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exterior gas grill recommendations

Posted by avidchef (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 29, 12 at 11:15

Can anyone recommend a moderately priced (about $1200 or less) exterior gas grill which will hook up to my gas line? What features are "must haves" in gas grills? (I thought I posted this question last night - but didn't see it today - so please excuse me if this is a duplicate post.)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I got a Weber S330 stainless and hooked it up to a natural gas line. I think it was about $900 (and Weber does not seem discount).

Must have features? For me, just that it gets HOT! That and stainless steel everything because otherwise I find they rust quickly. I do keep mine covered.

-Stooxie


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Weber.It is by far the best choice in the $700-$2500 class.

I have one enameled green.It does not rust except for the chrome trim on the doors beneath the grill.Same chrome trim as the SS model.

What you don't want is 430 SS or worse.What you want is 304 SS or better if getting a SS model. Which means none of the Chinese models available at Costco and elsewhere. But there is nothing better than 304 SS under $1200.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

The name that pops into my head is RCS. I think they are the makers of FireMagic, considered to be one of the best grills out there. The RCS line is their less-expensive offering. There are a few others out there I think.

I want to know if the valves can control the heat settings. Is it like full on all the time?

I want to know what the burners are made of. Are they going to rust out in a year or two?

I want to know what the grates and racks are made of. I don't care for porcelain or steel. Must be stainless.

If a rotisserie is included, can it handle larger items like a turkey? Is the burner full width or narrow?

Check out this site and study some of their videos about features.

Here is a link that might be useful: grill place


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

My Dad and I each bought Weber grills about 15 years ago. His is hooked up to natural gas, and mine used propane bottles. This year I bought a new Weber because I wanted more grill area, but my old one was still going strong (as is Dad's) with absolutely no maintenance. I abused that poor thing and it fired up dependably every spring, and I never replaced ignitors or anything.

I decided to skip the side burner, since I find the extra work area more useful.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

While the logic of higher quality stainless seems completely reasonable to me, I would like to point out that I have an inexpensive 3 burner unit from Mexico (Charmglow) that I suspect was just under $300 (so perhaps $450 for the 4 burner upgrade?)at Home Depot 6.5 years ago. It is not rusting anywhere. We use it twice a week all year long. It sits on a partially covered back deck. It can be windy when it rains, so it gets wet but not soaked. I believe that I May have replaced one burner tube.

The one requirement in a good BarBQ is heavy heat retaining grates. I am not convinced that stainless really qualifies (although thats what I have). For 25 years I used to grill on an already used large charcoal CharBroil (I think thats the right name, it was top of the line then) Grill. The uncoated iron grates held up perfectly.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I owned a Weber for 20 years and when I went to replace it I was told only the top of the line model (summit) is made in this country. You are right about converting LP to NG in that kits are no longer available for Webers. I replaced mine with a FireMagic and hopefully this will be my last grill.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I've had a fire magic for the last 5 years. It's been great. Heavy duty, it's really built. Works every time, cooks evenly, gets super hot. Pretty easy to clean. Pricey, but you can really see and feel what you're paying for.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Be sure it has an infrared broiler. They really do steaks nice and the best turkey we ever did was on a spit using that infra red broiler. I think most grills , or at least BBQ's have them now.

Gary


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I have a weber genesis that is 11 years old and it has been a great grill. I have replaced the grates and flavorizor bars once, and it needs a new ignitor. I have gotten my money's worth for sure. Buying a new one for the new house but decided to save the money on the built in grill for now because this one works so well. I think it is equivalent to the Summit, which is around 700.

Down the road we may build something in but we felt like this was something we could downgrade pretty painlessly. . .


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Weber Genesis $700-$1000

Weber Summit $1300-$2500


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

If building a new home spend the extra money and install a NG line to the outside near where you would place your grill. You can keep your LP grill for now, but later buy a NG grill with the gas line already stubbed out. I would also have the builder install an outlet next to the gas line because a lot of grills require electric for lights, ignition, and rotisserie. Webers are great grills and worth it in that price range. When you step up to other brands the price is dbl or triple.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

The best by far are the "Solaire" grills.
Beats any of the Webers by a mile, not even in the same league.
The standard model and definitely get the "Infravection" set up where you have TRUE Infrared on one side and a standard convection gas burner on the other side.
Will cost about $1500 but FAR better than the Weber of the same price.

http://www.rasmussen.biz/grills/infravection.html

http://www.rasmussen.biz/grills/27G.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Solaire Grill


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Wish this site had an "edit" completely ridiculous to not have one.
This is what REAL Infrared looks like, along with a high quality Convection next to it.
All made of 304 SS and the rack is a 304 SS in a V shape, will last forever.

Solaire Infravection


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Kamado Grill

Myself I opted for a Kamado grill, charcoal burner.

Takes about 5 minutes to reach 700 degrees from the time you light the charcoal, can control the temp from 200 to 800+ easily, can use it as a smoker, water smoker, oven, pizza oven, high temp grill.
Full of charcoal can hold a 225 degree slow smoke for over 24 straight hours.

All made of very thick ceramic with a lifetime guarantee and only cost $570 at Costco.

Called the Vision Kamado Grill.

I thought about a gas grill, but once I saw this one and how fast it starts and is basically ready to go as fast as any gas grill is, plus is more versatile and has a lifetime guarantee and cost 1/2 and much, I quickly forgot about a gas grill.

Vision Grill


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I bought a Ducane a few years ago because it had
a 'Lifetime Warrantee'. It has been a good grill,
but I eventually needed parts. When I contacted
them they told me Ducane was bought out by Webber
and no longer honored any warrantees. Isn't that
a fine howdy do? Therefore, I no longer respect
Webber.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Can anyone comment on Vermont Castings BBQs? I saw one in Costco for about 1K. It looked pretty sturdy.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

My 14 year old Weber just keeps on working perfectly. All year. Sometimes I brush off the snow. Everything tastes better. Not at all fancy. I just step out onto the back porch and start it up. No shlepping, buying or storing any charcoal, or any other tasks, other than exchanging a new tank once in a while.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

"Myself I opted for a Kamado grill, charcoal burner."

Give that man a ceeegar! We have a gas grill that we basically never use, because we much prefer the results we get using a basic Weber kettle - in particular, I use a lot of smoke, which is easy to create and control with wood chips on charcoal; I tried all the usual was to get smoke on a gas grill and didn't find any of those satisfactory. The Kamado-style units are in a different league to the basic kettle-style - we just haven't gotten around to getting one yet.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I would much rather have a Weber S470 than those Solaire grills.

You can use the entire grill area from low to high but still have a sear burner tucked between two conventional burners for a sear zone. Not the entire or half the grill be exclusively a sear zone.

The Kamado is very cool and if you can get Costco price and service then even better.

But it takes another level of commitment to learn the ins and outs of ceramic grill/smoker cooking.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

When I contacted
them they told me Ducane was bought out by Webber
and no longer honored any warrantees. Isn't that
a fine howdy do? Therefore, I no longer respect
Webber.

Ducane filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Weber purchased the name only from bankruptcy court for their cheaper Chinese made grills.They have no responsibilty or obligation to cover Ducane warranty.Weber Spirit also made in China.

Speaking of....Vermont Castings.It seems they go into and out of bankruptcy every few years. You want a strong company so warranty is honored.If General Motors filed for bankruptcy any company can. But less likely with the current 800 lbs gorilla,Weber.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Thanks everyone. The collective knowledge on this website is quite impressive. I went to Costco today. I saw the Kamando and was quite awed by it. I don't know if I would know how to use it. The lid is quite heavy. I already have a natural gas line attached to a grill on a pole which is why I asked about NG. I am leaning towards a Weber grill - everyone seems to have good experience with them. However, I saw a very nice looking Jenn Air outdoor kitchen for $1600. I know Jenn Air leases its name for these so I have no idea who makes it or the quality. It was huge - with burners and an oven. Unfortunately it is not pictured on Costco's website nor is it on Jenn Air's site. (In fact when you go to Jenn Air the website tells you that they do not manufacture them.). So my question is - does anyone have any information about Costco's Jenn Air as far as quality compared to the Weber and its available features? It looked like quite a work horse, but as we all know, looks can be quite deceiving and instinctively I feel the quality is probably lacking.
Another question - In general, what fuel is preferable for outdoors and why?


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

If Weber buys Ducane's brand name they are obviously leveraging the goodwill of the brand to sell more. So if they don't pick up obligations to existing customers, they will inherit the ill-will as well. Nothing to do with what they're legally required to do, it's simple Marketing 101.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Hi Avidchef,

It kind of sounds like you're looking for a high-quality mid-range natural gas grill. Easy to control, nothing intimidating. The Kamando certainly is an impressive cooker, but I also probably comes with quite the learning curve. I know myself, when I switched from propane to a charcoal kettle, I cremated a couple good steaks until I got a hold on how charcoal acts. That all being said, I agree with the Weber recommendations. Whilst googling, I came across a review of a Jenn-Air that I've provided a link to. I have absolutely no knowledge of Jenn-Air grills, nor do I know how reliable the review that I've provided is. But it doesn't sound too promising. And the fact that Jenn-Air provides no information on a grill they slap their name on kind of raises a red flag. Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Jenn-Air review


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Per the Jenn-Air review referenced above it is stating they are made by Nexgrill. I have a Sterling Forge which is discontinued and also made by Nexgrill. Yes, it's all stainless steel but my old Weber was so much better. One of it's biggest things is the drip catcher is not angled enough for run off. It needs constant surveillance in order to keep down the flames. And it became discontinued within two years.

