We’ve got your A to Z guide on how to find the perfect new grill (and what to do with the old one).
Are you in the market to buy a new grill? With grilling season in full effect, the perfect time to get rid of your rusty old smoker and upgrade to a shiny new Char-Broil or Big Green Egg is right around the corner, if you can wait until after July 4th for the deep discount deals.
But even if you can’t wait another month, there are still things to consider before running to the store. Do you want propane or charcoal? Brand name or generic? Are you a grill-master or just an occasional burger-flipper? When you’re looking for a grill that fits all your needs, there are a few things to consider before grabbing the first grill you see on sale at Target.
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How to Buy a New Grill
Starting your search for a new grill online or in-store can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of brands and styles to choose from, each of them with their own countless variations. There are grills that can fit on a picnic table, grills that could fill a New York apartment, and everything in between.
Once you start getting into price comparison, that’s when the real fun begins. World Market offers a mini charcoal grill for under $25 that’s perfect for yakitori. If you’re interested in something more high-end, you’ll want to check out this hybrid gas grill from Williams Sonoma. I found it on their website for $22,495, which is a little out of my price range, but they do include white glove delivery for a small surcharge. What a steal!
Any cook worth their salt owns a decent grill. It’s a cooking tool that has become an American household staple, and it can do a lot of things that an indoor oven only dreams about doing.
Only a grill can create that unique flavor and bring a steak that would put most steakhouses to shame onto your kitchen table. As my father would gladly tell you, with a little ingenuity and the right sauce, a good grill can also serve as the perfect smoker.
This blog post is a guide to helping you decide what exactly it is you’re looking for before you go shopping for a new grill. Because every outdoor cooking enthusiast has their own methods and preferences when it comes to creating a meaty masterpiece, the Perfect Grill won’t look the same for everyone.
What to Look for in a Grill from A-Z
Before we get started, get a picture in your mind of how you’ll be using your new grill. Do you plan to do a lot of backyard entertaining, or will you be spending the summer road-tripping and camping across the country?
What’s your meat of choice? Maybe you love making ribs, or maybe you prefer old-fashioned hamburgers and hot dogs. You might also enjoy cooking veggies, sauces, and sides on the grill.
Got that picture in your mind now? Can you hear that sweet sizzle and smell the smokey goodness wafting in the air? Cool. Let’s do this.
There is a range of accessories out there that can enhance your grilling experience. You may want your grill to include a fuel gauge, night lights, griddles, adapters, or cover. Whether they come included with your purchase or you have to buy them separately, think about what grilling accessories you might want or need.
Just about any grill you buy will require assembly. I can tell you from experience that putting one together is no easy task. Many retailers offer assembly for a small charge, and some even offer free assembly with in-store pickup.
Look for a grill with brass or stainless burners. Less expensive gas grills often feature aluminum or cast iron burners, but these tend to burn out or rust easily. On gas grills, try to stay away from the metal plate variety of heat diffuser, as these tend to rust and need replacing.
Check to see whether the burners run front to back or left to right. It can be easier to use multiple heat zones for cooking different things at the same time on a grill with front to back burners.
When most of us think of a modern grill, we picture the type that comes on a cart. If this type is what you’re looking for, make sure it is sturdily built with strong welding and bolts. Make sure the doors, shelves, and any other features are sturdy and won’t rust after a good rain.
Some carts come with wheels, which is definitely a bonus. You may not think so now, but you’re going to want to move that grill around at some point. Do yourself a favor and look for a grill with wheels that are sturdy enough to withstand the elements but will also roll smoothly over any type of surface.
If you’re a clean freak, this one’s for you. You don’t want to be seasoning your meals with bits of the Ghost of Grilling Past, so make sure your new grill can be easily cleaned.
Look for a grease or ash collector that can be easily removed and cleaned. Also, check to make sure you can easily access the burners to clean or replace them and that the grates can come out without much trouble.
This is a consideration that has been known to instigate countless arguments. Gas vs. Charcoal. Or maybe you prefer the electric or wood pellet underdogs.
An electric grill would be a good choice for someone planning to use it somewhere that prohibits gas or charcoal. While an electric grill is less of a fire hazard, it simply can’t create the char or flavor that grills using combustion can.
If you’re really into smoked foods, a wood pellet grill is for you. While they don’t heat up enough to create a good sear on meats, everything you cook in them comes out with an even, delicate smokiness that’s just delicious.
So now we get down to the big boys: Gas and Charcoal.
Most people have a firm favorite which they would be willing to defend to the death, but the truth is that each choice has its own advantages and disadvantages. So if you’re on the fence about which fuel source is king, consider the following:
Gas is great for cooking veggies, fish, and chicken, but unless it includes infrared burners, it can be difficult to get a gas grill hot enough for a great steak. However, they heat up quickly and are easier to clean than charcoal.
A charcoal grill can be more difficult to clean and takes a little longer to set up, but if you want a good crust on a steak, it’s definitely worth it.
Other than that, there’s really not a lot of difference in taste between foods cooked with charcoal and foods cooked with gas. So it all really depends on functionality and personal preference in this battle. Personally, I prefer charcoal for its aesthetic appeal.
Pay attention to what a grill’s grates are made of. Nickel or chrome grates tend to rust easily, as do cast-iron grates if they aren’t oiled regularly. Look for stainless grates if you want easy clean up and rust resistance.
