Posted: 25 April 2018
Summer is around the corner, and that means three things – beer, besties and barbecue.
Before you get too excited, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got top-notch equipment to knock your sizzling barbecue out of the park.
Despite the ongoing battle between charcoal and gas BBQs, it’s safe to say that gas BBQs are a firm favorite among Americans today. With less hassle, less time waiting and more convenience, it’s easy to see why 62% of American households that own a grill have chosen gas grills.
If you can handle the heat, get out of the kitchen and into your backyard for some family summer fun with a brand new gas grill. Before you go buying, here’s a list of things to consider when buying a gas BBQ.
Gas BBQs made from stainless steel or aluminum cast are the preferred choice. While they might be the most expensive, it’s a great investment as they’re made to withstand the wrath of Mother Nature. They’re also least likely to rust.
Don’t just look at the material of the main body of the grill when buying gas BBQs, but also the frame. Retailers are notorious for painting over the cheaper-metal frames to make the entire grill look like its made from stainless steel.
As with pretty much any household device these days, the warranty is a major factor to consider. Aim to buy a gas grill that has a warranty of about 10 years. Afterall, you don’t want to spend money on a brand spanking new gas grill, only to have to spend continuous money on upkeep and parts.
The golden ticket is of course a lifetime warranty. With this kind of warranty, you may even be covered for replacement costs.
Are you planning to grill a few steaks for the wife and kids every now and then, or hosting a full-on cookout for everyone on the block and their cousins?
The size of your gas BBQs grill needs to be determined by how many people you’re catering for, and what type of meat you’re planning to cook. Don’t even try cooking twenty racks of ribs on a compact grill – I can tell you now it won’t end well.
Just as important as catering size is the amount of space your grill will take up. Consider how much storage room you have to hold the grill.
Most gas BBQs grills these days have shelves on either side that can open up when you’re cooking and closed when you’re done. Take into consideration the extra side space the grill will need when the shelves are opened.
As a rule of thumb, your grill should be located at least 5 to 6 feet away from your house and any other flammable materials.
This is pretty much just a fancy way of saying heat. I know what you’re thinking – more heat means better barbecue right? But before you go crazy and buy the grill with the highest BTU, there’s more to it.
The amount of heat generated by the grill is also affected by the size and the shape of the grill.
Depending on these two factors, your grill will hold and distribute heat in a particular way.
Smaller, compact grills with lower BTUs can actually create higher cooking temperatures.
If you’re planning on grilling a mean steak, keep in mind that you’ll want a gas grill with at least 100 BTU per square inches.
When buying a gas BBQ grill, make sure the gas grill burner is at a proportional size to the actual grill. Many grills look super impressive with a massive frame, only to have a small burner.
This means the heat won’t be evenly distributed, causing hot and cold spots.
That’s not ideal for grilling the perfect burger.
Depending on what you’re planning to cook on your grill, the temperature your grill can reach is a major aspect to consider. For a versatile grill that can cook a variety of meats, you want a grill that can cook at both low temperatures to flaming hot.
For cooking steaks, look for a gas grill that can reach at least 600 degrees to prevent it from drying out. Exposing the steak to such high temperatures and then quickly whipping it off will produce that juicy succulent steak you’ve been looking for.
Type of Burner
The so-called engine of your grill machine, the type of burner your grill holds is vital. Here are the most common types and levels of burners:
- Stainless steel burner. Providing a gorgeous blue flame, these burners are made in the form of a perforated tube. They’re great because they have the stamina to last for several years.
- Cast iron burners. Giving the fire the perfect amount of heat, these solid burners can withstand quick changes in temperature no problem. However, since they’re exposed to the fat falling off your meat, the iron is susceptible to rust.
- Infrared burners. These types of burners are pretty much only good for giving your meat that last minute instant browning, giving it a wave of heat to make it nice and crunchy. Yes, this sounds incredible, but keep in mind that that is all that they are good for – they are not ideal for the more delicate jobs.
- Tin burners. If you can, avoid a tin burner at all costs. Used in the most simple of grills, they do not provide enough heat, plus they generally rust in less than a year.
Get Ready for Your Gas BBQs
It seems like a lot to take in, but it’s super important to consider all of these aspects when buying your next gas bbq grill.
The last thing you want is to spend a large amount of money on a gas bbq, only to have it failing you when it matters the most. That is when your hungry friends and family are round, eagerly anticipating perfectly cooked meat.
If you’re strapped for cash, but still want to have the friends round for a good old-fashioned backyard barbecue, read our tips on how to throw a backyard barbecue on a budget. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be hosting a fun-filled barbecue this summer.