My old Weber I could put food on the rotisserie and basically forget about it. Getting parts was never a problem. I actually gave my Weber to my oldest son. If I had it to do over I would purchase another Weber. They probably are not going out of business any time soon, and you'll probably always be able to get parts.

The Sterling is such a pain that I now have a Traeger grill. This is a pellet grill and probably not what you are looking for. However, they shipped their manufacturing to China and you can tell the difference. It's had two issues with it's electrical. I will say that Traeger did ship out new parts at no cost. The Mak grill is suppose to be the one to get if you are into pellets. They are made in the USA and supposedly built to high standards, but I don't think they are cheap.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I have nothing bad to say about Weber. In fact, when I was shopping for mine, a store manager said that they had an easier time getting parts for Weber versus other brands. Weber was on my list, but I found a Lynx at a store going out of business.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Since you have a NG hookup I would stay with the Weber. You will not use the extras with the Jenn Air grill and the parts availability a few years down the road will probably be terrible. Weber parts are common and easy to come by. I was a charcoal person for many years, but converted to gas to make life easier year round. I too bought a Treager pellet grill for long slow cooking. Pulled pork cooking for 12 hours and all I do is add pellets once. Get the Weber and add a pellet or green egg later. I want an offset smoker to add to my collection, but 2 grills is about all I am allowed.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I am a real indoor cook - I make a lot of dishes that could be considered gourmet. But, I am extremely inexperienced when it comes to outdoor cooking and equipment. All I know is my very simple NG grill, but I am extremely intrigued by the range of outdoor cooking equipment. I recently saw a kalamazoo hybrid (out of my $$ range) which allowed for gas, charcoal, and wood. I am wondering about the pros and cons of gas vrs. charcoal. Maybe I should consider two grills....I never imagined there was so many outdoor options. Do most of you have side burners and utilize them? If so, for what?


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I used charcoal for 25 years and switched to propane when I moved 7 years ago. I am pleased to say that I can't tell the difference, except for convenience of course. When smoke becomes an issue, you can always add some chips in some aluminum foil onto the burner cover.

I have only used the side burner for emergencies when the power was out, and it wasn't very useful for that because winds were usually blowing and kept the pot from easily heating.

You have a gas BBQ. You already know everything you need to know. There is too much conspicuous consumption on this site. Yes you need a bigger grill so you can cook for a group, heavier grates to retain heat, better quality so it doesn't rust away, that's it. Put Ansel Addams in Yosemite with a Brownie; you still get a great picture. Impress your friends with your cooking rather than the equipment.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I consider a side burner to be a waste of gas. I specifically bought a unit that did not have one. However, if you go the 'outdoor kitchen' route, a burner might come in handy for the convenience of not having to walk back inside to make something on the stove top.

Pros use wood or charcoal. they would never use gas. Many of them use Weber kettles, but they have upgraded them to have temperature control devices.

Gas is for the convenience: quick startup heat, no ashes to deal with.

If I were doing two (and I'm looking for the 2nd), the gas grill is for things I want to cook rather quickly: hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks. Also I use it's rotisserie for chickens, turkeys and some roasts. The 2nd unit will be for smoking ribs, chops, chicken, brisket. Low and slow for several hours.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I grew up with propane grills, as that is what my parents always have had. When I finally had a place that allowed a grill, I really wanted charcoal. Here are my findings after growing up on propane and now using charcoal for about six years. Gas is certainly more convenient. Turn a knob, light it, let it preheat for about 10 minutes, and throw on the meat. Using charcoal is a bit of a ritual: load charcoal into the chimney starter, light it, let the charcoal burn in the chimney for about 20 minutes until it is gray and ashy, dump it out of the chimney and into the grill, put the cover on and let the charcoal sit for about 10 more minutes. Then put on the meat. Then after about three times using the grill, you need to dump the ashes out of the ash trap (I have a Weber kettle with the ash trap underneath) and into the garbage (or mulch). That all being said, the taste is unbeatable. Gas grills just can't get the charcoal taste. Are there times when I wish I could just turn the damn thing on and cook? Of course. But the inconvenience has not stopped me from gilling almost every night in the summer. You just learn to deal with it. Hope this helps a bit. If you do go with charcoal, do yourself a favor and buy some cheap cuts of meat to learn with. Fresh out of the chimney charcoal is significantly hotter than the hottest setting of any gas grill I've ever used (maybe I've just used crappy gas grills) and like I mentioned in a previous post, it's easy to cremate things. I'd just hate for you celebrate your new grill by buying a couple of USDA prime filets and ruin them the first time out.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Do you want to BBQ or grill. Gas is mostly used for grilling and not long slow cooking which is BBQ. Some gas grills allow for low temperatures and have a wood box for smoking, but most don't. You can do both on a charcoal if you really practice. I grew up with charcoal and had 2 cast aluminum charcoal grills for 15 years. When quick meals such as burgers or dogs were wanted the fire was only used for 10 minutes of cooking and the prep time was twice as long. The other factor was my wife would use the NG grill with no problem, but never the charcoal. Salmon cooks for about 3 minutes per side on high heat so starting a kettle or ceramic cooker for 6 minutes of cooking doesn't work for us. My grill is capable of gas, charcoal, and infared with interchangeable parts. We use it for gas grilling only and use the smoker burner when we want the taste of wood. Because I missed the taste of BBQ I bought a Treager to slow cook meat, pork and chicken. Fill it with pellets, set the thermostat for 225 and walk away. They say it will go to 400-450, but I have not tried to grill on it. It is indirect heat. We live in the northeast and the grill goes all year even in the snow we pull it under a roof. I would not fire up a charcoal grill when it is 25 degrees and don't use the Treager much in the winter. We never run out of NG, but do forget to get pellets sometime. Finding lump charcoal in Jan. might be difficult also.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Well we got our Vision Kamado Grill today.
First it is HEAVY about 190# and we have 35 steps leading down to our house we had to haul it down and my wife is only 5'2" and not very strong. We did have one of those appliance carrier belts with the wide strap and 2 harnesses, but it was all she could do. If it weighed another 10# I doubt she could have handled it.

Anyway we got it in, set it all up. Very well made, nice stainless cart/nest to put it on, all high quality stainless pieces and bolts. Very nice stainless hinge and a little shock absorber in the front so the lid will never accidentally slam. The ceramic is nice and thick, no chips anywhere, was very well packed.
The racks are heavy stainless, well made and double decker and both racks fold up in half so you can get to the charcoal of you need to or to the bottom rack easily.
Racks look like they will last easily 30+ years.
Comes with two good sized wooden fold down tables on each side.

I started it with a chimney, took about 10 minutes, then dumped the charcoal in. It was really ready to go in less than 15 minutes but for the first time using it it says to let it burn about 30 minutes so I did.

I think I am going to buy what is called a "Weed Torch" a Red Dragon Weed Torch to be exact, gets to 100,000 BTU on just a small propane cylinder and takes about 1 minute to fully light a full load of Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal.
Then close the lid, open up top and bottom vents and it is 100% ready to go at over 600 degrees in under 5 minutes total. That just as fast as a gas grill.
For smoking at 225 its ready to go in less time.

I cooked a whole chicken tonight, split in half and covered in Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.
Came out excellent, very juicy, falling off the bone, crispy skin, perfect.
I was able to keep the temp right where I wanted it at between 360-380 degrees with no problems at all even on my first try.

I added a few chunks of apple wood just for flavor and good smoke.

It comes with a really nice cover, heavy and well made.

All n all I am extremely happy so far, appears as though I now have a lifetime grill. I am 53 and assuming I live another 40 years at most I feel it is safe to say that I will be using this grill until I am not able to BBQ anymore.

It was $569.00 at Costco and I had my Costco rebate I get every year which this year was $115 just for the American Express part.
So the grill only cost $485 with tax.

It is basically a fully decked out Big Green Egg for $485.

I am going to smoke a bone in Prime Rib Roast on Sunday, that should be very tasty.

This grill does it all, smoker, high temp searing (800 degrees), grilling, BBQ, oven, can be ready to cook in 5 minutes. Close the vents when you are done and it puts out the charcoal in just a few minutes to save it for next time.
Lifetime guarantee on all the ceramic.

I will take some pics Sunday and post while smoking the Prime Rib.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Interesting... My local Costco has the medium size Big Green Egg, for ~$580. Its grill is 15" diameter, and the recipe book says this holds an 18 pound turkey.

Comes in three boxes, which may be easier to move around. Boxes say made in Mexico; I don't know the weight.

