Grilling is one of the world’s favorite ways to cook. From American backyards to the villages of Turkey, grilled meals bring families and friends together with rich smoky flavors that leave lasting impressions.
If you want to elevate your home cooking, it’s time to invest in your first gas barbecue grill. There’s plenty of choice on the market, which is always a good thing. But, browsing the different models can be overwhelming at first.
Follow these tips for buying your first gas barbecue grill and it will be easier to find the perfect one for your needs.
Set a Budget
Your budget will determine the type of grill you can buy, and, to some extent, the features that it will have. Spending less typically means getting a grill with fewer features and some quality compromises.
Spending more allows for a more premium grill that will do more and last longer. Of course, there are always exceptions, and there’s a good middle ground with some fantastic options.
To stretch your money as far as possible, aim to spend at least $150 even when looking for a budget grill. If you can go higher, you’ll have more options, just be sure to set a budget and stick to it.
Find the Right Size
Size is important. It determines how much you can cook at the same time. Larger grills also have more burners, so you can cook on and off direct heat.
This is necessary for slow cooking barbecue ingredients or smoking inside your gas grill.
For a family of four, a two-burner model is recommended. Anything above this will offer more surface space and versatility.
Think About Materials
Materials are important on your first gas barbecue grill.
- Cooking grids should be stainless steel or cast iron for the best performance. Thin wire grids won’t last more than a few seasons.
- Body materials should be stainless steel or coated steel. Stainless steel will last longer but will add to the cost.
- Avoid grills that make extensive use of plastic components. These can wear down easily and are often hard to replace.
Pay close attention to materials and you’ll make a more lasting investment.
Natural Gas or Propane?
If you have a natural gas hookup at home, consider a natural gas grill. It won’t be as portable as a propane grill, but it will be cheaper to operate and more convenient.
Choosing Additional Features
Modern grills do more than just offer some burners and a cooking grid. You can get plenty of different features to improve your cooking and allow you to try different styles.
Your budget comes into play because full-featured grills often cost more. Look for the features you want within the cost-cap that you’ve set.
Some examples include:
- A hood thermometer for monitoring internal temperatures.
- A side burner for a pot or skillet.
- Infrared burners to increase heat for searing.
- Rotisserie mounting points (and sometimes an included rotisserie kit) for large barbecue cuts and poultry.
- Dedicated searing zones.
- A smoker box attachment to infuse rich flavor.
- LED lighting.
- One-touch ignition.
- Enclosed storage cabinets.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy some impressive features. For example, this Char-Broil Performance Stainless Steel 4-Burner Cabinet Style Gas Grill includes a side burner, four main burners, stainless steel construction, and porcelain-enamel parts for performance and durability.
The Size of the Hood Matters
Flat top grilling is great for some ingredients, but a hooded grill will offer more versatility. For your first gas grill, look for one with a large hood. This will allow you to cook poultry and bigger meat cuts with the hood down, which is ideal for smoking or low and slow cooking.
A hood that is too shallow will limit your options in the future.
Check the Warranty Details
All manufacturers and most online retailers will detail their warranty coverage before the sale. Check how long the grill is covered for and what is included in the warranty. The best manufacturers offer longer warranties because they stand behind their products.
A grill with a simple one-year warranty can’t be expected to last, but it could still make sense if you’re on a tight budget. Spending a little more will often result in the protection of three, five, and even ten-year warranties on some parts and services.
Finding the Best Deal For Your First Gas Barbecue Grill
If you’re in the market to buy your first gas barbecue grill, you’ll find the best deals when shopping online. Online retailers don’t have the same overheads as physical stores. You’ll be able to quickly compare different models from all of the best brands, to evaluate features and performance.
Most importantly, you’ll be able to do it all from the comfort and safety of your own home. When you’ve made your choice, you’ll have your grill delivered to you, ready for assembly, and your first cooking experience.