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How long should bbq grills last?

We've got a fairly inexpensive bbq gas grill that's 4 years old. We just had to replace the gas regulator valve (it was leaking), the electric starter looks like it might be shorting out, and the grate plate (above the burners, below the ceramic grill) is either being burned away or eaten through from food drippings.

Structurally, it's fine. The burners still work, the cover still works, etc. So, what I'm wondering is: are there items on a grill, regardless of brand and price, that you have to replace anyway with heavy use? Even if we had a $2,000 grill, would some components still just wear out?

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  1. I think value does matter - one might hope that a $2k grill was made with higher quality materials, so that said grill would last longer than a cheaper one.
    The piezoelectric ignition buttons do wear out over time, but again, one that was made better will last longer will cost more...
    My philosophy is just to keep the grate clean and the fire hot. The rest will fall apart over time, and then you can get a new one.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jtpeters

      So I should expect to replace the grill after several years no matter what I buy? The only part that's really falling apart on our current grill is that thin metal "shield" that sits above the burners. The grate itself is study and fine.

    2. They've all got parts that wear out...I think one of the benefits you get from the more expensive grills are readily available replacement parts.

      1. All grill or make that gas grills that are exposed to high heat long enough will need some part replaced. In the upper end grills the shields over the burners will at some point break down. The electric starters will eventually need to be replaced. In cheaper grills the frame will rust out over time and if the burners are not stainless steel then they often need to be replaced. I was buy cheap grills before buying my Weber. The frames use to just rust out quickly. I have seen an improvement in standards recently and even the cheaper ones are being made better these days.

        1. The key to longer life of your grill is to buy a cover and always use it. Protect it from the sun, wind, rain and snow and its parts will function much, much longer.

          4 Replies
          1. re: GeezerGourmet

            We do cover our grill, which is probably why it hasn't gotten all rusty. I guess since all grills have components which wear out, we'll keep the grill and replace just the eaten-through metal plate. When the whole grill finally gives out, we'll probably invest in a better system.

            1. re: leanneabe

              Those metal plate things also fell apart on my grill....And I think I take very good care of it. Here's whatcha do: Go to a home center, buy 2 6' sections of angle iron (maybe called angle bar stock in other regions), anyway the stuff without holes. Cut them to fit where the metal plate thing was, use more as needed. They'll outlast the grill. I paid $12 for this little upgrade last year

              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                Hmm... do you know what section of the store they'd be in? Certainly not the bbq area.

                1. re: leanneabe

                  L -In places like depot or lowes, they usually keep it in the hardware aisle with nuts, bolts, screws, rope, stuff like that. I used a sawzall to cut mine up, but a regular hacksaw will do. A small hardware store may even cut them for you if you bring them the dimensions.

          2. My friends and I believe you should "bite the bullet" pay a lot and buy WEBER - hi cost, hi value, particularly with Charcoal grills and smokers. Now is the time to buy a Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker at Amazon - $200 SHIPPED

            2 Replies
            1. re: rich in stl

              Amen. I am only on my 2'nd Weber in 25 years and the original is still my backup.

              1. re: currymouth

                I have a Weber Smokey Joe that is probably 15 years old and still looks like new. It lives on my covered patio 12 months of the year but the only part I had to repair was the rivet that holds that vent plate on the bottom.

                Rich, Thanks for the note about the Smokey Mt sale, as that has been on my shopping list for ages.

                Does anyone know if you can get a extender ring to raise the closed lid height for the Smokey Joe? I'd like to do items like beer can chicken and similar, but the lid on the SJ grill doesn't provide the necessary clearance.