No sign of the Vision Kamado grill anywhere around, here.

Can anyone compare this Big Green Egg to the Vision Kamado?


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

They both about the same for the most part, the ceramic on the Vision is thicker, the racks are a bit better on the Vision and the nest/cart is better on the Vision, it is all solid stainless square tubing instead of powder coated steel.
Both are great, cook excellent.
The Vision grill is the size of a large BGE, abut 18-19" Dia grill rack.

Cant wait to do the Prime Rib tomorrow.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Got the Prime Rib going.
The new charcoal starter (500,000 BTU Weed Torch)got the charcoal going in under 60 seconds.
Within 90 seconds total the temp was already 300 degrees.
Was actually hard to keep the temp down, had to close the vents so it wouldn't go over 350 and took me quite a awhile to manage it down to 230 degrees.
But this is my first time trying to smoke with it so now I have a better idea of exactly what I need to do.

But for searing or grilling Jeebus, I can get this started and blazing over 600 degrees in under 5 minutes.
The Weed Torch is killer for starting it.

I seared the Prime Rib on my Griddle for a couple minutes each side, then put several whole garlic cloves under the skin and then smeared it well with Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk rub.
I do not have my Lava Stone yet that is the only thing that doesn't come with it, I ordered it but wont be here for a few days so had to improvise on a heat diffuser.
Used an old cast iron frying pan as a diffuser and drippings catcher.
The bottom rack is 19" Dia and the stainless rods are 1/4" thick.
I am using Hickory chunks and Cherry wood chips for flavor.

Photobucket

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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Well ended up being the best Prime Rib I ever had.
Took it off at 125 degrees internal temp, wrapped in heavy foil and a towel for about 15 minutes.
Finished at 134 degrees and was perfect all the way through even to the very edge.

It held 230 degrees perfectly once it settled down.

My 94 year old mother doesn't like too much red so when I took it off the grill I opened up both top and bottom vents all the way just to see what would it would do and to sear her slice.
OMG did that thing get HOT and fast, from a steady 230 up to well over 700 before the meat had rested.
When I threw her Prime rib on the grill I almost couldn't get it off it was so dang hot it was burning my hands just trying to get near it.
In 30 seconds it had black grill marks and was seared.

I am very impressed with this Kamado grill and cant wait until next weekend. My wife's birthday so going to do a Chateaubriand.
Was so beautiful today we ate out on the deck.

Opened a nice 2004 Petite Syrah to go with it.

Best dinner I have had in ages.

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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

OMG!!!

I nearly ate the screen...


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

We will hafta "Monitor You", Weedmaster,
(You get the picture)?

Also "Watch out" that cyber food can really make one put on excess weight!


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

"Can anyone compare this Big Green Egg to the Vision Kamado?"

Sure but I don't want to offend any one or get in a branding debate so I will try to keep to just the basic differences. I will say the the benefit of buying from Costco is that you can return the product if it doesn't meet your expectations which is very nice. For comparison I will be talking about the Large BGE Vs the Kamado.
The BGE ceramic is thicker and of better quality. This is hard to quantify on a forum and you would really have to see both products in person.
The BGE comes with a lifetime warranty and there are over 2,000 dealers nation wide Vs a variable warranty on the Kamado with a limited dealer network (think parts). Kamado will void your warranty if you don't register the product and send them a copy of your dated store receipt with in 30 days of purchase! BGE does not charge freight on warranty parts if they can go through the mail or you have them shipped to your local dealer. Kamado charges freight on warranty parts which can be significant on ceramic.
The fire box is a split on the Kamado and it does not use a ceramic fire ring. That means a big difference in high temp cooking ability and probably fire box longevity not to mention gaskets. It might be wise to inquire about fire box replacement cost including freight before purchasing.
The BGE comes with a cast iron daisy wheel top which is much nicer than the Kamado.
The Kamado has a solid SS bar that splits the lower screen vent and restricts air flow. The BGE does not.
The hinge on the BGE is vastly better.
The Dome shape is slightly flatter on the Kamado.
The Kamado does not have a plate setter (AFAIK) which is a major draw back to low and slow indirect cooking. You may find that some BGE parts or eggcessories fit the Kamado.
The Kamado is a little more than 1/2 the price of a large BGE including a nest, tray and plate setter.
The kamado has a very nice nest but the wheels didn't seem very solid and they support a lot of weight.
The vision has SS grates the BGE does not.
The one way to keep the cost down on a BGE is to buy one after an Eggfest if that's an option but the Kamado will offer a lot of people a very good value especially when bought from Costco. One final note about Kamado. They are a company that has had a very troubled past in regards to customer service and product warranty. Google is your friend here so do a little research before assuming the best price is the best value. I do believe they may have been bought by another company but it's worth knowing their back ground before buying. Either way competition is a beautiful thing for the consumer!


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Thanks, docsknotinn. Would be nice to see 'em side by side.

Does anyone know if Costco plans to carry both brands? IIRC, they carry a couple of gas grills, here, so I wonder if they'll soon have both a medium BGE and a large Kamado -- or if different stores will sell different brands, for some reason.

Nunyabiz's prime rib photos are sure appetizing...


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

"The BGE ceramic is thicker and of better quality. This is hard to quantify on a forum and you would really have to see both products in person."

This is false, the Vision is actually thicker and weighs 40lbs more, quality of ceramic is debatable but I see no difference.
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"The BGE comes with a lifetime warranty "

the Vision is also a lifetime warranty on the Ceramic parts and 5 years on the metal parts which are high quality stainless not painted steel like the BGE, buy it from Costco and you have the best warranty you can get from any where and can take it back years later if something happens.
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"the fire box is a split on the Kamado and it does not use a ceramic fire ring. That means a big difference in high temp cooking ability and probably fire box longevity not to mention gaskets."

I fail to see how a very thick cast iron plate is going cause a big difference in high temp cooking ability.
Firebox is split to prevent cracking.
I might add that I have seen many BGEs with the exact same cast iron plate in the bottom, I assume that is what you are calling a "fire ring".
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"The Kamado has a solid SS bar that splits the lower screen vent and restricts air flow. The BGE does not. '

If it restricts it then I am glad it does as the airflow is insane and wide open it becomes a literal blow torch. It went from a steady 230 degrees for 3 hours up to over 750 degrees in a matter of a few minutes once I opened the top & bottom vents.

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"The hinge on the BGE is vastly better."

From everything I have seen of the 20 or so different hinges you can see on BGEs I would have say that is false.
At best they are the same, in reality the Vision is actually better, it is beefy, its stainless whereas most of the ones for the BGE are not, the band is stainless, the bolts are all high quality stainless and again no such thing on the BGE that I have seen unless they have changed it again.

Here is the BGE hinge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbmwBe3T00I

Here is the Vision hinge starting at 3:25 in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybAhPXsPbOU&feature=related

In fact the band, the table mounts and everything else seem better quality on the Vision also, they are all high quality stainless not painted steel like the BGE.
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"The Kamado does not have a plate setter (AFAIK) which is a major draw back to low and slow indirect cooking. You may find that some BGE parts or eggcessories fit the Kamado"

That is false, the Vision actually has a very nice plate setter and excellent Lava Stone equally as nice as the BGE.
The stone itself is actually better on the Vision, although the setter looks better on the BGE.

You can see the nice Lava Stone and plate setter in this video at 47 seconds into it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-5-aR6hbJI

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"The kamado has a very nice nest but the wheels didn't seem very solid and they support a lot of weight."

the nest is actually considerably better on the Vision and maybe they changed the wheels on the 2012 models because mine are rock solid hard rubber casters.
You can see the casters in this pic, plus the very nice heavy duty grill cover.

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"The vision has SS grates the BGE does not."

Yep, solid stainless and both racks fold up so you can get under to the coals and add wood if needed.
it is made of very thick 1/4" thick stainless rods, should last a lifetime.

Everything I have seen of customer service was they were absolutely outstanding, I have no first hand experience of that but going the reviews I see it seems true enough.

