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Looking to replace my gas bbq-suggestions under $600 ?

i currently have a weber genesis and it still works fine but we are thinking about getting something a little larger. the old one is at least 8 years old. what we would like is something with lots of cooking surface and a searing burner located in the same cooking area, not a separate section. that way i can use that as part of the main space. a regular side burner would be nice but isn't essential. stainless would also be a plus. as i said in the title, i'd like to keep this under $600.00 if possible. any suggestions are welcome.
thanks

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  1. ooh, i'm suggesting a charcoal grill here. sorry! (i am in the market and thinking of a move to charcoal from my gas grill, so i guess that is why i jumped to put this grill out there for others to comment upon.).

    ~~~~~i was just reading about the great reviews for the "bubba keg" convection grill, like the big green egg grill. http://bbq.about.com/od/charcoalgrill...

    http://www.bbqaddicts.com/blog/grilli...

    looks like it is slightly over your budget -- around $650.

    i learned about it from a fellow chowhound (who loved his grill) on a thread about insulated mugs (of all things). http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7236...

    1. Gas BBQ? Oh you mean gas grill... :-)

      Stick with Weber. You're not going to get better quality by trying to upgrade in size and stay under $600. Stick with the same size if necessary and buy the best. Weber has replacement parts available everywhere when you need them and that is a huge plus in my book.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Shaw Oliver

        yes, gas grill is what i meant. i do like the webers but i wish this price range model had a searing section. i really like that option.

        1. re: davmar77

          As with most things you get what you pay for. If you want features you have to pay for them or lose out on something else - like quality. For me, I'd rather pay for quality and get what you want even if it costs you $200 more. If you go cheap on the grill you'll end up buying two $600 grills over the period of 15-20 years ($1200) instead of paying for 1 great one at a cost of $800-$1000. It all depends on how you want to spend your money and what features you really think are useful and important.

      2. Keep the Genesis. Seriously. I rue the day I got rid of mine for a big shiny expensive stainless thing.

        Don't buy the hype about searing burners. Some grills have great ones that can deliver steakhouse-level results. But plan on paying a LOT more than $600 for a big one. I've got an infrared burner on my current grill, and to say that I'm unimpressed would be generous.

        If I had it to do all over again, I'd spend $250 on the parts required to completely refurbish my Genesis. Maybe there are better grills out there, but not anywhere near the price range you've specified.

        Now if you really want a searing burner, I've heard really good things about the Napoleon. You can get the portable grill that's nothing but an infrared burner for a relatively reasonable price: http://www.cymaxstores.com/Common/Pro...

        5 Replies
        1. re: alanbarnes

          Better yet, go charcoal. Cheaper, hotter, better flavour and only a tiny bit slower to heat up.

          1. re: Indirect Heat

            But fuel's more expensive and bulkier, you have to deal with ash cleanup, and you can't just turn a knob to reduce the heat while you're grilling.

            Then there's the fact that the OP wants something bigger than his Genesis, which has a primary cooking area of about 500 square inches. The big (22.5") Weber kettle is only maybe 2/3 that size. Yes, there are bigger charcoal grills out there, but they're a bit unwieldy and impractical.

            Don't get me wrong, I like my charcoal grill and use it regularly. And maybe the OP should consider adding a charcoal grill to the gas grill he already has - it would give a high-heat option and additional cooking area. But charcoal is definitely a bit more of a hassle than gas.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              I agree with you except for a couple of points.

              "But fuel's more expensive..."

              I hear it ALL the time and it just isn't true. I can buy a 22 lb bag of Wicked Good charcoal (a far cry from the dog crap that is Kingsford) for $18. I can also buy a tank of propane for about $18 (fluctuates +/- a dollar depending on fuel cost at the time). I can easily make that bag of charcoal last as long or even longer than my can of propane because I can re-use 40-50% of my charcoal from the previous grilling.

              "...you can't just turn a knob to reduce the heat while you're grilling."

              Yes you can. It's called a vent.

              1. re: alanbarnes

                Beg pardon, I wasn't trying to get into an argument about the merits... it just seems the OP had a price limit, and charcoal grills more easily accomodate people with price limits. Dollar for dollar, a charcoal grill is a far better deal. Superior performance for far less money, with the minor inconvenience that you have to remember to light it before you start preparing your food, instead of when you're ready to cook. Anyway, back to gas grills!

                1. re: Indirect Heat

                  Sorry if I came across as argumentative. I totally agree that you get a lot more bang for your buck if you buy a charcoal grill, but just wanted to point out the downside to the equation.

                  Just to argue a little more, I'm not sure that gas has any advantage over charcoal when it comes to lead time. It takes a few minutes to pre-heat a gas grill, and that's plenty of time to get a load of charcoal going in a chimney.