What BBQ should I buy?

Josh

dead in the water
WFF Moderator
As a wedding gift years ago, we got a nice big Costco propane grill. We enjoyed it plenty for a long time, but somehow when we moved, it ended up at my inlaws across the street because we didn't really have a good grilling space at our house and my father in law does more grilling than I have recently (little kids who were picky and a wife who wasn't eating much meat for a while). That grill is still going strong at his house 15 years after the wedding, but I don't think I can legitimately take it back at this point. Plus, I love his ribs and don't want to lose access to them. But the kids have developed a taste for BBQ and the wife is back to having a burger or salmon or ribs more often, so I've been thinking of getting a new grill for my house. But what kind?

Now, to be clear, I'm not a #BBQMASTER. I don't go nuts and cook on one every weekend or post to instagram or get crazy with the recipes reading books and websites and forums like some folks do (and I guess we all here do about, you know, flyfishing). But I also don't like to half ass it and just throw stuff on there until it's charred. I'd mostly be cooking for the four of us. But would also like the ability to do burgers or chicken or salmon + veggies etc for 8-10 if we had people over. No idea what my budget is. $500-1000? Less? More? Obviously spending less is better than spending more (I've got fishing gear to pay for). But I also don't need a disposable POS I'll be hauling to the dump in 3 years.

Gas grills have always seemed like the nexus between ease and quality. So I'm not against just going back to Costco again and finding whatever grill looks decent. But on the other hand, my old man had the classic black Weber charcoal and there's a lot to like about it both in price and flavor. I hear the new firestarters and chimneys make getting charcoal going a lot easier these days. My neighbor is kinda nuts for his Traeger and I've got a dude at work who won't shut up about their pitboss grills. But I've never used a pellet grill.

Thoughts?
 

SquatchinSince86

Active Member
I've been using my new Weber Performer a couple times a week since spring. I'm not a grill master, but I've done grilling and smoking on it. Big fan. I tried to like lump coal, but so far the Kingsford natural briquettes have had the best consistency. Chimney starter is the way to go. My model has the gas flame for starting your coals. Super convenient and less ash than using paper.
 

IveofIone

WFF Supporter
It sounds like you just need a damned good grill at a reasonable price that will last for years. Forget the high end stuff and just get something that works year after year. For a gas grill I would suggest a Weber Spirit E-310, a 3 burner unit, don't settle on a 2 burner unless you are seriously strapped for room. The 310 has a nice cabinet to hide the propane bottle and the bottle itself hangs on a scale that indicates the amount of fuel left. The whole thing has a quality feel about it and sells for under $600. A nice thing about Weber is that replacement parts are always available, something that can't be said for some other brands. Spending more will get you more-rotisserie, infra-red burners, lights, etc but it won't necessarily cook any better. Like pickups, guys will spend a lot for bragging rights on their grills.

For a charcoal grill Weber also has it's bases covered with the 22'' Performer. Having owned a number of charcoal grills over the years the Performer seems to check all of the boxes and fill all the gaps that the others missed. It has a spacious table top attached which makes organizing the cook painless. It has a huge bin that holds the charcoal mounted under the table, no more shaking briquettes out of a dusty bag and best of all-it uses one of the small green propane bottles to light the charcoal. No paper or chemical compounds needed to light it up. Under $500 and built to last. My avatar pizza was cooked on a Performer.

I don't agree that charcoal is the only way to go. I have 2 charcoal and two gas grills and each has it's place. Living in the damp northwest can make a pretty good case for gas when you just want to get cooking and not wait around for briquettes to burn.
 

moon1284

Active Member
I have a performer too but without the propane ignition. Gas is more convenient and faster.

I'm lucky in that at my house and camp I have outdoor spaces with a roof over my charcoal grills. That helps greatly with the weather aspect.

I forgot what a pain it is to get charcoal lit in the rain (although it is possible). A chimney helps a lot. 20210408_204612.jpg 20210505_173511.jpg 20210501_202228.jpg Resized_20210424_181040.jpeg
 
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Riffling Hitch

Active Member
I agree with most on here about it being a weber. I moved to charcoal and like to cook on that over gas. I work long days and found I needed a gas grill as well. No pre planning necessary; just push a button and when your done turn it off. So now I usually use the gas during the week and the coal on the weekends or when I have a nice cut of meat planned.
If you are not in a hurry, keep an eye on craigslist. I picked up two newer weber genesis for under $200. One I gave to my girlfriend. Usually have the weber carcoal grills at good prices also.
I don't think you could go wrong with a weber genesis new or used. What is nice about them is that you can allways buy replacement parts and my experience is that they have much more even heating than others I have used.
 
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Guy Gregory

Active Member
Theme: Weber. Outstanding product. Only 1 grill? Probably gas, assuming you’re on the west side. Works in all weather. Ive’s post is good advice. Got room for 2? Add a kettle, there’s several models. Charcoal flavor cannot be replicated by gas, and there’s lots of techniques with a kettle to turn out fantastic brisket/ribs/pork shoulder, and to sear a great steak tomorrow night. Pellet grills? Good smokers, easy set it and forget it use for long cooks. None, even the Weber, get hot enough to sear a steak or cook a pizza. Charcoal absorbs moisture so on the west side its hard to get lit and reach temp in the winter. More info by guys who know: amazingribs dot com. The WFF of Q sites.
 

troutpocket

Active Member
My primary grill is a Weber performer 22” kettle. It has the propane starter and I like the Weber charcoal chimney. Kingsford briquettes in the red white and blue bag. Apple, peach, cherry, or pear wood for smoke. I got the rotisserie kit and a pizza attachment. Once you watch a few YouTube videos on setting up your coals and controlling the air vents it’s a pretty intuitive setup. A digital thermometer probe with a remote monitor is a game changer.

My gas grill is a 90’s era Weber genesis that has been across the country. My dad found it at a garage sale in Pittsburgh. The guy selling it cooked a lot of brats and burgers and had probably never cleaned it. This thing has seen a LOT of use. The burners and heat distribution bars were replaced around 10 years ago and I have been using it regularly for a few years. I really like it for veggies.
 

Zak

WFF Supporter
WFF Supporter
I have a question for you grilmeisters. The middle burner on my Genesis flares longer yellow flames from the ports near where the gas goes in. Is there an easy fix, or should I replace the burner?
 

IveofIone

WFF Supporter
I have a question for you grilmeisters. The middle burner on my Genesis flares longer yellow flames from the ports near where the gas goes in. Is there an easy fix, or should I replace the burner?
If the grill is pushing 10 years old replacement would be best. I think you can get a set of all 3 burners for around $25. Otherwise, I would remove the faulty burner and give it a good inspection. Some insect might have taken up residence at some point then got fried in place.
 

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