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/vision-grills-kamado-pro-charcoal-ceramic-grill-217929.html


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Costco

Also some Costcos will carry both the Vision and the BGE but you might have to bug them and get them to order them.
That is what I did, they were never going to carry them at my Costco until I hounded them into it.
they finally ordered 6 of the Vision grills.

and just for clarification both the BGE and the Vision are "Kamado style grills"


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Has anyone tried the Phoenix Grill? It looks very interesting.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I thought this post was to help consumers learn about gas grills. I have nothing against charcoal or wood fired, but most people still use gas for ease of use. Being that their are so many brands of gas grills both good and bad that was the purpose of the original post to inform people which brand they might choose. Now that spring is here and gas grills are selling it would be helpful to steer buyers towards grills based on personal ownership. Gas grills come in all price ranges and sizes and many manufacturers. Advice on these is what was asked.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

-----------------------------------------------------------
I fail to see how a very thick cast iron plate is going cause a big difference in high temp cooking ability.
Firebox is split to prevent cracking.
I might add that I have seen many BGEs with the exact same cast iron plate in the bottom, I assume that is what you are calling a "fire ring".
----------------------------------------------------------

My post was not meant to offend any Kamado owners but rather to offer specific points for others to consider when comparing a BGE and Kamado Vision. My interest in ceramic grills started when I switched from a gas grill. While this may be slightly OT I hope it will be of interest to the OP.
The Costco return policy is very nice but I'm sure I'm not the only one that has noticed that tighten up in recent years. Costco won't help you get warranty parts.
In this thread I am comparing Kamado the company. Lets not confuse that with a style of cooker. It's also important to note that Kamado had massive warranty problems before the company was sold in 2011. Kamado should not be confused with Komodo which another ceramic grill maker.
Weight is not a good measurement of ceramic quality especially when you get a product made in China. Buyers should compare the Large BGE to the Vision not the medium.
The thing I really wanted to address is the above quote as it clearly shows some product confusion between the two grills.
The fire ring is a ceramic ring that sets on top of the fire box. Not the cast Iron plate on the bottom of the Charcoal. With out a ceramic fire ring the high temps produced by lump charcoal will likely destroy gaskets prematurely and that is not a warranty topic. Kamado appears to have eliminated the fire ring for two reasons.
The split fire box on a Kamado would likely deteriorate under the weight of a fire ring and eliminating the fire ring allowed them to use a double grate. The grate may seem like a nice feature at first blush but it does come with a trade off. Even more important will be the wear on the lip of the lower ceramic unit from the heat. Remember if you have to have a lower unit replaced freight is not included from Kamado.
The best bet on hinge quality etc is to go to the store and lift the lid on each product. I'd never buy either one site unseen, not even from Costco.
Again I hope this will be of help to others starting to think about switching from gas to charcoal.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Well like the OP stated:

"I am wondering about the pros and cons of gas vrs. charcoal. Maybe I should consider two grills....I never imagined there was so many outdoor options."

and you yourself gave some very good pointers on charcoal Vs gas usage.
Charcoal/Wood burning grills should always be given some consideration when it comes to what grill to buy as they can produce flavors and quality BBQ that gas just can not do.
To me about the only thing that gas grills are better at is ease of use with short cooking meats like throwing on a quick burger or dawg.
The perfect combo would be to get a Kamado style grill/smoker/oven and then buy a small but ultra nice gas true infrared grill that is portable like the Solaire.

Then you have the best of both worlds and a gas grill for home that when you go camping or to the beach or tailgating or where ever you can take with you which you can not do with a Kamado. That is where a gas grill really shines is portability but if you have some giant gas grill then you take away its best attribute.

Then when you want a quick burger, dawg, salmon steak etc you just fire up the Infrared cooker and everything else you fire up the Kamado. In fact with the Solaire infrared sitting next to the Kamado you can quickly sear your meat like I did on my griddle before you put it on to smoke or roast.
Also with the 500,000btu Weed Torch which is only $19.99 you can fire up your lump charcoal in the Kamado in 5 minutes and you are ready to cook. Takes virtually the same time to fire up a gas grill.

Both of them combined would be $570 plus $360 so for under $1000 you have the perfect grilling setup.

I am most likely going to buy the Solaire next year just to have it.
Right now when I want a quick burger or dawg or salmon steak I fire up my griddle on my gas stove, flavor is basically the same but I cant take my gas range with me anywhere.

Also if I want that true "grilling flavor" which to me is the sole reason to grill in the first place and we are having company over then I can fire up the Kamado in 5 minutes and get a real wood fired burger, or make up some pizza dough and wood fire some killer pizzas with the plate setter and Lava Stone.
For true grilling and BBQ and smoking nothing touches charcoal/wood.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solaire Grill


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Grill

A combination of gas and charcoal is very nice. I have a built in NG line so with gas in the summer it's quick and easy. I used a Broilmaster for years and had very good luck with that product.
When we talk about Lump charcoal cooking for those on a budget a Webber Smokey Mountain is worth consideration. It's really quite amazing how many still use webbers in competition.


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Kamado Vs Kamodo Vs Vision

Ahh you are talking about that insanely expensive one that is like $3000 or more, yeah THAT one I would not buy and they don't sell them at Costco anyway.
Yeah those things were a total nightmare with tiles popping off and the ceramic cracking etc. That is Kamodo.
You are confusing them somehow with the Vision Kamado grill.

The BGE is also a Kamado grill

Has nothing to do with the Vision grill however anymore than it does the BGE.

You keep calling the Vision grill "Kamado" which is confusing, but I now see what you are talking about with the "fire ring" that is basically just an extension of the fire box. Don't see why that would make much difference.
Also for about $15 you can change the gasket with top quality Nomex in a couple of minutes.
Something you will also do with the BGE anyway in time.

As for the thickness of the ceramic the Vision is a bit thicker, as for the quality or the ceramic don't know but its a lifetime guarantee so we will see.
But for $570 Vs $1200+ for a large BGE its no contest.

I have yet to see anything bad about the Vision customer service myself.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations A

Yeah those things were a total nightmare with tiles popping off and the ceramic cracking etc. That is ****Kamodo****.
You are confusing them somehow with the Vision Kamado grill.
--------------------------------------------------------

That is incorrect. Kamado is the same company that had tons of negative press and made the ceramic cookers you mention with cracking and other problems. They have a dedicated fraud forum.

http://kamadofraudforum.org/index.php

Kamado (the company) was bought out in 2011 (didn't we already cover this?) by a new company so customer service is unknown at this juncture. This company is the one making the "vision" that is being sold at Costco.

Komodo makes the units that are $3,000 plus with the tiles and they are a very nice product. There shouldn't be any confusion between Kamado and Komodo. Very different products. Very different price point, entirely different Companies. Here is a link with a Komodo;

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/productreviews/komodokamado2/kk2-01.htm

None of that has any relation to BGE other than saying it's a "Kamado" style cooker which just means stove or oven.

BGE has been around for nearly 40 years.

I think your streeeeetching things a bit with price. A large BGE with plate setter, cover, nest, tables and usually delivery runs $900-$1,000. They have sold them at Costco and Sams in the past for a good bit less. You can also save a LOT buying one from a dealer after an Eggfest.

I hope that resolves any branding confusion and I just don't think I could add more othor than to say changing a gasket is not something you want to do unless you have to. They should last for years. When you do change Nomex is the only way to fly for high temp cooking.
I sincerely hope we haven't driven this too far off the rails for the OP.


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You say Kamado I say Kamodo

Wrong again as far as I can tell.

The "Komodo Kamado Grill" the really expensive one IS the one that is pure junk, tiles falling off, cracking, not delivering product for months on end etc.
It is the one they are showing pictures of, lots of pictures of in that fraud site you just listed.
They have nothing to do with Vision grills.
I looked that site over pretty good, used the search option etc and came up with zero related to Vision or Phase 2 in St Louis.

Vision grills is a company out of St Louis MO.

Kamodo Kamado grills are based somewhere in Indonesia and still owned by the same guy I think. look carefully at the website you listed, same guy, same grills.

Has zip to do with Vision which is a company called "Phase 2 LLC" based in St Loius Mo.

As for the price you could very well be correct on that I will take your word for it as you clearly know more about the BGE than I. I know around here I have never seen the large BGE with nest etc for less than $1200.
I originally wanted a BGE but not for the price that I keep seeing around here or a few places online I have checked.
It is why I waited for the Vision at Costco.

Now as for whom actually makes the Vision grill I am pretty sure they are made by a company called "Auplex Appliance Co" in China, you can see them here and looks like the exact same grill. Considering the fact that Kamado ovens originated in China 3000 years ago, what better place to have them made than China?

BUT the Vision Grill at Costco is NOT being made by that horrible Kamodo Kamado company.

No more related than BGE is to them.

The Vision grill manufacturer has been making them since 2003.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vision Grill Manufacturer


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Egads a crack.

OK, well I now have some news on the "Customer Service" aspect of Vision Grills. Hope this isn't egg on my face but we will see.
I was just out cleaning it out to get ready for the next BBQ on Saturday and my eyes bugged out. I saw a crack in the firebowl towards the bottom right where the pre-split part is. Hope this isn't a sign of anything BUT.

So I freaked out, then calmed down and went OK lets see what the customer service is, here goes nothing I figured.

I went online registered it for the warranty thing, took 1 minute. Its just name address when and where you bought it hit send that's it.
Then went to the warranty claim section, they had a list of parts, I chose firebowl. Checked "other" explained what I saw, sent in a picture etc.
Hit send.
Much to my surprise I had 3 responses all within 5 minutes.
first was registration confirmation, second was confirmation of warranty claim which were all immediate then 4 Minutes later! I get an email from someone named Carolyn Richards executive Vise president of Phase 2, LLC / Vision Grills.

Email was as follows:

""Hi Nunya,

Thank you for your purchase. Yes, I see the crack is quite extensive. By the way you can continue to use the grill until you receive your new firebowl. Please send your address and phone number.

