Trying again to trust a gas grill.

lawn_slaveMarch 13, 2007

Hey y'all. First time post here in the Cooking Outdoors forum so go easy on me.

Back in 1995 I bought a $120 Sunbeam gas grill (I know, I know, "tight-wad"). I loved it for the first summer then reality kicked in. Flare-ups outta this world, rusted components from squirting water on the flames, perpetual grime and sooty build-up, replaced burner after 1 year of the deadly flare-up-water-bottle cycles, over and over, etc... I happily gave up on gas grills all together after that terrible experience and went back to charcoal grilling for the next 12 years on a big New Braunfels.

Well, here starts my quandary. The New Braunfels is retiring and IÂm trying to find a good reason to go back to gas grilling thinking that perhaps most of my prior gas grilling nightmares came from me being too cheap to buy a decent gas grill.

That said, IÂm looking into the $398 "Uniflame 48,000-BTU 4-Burner Stainless Steel Gas Grill LP" at Walmart (Link:


Can someone tell me that I wonÂt have quite the flare-up nightmares of my past if I go with a unit like this? Or maybe tell me that gas grills have come a long way since 1995 and that my Sunbeam cheapo erroneously ruined my gas grilling experience?

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Personally, I won't go back to gas. I'm debating a new charcoal grill right now. Not sure if I'm going to go Weber, or go something else.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 11:51AM
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You need to look at the construction, & the thickness of the steel. Look for gaps where heat can escape. Single walled construction will discolor from the heat. There's a big difference between the cheaper stainless grills and the premium ones. We had an $800 grill, that still had flare ups, needed burners replaced, etc. If you are a tightwad (grin), go with charcoal.

If you do choose gas and want a smoky flavor, make sure you have a dedicated burner for the smoker box. And make sure the smoker box is big enough to hold chunks of wood, not little chips.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 7:26PM
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"If you are a tightwad (grin), go with charcoal."

Curious statement, and it's gotten me to thinking.

I wonder if anyone has ever done a cost comparison between the two?

I know that when I lived in a home surrounded by mature maple trees I frequently cooked over coals from the downed branches. THAT was cheap! And good.

Now, though, I have to buy charcoal, and lump hardwood charcoal (all I use for steaks) isn't cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

Briquettes, which I use for other kinds of grilling, are cheaper.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 11:41AM
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Cooking over real wood is great. It works well when I'm at a campsite.

Propane is about $3 per gallon. I suppose you'd have to figure out how many BTUs you were using on the gas grill and go from there. Then again, I also buy chunks of wood for the smoker box.

For steaks, I use an infrared grill. It produces extremely high heat. You just sear each side for a couple of minutes. The char marks on the steak taste like it was grilled over an open fire. I don't think this uses much propane because it's on for such a short period of time. There's some warm up time and some burn off time. That's probably the cheapest way to go. I think I paid about $800 with the stand for that grill.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 6:23AM
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I know gas is more convenient, but no matter how expensive the gas grill is, it does not cook and flavor the food like cooking over lump charcoal.

No matter how many "lava rocks" or "flavoring bars" are on the unit, your just trying to make it taste like old fashioned charcoal grilling. If you've been cooking on coal for the past 12 years you may want to eat some gas grilled fare for awhile and make sure you like the flavor.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:02PM
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If you're going to get a gas grill, spend the money and get a Weber.

Why do you want to get a gas grill?

12 years on the New Braunfels suggests that you were quite happy with that. Why not get another one?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 12:56PM
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