HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What's your latest food quest? Share your adventure
TELL US

bbq units, which to buy??? (moved from Ontario board)

h
heylids Jun 24, 2011 07:32 PM

We are wanting to buy a bbq, around the $300.00 dollar price range, maybe more if it is worth the money. We know weber's and broil king's are great but the price is just out of our range...for now.

We have read great reviews on the huntington but they are only sold in the usa. So can anyone help us find a good quality bbq for not a large sum of money????

Thank's for all the feedback..

  1. strangemd Jun 28, 2011 01:31 PM

    For an apartment balcony, you might consider the Fuego Element grill http://www.amazon.com/Fuego-EG02AMG-E...
    It's compact, quite attractive, has an inner and outer burner system that allows for indirect grilling, and is in your price range. I have used one as an "in-town" grill for about a year and have been quite happy.

    1. c
      Chris B. Jun 28, 2011 06:43 AM

      You are in Canada? Broil King makes decent (as good as Weber) grills.

      1. h
        heylids Jun 27, 2011 12:52 AM

        Thank you all for your feedback, great information!!!

        First let's talk Weber Spirit E210, 2 burner model, these are made in China and the grill unit and the bottom of the unit is made of cheap lightweight nonsense! We saw this model this afternoon at Lowes in Toronto and they will not stand the test of time, even the rep. agreed they would last at best 2 years..priced at $399.00..Shame that Weber even decided to include such a poor quality bbq. However their other higher end models are what you would expect from Weber and a quality bbq.

        The Char-Broil, Grill Master and Master Forge are basically the same. They do have some models that the grates/grill are of good materials but when you check the underside of the unit you will discover that the medal is thin and cheap....this is where the bbq will rust out and won't last, so the grates and burners might be of good quality but the unit as a whole wouldn't last long because the "belly" will rust out. The rep at Lowes was very honest and showed us things that most people would not check. He taught me that most people will check the grill/grates the burners the lid and how sturdy the unit is but they don't check the bottom of the unit itself....the bottom-belly as I call it..is where the strenght and durability of a bbq comes from, if it isn't there, you're looking 2 maybe 3 years and then replacement time....can't grill without the belly....

        What do I mean by the belly??? Open the cabinet doors and put you hand up and check the bottom of the unit, that is where you will see if it is a quality, heavy gauge medal. If it isn't, it doesn't much matter if the grates/grill, burners, lid...etc... are solid steel or cast iron, it doesn't matter if these parts are of the best quality, if the bottom of the bbq isn't a solid strong medal, it will rust out and there goes the unit. It's like a boat without a hull...can't do much sailing!!!

        So before you purchase, open those cabinet doors and put your hand up and check out the bottom of that unit. In conclusion, the larger more expensive Weber and the Broil Kings are much more expensive but the unit will last you a very long time! If you calculate having to spend $300 to $400 every 2 to 3 years, you will have spent more $$$$ on bbq's then if you just put the money up front and get the best....well, that's my opinion!

        I did find the portable kitchen grills quite interesting, have never heard of them, so thank's for the info, Westy.

        Baba bing, as stated above the Weber E210 2 burners are $400.00 at Lowes in Toronto, Canada

        but I suggest you go take a look at them, they are really cheaply made, we were shocked at the quality....unless the units in the USA are different, you too will be surprised.

        Lastly and most disappointingly, we dropped by the fire station on the way home and asked if bbq's were allowed on apartment balcony's and was told NO, this is due to the emittions and the propane tank is a hazard....no charcoal either,,,in fact charcoal is even worse for emittions.

        By the way..LJS2, what do you mean by bbq's made for apt balconies,,,,am I missing something???

        Well, on the upside, I now have some knowledge on bbq's and feel far more confident about what to look for. Here's hoping to finding something we can use to grill on our balcony.

        Once again, thank you all so much for all the feedback and suggestions, don't hesitate to send more thoughts.......your fellow chowhounder!

        1 Reply
        1. re: heylids
          Bada Bing Jun 27, 2011 04:43 AM

          Lots of interesting info, heylids.

          About the low-end Webers: I wonder when these production changes and quality decline took place? In 2006 or so I bought a Weber Genesis Silver A model, the low-end two-burner equivalent to what is now the E210. It remains in perfect shape, having sat through 5 or 6 years of snowy winters and muggy summers. Of course, it is probably relevant that I have used a proper Weber cover for it. Anyway, that's been my own experience.

        2. w
          Westy Jun 26, 2011 10:01 AM

          Portable Kitchen Grill. Great design. Compact, hold heat far better than a Weber.

