel, and internal smoker box
  • Propane tank and cover sold separately
  • Made in the United States by MHSC for their Vermont Castings Grill Line

Gas Gill Review Guide - Vermont Castings 4-Burner VCS324

Since acquiring Vermont Castings, Monneson Hearth MHSC has been working to rebuild the brand. Vermont Castings brand was damaged by years of poor management and declining quality. In the past many years the grill line has seen an impressive re-engineering and now a transfer of manufacturing from China to the United States. Go USA! These managerial sea change and the changes to the design have dramatically improved quality and construction design. This is a good quality grill that is built to last. Welcome back Vermont Castings!

The Vermont Castings 3-Burner Stainless Steel Gas Grill is the small sized unit of the grill line. A 3-burner gas grill drives the grill with a full rotisserie system including 15,000 BTU infrared rear mounted rotisserie burner. An optional 15,000 BTU side burner (either standard or infrared searing burner) under a flush mounted cover can be added for extra.

The construction of this gas grill is very heavy porcelain coated cast iron and high end 304 stainless steel. The construction is excellent quality and the materials are very good compared to the price range (look to spend around $1,200 USD for this gas grill). Look for this grill to last many, many years and provide very good grilling. If you are looking for a basic grill and want something more durable than the mass market products out there, this is one impressive grill to consider.

Take a peak at our Top 10 Gas Grills under $250 as well.
_________________________

What are your thoughts? What Fires You Up? 

We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Leave a reply or comment. It’s OK. Bring it on! Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

How to Buy a Gas Grill – The 7 Keys

How to Buy a Gas Grill: The 7 Keys

Gas Grill Review of CharBroil Commercial Series GrillJunkie Product ReviewSo you’re in the market to buy a Gas Grill, huh? Whether you are a first timer or you’re looking to upgrade that worn out, rusty grease trap in the backyard, chances are you’ve gone online, taken a trip to the hardware store or looked through the newspaper. You’ve seen those high end units with their unique features, drooled over a Weber, researched a bit about the difference between a Char-Broil and a Broil-King and may have even learned about the many different grilling surfaces.

You’ve listened to friends, neighbors and even some attentive store employees tell you about propane to natural gas conversion, grill grates, BTUs, rotisserie burners, side burners, infrared technology, stainless steel quality and a dozen things you’ve may never heard of. Now you’re more confused than before and need to boil it down to a simpler approach. You’re in luck. The GrillJunkie team has been using, buying, disposing of and evaluating gas grills for over three decades. We’ve created a list of 7 Keys to Buying Your Next Gas Grill!

Gas Grill Buying Key 1: Cost

Cost: The first Gas Grill Buying key is cost! The Golden Rule  here is simple and absolute: “You get what you pay for!” A trip to your local department, big box or hardware store will expose you to Gas Grills in the price range of around $150 to $500. However there are sources of price_costresidential Gas Grills that can run over $25,000 or more. So you should decide how much you want to or can spend on your new backyard appliance, and stick to it, before you shop, because you will be pulled into that addictive temptation to purchase the larger, shinier one that you may later regret.

You will find that there are literally hundreds of grills on the market each year, however your favorite local stores may only carry a few due to exclusives and manufacturer placement, so having an idea of how much you want to spend will very much help narrow your search. Take a look at a few of our extensive Gas Grill Product Reviews or our Top 10 Gas Grill list to get a feel for what’s out there. When comparing prices, find out whether or not a propane tank is included. In some cases, the retailer includes a free tank as an incentive to purchase, especially if they also provide a propane refilling service. A propane tank can add about $20 USD to $50 USD dollars to your total cost if you have to buy it, and then fill it, separately.

Gas Grill Buying Key 2: Fuel Source

Fuel Source: The second thing to take into consideration when buying a gas grill is the fuel.  As part of your consideration, you have to ask yourself Gas Grill propane_tankif you prefer propane or want to tap into your home’s natural gas line. If you choose natural gas, please note that natural gas requires a gas line at the location of your grill. Many grills can be purchased with either configuration but you can’t run a propane grill on natural gas nor can you run a natural gas grill on propane gas. Many lower priced grills do not have the natural gas option although more and more grills are offering the option in recent years. Be careful here as some natural gas conversion kits can cost between $30 USD and $80 USD. The good news is that natural gas will cost you less in the long run and save you trips to the propane store. Ever been caught on a Sunday with the entire family over and suddenly the flame on your grill goes out due to the fact that you neglected to fill the tank? There are also hybrid/combination versions of grills that include a charcoal bin, smoker and a gas heated chamber in one.

