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outdoor bbq grill - best bang for the buck

t
thejulia Jun 5, 2006 09:23 PM

the dinged up, rusty, 30 year old (no joke) inherited bbq has to go.

does anyone have suggestions for a cost-effective, but nice outdoor grill/bbq? looking for something approx $150 or less.

  1. b
    bostonhound Jul 8, 2009 02:25 PM

    Some may find this off putting but I love Weber grills and have never bought one new. One I did pay five dollars for at a yard sale but the rest have been from the trash. I have a theory that people get them and then decide they don't like dealing with charcoal. One man's trash...

    1. d
      duck833 Jul 8, 2009 08:23 AM

      I have a weber one touch that I use all summer, right out the kitchen door, I know how to use it. For your $150 budget I would get on an not look back.

      If you want to stepup some day and get something that will do it all then look at a large BGE, I have one at Arizona house and it is the ultimate cooker. Pizza, low cooked ribs, brisket and butts, high temp steaks and regular grilling. But they are around $1,000 with all the add-on's you need.

      1. x
        xman887 Jun 11, 2006 02:40 PM

        i have five grills myself

        propane - weber genesis silver series c. the workhorse for quick dinners, bugers, chicken breast, etc.

        two weber kettles (22 in and 30 in) - tried and true; fantastic. great for a good old fashioned bbq. real hardwood coal is a must. have used to smoke many carolina pulled pork, texas brisket, beer can chicken, etc. using hickory, mesquite, apple, cherry, etc.

        char-griller barrel grill w/ offset firebox. this summer's addition. $150 at lowe's. 800 sq inches of cast iron grill space. makes smoking all of the above weber kettle items easier because their is so much room. and having the firebox off to the side keeps the meat enveloped in the smoke that mush better. a real winner.

        ole smokey - bought it about 12 years ago at k-mart for $30. short, squat, looks kind of like an angular r2-d2. used only for detroti lions and univeristy of michigan tailgates. not the greatest grill but it has turned out many good tailgates and holds a lot of sentimental value.

        1. t
          thejulia Jun 6, 2006 01:49 PM

          Thanks for the help everybody. Think I'll be getting the Weber kettle then. We're just looking for some fast heat, no smoking or indirect heat. I saw Alton Brown make a smoker with some ceramic plant potters, and if I ever feel like smoking something, I'll use his method (cost something like $50 for all the materials).

          2 Replies
          1. re: thejulia
            a
            applehome Jun 6, 2006 02:56 PM

            Btw, you definitely can do indirect heat with the kettle. Pile coals over to one side and put that roast or beer can chicken on the other side. Sometime down the road, suggest a birthday present to your so (as mine did for me) and buy the rottiserie ring and motor attachment. Now, you pile coals on both sides and run the spit down the middle. Using very hot heat, but with constant turning so the meat doesn't have a chance to burn, you can get really crusty meats, or crispy skin chicken in a relatively short time.

            Hardwood charcoal is definitely the way to go - briquets, even the best of the lot, have fillers and chemicals that can affect the taste.

            1. re: thejulia
              d
              Darren Jun 6, 2006 05:02 PM

              I've made the AB smoker, and it's great. But you can definitely use the Weber for smoking food also.

            2. p
              paulj Jun 5, 2006 10:01 PM

              What do you cook? How much?

              Keep in mind that in some circles, BBQ means long slow cooking with indirect heat. That calls for a different design than grilling.

              paulj

              1. d
                Darren Jun 5, 2006 09:43 PM

                Gas or charcoal?

                Charcoal: Weber kettle grill 18" or 22". Probably less than $100; I haven't checked in a while. You can spend a little more and get one with a gas starter and/or attached table.

                Gas: We just bought a BBQ Grillware gas grill for $200. This is one of Lowe's in-store brands. (There is another model that is $160 that is slightly smaller.) This one is nicely sized, has cast iron grates, and a side burner. It's definitely not as high quality as the Weber gas grills, but it's also 40% of the price.

                In the under-$200 price range, you don't have a lot of choices. Nothing is excellent, like a Weber gas grill. The grills for $150 or less are generally quite small and I'd think it would be worth it to spend the extra money for the BBQ Grillware, a Charbroil, etc. that is full-sized (if you have the space).

                Below is a link to a nice review of grills. Most of the ones the author likes are more than $200. There are some for under $200, but I had a real tough time locating any in the Chicago area, hence the Lowe's branded one.

                Link: http://bbq.about.com/cs/grills/bb/aab...

                1. j
                  Jim Washburn Jun 5, 2006 09:40 PM

                  This is just my opinion, of course, but in that price range there is absolutely no contest--the basic 22-inch Weber kettle beats anything else I know of. Fire it with natural hardwood charcoal. It's extremely versatile and durable. Replacement parts, if you ever need them, aren't too hard to find or expensive. I haven't checked prices recently, but I'd guess around $80. I've got two that are over 10 years old, have cooked many a great meal, and have lots more left in them.

                  Jim

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Jim Washburn
                    s
                    Spencer Jun 5, 2006 11:26 PM

                    I'm a stick burner off-set myself- indirect smoker, but I've heard nothing but good things from people with the Weber kettle.

                    1. re: Jim Washburn
                      a
                      adamclyde Jun 6, 2006 05:40 AM

                      If you want charcoal, I agree completely. There isn't a better option than a Weber kettle for that price. The 22 1/2 inch Weber Gold is $129 at Home Depot. And that is the expensive one. You can get a 22 1/2 Silver (same as gold, minus ash catcher) for well under $100.

                      Good luck.

                      1. re: Jim Washburn
                        q
                        quiltbugj Jun 6, 2006 10:27 PM

                        Jim, where can I buy hardwood charcoal?

                        1. re: quiltbugj
                          j
                          Jim Washburn Jun 7, 2006 08:12 AM

                          The grocery store? I live in a small town (pop. 10,000) with two grocery stores, and both of them sell good oak charcoal.

                          Jim

                          1. re: quiltbugj
                            t
                            Tom Hall Jun 7, 2006 12:19 PM

                            I find it at the Barbecues Galore stores.

                            Link: http://www.bbqgalore.com/store/item.b...

                            1. re: quiltbugj
                              c
                              ctg115 Jul 10, 2009 03:20 AM

                              Some groceries in my area don't always carry lump charcoal, but all the hardware stores do, and they usually have larger bags too. Try your local hardware store.

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