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Weber Summit E620 Freestanding Grill
Weber Summit E620 Freestanding Grill

How to Buy a Gas Grill

By Tanja KernSHOP.COM For the Home Editor

Savory veggies, succulent steaks and perfect, flaky fish can be achieved by investing in the right gas grill. Gas grills, unlike charcoal models, allow you to adjust the level of the flame with a simple turn of the dial and let you cook meals at varying temperatures. The adage "you get what you pay for" is true for grills. Spend a little more for better construction, more heat control, extra features and durability. Use this guide to choose the right one for your barbecue needs.

The Basics

Step 1Step 1- Fuel: Choose between propane and natural gas. Lower- and mid-priced gas grills use propane, which you need to refill regularly. Exchanging empty propane tanks for full ones can cost between $18 and $30. Many mid- to upper-end gas grills can run on propane or natural gas, which requires a gas line be run to where your grill will be located. Although you have an upfront cost to run a natural gas line, it cost less in the long run and save you from refilling propane.
Step 2Step 2- Material: Grills are usually constructed of stainless steel, cast iron, cast aluminum or sheet metal. Cast aluminum will usually last longer than stainless, but true stainless steel is also a good investment.
Step 3Step 3 -Size: Gas grills come in many sizes, so choose on to fit your outdoor grilling area and your needs.
Step 4Step 4 - Heat: The amount of heat created by a grill burner is measured in BTUs. More BTUs don't necessarily mean hotter cooking capabilities. The number of BTUs should match the size of the grill.
Step 5Step 5- Features: Today's grills come with a variety of extra features. Side burners, smoker boxes, lights, exterior thermometers, rotisseries and refrigerators are just some of the possibilities. The more features a grill packs on, the more expensive it will be.

The Lingo

BTU: Stands for British Thermal Units. BTUs indicate the volume of gas a grill can burn. More is not necessarily better. Tightly constructed grills will use fewer BTUS and cook more efficiently.
Barbecuing: Slow-cooking foods with indirect heat
Grilling: Cooking foods with direct heat.
Infrared: Grills with infrared burners can generate much higher temperatures than normal grills and heat up faster. While infrared is good for cooking meat, it can be too strong for grilling fish and vegetables.
Grate: Grills come with different cooking surfaces, or grates. Grates can be made from steel, cast iron and porcelain.
Warranty: The best grills will come with a warranty of at least 10 years.

The Experts

Reviews on Consumersearch.com say the Weber Genesis E-310 is the best general-purpose gas grill, and even though it's more expensive, it's build to last.
About.com http says the Broil King Imperial Gas Grill is a powerful grill with great cooking technology.

The Brands

Weber Founded in 1952, Weber is a beloved American manufacturer of charcoal and gas grills, grilling accessories and other outdoor room products.
Char-Broil The W.C. Bradley Co. launched its first gas grills in the 1960s using natural gas instead of propane.
Ducane This national recognized brand has been building affordable grills since 1975.
Brinkmann This manufacturer has manufactured gas grills, smokers and cookers for 30 years.
Vermont Castings Known for making high-end grills made of heavy cast iron and enameled steel body parts.

The Price

$: Entry-level grills are usually lightweight, easy to move and have basic cooking features. Try the Weber Q200 Propane Gas Grill
$$: Mid-priced grills offer excellent heat control, durability and additional features like side burners or infrared cooking. Try the Ducane Affinity Gas Grill
$$$: High-end gas grills are made of the finest quality materials, both inside and out. Try the Frontgate Two Burner Odeon Gas Grill