Gas Grill Buying Key 3: Construction Materials

Material: The next key in your gas grill quest is the material the grill is constructed of. The main body of the grill is typically made from either cast aluminum, sheet metal, cast iron, or stainless steel. Be cautious when you are faced with a gas grill whose main body is made from stainless steel. Although stainless steel is the preferred material of professional cooking equipment, it is the most expensive. Be aware, Stainless Steel Grill thickness GrillJunkiehowever that not all stainless steel is created equally. One thing to watch for is not just the body, but also the frame. There are many “stainless steel” grills that have painted steel frames that can rust. Once you decide on the material, look over the whole grill to see how it’s put together. Are the welds or bolts strong? Is it all stainless steel? What quality stainless steel is it? Try using a magnet to determine the quality of stainless steel. Interestingly a higher quality of stainless steel is less magnetic compared to a lesser quality due to a higher level of nickel versus chromium ratio.  

Tip: Manufacturers take shortcuts with metal to save on costs and weight! The truth is that cast aluminum, especially when used for the main body, will typically outlast any quality of stainless steel in an outdoor environment.

Gas Grill Buying Key 4: Size and Space

Size: Once you have the first 3 keys of your new gas grill factored in, the next step is to choose the size you want and/or need. For the size of your gas grill, think about the space that you will placing the grill and the kinds of food items you will want to cook on your grill, and for how many people you typically cook. If you’re planning on a prime ribgrilling a large turkey or being able to cook up 3 dozen hamburgers at a time you’ll obviously need a larger grill. If you just cook a few chops, steaks or chicken breasts occasionally, you’ll probably want to opt for a smaller gas grill. As stated earlier, look carefully at the space you have available for the gas grill. It is very important that your gas grill will fit both safely and conveniently in your particular allotted space.

Gas Grill Buying Key 5: Features

Stainless Steel Gas Grill via GrillJunkie blogFeatures: Now that you’ve decided on the cost, construction materials, size and space , the next step is to select the features of your new gas grill. Ask yourself,

“Do I want or really need a side burner?” “How about multiple level cooking surfaces, or a smoker box, drawers, close-able cabinet drawers, rotisserie burner, lights, or any one of a dozen things that get added to a grill these days?”

Remember that a basic grill will be able to perform the majority of grilling tasks required for a great tasting meal and that most of the extras get very little use.

Tip: Grill Features cost Money! Only buy the extra features you actually need and that you will actually use. If you know that you will need to add smoke to your food, think about purchasing an after market smoker box for $6 instead of that fancy smoker box drawer that adds $50 to any potential new gas grill. If you are going to spend a few extra bucks, the GrillJunkie team recommends that you get yourself a good gas grill cover and cleaning brush. These two items alone will not only be used frequently but could double the life of your gas grill.

Gas Grill Buying Key 6: BTUs

BTUs/Heat: Another purchasing key is the BTU rating of the gas grill. BTUs are British Thermal Units. This is a measurement of the amount of heat created by the heating element or burner. A grill with higher BTUs doesn’t necessarily produce more heat but a rule of thumb is to strive for at least 40,000 BTUs. The aggregate heat produced, ultimately, is a factor of the heat created, the size and material composition and thickness of the grill and how well it holds and distributes that heat. Don’t buy a grill simply based on its high BTU number. Compare that number with the size, materials and the shape of the grill. Smaller more compact grills can produce higher cooking temperatures with lower BTUs dependent upon the factors such as burner output, size and construction of the gas grill.

Gas Grill Buying Key 7: Durability and TLC

Durability and Tender Loving Care: On a gas grill the materials, thickness of metals, construction quality, and quality of parts play a significant role in how long a grill will last. However, the biggest part of the lifespan of your gas grill is how well it is taken care of, by you the owner. Cleaning and routine grill maintenance is critical!Cleaning a Gas Grill from GrillJunkie

Tip:  Clean it and Cover it! A well taken care of grill can last a long time! The best grill out there, just like a fine automobile, will rust and fall apart if it is left unprotected, neglected and uncleaned. Of course a better grill will last longer, but you can get significant longevity out of a cheap grill if you take care of it. 

