For most of us, the barbecue is one of the most common hallmarks of summer. Cooking burgers and hot dogs on the grill in the back yard is an American tradition. Unfortunately, an old grill can quickly ruin the fun with inconsistent heat and hot spots that cause food to cook unevenly.
Shopping for a grill can be confusing, with so many options at multiple price ranges, figuring out which set of features are important to you can be easier said than done. If you’re shopping on a budget, it’s important to avoid paying more for features you are unlikely to end up using. Our buyer’s guide below will help you pick out the perfect gas grill for you.
- What to Know About Buying Cheap Gas Grills
- Final Thoughts
What to Know About Buying Cheap Gas Grills
Using a gas grill is not dependent on electricity. A gas grill also controls the temperature inside the cooking space. Most cheap gas grills are made with the following parts:
- A temperature gauge
- A lid
- A warming rack
- cooking grates
- One or multiple burners
- Side tables
- Side burner
- Legs or casters
Depending on the chosen design, these parts can vary. But it is their design and their materials which ultimately determine its success. When buying a cheap gas grill, here’s what to consider.
Arguably the most important characteristic, the gas grill’s make is a good start in the quest for the perfect design. It can vary from steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic. Some gas grills are further protected by thin layers of porcelain, which is mainly used to trap heat inside and prepare the food faster.
The materials are also necessary for durability. Since gas grills get hot, it is essential to find the right product that allows all users to count on for years. It doesn’t matter that the gas grill is cheap; it still needs to be durable.
Number of Burners
The number of burners is an important characteristic as well. It dictates the types of food which can be prepared at the same time. Having 2, 3, or 4 burners means having more adjustment freedom. In many cases, there’s plenty of room to deal with thick cuts of meat as it is for foods that grill fast, such as vegetables.
The number of burners can also be important for those planning to grill for a large family. With extra heating power, the combined BTU of the burners can prepare all the food and larger quantities of food faster for large groups.
Temperature Monitoring Systems
Temperature monitoring is an essential part of a modern gas grill. Most products now have temperature gauges situated somewhere on the lid of the cooking area. However, as seen above, this is rapidly changing. Some gas grills now offer temperature monitoring via smartphone apps.
Of course, checking temperatures on smartphones might only make sense with large cuts of meat, which take longer to prepare. Vegetables such as mushrooms or eggplants grill quickly, and there’s no time to leave the grill unattended. Another important consideration comes with the actual gauges themselves, which still need to be appropriately cleaned for the temperature to be read correctly.
Size of the Cooking Area
The size of the cooking area is important as well. Most 20″ and longer grills are mainly made for multiple users. Those who want to grill foods for the entire family need to choose some of the larger designs. In terms of gas consumption efficiency, singles or couples might only need a smaller gas grill, which can be more energy efficient.
Camping and Sizing Considerations
Grilling out in nature is one of the best experiences for kids and families. However, a large gas grill proves impossible to transport outside of the backyard. This is why gas grills that are made to be used on tables or directly on the ground are an option.
Having the freedom to choose a design which works well for versatility also means saving money. Since there’s no need to purchase a second grill for occasions where food is prepared away from home, some of the traveling gas grills also come with legs to sit on while they are used at home.
Do a Gas Grill’s Cooking Grates Bend?
Cooking grates should never bend. That is an indication of poor quality materials, and they should not be influenced by the actual gas grill even when cooking for hours. Stainless steel grates that are properly maintained should not bend.
What Kinds of Foods Can Be Grilled?
Most users prefer to grill meats and vegetables. Depending on the type of grill, the actual cooking time can be very different. Before starting with a new grill, it is recommended to do a few grill tests with various foods.
Do I Need to Clean the Grill After Every Use?
Cleaning the grill is important, and it can even be a safety precaution. After every grilling session, it is advisable to clean the grates and the dripping area of the grease. Any other surfaces which come in contact with the food should also be cleaned.
What Can I Do With the Excess Grease?
Excess grease from food is biodegradable. It does not harm the environment. However, it can act as fuel when left out in the gas grill, and it needs to be removed after every cooking session.
Do I Need a Temperature Gauge?
A temperature gauge is not necessary, but it is a good addition. It can indicate the level of cooking and how the food is going to taste. Those who’ve tried cooking based on a temperature gauge rarely go back.
Do Gas Grills Come With Grilling Utensils?
Most cheap gas grills come with no grilling utensils. They are sold separately, but they can be stored on the grill itself in some cases.
How Long Will It Take to Assemble a Gas Grill?
Assembling a gas grill can take between 1 and 2 hours. Full instructions are printed for each of the grills above. However, due to safety precautions, the process should not be rushed.
Finding the best cheap gas grill is not complicated if these characteristics are respected. It is up to the user to find the right design and the right BTU power for the types of grilling to be planned. Chicken and vegetables don’t need as much power. Beef and pork need a bit more power if grilling time is important.
However, safely using propane gas as fuel for these gas grills is crucial. This is why it is recommended to read the gas grill’s assembly instructions entirely before using it for the first time. In the right conditions, they can deliver the tastiest foods in just a few minutes.