Regards,

Carolyn Richards
Executive Vice President
Phase 2, LLC / Vision Grills
1531 Fairview Avenue, Suite B
St. Louis, MO 63132
USA
Office 314.428.3166

www.visiongrills.com

carolyn.richards@visiongrills.com

"Bringing Back Flavor"
============================================================
Yes I use "Nunyabiz" on my personal email also, lol

So that settles the customer service question I always have with something new I buy.
Cant get any better than that.
I literally took 2 minutes to register and send claim and in under 5 minutes I have a response.
I sent in my info, real name and address and phone number received conformation back from her 8 minutes later stating the firebowl should be sent out before the end of TODAY free of charge UPS.

Wham Bam Thank You Mam!

So we will see what happens, I will continue to use the cracked firebowl until it is unusable which could be days or really could last many many years, then I have a brand new firebowl to just plop right in when needed.
Although come to think of it, I may actually use the new one ONCE just in case to make sure it doesn't do the same then take it out wrap it well and store it under the house until needed.

Now to be fair I have seen LOTS of BGE's with cracked firebowls also.
Here is a article talking about it here basically stating that virtually everyone gets a cracked firebowl but not to worry. So that makes me feel better.
I also see that they do the same thing I had planned to do, use the old until you just cant then put in the new one.

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm#cracked

Here is the crack, all N all not that bad of a crack really and may never get any bigger. But I am very impressed with the customer service I must say.

Photobucket


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RE: Wiki Wiki pedia

Considering the fact that Kamado ovens originated in China 3000 years ago, what better place to have them made than China?
----------------------------------------------------------
Kamado is Japanese. Not Chinese. I'm guessing you found out that when you read the Wiki article the reason Kamado (vision) made in China may be heavier because it's not actually ceramic. Remember what I said up thread about weight?
If your happy with your grill that's all that matters. It's a new company and potential buyers should just be aware of the past. I wouldn't buy one out side of Costco but there is a lot of comfort trying any thing new when your a member. I just try to avoid Chinese products as much as possible. Having your warranty canceled for not sending in a receipt with in 30 days is pretty extreme.
In either event the biggest point for me is dealer network and service. 2,000 BGE dealers in the US alone says a lot more than I ever could. Plus Costco sells them for less!!!
One things for sure. When you get a BGE, Primos or Grill Dome you don't have to sort through any word games or companies that have changed hands. No need to worry about the company standing behind your warranty or trying to find some silly way to void it. That alone is worth the price difference to me.

Now lets grill some thing!


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Everything I have read states it originated with the Chinese more than 3000 years ago. The " mushikamado" which you are referring to is the "direct descendant" of the Kamado and yes that is Japanese.

and AGAIN Vision is NOT the "Kamado" company you keep referring to.<---Read that last sentence again.
There is no "past" to be aware of and the company has not changed hands.

It is made of the exact "high fire ceramic" that the BGE is made of, the only difference is that the metal on the Vision is high quality 304 stainless instead of painted steel like the BGE. It is heavier because its thicker and slightly larger.

All you need to do is take literally less than 1 minute to register it, name, address, when and where you bought it, hit send and your done.

Obviously Vision stands behind theirs also so I am happy as can be.

2000 BGE across the country means nothing to me, but having a Costco 2 miles away that will take anything back does.
Also a company that responds instantly, no questions asked, instant replacement of a part is as good as it gets.

Grilling Filet on Saturday and might try a Pizza on Thursday.

I have had good luck with companies this week.
My 28 year old Fenwick fly rod broke about 6" up from the ferrule, have used the pure hell out of it over the decades.
Called the company to see if I could buy a new top half and I could not because they don't even make that exact model anymore and each one is made at the same time from the same blank and made to fit, so cant really buy a top half anyway.
Once they learned that it broke while fishing and not slammed in a car door they said well that rod has a lifetime guarantee.
We don't have that exact model but we do have one of the same size and action and weight.
So they are sending me a brand new flyrod as good or better than my old one, just cost $9 for shipping.

Not bad for a rod that 28 years ago cost me I think it was around $70 and now the replacement is about $200.
Was no questions asked, just sending a new rod, should be here tomorrow.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I have to agree with PeterH and Arch... Weber Kettle charcoal.

My husband was given one in the mid 80's... it was a few years old. It's still going strong - many decades later.

We looked at the BGE at Costco... and decided that when (if?) the weber ever dies, we'll consider that.

I guess we're old school (and cheap).


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Hey there's nothing wrong with old school! Hit a BBQ competition some time and you will see Weber's in action right up against the BGE and cookers that cost thousands. They even make controllers for the Webers now like the BBQ guru.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

WOW!! Grilling, BBQ, smoking, wood burning, charcoal, BGE, pellets,cast iron plates, wood flavor chips, lava stones - so many options, so many possibilities. My head is spinning. I need a chart to keep it all straight. I don't know what I want - or what I need anymore. I love the taste and smell of charcoal - but I'm with Lannie's wife - starting the charcoal is probably not something I would do regularly. Arch, thanks for your detailed description - it was very helpful. Lannie, what grill do you have that is capable of gas, charcoal, and infared?
What model weber kettle charcoal do you recommend? What are the major differences between the weber summit and genesis in terms of the way food can be cooked?
Can wood chips and wood planks be used with all grills?


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RE: weber

The most popular Weber for charcoal is the Weber smokey mountain but that is a smoker for low and slow cooking (pulled pork, brisket, prime rib). They are under $100 and a great way to start working with lump charcoal. Weber also has the traditional kettle grills for grilling. A very popular brand of charcoal that should be available to most here is Royal Oak that Wally World sells for a very good price.
It's been a long time since I compared the Genesis and the Summit. Both are very nice products but IIR the Summit is the top of the line and has more burners with a higher BTU. I believe both of them had a smoke box option to use wood chips.
You can use wood chips on any grill. There are metal boxes you can buy for chips or of course you can just soak the chips and wrap them in an aluminum foil pouch and then cut a few slots in the top for the smoke to escape.
Wood planks can be used on any grill as well but if you get them over a direct heat source the thinner cedar planks will have a very short life span and they can be expensive. Cedar planked Salmon with a little Apple wood smoke....YUM!


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Avidchef I have a FireMagic grill. I grew up in the south and have been grilling and BBQ for for way too many years. I have owned Hibachi's, Sears cast aluminum charcoal grills, Weber gas grills, Treager pellet grills and homemade 55 gallon drum charcoal grills. Any of these can produce great food if you are careful cook. After much searching and review readings I splurged a few years ago and bought a FireMagic 790 grill. The older I got the less time i wanted to spend prepping for cooking. This company allowed me versatility in changing my needs for cooking if I wanted too. You can convert from propane to NG which I did after 2 years. You can changer burners from regular to infared if you want too. A charcoal insert is available when I bought the grill. Lights in the hood work great for winter cooking . It has rotisserie, side burner, etc. Does anyone need all this to produce great grilling, NO! This was a gift to myself and as it turned out the whole family uses it a lot. Ease of use it what makes people want to grill or BBQ. We can come home and quickly grill burger or hot dogs in a flash or put 2 chickens on the rotisserie and use the backburner for 2-3hrs. It has a separate smoker box with burner that provides the flavor of wood smoking. The Treager pellet grill is used on weekends for the long slow cooking. Fill it up, set the thermostat, throw on the meat and go to sleep. FireMagic are built like tanks, but very expensive. The kids are gone so it was my time for "toy". As it turns out we use it all the time so the expense is justified. Most women "Not a Sexist" will not use charcoal and a lot has to do with prep time. Gas is like the range in the house so they will be more comfortable with the gas grill. A lot of my friends have replaced their gas grills with new Webers and added a BGE for weekend cooking. If you only have one grill then get a gas first then add a BBQ as a second cooker. I live in the NE so weather also plays an important part in the type of grill we have. Firing up gas when it is 25 degrees keeps us grilling year round. My grill has 3 x 32,000 btu burners so cold weather is not an issue. Which ever grill or BBQ you choose just make sure it is easy for all to use then great food will be produced


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I have been studying Weber's website and find it does not convey the information I need. It also only allows the comparison between two models and not between lines. So, I really need assistance from you grill mavens out there. While I would love Lannie's fire magic, it will have to wait until I win the lottery.

Can someone please explain the differences between weber's summit and genesis lines? Also, is the "e" or "s" line preferable? What exactly do the flavorized bars do? Do they replace wood chips for flavoring? Do the flavorized bars really inpart flavor or are they a waste? What is a "snap jet system"?

My current NG grill is on a post. Do any of Weber's grills allow for that? I saw
built in models and free standing models.

Any recommendations on BTUs?

What I really want is a gas grill that can give me charcoal or wood flavor...Will
the fire boxes do that?

If anyone is in the mood to analyze the different models within the different lines, that would be a wonderful contribution to outdoor cooking newbies like myself.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Gas wont give you charcoal flavor.

'Flavorizors' (sometimes called 'flame tamers') basically are pieces of metal that cover the burners and protect them from drippings. The drippings vaporize giving some of that flavor back to what you are cooking. I would not say they replace wood chips for flavoring.