Overall, keep in mind that a gas grill, or any grill for that matter, is just a tool. Practice and experience make great grilled foods. The meal that is ultimately created depends on the cook and how he or she uses the tools at their disposal. Obviously, a good quality grill is more enjoyable to use while a poor quality gas grill can lead to bad experiences that may leave you less likely to continue grilling. Just like a set of golf clubs, you can only get the most of them by your skill level so there is no sense spending $1,000′s on a grill you may not be ready for…although admittedly neighbor envy is hard to resist. The saying,

“He who dies with the most toys, wins!”

certainly plays a role in the backyard, weekend warrior wars, however the grill is not a toy and that extra $1,000 may be better spent on starting a college fund. The GrillJunkie team created this list of 7 Keys to Buying Your Next Gas Grill to save you money while enhancing your outdoor grilling experience and spending time with friends and family. Enjoy!

What are your thoughts? What Fires You Up? 

We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Leave a reply or comment. It’s OK. Bring it on! Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: Under $250

Top 10 Gas Grills of 2014: Under $250

In case you didn’t know, May is National BBQ Month! Every year, every May as the winter weather subsides and Spring has sprung our great nation pays tribute to one of America’s greatest passions and pastimes: firing up the grill, smoker or BBQ and creating a great meal for family and friends. As a tradition, each year the team here at GrillJunkie conducts a quick review of the new gas grills on the market and lists our top 10 gas grills. We are NEVER compensated for our review lists or our Grilling Product Reviews so as to protect our integrity, brand and Product Review objectivity.

Okay, so let’s dig in! Before you rush to the big box or hardware store to purchase that shiny new gas grill or the one with the light up knobs, it is important to note that there are certain things to look for in a gas grill and that there are a lot more grills out there than you’ll find in just one store. As such, the GrillJunkie Grilling Product Review team has evaluated, broken down and listed what we believe are the best gas grills on the market by price category. We do this so our readers can locate the perfect gas grill for your needs and not watch your hard earned money go up in flames! You may also want to peruse our article on How to Buy a Gas Grill: The 7 Keys.

You may also want to check out our Top 10 Gas Grills Above $250. Click here

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250

Thinking of purchasing a new gas grill but you want to keep the cost at or below $250? The GrillJunkie team believes that the gas grills we’ve evaluated and compiled below are the best value gas grills for you to put on your shopping list. As this is the under $250 price level, expect to get what you pay for. Don’t expect these grills to last forever or perform significantly well. However, with a little TLC and a little routine maintenance they should serve you well for a few years and do a respectable job of grilling the basics such as steaks, burgers and hot dogs.

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250: Number 1

1. Huntington 2-Burner Model# 24025HNT

Huntington 2-Burner (25,000-BTU) Liquid Propane Gas Grill_top_10_gas_grillsTypical of most of the least expensive 2-burner gas grills on the market, this Huntington Gas Grill which we could find no where else except at our local Lowe’s is a very lightweight, basic and thin unit. For under $100 USD it’s a decnt grill for the less pretentious, frugal and utilitarian outdoor cook. In essence, don’t expect a lot and you will be satisfied with the results. This grill is very similar to most other grills in this lower price range. You get a somewhat flimsy grill that can grill up some burgers and dogs with relative ease.

Pros: The Good

  • A minimized footprint, small, inexpensive grill
  • Higher quality compares to others in under $100 category

Cons: The Bad

  • Under powered side burner
  • Low quality burner
  • Lots of plastic

Product Features List

  • One dual control stainless steel (thin and low grade) burner with 12,500 BTUs per side
  • 240 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 392 square inches
  • 25,000 BTU maximum output from the main burner
  • Single push-button piezoelectric ignition
  • Porcelain coated steel wire cooking grate with chrome plated warming rack
  • Porcelain painted steel body
  • Porcelain coated steel vaporization barrier
  • Propane tank and cover sold separately
  • Made by Huntington Grills, a division of Onward Manufacturing, in the United States

