Please help me choose a new gas grill [Moved from Home Cooking]
After 10 years and many thousands of meals, it's starting to look like it's time for the ol' Weber to go to the big BBQ in the sky. The "flavorizer bars" have disintegrated, the knobs are broken, the wooden side and bottom shelves are about shot, the ignitor hasn't worked in years, and the cast iron grates weigh maybe half of what they did when new. And it may just be my imagination, but the burners don't seem like they're cranking out the same BTUs they once did.
I would just get another Weber Genesis, but want better indirect cooking options, preferably with front-to-back instead of side-to-side burners. A little extra grill space would be nice, too. And stainless steel, while it doesn't contribute anything to the cooking process, is easy to maintain and looks pretty. A Weber Summit would fit the bill nicely, but the $1,500+ price tag is about double my budget.
Home Depot has a stainless Ducane grill (made by Weber) for about the price of the Genesis. 5 main burners plus rotisserie and side burners. I'd always thought of Ducane as a high-end brand along the lines of DCS, Tec, and Lynx; if that was ever the case, it isn't any more. So comparison to those grills doesn't seem fair. This Ducane isn't a high-end grill, but it appears to be reasonably well-made and priced VERY aggressively at $699; the non-Home-Depot version of this grill, which appears to be identical, goes for around $1,250.
Do any of you have experience--good, bad, or indifferent--with Ducane grills in general or this one in particular? Is there another grill that will deliver more bang for the buck? Any info and all opinions are appreciated.
I just recently purchased a Weber Genesis 320 and couldn't be happier. It's done everything I've wanted and more. I had heard that side burners are kind of a waste, WRONG!! Here in the south, fried fish is a way of life and what a great place to do it, outside on the side burner using my big cast iron skillet. Sure keeps that fried smell out of the house. Have done steaks, chicken, ribs, chops kabobs and whatever else on the grill and it's just perfect. The cast iron grates are supe. Didn't get SS, mine is green but that's fine. Plus, it was $599 at Home Depot assemblied.
No personal experience with Ducane, but I've been doing A LOT of research on this topic over the last couple weeks. As soon as I have the money I'm buying a Weber Genesis 310. This is a three burner grill, with heavy duty cast iron cooking grates, plenty of cooking space. The BTUs are lower, but everyone who has this grill says it's not an issue because of an efficient design. The three burners should give plenty of indirect options. The 310 does not have a side burner, and it's available at Barbecues Galore for $549. The 320 does have a side burner, costs fifty dollars more and is sold at Home Depot. In my opinion, the side burners seem cool, but when you think about it, you're just wasting propane doing something you could do inside or on the main grill itself.
A word on stainless steel. That's where your money is going. So if a grill costs $699 the corners have been cut within the heating box itself, the last place you want corners being cut! The research I've done, on the prestegious internet, all seems to agree that off-brand grills lure you in seeming like a terrific bargain, but three and four years down the line you've had to replace everything inside, if not the whole grill itself. You yourself have seen that Webers can last ten years or more.
Good luck. Let us know what you buy and how you like it.
Heartily recommend the Genesis 310; it's the current version of what I've been using for the last ten years; I'd get another one, but want something a little bigger.
Ducane doesn't strike me as an off brand. It's wholly owned by Weber, and the quality seems to be pretty high. The grills are made in China, so labor is cheaper and there are fewer environmental regs for the steel mill, but they seem better-constructed than most of the mass-market grills out there.
I'd really like to know what corners may have been cut to get this grill down to $699. (It was originally $899, but that's still a pretty aggressive price point.) Wonder if I can take one for a test drive...
Sorry for saying off-brand, that's just my term for anything not Weber. The Ducane seems has gotten many great reviews on epinions, though I tend to read only the bad reviews when buying a product. Here's one I found...
Most of the other reviews are terrific, though. I think your idea of test-driving is the way to go. And hopefully some hounders out there will have some hands on experience.