Im not aware of any Weber's that sit on a post.

You need charcoal or wood to get charcoal or wood flavor. The simplest way is to put water-soaked wood chips into some aluminum foil (I've used cheap aluminum meatloaf trays from the grocery), set them on a burner and let them smoke as I cook.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I just smoked a Boston Butt on Monday.
Started the grill with a weed torch, took about 5 minutes total, I toned it down just a bit to light it slowly because I didn't want it hotter than 250
Never went above 270 degrees, brought it right back down to 250 degrees in a few minutes and it stayed there for about an hour then down to 230 degrees and stayed there fluctuating only a few degrees, down to 225 up to 235 degrees and did that for the entire 12 hours straight without having to touch it.
I put on a nice layer of Hickory wood large chunks on top of the hardwood Oak lump charcoal.

It smoked perfectly for 12 hours and 10 minutes until internal temp read 195.
Came out perfect, very tasty and could easily get it started, fine tune it for the first 30 minutes or so and then just go to sleep while it cooks all night with no worries at all.

When it was all done, after over 12 hours of cooking I still had at least 1/2 of the charcoal in the fire bowl left for next time.
Smokes forever at under 250 degrees.

Going to do Baby Back Ribs next.

I also grilled 3 Steaks last Saturday which cooked faster than any grill I have ever used.
I got the grill to 700+ degrees, threw the steaks on, 2 thick Filets and one nice Ribeye and only took about 2 1/2 to 3 minute per side.
Perfect medium rare, nice char on the outside, seared very nicely.
This Kamado type BBQ is the best grill I have ever owned and thankfully should last the rest of my life.


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Smoked Boston Butt

I just smoked a Boston Butt on Monday.
Started the grill with a weed torch, took about 5 minutes total, I toned it down just a bit to light it slowly because I didn't want it hotter than 250
Never went above 270 degrees, brought it right back down to 250 degrees in a few minutes and it stayed there for about an hour then down to 230 degrees and stayed there fluctuating only a few degrees, down to 225 up to 235 degrees and did that for the entire 12 hours straight without having to touch it.
I put on a nice layer of Hickory wood large chunks on top of the hardwood Oak lump charcoal.

It smoked perfectly for 12 hours and 10 minutes until internal temp read 195.
Came out perfect, very tasty and could easily get it started, fine tune it for the first 30 minutes or so and then just go to sleep while it cooks all night with no worries at all.

When it was all done, after over 12 hours of cooking I still had at least 1/2 of the charcoal in the fire bowl left for next time.
Smokes forever at under 250 degrees.

Going to do Baby Back Ribs next.

I also grilled 3 Steaks last Saturday which cooked faster than any grill I have ever used.
I got the grill to 700+ degrees, threw the steaks on, 2 thick Filets and one nice Ribeye and only took about 2 1/2 to 3 minute per side.
Perfect medium rare, nice char on the outside, seared very nicely.
This Kamado type BBQ is the best grill I have ever owned and thankfully should last the rest of my life.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Nunyabiz, my mouth is watering...

A while ago, I came across mention of "reverse sear" as a good way to cook steaks in something like your Vision Kamado grill.

Basically, you cook the steaks first at ~200 or so, to an internal temp you want, then take them out to rest. Meanwhile, crank up your grill. Then after ~5 min or so when the steaks have lost a few degrees, you put them back in at 700+ degrees for less than a min., just to sear each side. See link for more details.

Looking forward to maybe trying it this summer...

Here is a link that might be useful: Finney method / reverse sear


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Yeah I was looking at that on you tube about a month or so ago when I was checking out which grill to buy.
Looks like an interesting idea.
Might try that on a thick rib eye soon.

Would work perfectly on these types of grills as you can get the temp from that 225 degree slow smoke to up over 700 in just a few minutes.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Just received my new fire bowl today, was very well packed and in perfect condition. Actually looks better than the one that came with it.
So I closed it back up and will set it aside for when the first fire bowl is unusable which could be 2 weeks or 10+ years. then I have a brand new fire bowl to sit right in its place.
Customer service could not possibly be better from this Vision Grill place.
Took one email and had a new one on the way free of charge the same day.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

This is a heads up that my local Costco has recently begun to sell the Vision Kamodo grills, maybe a month after they sold out of the (smaller) Big Green Egg grill. They have many more of the Vision grills, so these may last through the summer. I forget the price; it may be around $550. or so (a bit less than the medium sized BGE was).

This Vision grill does look well-built, and it comes with more stuff (a cover, two pine side tables, a solid-looking stainless steel stand). Its all in one large box, and I think it would be very difficult for less than two adults to cart it up or down stairs; the size and weight of this may be a concern for some.

I'm drawn to this sort of grill like a moth to a flame, but so far haven't written a check...


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Chac mool

Write that check.

This is the best grill ever, been using the living hell out of it for 3 months now. Prime Rib, Baby Back Ribs, lots of BBQ Chicken, Burgers, everything comes out great.
Super easy to use, can get it ready to smoke 225-250 in about 2 minutes, ready to do basic grilling 325-375 like Chicken in about 3-4 minutes, and searing steaks 600-700+ in about 5-6 minutes.

Still using that same cracked firebowl, it hasn't changed at all so will probably last just like that for many many years to come and I have a brand new one waiting.
Vision Grills has an excellent customer service dept.

For the price the Vision is a MUCH better deal and it is every bit as good of a Kamado grill as the BGE is.
It is $569.00 at Costco.

and yes this grill weighs in at 200# and was a chore for my wife and I to haul out of my 4Runner, down 37 steps, through the house and out to the back deck.
If it weighed 5# more I am not sure my wife could have held up her side and that was using one of those "appliance carrier belts" that you put a shoulder harness on and a big 6" wide belt between you with the box in between.

Without that there would have been NO WAY we would have gotten it down our steps.

Fantastic grill, well worth the price.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Also I might add.

I am going to pick up one of these pretty soon, it is an after market grid system for the Vision Grill.
Looks like it should make the Vision Grill even more versatile.

Photobucket

Can even set up a nice 16" WOK with it.

Photobucket

With this grid setup you can cook anything on this grill.

Here is a link that might be useful: Adjustable Rig Spider for Vision Grills


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

We are Weber owners as with many of the earlier posters. We have a gas grill as well as a charcoal kettle grill. the gas grill is about 6-7 years old, the kettle grill is 10+ years. Both have performed flawlessly since purchase.

DH is the grillmaster, I just tell him how I want it to come out. He prefers gas for convenience, but charcoal gives the best flavor. We don't use either for smoking, we have an electric smoker which we bought after many fruitless attempts at smoking on the charcoal grill. Again, this is for convenience. After getting up all through the night on Christmas eve when we were smoking our turkey, I swore I would never do it again.

Cheryl


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

That is what I love about these Kamado Ceramic grills.

As a smoker they are unbeatable, I can get this ready to smoke at 225 degrees in about 2 minutes.
Spend maybe 15-20 minutes fine tuning it, tending it and then that is it.
I can then just go right to sleep and not worry about it at all, it will hold that 225-230 degree temp all day, all night long without having to touch it at all.

I am finding this grill "almost" as convenient as using a gas grill, for the difference in far better flavor and very close to being as easy as a gas grill it is really the perfect grill.
It also does everything, its a great grill, excellent smoker, nice oven, super hot searing.
It does everything a gas, charcoal, infrared, and smoker do all in one.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I currently have 3 Weber grills. A Weber Genesis E-310, a Weber One Touch Silver and a Weber Q 100. I love all of them. The Genesis and the One Touch are on our patio and the Weber Q is our camping grill. I personally wouldn't go with any other brand. My parents have had a Weber kettle grill for at least 25 years, probably closer to 30. A close friend has the Weber gas grill that his dad bought in 1985, he showed me the receipt that he found. He has put new burners and bars in it and has repainted the frame. He picked up the parts at a local hardware store. I think that speaks volumes about a brand when you can buy parts 25 years later. That same friend has 2 Weber kettle grills. I personally wouldn't go with anything but a Weber. I have had Kenmore & Charbroil grills in the past and they just didn't last.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

A couple of convenience issues which have not been mentioned are purchasing and storing the charcoal nuggets, starter chimney and other necessary things.

Nunyabiz is certainly passionate about his choice. That is good.

It is a pita for me to pick up a bag of charcoal whenever I want to grill/bbq. I may not need a whole bag, but I don't want to run out in the middle of a party or cook session. I don't want to get my clothes dirty when I handle the charcoal, which used to happen, long ago. My time is too important, esp. if there is a less time consuming option. Gas is there, ready to cook. Done.

In the midwest, humid, it is awful to store charcoal nuggets. There is either snow, or rain or humidity and the charcoal must be kept dry. It must be in some kind of space-taking container, protected from the elements.

The heavy, messy bag must be taken out of it's home and turned upside down and shaken, and try to get the right amount into the chimney.

Or I go onto the back porch and turn on the grill. While it's heating, I go back into the house and wait for the correct temp, which I can see from inside.