Quick Grilling Product Review – Huntington 2-Burner Model# 24025

The Huntington 2-burner 25,000 BTU grill is a very basic gas grill. The good news is that unlike many gas grills in this price range, the basic body frame of this grill is made of cast aluminum. The single, dual control burner is as expected low grade and thin stainless steel. The harsh truth is, in today’s marketplace, finding and purchasing a gas grill in this price range does not equate to high quality or durability. However, while a very basic unit, this grill is somewhat better built than any of its competitive and comparable products. Be warned that the first component of this grill that will fail will most likely be the main burner. As it is built as a single unit, when it fails it has to be replaced as a whole unit. The cost for a new burner is around $25 USD so the decision that you will be making in a few years is whether to replace the burner or the whole grill. A decent return on investment.

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250: Number 2

2. Broil-Mate Model #155364

Broil-Mate_Gas_Grill_Review_ 155364_top_10_gas_grillsThe Broil-Mate Model #155364 is a grill to seriously think about if you are in the market for a decent grill that won’t blow your budget. If you are serious about grilling and desire a grill that delivers both high and even heat, provides a lot of control, but don’t care what the neighbors think about the beauty of your grill then this is a great grill for you. It might not look as modern as some grills on the market today but if you’re looking to impress by results not showmanship note that Broil-Mate has been making good grills for many years. This particular low range model will give you plenty of grilling space at 400 square inches of main cooking area and a total of 700 square inches when you include the warming rack. We were surprised with its 40,000 BTU main burner output; a level of power atypical of a low end grill.

Pros: The Good

  • High even heat output from 40,000 BTUs
  • Linear flow control values give you great control
  • Great grill in its price range

Cons: The Bad

  • An under powered side burner

Product Features List

  • 40,000 BTU Dual-H stainless steel main burner (two zones)
  • 400 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 700 square inches
  • 10,000 BTU standard side burner
  • Porcelain coated cast iron grates
  • Stainless Steel “Flav-R-Wave” vaporization barrier
  • Electronic (AA-Battery) Ignition
  • Hood Mounted Thermometer

Grilling Product Review – Broil-Mate Model #155364

Beautiful? Not really. Effective and Good Grilling Results? Yes. Not necessary the most modern looking grill of all-time but don’t let that dissuade you. The cast aluminum body is durable seems capable of holding it’s appearance for many years. A little TLC including the basics; keep it clean and keep it covered, and you’ll be satisfied. It includes a very standard cart configuration with two side tables. What this grill delivers is solid grilling abilities for a very reasonable price (around $230 USD to start). Features such as high heat capability and the wide range of heat control that the linear flow valves deliver, this grill is a frugal griller’s dream. The stainless steel vaporization barriers are built to last and the durable construction and high quality stainless steel dual burner will give this grill a long lifetime. The cooking grates are solid, weighty and do well at transferring heat to foods. At 40,000 BTUs this grill has impressive power for it’s 400 square inches of primary cooking area.
To be blunt, the GrillJunkie team states that this grill has the same grilling characteristics of its more expensive Broil-King brethren grills but without all the additional add-on and accessories. If you are in the market for a basic grill that comes with a good deal of grilling surface space that will endure and provide great grilling then we recommend that you give this grill a gander. The warranty on this grill is also impressive. Additionally Broil Mate (a division of Onward Manufacturing) has a good reputation for customer service. This grill is typically available through specialty retailers.

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250: Number 3

3. Char-Broil Classic 2-Burner Model# 463622514

For the last several years, Char-Broil has been successfully producing and selling a product line of small footprint gas grills. Sometimes categorized or referred to as “Urban” grills, these compact two burner grills come in a gamut of various cooking systems and materials. This particular grill is the simplest and least expensive of this style of grill. With two burners and 300 square inches of primary grilling space, there isn’t much to get fired up about, but for under $200 USD there can’t be. However, for the frugal minded looking for the basics this grills combines value and feature, into a small sized grill that does its job.

