Hi Fellow TFP folks!
1. Which brand/model do you think best fits my needs and budget? (below)
2. What should I look for to determine grill quality:
a. Sturdy construction - what areas typically poop out on grills and how to tell good quality from disposable construction?
b. Materials/Stainless steel thoughts? Per other thread Stainless (300 ss series) sounds really good - bring magnet to verify it does NOT stick to 300ss. However I don't know if ss is overpriced, better than enamel/powder-coated cast iron, or if there is some ceramic grill rack that is available???
3. Where have you found the best place to get LP Grills?
I don't mind buying online (typically buy.com, craigslist.org (limitied time to search though), and amazon.com). Home Depot and Lowes are both nearby.
Probably Weber, but need to look at makes and models available online and around town.
1. $638 (inc. tax) Weber Spirit S-320 at Home Depot: 3 burner, no side burner , 36K BTU, Porcelain-enameled cast iron grates
2. $550 (inc. tax) Weber Spirit E-310 at Home Depot: 3 burner, no side burner , 36Kbtu, 3 stainless steel burners .
3. $297 (inc. tax) Char-Broil at Home Depot: Stainless Steel, 4-burner, 48K BTU, side burner, Porcelain-coated cast iron grates. I'm concerned about brand quality.
4. $220 (inc. tax) Nexgrill grill on special at Home Depot (normally $379) but I'm concerned it might be too low end or won't last. (It has 4 burners with rotisserie burner , 634sq. in., 48K BTU, side burner, enclosed cart, Porcelain cast iron cooking grids.)
I don't grill much, but that's likely due to equipment more than operator. I've got an old red painted (aluminum fire box?) Weber LP grill that stopped working early last year. I think mud wasps clogged up the LP jets but I couldn't figure it out after replacing the regulator + 1 hour of tinkering. Even if I fixed it I'm tired of the black paint flecks on inside of the lid lid seasoning the food every time the lid shuts too hard. I've been promised a father's day grill, but I want to get something that works well and lasts. Budget is ~$300-$800 I think, but might go a bit more if quality jump is really worth it. I like cooking salmon, roasting veggies, chicken, and anything else I can.
1. Reliable: Lasts 10+ years, doesn't rust, rarely cleaned, puts up with neglect and wet climate (Seattle weather).
2. Scaleable: Feed 2 adults & 2 Tweens easily at least once a week, feed 8 ~once a month, and feed ~18 on 4th of July and couple other big events (like when it gets over 90 in Seattle since we have one of the very few pools around ). I might also invite software development team of 11+ this summer now that I live only 10 blocks from work .
3. LP gas. Sorry, but I don't have patience and often don't have time for charcoal or wood.
4. Middle-to-high quality (to meet requirement #1 and have good grilling experience)
5. 3 or more burners
6. Side burner for boiling water (typically do big stew pot full of corn while grilling for family)
7. Upper shelf - I've loved this when I've had one for slowing cooking or keeping hot but mostly done cooking.
8. Griddle plate - I've got a collapsable camping stove that I run one burner with a grill and other with a griddle and it works great for small jobs!
9. Rotisserie (or at least attachment-compatible).
10. Something that has spare parts available for less than an arm and a leg. (Weber is a winner in this category.)
11. Convertible to natural gas in case I ever start grilling often enough to draw piping around 40'.
My guess is a Weber grill is where I'll end up. I haven't read up on all the models yet (genesis, gold, platinum, etc.). I don't think I have the budget for ceramic (plus ceramic grills typically are charcoal/wood for purists). Charmglow, Grill???, and other brands don't instill confidence in me.
Yes, I know I should have posted at least a week ago to get well rounded feedback . At this point I'll take anything I can get. Even if it's past due I like learning for next round or to help others.