There is no chimney to fuss with and distribute the hot coals, no flying sparks. I had charcoal. I hated it.

Your food looks delicious, Nunyabiz. I'm sure it is. Happy cooking.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

We have a Deck box on our back deck which keeps several bags of Lump Charcoal, the "Weed Torch" to light it with which works WAY better than a Chimney. No muss no fuss.
I usually buy 3-4 bags of charcoal at a time which with this grill last a long time. I also keep a bag of each, Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry and Apple wood chunks in the deck box.
The deck box keeps all our gardening supplies, plus various grilling supplies dry as a bone.

I just pour the charcoal in the firebox, light the weed torch, and in less than 45 seconds the charcoal is fully lit. Close the lid, adjust the vents for what temp you need, if smoking the grill is ready within 2 minutes.

I used to go through the same hassle you speak of but got it down to a science now.
Even cleaning out the ashes is rather easy, I have a tiny little dustpan and whisk broom that works great, 98% of the charcoal ashes stay on top of the removable ceramic disc anyway, so just pull it out and throw the ashes away, sweep out the tiny amount left over and I am good to go for at least 3 BBQs or more.

But you are correct, storing of the Charcoal, Wood Chunks, Weed Torch are something that needs to be considered.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Wow, there is a lot of information here! We currently have a Webber grill (the round one). I keep my charcoal in a hinged lidded garbage can with wheels. Living in earthquake country, I like to think of it as my back up plan (chimney and lighter are also in the garbage can).

My question - what is the difference between NG and Propane? Can a Propane unit be hooked up the the home gas line? My husband wants a unit to hook up to the house gas line.

Thanks for all the great info!


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I purchased Weber's performer charcoal grill with propane ignition. Both times we used it, my hamburgers were cooked on the outside, raw on the inside and took much too long to cook. Instructions in the manual said to leave the top off, but I think it lowered the temperature too much. We let the charcoals turn gray - took about an hour. Any suggestions for proper cooking -lid on or off, pyramid charcoals or spread out? I know this isn't the cooking forum - but there are so many grill lovers and experts on this part of GW - I thought I would ask for advice. I'd love to know recommendations for cooking chicken cutlets and london broil before I try them this week. Thanks.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

On your burgers simply dish the center of your burger with your thumbs so it is slightly thinner in the middle.
Before it is done it will puff up and be even thickness and doneness.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

If you buy a Weber, know that at least some times in the past, Home Depot had a different deal on them than others. When I bought mine for the same price at HD as elsewhere, that grill came with very heavy iron grates. I was told this was a special HD-negotiated deal. I've used the same grill with cheesier stainless steel grates and the whole get-up is significantly less good. Those heavy grates make all the difference in the world. This has been commented on above, but maybe not that the same grill in different locations might have different amenities.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

NG vs Propane: Propane has less energy per cubic foot than NG. Homes are usually NG if it is municipally supplied. If you have a tank in your yard, you have propane.

Most grills (better ones, anyway) can be purchased either way. They can also be converted from one to the other with a new regulator and new jets fitted.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Thanks Weedmeister! We have natural gas.
Katy


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Ok then. You will have to run a line over to where the grill will be. I would then talk to the grill selling dealer (if they are competent) about the final connections. This is usually a plumbing thing, like hooking up a gas dryer or some other gas appliance.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Avidchef, you said it took about an hour for the charcoal to turn gray. I haven't used charcoal in over 15 years and don/t remember, but do you have to wait for the coals to turn gray before you cook? Nunyabiz, what do you think? Nunya, you have that super fancy charcoal set up.

Nunya, from the time you first dump coal into the cooker, how long before you put the meat on the grill? Wait for the coals to get gray? Yes or no? How long does that take, average, average?

Then what is the point of having the quick ignitor?

I turn on my gas grill and wait 5 minutes. I'm not trying to rub salt in the wound, but there's gotta be an answer. The answer is not in how the burgers are shaped.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

By the time I dump the charcoal into the grill I have it lit and meat on it in less than 2-3 minutes IF I am "Smoking" which means 220-250 degrees.

If I am "grilling" something like Chicken which is usually 325-350 degrees the Chicken is on the grill in about 3-4 minutes or less.

Burgers I usually cook about 400 degrees so burgers are on the grill in about 5 minutes.

Steaks I usually sear and do that around 600-700+ degrees, that usually takes about 5-6 minutes, I will use the weed torch longer, instead of 30 seconds or so like I would for smoking I will really get the coals going strong, take 60 seconds or maybe a bit longer then it takes less time overall for the coals to reach 600+.

When you do not use any kind of starter fluid or ANYTHING to actually start the coal except just flame then there is absolutely no reason to wait on the coals except to wait until desired temp is reached. Which on my grill is between 2-6 minutes 220 to over 600 degrees.

As far as my recommendation to make the center of the burger thinner it is the best way to get a evenly cooked burger.
Shape of the burger is key to getting it done perfectly.

Either make the center slightly thinner OR make the entire burger quite thin like most burger joints do.
That way at 400 or so degrees with the lid CLOSED you get a nice char and grill marks on the outside while the inside is a nice very lite pink medium.

You can also take 2 thin burgers and sandwich some cheese or sauteed onions and mushrooms in between them, crimp the edges good all around and make a "Stuffed Burger" which works quite well also because the center is not meat it only needs to get hot and the two thin burgers cook pretty evenly.


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thanks, nunya

So Nunya, Do you or do you not have to wait for the charcoal to get gray?

I appreciate what you said about waiting for temps.

Thanks.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

NO I do not.
Lump Charcoal would take at least 30-45 minutes or more to "grey" and there is absolutely zero reason to do so.

That is only if you are using lighter fluid you need to allow time for the fluid to burn off so you don't get that nasty taste.
With hardwood lump charcoal lit with just flame (weed torch) you get zero nasty taste, nothing but good wood flavor, add a few chunks of what ever hardwood you like, Hickory, Apple, Cherry etc and all you get is really good wood smoke flavor from the minute you light the coals.
Doesn't really take me anymore time to get this Kamado grill ready than it would to get a gas grill hot.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

"The "Komodo Kamado Grill" the really expensive one IS the one that is pure junk, tiles falling off, cracking, not delivering product for months on end etc.
It is the one they are showing pictures of, lots of pictures of in that fraud site you just listed.
They have nothing to do with Vision grills.
I looked that site over pretty good, used the search option etc and came up with zero related to Vision or Phase 2 in St Louis."

There is a lot of confusion here. The first thing to understand is that Kamado is a STYLE of cooker... NOT a brand name. The Kamado company that manufactures junk has had many locations and names over the years but all have been owned and operated by Richard Johnson (now called Kamado USA). One of these factories was in Indonesia which was left abandoned when R.J. took the cash and ran. These grills cost well over $1k. You can read all the sordid details (including the theft of a racing yacht) at the fraud forum: http://www.kamadofraudforum.org. Dennis Linkletter began to manufacture a new Kamado style grill using a different design with completely different materials in the same area of Indonesia. These grills are state of the art, endorsed by Chris Lilly, and run $3k+. Dennis's company is called Komodo Kamado.

Both companies have nothing to do with the brand of cooker sold @ Costco.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

I haven't read through the entire thread but one thing to mention is that most propane grills can be converted to NG by modifying the nozzles. Most BBQ stores can do this for you.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Hi Avid,

I'm not sure if you've had an answer yet to your question. If you're getting burgers that are cooked on the outside and still raw in the middle, it sounds like you're cooking on too high heat. The outside then chars before the inside gets a chance to cook. I'm surprised that the Weber instructions recommend lid-off grilling. The lid and vents are the only way using charcoal you can control the heat. The more open the vents, the more oxygen is allowed to the charcoal and the fast (and hotter) it burns. The more the vents are closed, the opposite happens. I use a chimney starter and always wait for the charcoal to ash over before I dump the coal into the grill. I've found in the past that if I dump it in before all the charcoal is ashy, then the unlit charcoals light in the grill while the meat is cooking and I get temperature spikes while cooking. I've always read that it is proper to wait for the coals to ash over, and I find that what works best for me. As far as pyramid vs. spread out, it depends on how you want to cook. Spread out charcoal will give you a moderate even heat all over the grill. If you create a pyramid or pile of charcoal in a certain area of the grill, then you've effectively given yourself cooking zones. The pile will be very hot and intense heat, while elsewhere on the grill the heat will be lest direct and allow the meat to roast. I normally give myself zones, that way I can sear meat and get a good crust initially, and then move the meat to the indirect area to finish the meat to my desired done-ness. Give yourself some time with the Weber. It can be frustrating but once you get the hang of it you'll love it. Hope that helps, and best of luck!