 

Char-Broil_LLC_top_10_gas_grills

Char-Broil LLC

Pros: The Good

  • Inexpensive
  • Solid heat output compared to its footprint size
  • Very small footprint
  • Good option for space conscious, city grillers

Cons: The Bad

  • Lightweight, low quality burners
  • Low-end and cheap construction
  • May not last more than a few seasons
  • Grilling grates chip easily

Product Features List

  • Two 15,000 BTU tubular burners
  • 300 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 420 square inches
  • 30,000 BTU total output from the main burners
  • Electric (AA-Battery) ignition
  • Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Painted steel sheet metal body and frame
  • Fold down side tables
  • Cover and propane tank sold separately
  • Made by Char-Broil in China, sold through various outlets

Guide Review – Char-Broil Classic 2-Burner Model# 463622514

Striking the balance of an inexpensive grill that will cook well and last for more than 2 seasons is hard to achieve in this price range. This unit from Char-Broil is not a superb grill in this category, but for under $200 USD it isn’t one to scratch off the list either. For the shopper looking for a better than utilitarian-looking, four legged tiny kettle grill, this Classic model deserves a good look. It has a two main features that will catch the eye such as an enclosed cabinet, fold down side tables, yet little else. This grill is constructed from thin, painted steel and isn’t built to last more than a few seasons, The cooking system is basic and simple. What you get are two thin and low-grade stainless steel burners under porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates. The heat output is respectably strong, unfortunately the thin materials struggle to hold in the heat.

The biggest challenge relates to the thin internal components that are not capable of enduring very much punishment. With typical use, the burners will warp while the paint that coats the inside of the fire box will chip away exposing the metal to the elements and allowing corrosion to begin. Additionally, as typically notorious of most grills in this range, the ignition switch will fail within a year or two. It’s main strength lies in its footprint and better looks. It doesn’t look as cheap as most so look carefully and if you do purchase this grill you certainly can squeak a few more years out of it with some maintenance and TLC. Keep it clean, paint chips and bare metal ASAP and keep it covered!

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250: Number 4

4. Master Forge 2-Burner Model# 30030MSF

This Master Forge 2 burner model, which is available at Lowe’s only is a low-end grill that should be seriously considered. It is one of the most simple and small gas grills on the market today. The one feature that makes this better than most of the comparable grills is that the cooking chamber is made from cast aluminum instead of stamped and painted steel. This feature alone will help the grill last for more than 3 seasons and with regular top_10_gas_grills_Master_Forge Black Porcelain Coated 2-Burner (30,000-BTU) Liquid Propane Gas Grillmaintenance and a cover it is a good investment at a basic level. The burner on this gas grill is a single unit with two controls giving this model a separate left and right heating. It has a maximum output of 30,000 BTUs with just under 300 square inches of cooking space. While the burner is thin stainless steel and likely to rust through in a few years, at this price it is probably worth it for those who insist on purchasing a gas grill as opposed to a charcoal grill.

Pros: The Good

  • A small, inexpensive grill

Cons: The Bad

  • Slightly under-powered cheap and simple grill
  • Main burner is thin stainless steel

Product Features List

  • One dual control stainless steel (thin and low grade) burner with 15,000 BTUs per side
  • 300 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 520 square inches
  • 30,000 BTU maximum output from the main burner
  • Single push-button piezoelectric ignition
  • Porcelain coated steel wire cooking grate with chrome plated warming rack
  • Cast aluminum cooking chamber with painted steel supports
  • Porcelain coated steel vaporization barrier
  • Propane tank and cover sold separately
  • Made in the USA by Onward Manufacturing

Grilling Product Review – Master Forge 2-Burner Model# 30030MSF

For someone shopping for a gas grill under $250 USD it may make sense to consider investigating the lineup of charcoal grills on the market today. But if you yield to Gas when the inevitable Charcoal versus Gas debate flares up and you still insist on buying a gas grill. the GrillJunkie team recommends something small and simple. Very few gas grills are simpler than this one. The one variable that makes this a better buy than most of the comparable grills is that the cooking chamber is made from cast aluminum instead of stamped and painted steel. Two controls give this model a separate left and right heating option with a maximum output of 30,000 BTUs and 300 square inches of cooking space. While the burner is thin stainless steel and likely to rust through in a few years, at this price it a decent grill and worth it.

