There are a number of gas grills on the market today, and they range from plain and simple to grills with all the bells and whistles. There is no limit to the types of gas grill available, and many include storage areas, warming trays and smokers. A gas grill can be purchased from any department store that carries outdoor furniture, a home improvement and gas grill specialty stores. A gas grill can also be purchased online. Before choosing a gas grill, it is important to give some thought to the type of grill and how much it will be used, as well as available budget. There are a few other considerations that should be thought out before purchasing a grill.
Cost of a Gas Grill
The cost of a gas grill can range from 50 dollars to a few thousand dollars. It is important to decide what your gas grill budget is and purchase accordingly. It is also essential to give some thought to how often the grill will be used. Occasional grillers who cook a few burgers, hot dogs or a chicken wing or two once in a while probably will not need a massive, top of the line grill with all the bells and whistles.
A gas grill is equipped with a refillable propane gas tank that detaches from the grill for filling purposes. The grill stand usually has a bottom shelf beneath the grill for tank storage. Some of the more costly grills will have an enclosure for the tank. Grills designed for constant use, usually are equipped with a double tank system that allows the owner to always have an extra full tank.
Another gas grill option is to purchase a grill that runs on natural gas, if there is natural gas in your area. The gas is piped directly to the grill and saves the owner from refilling gas tanks all the time. Most gas grills come with a conversion kit, allowing the user to use propane or natural gas. Conversion kits are also available at the gas grill stores.
The downside to piping the fuel directly to the gas grill, and it is minimal, is the grill has to be located in one location. Most people tend to keep their grill in one location anyway. If this option is used, some thought should be given to the location of the grill.
Material of the Grill and Stand
Gas grills are typically made from cast iron, stainless steel, sheet metal or cast aluminum. Stainless steel is the most expensive, but the most preferred. The grill itself has to retain heat for optimum cooking and efficient fuel use, but the stand should stay cool to the touch for safety reasons. The cover for the grill should be the same material and have handles made of wood and non heat conductive material.
Untreated steel will rust, and if the grill will be left outside, it will need to be covered when not in use.
The cover will help contain the heat while cooking. Be sure the grill is not a cheap material painted to look like cast iron or stainless steel. If a grill is on display, check out the construction very careful.
Take the Gas Grill for a Test Drive
If a grill is assembled and available for inspection, check the grill out carefully. If the grill is on wheels, take the grill for a walk, but not out the door of the store. Make sure the wheels roll freely and effort to pull the grill is minimal. Take along a magnet and test the metal to make sure it is quality. Shake the grill from side to side and check to make sure the grill dos not start to come apart. If the grill passes the test, it is a quality grill. If not, move on to the next grill.
The Grilling area
Grills come in a variety of sizes from small, accommodating burgers for 3 or 4 people, to the large economy size, accommodating burgers for a dozen or more people. Gas grill specifications will include the actual grilling area in square inches. The larger the grill and cooking area, the more gas the grill will use.
A grilling area of between 75 to 100 square inches will provide enough area to cook burgers and hot dogs for 3 people. Grilling area from 100 square inches to 200 square inches will accommodate hot dogs and hamburgers for 6 and grilling areas over 200 square inches will accommodate parties of 10 or more. The best grilling surfaces are cast iron or ceramic. Those two materials heat quickly and hold the heat longer.
A grill that has two separate cooking areas controlled independently will help conserve energy when cooking a few items. It makes no sense to heat up the entire grill when only a portion will be used for cooking.
Look for a grill that has a grease catchment system that funnels the drippings away from the burner to an easy to reach drip pan. The pan should be sized big enough to catch the drippings without overflowing during a single cooking session.
A gas grill often comes with a fold down side table or an extra burner to keep food warm while the rest is cooking. An enclosed grill frame will have storage space for cooking utensils or serving dishes. Other accessories, which can be added for an extra cost, are a rotisserie and a smoker box.
Some gas grills include a cover and some do not but it is a must if you leave your grill out in the element. To protect your grill from rust and other damage make sure to purchase an optional protective cover if it is not already included.
Where to Locate the Grill
When buying a grill, think about the area available for the grill. If space is limited, measure up the area where the grill will be located and purchase a grill accordingly. Allow sufficient area around the grill to make sure it is out of the way of foot traffic, especially pets and children. If the area is at a premium, consider a table top gas grill. The grill can be put in place for cooking and when cool, put away in the garage or shed.