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Jun 22, 2006 02:00 PM

Help with purchasing Grill

  • p

I am planning to buy a grill, but am looking for the convenience of gas and the flavors of charcoal. Is there any good grill under $200 that will do that? I would like to be able to place charcoal in the grill but fire it up using gas. Any good brands to recommend? Grill doesn't need to be too big.



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  1. The only grill that I know of that uses charcoal and is gas ignited is the Weber Performer. It has a 5 gallon propane tank mounted to it. It sells for about $300. I've had one now for about 10 years and it still works fine.

    1. Buy a basic Weber kettle charcoal grill. Their 18 1/2" model is near perfect: cheap, cooks beautifully, proven design. Who needs gas?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Ronin

        based on hound recommendations, i got the weber kettle 22" and a chimney starter. the coals heat up extremely quickly, it's very easy to clean, it was around $160, and has been in constant use since i got it. highly recommended.

        1. re: thejulia

          I recently bought these too. I'm having trouble keeping the charcoal hot for anything more than burgers and rare steaks. Do you add more charcoal after you dump the original contents of the chimney? If so, when? Right away?

          1. re: J

            That's strange. It's possible you are using a chimney starter that is too small (that is, it doesn't hold enough charcoal). I upgraded from a smaller unit to the Weber brand chimney starter, and it holds enough charcoal to have a very long grilling session.

            The other possibility is that you are dumping the charccal out of the chimney too early. Let it burn in the chimney for a good 15 minutes, until the top layer of charcoal is thoroghly lit.

            1. re: Darren

              or... you could actually be waiting too long to dump it in. With lump charcoal, if you wait a little too long, you'll actually be left with loo little fuel. It should all be lit, but does not all need to be completely ashed over. And, in general, I use a little more fuel than I think I'll need.

              I agree with Darren that you may be using a smaller chimney. After four chimneys, I finally (don't ask me what took so long) switched to a Weber chimney. Make sure you have one. I got it for $15. It holds more and lasts longer.

              Finally, if you are really having problems with the fuel not lasting long enough, try using kingsford briquettes. They take les tweaking to last longer. And, with those, do as Darren suggests - make sure it is all a little gray and ashed over.

              Keep trying. In my kettle, I can get both lump or briquette charcoal to last for a few hours - plenty of time for chicken or even whole turkey.

              Good luck!

      2. 1. propane burner, e.g., fish cooker, turkey fryer, etc. <$50
        2. charcoal starter chimney <$10
        3. Thai bucket stove if you can find one, alternatively a Lodge cast iron grill, e.g., Sportsman <$80
        4. Cast iron grate, e.g., replacement part for smoker sold by BBQs Galore. <$20

        This setup will grill like a madman. Won't do any smoking, slow cooking, or baking tasks.

        Small Grilldome is around $200, resembles a Big Green Egg. Still need a chimney and gas burner.

        1. I can't tell you anything about it, but Home Depot has a Weber go anywhere grill listed for $49.99. Little propane tank in picture...