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250: Number 5

5. BBQ Pro 2-Burner Model# 464622213

This BBQ Pro 2-Burner Model# 464622213 is one of the bottom of the line for the low-end gas grills on the market. This particular unit sells exclusively at Sears and K-Mart Stores under their BBQ Pro brand name. Interestingly however, it is made by Char-Broil. In essence what they’ve bbq_pro_2_burner_464622213_top_10_gas_grillscreated is a single burner, dual zone gas grill with a fairly good looking exterior design. The heat output is decent but where the weakness lies is in the evenness of the heat sustainability. It is also prone to flare ups. Its greatest strength is its price. This grill sells for around $100 USD, a price that is hard to match. These days this is the rock bottom end of gas grills so if this is the most you can or are willing to afford you should consider it. Keep your expectations low however as the thin heating compartment body won’t hold in the heat, hence versatility is almost non-existent. As a basic burger and hot dog grill it is a respectable grill.

Pros: The Good

  • Very Inexpensive

Cons: The Bad

  • Lightweight, low quality burner
  • No warming rack
  • Cheap construction
  • Large amount of plastic components
  • Limited Warranty

Product Features List

  • One dual control low weight stainless steel burner, 13,250 BTUs per side
  • 280 square inches of total grilling space (no warming rack)
  • 26,500 BTU total output from the main burners
  • Single push-button piezoelectric ignition
  • Porcelain coated steel wire cooking grates
  • Powder coated steel sheet metal body and frame with plastic side tables
  • Cover and propane tank sold separately
  • Made by Char-Broil in China exclusively for Sears/K-Mart BBQ Pro Brand

Guide Review – BBQ Pro 2-Burner Model# 464622213

This is an extremely basic, lightweight grill. It is not built to last or to be a great producer of heat and evenness. If you are not willing to spend a lot on a grill yet want a grill you can cook up a few burgers dogs on then you might want to put this on your list. From a design stand point the single, dual control burner feature has lost its popularity so if you like a throw back to grills of the past then you are in luck. The main burner on this grill will be the first thing to go on this grill. With a replacement price of around $20 USD you can either repair the grill or simply replace the grill in a year or two.

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250: Number 6

6. Brinkmann 2-Burner Red Model# 810-4220-S

Basically the Brinkmann 2-Burner Red Model# 810-4220-S is a low powered, 2-burner gas grill with very few parts. It includes a basic, 12,000 BTU side burner that you will rarely use. The heat is uneven, so don’t expect to grill anything sophisticated. While there isn’t even a rotisserie kit for this model, this isn’t a bad gas grill for grilling up the basics. If you’re in the market for a gas grill that will last you through the for the occasional burgers and dogs meal, this very well could be a grill for you.Brinkmann 2-Burner Red Model# 810-4220-S_top_10_gas_grills

This Brinkmann made grill is sold exclusively at Home Depot. But keep your eyes pealed as most major retailers will have similar grills. The biggest problem with this grill isn’t the poor quality construction or the very thin heating body, but the rarely used side burner.  It isn’t a bad side burner for the price, but the fact that it has a side burner seems like pomp and circumstance and just a waste of materials. Most people don’t use side burners and on a $130 USD gas grill, it seems to be an irrelevant accessory.

Pros: The Good

  • Inexpensive

Cons: The Bad

  • Very low powered
  • Unnecessary side burner
  • Low quality components
  • Thin body doesn’t hold heat
  • Uneven heat

Product Features List

  • Two 12,000 BTU stainless steel burners
  • 360 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 530 square inches
  • 24,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • 12,000 BTU side burner under a flush mounted cover
  • On knob piezoelectric ignition
  • Porcelain coated steel cooking grates
  • Porcelain coated steel firebox and lid
  • Cover and propane tank sold separately
  • Made by Brinkmann in China exclusively for Home Depot Stores

Grilling Product Review Guide – Brinkmann 2-Burner Red Model# 810-4220-S

Looking for a gas grill that will last you through the year? Want to occasionally grill up some burgers and dogs? This might just be the grill for you. With little very investment you will get a low power, 2-burner gas grill with few parts and a basic, 12,000 BTU side burner. The heat is uneven throughout the 360 square inch grilling surface, so don’t try anything too complicated. This Brinkmann made grill is sold exclusively at Home Depot. Most major retailers will have similar grills. The biggest con with this grill is the side burner. Albeit not a bad side burner for the price, the fact that it has a side burner is just a waste. Most people don’t use their side burners so on a $130 USD gas grill, it is more than a pointless accessory. As a basic burger and dog griller, this isn’t a terrible gas grill.