Porcelain-coated cast iron is great as well, but it weighs a ton. If you find a grill that you really like but doesn’t have very good grates, you can easily customize it with a nice set of replacement grates.
If you plan to use your new grill for cooking steaks, you’ll want one that reaches at least 600°F. Charcoal grills are a good bet for reaching this temperature, especially if you stack the coals high enough so that they burn just below the grate. Gas grills have a hard time reaching higher temperatures unless they are fitted with infrared burners.
Whether you go with gas or charcoal, keep in mind that no matter how high you get the temperature on a grill, the distance between the food and the heat source is what really matters.
On a grill, the heat tends to dissipate quickly in relation to distance from the heat source. This means that you’ll want to closely control and monitor the distance and temperature when grilling.
A good grill can run you anywhere from around $100 to upwards of $5000. It’s important to keep in mind that price doesn’t necessarily indicate quality. Look for what you want and need in a grill, then narrow your choices down by what you’re willing to spend.
Remember that the more bells and whistles a grill has, the higher the price will be. You want to invest in a grill that features options that are important to you and that you can count on to withstand the test of time. You can always add specialized features and accessories later on.
Just be sure to take very good care of your new grill so you won’t have to start your search over again next year.
Stainless steel is very popular currently, so you’ll probably find a lot of stainless models while shopping. If you do purchase a stainless grill, make sure the stainless number is 304 or lower. Also take a magnet with you when looking at models, as magnetic stainless tends to corrode and pit very quickly.
Look to make sure the metal is nice and heavy, the welds are strong, the legs are sturdy, the moving parts are well-made, and there is a minimum of plastic parts if any.
Keep safety in mind, checking that there won’t be any electric, child, or pet hazards.
If you plan to buy a model that includes shelving, look that they are sturdy and won’t easily rot.
A side burner can be great to have on a grill. Just keep in mind that built-in side burners tend to be lower quality and more expensive than a burner you can buy separately.
When determining the size of a potential new grill, focus on how many square inches the main cooking grate is. You can usually find this specification listed under “primary cooking surface.” Know how big you’ll need this to be before you start shopping, as this is one of the most important features.
Pro Tip: Think about how many people you’ll be feeding. You want a space of around 10″x10″ for each person. Don’t forget about the 4th of July!
If you like to smoke meats as well as grill them, you probably don’t need to buy a separate smoker. There are many grills out there that can do both. Just make sure the grill has good airflow and a tight lid.
To be able to cook larger pieces of meat, such as a turkey or Boston butt, look for a grill that has 1 foot or more of space between the grate and the lid.
Even the most reliable of grills can have issues sometimes. Be proactive and do your research before making a purchase in case you need help with any problems you might have down the line.
Things to consider are dealer and manufacturer reputation, website and manual ease of use, availability of replacement parts, and business stability.
Cooking is all about temperature. You’ll need a grill that allows for multi-zone cooking. On charcoal grills, you need to be able to move the coals around to control airflow and temperature. For gas grills, this means having at least 2 burners that can be controlled individually.
Don’t even worry about whether or not your new grill has a built-in thermometer. They are almost always inaccurate. Go out and get yourself a good digital thermometer so you can accurately gauge the temperature right next to whatever you’ll be cooking.
Get a grill that includes a good warranty of at least five years. Ten is better. Be careful to check that the burners on a gas grill don’t have a separate warranty.
Find Your Ideal Grill
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to make your dream grill a reality. If you take the time to carefully select the best grill for your needs, it’s an investment that will definitely pay for itself in many ways. Just be sure to take good care of your new grill, and it will serve you and your loved ones well for many years to come.
While it may be hard to say “goodbye” to your old grill, remember that LoadUp can make it a lot less painful!
To learn more about how to get rid of your old grill, check out our blog on how to dispose and recycle an old gas grill.
How to Get Rid of Your Old Grill
Now that you’re ready to purchase a new grill, it’s time to think about what you’re going to do with the old one you’re replacing.
An old grill can be hard to get rid of, so leaving it beside a dumpster or on the curb might be a tempting solution. However, most garbage services won’t pick up heavy, bulky items. Plus, you can expect to get a citation along with a heavy fine for improper disposal.
Since grills are made mostly of metal, they can easily be recycled as scrap. The recycled scrap metal can then be reused in the production of any number of items containing the same type of metal. Recycling your old grill is a great way to help cut down on landfill waste and energy use, but you’ll have to haul it to a recycling facility yourself.
You can skip the hassle and frustration of disposing of your old grill and hire a professional junk removal service to pick it up and dispose of it for you. These companies charge a fee for pick-up and haul-away, but the time and energy you save are worth it.
LoadUp offers on-demand junk removal at a price 20-30% lower than most other junk haulers. LoadUp also donates or recycles the items they pick up, keeping your old grill out of the local landfill and off the streets.
We provide you with an upfront price before you even book your pickup, and there’s no on-site estimate needed. Unlike other junk haulers, they won’t increase the price when they arrive or tack on hidden fees. LoadUp also offers pickups nationwide as soon as the next day and can pick up your old grill from the curb so you don’t even have to wait around for them.
All of LoadUp’s contracted pickup and disposal professionals are fully background-checked and are insured for up to $1 million. Once your removal team is on the way, you get real-time tracking via text message. After your pickup is completed, you’ll receive an email with a link to rate and review their services.
When you’re ready to say goodbye to that old grill, hit us up for fast, no-contact grill removal. With local Loaders across the country, fast and affordable grill removal is always right down the road.
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