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Thank you all for your responses. Everyone is so wonderfully helpful. One point has me confused. We have been putting the charcoal directly into the grill and using the propane igniter to light the charcoal in the grill.We leave the lid on, but vented. Arch13 and Nunya seem to be saying they light the charcoal outside of the grill with a chimney starter and a weed torch. Forgive me for my lack of knowledge in this area- I know my way around the kitchen but not the grill. Can you explain what a chimney starter and weed torch are? With the weber grill I purchased (Performer Touch and Go) are they needed? The grill is 22.5 inches wide and we place 40-50 charcoal briquets in it. To get to 350 takes an hour. What am I doing wrong? Also, if I don't cook with the lid on, I can't read the temperature. So, I assume I should be cooking with the lid on, but vented, from what has been said. Is this correct?
Lastly, can someone recommend a book - grilling 101 or the like for me? I want to master this grill and perhaps add a gas grill later unless there is a reason to get the grill Nunya raves about. Nunya - your grill has me intrigued.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Avidchef - a chimney starter is a cylinder about 4-5" across and 10" high, with a handle. Inside there is a grate about 2" from the bottom. You pile your charcoal on the grate. You stuff the cylinder below the grate with newspaper. Light the newspaper. This get the charcoal burning far more quickly than an open pile. The link below gives more details.

A good book to start is Steven Raichlen's Barbecue Bible. Or almost anything by him. Search by his name on Amazon and you'll see many, many titles. He also has a TV show on PBS. He likes Weber a lot and has many useful tips.

Have fun,
Cheryl

Here is a link that might be useful: chimney starter


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Avid.

I use the Weed Torch because it is WAY better than any other method, I actually bought a chimney starter and used it once.
Was painfully slow and took forever and a hassle to mess with.

With the weed torch you simply pour your charcoal into the grill. Light the torch and use it all over the charcoal until the charcoal is going good, takes about 30 seconds if you are smoking and maybe 60 seconds if you are grilling or searing.
Cost about $20 for the torch and $25 for the small propane tank which will last for a long time between fills.
Plus it doubles as obviously a weed torch if you need to get rid of some weeds.

Now if you have a "propane starter" internal in the grill already then that's great, just put your charcoal in he grill and light it. That is basically exactly what I am doing just that my "propane starter" is in the form of an external 500,000 BTU weed torch.
Not sure why it would take an "hour" to get your coals started though, if you close the lid and open up all the vents top and bottom you should get a good air flow going through the coals and they should light much faster than that. With "Hardwood Lump Charcoal" using the weed torch for 60 seconds, closing the lid and opening up top and bottom vents I can have my Kamado Grill blazing hot at well over 600 degrees in about 5-6 minutes total.
350 degrees takes like 3 minutes or so.

http://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-91033.html

Photobucket

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.
. .

Here is a link that might be useful: Weed Torch lighting grill


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Also in case anyone is interested, it is best to get Hardwood Lump Charcoal and not all lump charcoal's are equal.

Myself the best Lump Charcoal that I can easily obtain in my area is the "Harris Teeter" brand which is actually made by a very good charcoal company called "Natures Grilling".

It is made with "Ebony, Limoncillo, Tenaza, Hueso de tigre, Mezquite", hardwoods
This charcoal in a good Kamado grill will attain over 900 degree temps.

This mixture of hardwood charcoal gives very nice wood smoke flavor all by itself, add a few chunks of Hickory, Apple, Cherry wood and you have a great wood smoke flavor.

I am going to be starting up the grill in about 45 minutes to grill up some Jamaican Jerk Chicken. Going to use Cherry Wood.

Link for reviews of Lump Charcoal.

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpindexpage.htm?bag

Here is a link that might be useful: Lump Charcoal


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gas v charcoal

Avidchef,

1. Count the number of individuals who recommend weber gas

2. count the number of individuals who recommend kamodo/komodo charcoal

3. count the number of posts by the guy who passionately loves his komodo

4. step back and think about it

5. you already bought the charcoal grill. It takes how long before it is ready to cook? The weber gas takes 5-10 mins depending on temp.

6. Use your kop!


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Webers are everywhere, I have owned a couple through the years friends have owned them and they are fine grills for the price (the charcoal ones)
But Webers you can buy everywhere, are far cheaper depending on the model, have tons more advertising so of course you are always going to have more people recommending something of which virtually everyone has or have owned.

That's like saying on a post about Beer.

1 count the number of people that recommend Budweiser

2 count the number of people that recommend Deschutes Brewery, "The Abyss"

Bud is one of the worst beers ever brewed, it is classic horse pee as far as beer goes.
YET it sells more than any other American beer, nothing comes close because it is sold everywhere and puts out many millions in advertising.
1000s upon 1000s would recommend Budweiser as their beer of choice in this country.

Now Deschutes Brewery The Abyss ale is one of the very best beers in the world, not just the USA.
That would be my recommendation for the best beer.

Now which one is truly "better"?

Horse pee with millions in advertising that is available on every street corner in the country for cheap or truly one of the best beers in the world, only available from one place and only a couple months out of the year for $14 a 22oz bottle?

If you only have say $150 for a grill then a good little Weber Kettle is by far the best choice.

If you are talking about spending between $500-$1200 though?

Any number of Kamado type grills be it the Big Green Egg, Primo, or the Vision are better BY FAR.
Most of the Webers mentioned here I think are what, about $600-$900?
The Vision I got from Costco was $570, less money, lifetime warranty, costco return policy, will BBQ, Grill, Sear, Smoker, Water Smoker, Pizza Oven, Wok, easy to start, very efficient use of charcoal, can maintain almost exact temps like you can on your indoor range from 200 up to 800+ degrees.

So $570 Kamado or $600++ Weber Gas is a total no brainer as far as usability and value for the money.

If Avid still prefers Gas no matter what then for the money the Solaire Infravection grills are far better than the Webers though cost a few hundred more, but what is an extra $200 when you are spending $1200 when you get a far better grill?

Lower priced Weber Charcoal grills are hard to beat.
If you are spending $900-$1500 then there are certainly better options for that price.

and Charcoal beats the heck out of gas for absolutely everything except for ease of use.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

and speaking of ease of use.
I BBQ'd Jamaican Jerk Chicken Thighs and Wings yesterday afternoon.
I had marinated my chicken most of the day, already set up the grill added a bit of charcoal, cleaned the grate.
All I had to do was just pull out the weed torch start the grill when I was ready to grill.

I checked out the weather about 3:30pm and no surprise I see an incoming front of storms coming in, according to the radar they looked like they would get here in about 45 minutes.
So if I wanted to BBQ this chicken I had to do it now or eat something else.
I ran down stairs, pulled out the torch, lit the grill which took about 30 seconds.
Ran inside grabbed the chicken the tongs etc which took me about 3-4 minutes, by the time I got back outside the grill was at 325 degrees, I closed the vents top and bottom just a bit to slow down the heat, it rose to 375 then back down to 350 and stayed there.
From start to finish I had the chicken cooked and on the table in less than 35 minutes total the rain came in about 10-15 minutes later.
A gas grill would have taken just as long and would not have tasted as good as BBQing on Ebony, Limoncillo, Tenaza, Hueso de tigre, Mesquite, lump charcoal topped with chunks of Cherry wood.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

Jadeite, I will definitely order the book.
Nunya, where do you purchase lump charcoal? I will definitely go that route. Can I do a hand test to determine if the charcoal is hot enough? I see I don't need to wait for ashes to gray with lump charcoal. I like the cleaner idea. You also seem to be saying a weed torch and chimney starter would be redundant since my grill has an ignitor. Is this correct?
Thanks again for the wealth of information!! GWers are truly very generous with their time and knowledge. Much appreciated.


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

You can get Lump Charcoal any number of places, in my area most grocery stores sell it, Home Depot, Lowes, a few BBQ/fireplace specialty stores, Trader Joes, Walmart, etc.

In my area the best all around Lump Charcoal is the Harris Teeter brand which is a grocery store, their store brand is made by "Natures Grilling" charcoal and is very good and only $4.99 a 6.6lb bag.
Second best is the Royal Oak Lump

You can almost always find something like Royal Oak Lump at Walmart which yo are bound to have one near you.

Check out the nakedwhiz charcoal site to see what is good and try to find it in your area.

To test the temp of the charcoal you need a thermometer, buy one that sits on your grilling rack, close the lid and check it ever few minutes until its at the temp you want.

If you can place your charcoal into the grill and then turn on the gas and light it then true should be no need for anything else.

Here is a link that might be useful: Royal Oak lump


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RE: exterior gas grill recommendations

You can get a couple different types of grill surface thermometers.

Standard one like this.
This one seems to be about the best choice for this type, I do not own it myself so cant say one way or another from experience, but going by reviews it seems to be well received.
Only $7, free shipping

http://www.amazon.com/Man-Law-Grill-Surface-Thermometer/dp/B005BAQDI2

Or you could go a bit more high tech and get something like this. Which will also have many more uses than just the temp of your grill surface, can check your house for thermal leaks, check frying oil on stove top, anything you need to check the temp of.
$49, free shipping and appears to be the best choice in this price range.

In fact I think I am going to buy one of these myself.

http://www.amazon.com/Mastercool-MSC52224A-Non-Contact-Infrared-Thermometer/dp/B000TM7HXC/ref=pd_sbs_hg_4


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