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250: Number 7

7. Master Forge 3-Burner Model# GD4215S

Master Forge 3-Burner (36,000-BTU) Liquid Propane Gas Grill with Side BurnerThe Master Forge 3-Burner Model# GD4215S is a simple 3-burner gas grill with side burner. It’s greatest features are the price and size of it’s grilling surface. At $170 USD from Lowe’s, this simple, lightweight and basic grill may seem like a good value. Basically, without some TLC, some basic maintenance and a cover it won’t last very long. It isn’t an extremely great griller, but for those who need the size (427 square inches of primary grilling space) but doesn’t want to spend a lot, it ‘s a decent option.

Pros: The Good

  • Inexpensive
  • Large grilling surface
  • Powerful side burner

Cons: The Bad

  • Poor quality construction
  • Low grade stainless steel burners

Product Features List

  • Three 12,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
  • 427 square inches of primary cooking space for a total grilling area of 583 square inches
  • 36,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • 12,000 BTU standard side burner under a flush mounted cover
  • Electric (AA battery) push button ignition
  • Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Painted steel construction
  • Propane tank and cover sold separately
  • Made in China by Guangdong Vanward exclusively for Lowes’ Master Forge Brand

Guide Review – Master Forge 3-Burner Model# GD4215S

The Master Forge 3-Burner Model# GD4215S is a Lowe’s store brand grill, assembled in China. It is a basic, lightweight and simple 3-burner gas grill with a powerful side burner. It’s greatest features are the price and size of it’s grilling surface. At $170 USD from Lowe’s, this simple, lightweight and basic grill may seem like a good value. Basically, without some TLC, some basic maintenance and a cover it won’t last very long. The heat output on this model is on the low side, however it will do a good enough job on burgers, dogs thin steaks and chops. The construction is lower than average and this grill won’t last more than a few seasons. It isn’t an extremely great griller, but for those who need the size (427 square inches of primary grilling space) but don’t want to spend a lot, it ‘s a decent option.

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250: Number 8

8. Brinkmann Professional 3-Burner Model# 810-3330-S

The Brinkmann Professional 3-Burner Model# 810-3330-S gas grill is less than a high end professional grill as it’s name eludes to, but it is a point where Brinkmann starts getting closer to being considered a good grill. Absent of all the bells, whistles, extras and stainless steel, this is a basic grill that is on the “brink” of being worth the price. Typical of these style of grills, the internal components are thin, lightweight, and not capable of last very long, it just might be of quality good enough for you to get your money’s worth.BrinkMann_PROFESSIONAL_3 BURNER_GAS_GRILL_top_10_gas_grills

Pros: The Good

  • Well featured grill for a low price
  • Basic design and construction

Cons: The Bad

  • Low heat output for the size
  • Lower quality components and construction

Description

  • Three 12,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
  • 416 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 540 square inches
  • 36,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • 12,000 BTU stainless steel capped side burner under a flush mounted cover
  • On knob piezoelectric snap ignition
  • Porcelain coated steel wire cooking grates
  • Porcelain coated and power coated steel construction
  • Propane tank, rotisserie kit, and cover sold separately
  • Made in China by Brinkmann exclusively for Home Depot

Guide Review – Brinkmann Professional 3-Burner Model# 810-3330-S

The Brinkmann 3-Burner at Home Depot for is a very basic and inexpensive gas grill. On the market floor for around $170 USD the only special feature this grill has is a basic 12,000 BTU side burner. The construction is simple and the materials are cheap. If you are looking for a basic burger, dog, thin steak or pork chpper heater, then this isn’t a bad choice at all. The grill’s limitations are two-fold. The first is an unnecessary and rarely used, under powered side burner and the main burner’s limited heat output. With 36,000 maximum BTUs under 416 square inches of primary grilling space, this cannot be categorized as a powerful grill. Add to this lightweight, porcelain-coated steel wire cooking grates and heat transfer is minimized. The heat that is produced isn’t spread very evenly either. Also, the GrillJunkie Product Review team did experience some flare-up issues. If you can deal with these limitations and know how to tame a flare-up you will be able to do some basic grilling without too much trouble.

