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looking for gas grill recs?

We're shopping for a new gas grill to replace our trusty old one which is falling apart. I've read through the threads on this subject, checked online reviews, Consumer Reports and Cooks Illustrated and I'm still confused. I want a reliable grill that will give good high heat for searing as well as cook evenly. We seldom cook for more than 2 so we don't need anything big. I don't care about flashy looks or high-tech gadgets, but I do want it to work and work well when it's in use. A rotisserie burner would be nice but isn't essential. If possible I'd like to keep cost under $500 but could be persuaded to get something more pricey provided there's real value in doing so.

DH wants to get the cheapest unit out there as long as it has heavy-duty burners. I like what I've read about Vermont Castings and Weber grills. Any opinions?

We have a Weber charcoal grill and an electric smoker so I'm not looking to duplicate these in a gas grill.

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  1. Yes. The way to evaluate different grills is to ask what the BTU output is for the burners. The smallest weber, called the Q puts out 12,000 BTUs which is similar in output to a single medium size burner on a gas stove. For cooking on a surface that is almost 2 square feet, this is not a lot of power. To be really useful, the grill should put out 35-50,000 BTUs. For comparison, a Weber kettle grill filled with charcoal will give off about 100,000 BTUs - that's way too hot, but it gives you the upper limit.

    Hope that helps.

    1. I have found that Sears is a good source (especially when on sale). The performance, features, and style are as good or better than the big names at a much better price. For around $500, you can purchase a great Kenmore model.

      1. As a side note, I like models with thick grates as they seem best suited for searing. many Kenmore grills have such grates.

        2 Replies
        1. re: TonyO

          I got mine precisely because it had thick uncoated cast-iron grates. They require more prep & maintenance but I wouldn't grill with anything else.

          1. re: Harp00n

            I totally agree...I have cast iron grates on my Weber Silver Genesis grill and they make all the difference.

        2. I'm also shopping and have narrowed it down to the Vermont Castings. Looks like it gets a better rap then the Weber.

          1. When I was first married I could only afford Char-broil and replaced every 2-3 years. Then I decided to go Weber and the first one lasted 13 years and was still in great shape but my in-laws did not like the way it looked on the deck and the hardware store delivered a new Weber Siver Genesis 9 years ago. To date I have replaced the grates, both cooking and heating, twice and the electric starter switch. No biggie on any of this. I use the grill 150-200 nights a year, rain, shine, snow, heat. In CT.

            So do I recommend it, ABSOLUTELY. I have the rotisserie attachment and it works very well. I think the Silver Genesis is around $500. We're planning on getting a second one for out by the pool.