Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Grilling Time - Tips for Buying a Grill

Tis the season for swimming pools, yard games...and a really awesome grilled burger. 

If you’re looking forward to cooking outside this summer, count yourself in the majority. A 2013 study conducted by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) found 80% of all U.S. households own some type of grill. 97% of those grill owners actually used their grill in the past year, and about 14 million new grills were shipped in 2013 alone.

For some, a simple charcoal grill is the ticket. Others prefer the ease and convenience of gas or electric.

Whatever your preference, if you’re in the market for a grill, there are certain things to always keep in mind; after all, a grill, like any other larger purchase, is an investment - and you don’t want to have to replace it mid-summer!

So, if you’re planning a grill shopping outing, here are a few things we suggest keeping in mind as you go on that quest. 


This one seems like a no-brainer, but really - think about what you’re going to be using your grill to accomplish. Are you thinking small, immediate family cookouts once in a while? Or are you inviting the whole neighborhood over for a BBQ blowout? Are you a devotee of charcoal, or are you open to gas or electric? Lowe’s actually has this nifty, quick guide to selecting the right kind of grill - scope it out and get a feel for what’s on the market right now.


Once you’ve honed in on what fuel source and size you’re interested in, think about what you’ll be grilling. This will also affect your decision. Different grills heat to different temperatures - and thrive at those temperatures - so take inventory of what you’ll be grilling most and buy accordingly. 


So the grill looks nice, and it’s the right size. So now it’s time for the wiggle test. 
While in the store, gently move it around and rock it back and forth to gauge how study it is. A structurally compromised grill will almost definitely wiggle. If it’s this unsound in the store, it probably won’t hold up on your patio or in your backyard. 


Not all grilling apparati are created equal, so product reviews are a great place to start. Consumer Reports offers this glance at gas grills, which are perennially popular - and usually cost a pretty penny. Research is key!

Are you grill shopping? Any idea what kind you’re getting? Leave us a comment and tell us about your favorite cookout device!