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250: Number 9

9. Char-Broil Classic 480 Model# 463436213

CHAR-BROIL_4-BURNER_MODEL_463440109_top_10_gas_grillsAt first glance, the  Char-Broil Classic 480 Model# 463436213 appears to be a fairly respectable grill. The heat output is perfect for the size and the stainless steel appears as if it might last a long time. Well, this $220 USD gas grill is a bit more show than actual performance. While the porcelain coated cast iron grates will do a competent job of searing your steaks, digs and burgers and making sear marks the truth is, this is a somewhat shaky gas grill that will corrode quickly if not carefully maintained and will heat unevenly.

Pros: The Good

  • Large and inexpensive grill
  • Decent heat output for the size

Cons: The Bad

  • Low powered side burner
  • Uneven heating
  • Flimsy and lightweight components
  • Poor quality stainless steel

Description

  • Four 12,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
  • 480 square inches of primary cooking area for a total of 660 square inches of grilling space
  • 48,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • 10,000 BTU side burner under a flush mounted cover
  • Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Constructed 430 stainless steel, powder coated steel and cast aluminum parts
  • Push button electric (AA battery) ignition
  • Propane tank, rotisserie kit, and cover sold separately
  • Made in China by Char-Broil for Ace Hardware

Grilling Product Review - Char-Broil Classic 480 Model# 463436213

This gas grill has decent specifications. The heat output is reasonable, if not perfect for the size. Heavier cast iron cooking grates would justify the price on this one a bit more but those on this grill are good enough to conduct heat and make a good tasting steak and decent set of grill marks. What should be altered, possibly eliminated, is the under powered and unnecessary 10,000 BTU side burner. If you insist on a side burner it should be more powerful that this one that wasn’t capable of heating a small pot on a windy day. The stainless steel is another issue with which to contend.  In essence,  this is the perfect gas grill for the person who doesn’t know what to look for in a gas grill but wants a pretty grill that does a decent job grilling basic foods. At this price (around $220 USD) the shopper may want to look for something smaller, much more basic, and without the low quality stainless steel body parts. You’ll be on the market for another grill in a few years if you don’t take special care of this grill with lots of cleaning and a good cover.

Top 10 Gas Gas Grills under $250: Number 10

10. BBQ Pro 4-Burner Model# PG-40408OOLD

What Sears refers to as an “impressive” and pro grill is in actuality a basic, 4-burner model with no extras and limited quality. The heat output is good and even, though the internal components and cooking grates are lightweight. This limits heat transfer to foods and quality of the parts limit the lifespan on this grill. Of course, at a price well under $200 USD, this grill is more than capable of grilling up burgers, dogs, chops and steaks for a season or two of cookouts.BBQ Pro 4 Burner Gas Grill 2

Pros: The Good

  • Low priced 4-burner gas grill

Cons: The Bad

  • Overly large for the price
  • Lightweight internal components
  • Prone to corrosion

Product Features List

  • Four 10,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
  • 413 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 514 square inches
  • 40,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • Porcelain coated steel wire cooking grates
  • Electronic (AA-battery) ignition
  • Powder coated steel construction
  • Propane tank, cover, and rotisserie kit sold separatel
  • Made in China by Permasteel Hardware exclusively for Sears

Grilling Product Review Guide – BBQ Pro 4-Burner Model# PG-40408OOLD

There isn’t much to scream about this grill. It is a very basic, 4-burner model with lightweight parts. The cooking grates are porcelain coated steel wire which do a decent job transferring heat albeit not very efficiently. These type of grates tend to slowly shed their coating with will lead to rusting, so frequent cleaning and maintenance are necessary. Fortunately before they can rust through, the burners will likely fail. All in all, this gas grill should make it about 3 or 4 years, depending on the level of maintenance.

_________________________

What are your thoughts? What Fires You Up? 

We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Leave a reply or comment. It’s OK. Bring it on! Don’t want to miss a GrillJunkie blog post? Join our Newsletter Club or subscribe to our YouTube channel.