          1. h
            heylids Jun 25, 2011 09:32 AM

            Thank's for all the feedback, to answer some questions, we are definitely going the propane bbq way, we are not allowed to have charcoal on our balcony....as for size, we don't need a monster of a bbq but a portable small one seems too small. Mid-size I think would be great, through it is just 2 of us, when guest are over we want to create a full meal on the bbq. Hopefully the lid will accommodate a beer chicken and maybe a rotisserie.....We also live in Toronto Canada, so USA pricing would be higher here.....We had read great review on the Huntington, but it seems they are only sold in USA.....Hope this additional info can narrow things down....thx again!

            9 Replies
            1. re: heylids
              Bada Bing Jun 25, 2011 09:51 AM

              The Cooks Illustrated testings fully recommend the Weber Spirit two-burner model (E-210, here, and maybe where you are).

              A cheaper unti that they recommend "with reservations" is Fiesta Optima Gas Grill, Model ESD45055, which is not in production now, but there is probably a current equivalent. There were more flare-up and some other issues that with the Weber, but they did praise the low-heat management (which is good for many uses).

              Note that I spent many years buying cheaper grills that would rust out or otherwise fail every couple of years, until I bought a Weber, and those Weber units show no sign of slowing down at all. I seriously recommend the Weber Spirit 210 for you, so you won't have something to throw away in two or three years and replace, that thing having all the while not worked as well as a Weber.

              1. re: Bada Bing
                h
                heylids Jun 25, 2011 05:12 PM

                Bada Bing, thanks for your feedback, did you know the low end weber's are made in china.....? I have some concerns about that and have read some reviews that were not that great with respect to the outer frame, not sure about the inside components.....any thoughts?

                1. re: heylids
                  Bada Bing Jun 25, 2011 06:55 PM

                  I don't know anything about the components in Webers. My own were bought in 2006 and have held up fine. I am no authority.

                  I do maintain that things made in China are not automatically of poor quality: most of them are, but that's changing. My assumption is that Weber would ask, in anything it makes from China, for a production quality roughly on a par with what they previously paid people more to do stateside. Bad for USA jobs, but not necessarily for the product.

                  Here's a thread for you to follow up on:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/421522

                  1. re: Bada Bing
                    l
                    LJS2 Jun 26, 2011 09:43 AM

                    I would also recommend the weber kettle but you cant use charcoal. $300 will not buy a lot of barbeque in the Toronto area. You will be basically buying a barbeque that might last two years or so before it will start to fall apart. Ontario Gas sells propane barbeques designed for apartment balconies. Consider starting your search there either at their huge store or online. Good Luck and please let us know what you end up buying.

                    1. re: LJS2
                      Bada Bing Jun 26, 2011 09:56 AM

                      I'm curious. What does a Weber grill cost in Canada, anyway? I just saw a $350 Weber Spirit E-210 gas grill at a local hardware store (not known for rock-bottom prices, but solid value). And they sell the Weber Gold 22" (24"?) charcoal kettle for $149.

                      Maybe it would be worth the OP's time to drive to the USA and get a Weber.

                      1. re: Bada Bing
                        hal2010 Jun 26, 2011 11:46 AM

                        The Spirit E-210 is on sale for $600, regularly $650 at Sears Canada this week.
                        There's also a basic Broil King for $300

                        1. re: hal2010
                          Bada Bing Jun 26, 2011 12:04 PM

                          That is a mind-blowing price difference. I used a currency converter and it appears the 600 in CA $$ is 611 in US currency. I'd take a road trip to Buffalo or Detroit for that kind of savings.

                          To make it worse, my hardware place (Ace) will actually assemble and deliver the thing for free, locally.

                          p.s., I had no idea the Canadian dollar was so strong now. Back in the 1980s when I lived in North Dakota, Canadians would come down to shop in droves anytime the Canadian $ was worth even .80 USD. The times, they are a changin'

                      2. re: LJS2
                        h
                        heylids Jun 27, 2011 01:03 AM

                        LJS2, what do you mean designed for apartment balconies....is this in the Toronto area??? We dropped into a fire station this afternoon and were told NO bbq's, No propane tanks, No charcoal, due to emittions and hazard explosives.....
                        Please tell me there is something we can us here in Toronto, Canada, that will accommadate the fire dept.....I so want to bbq!!!!

                        1. re: heylids
                          l
                          LJS2 Jun 27, 2011 07:21 AM

                          "designed" is probably a poor choice of words. "Suitable" is probably what I should have said. I refered a co-worker to Ontario Gas as she was looking for a bbq for her small condo balcony. She told me that they had a number of units that were suitable for balcony use. I expect that it is because of their size more than anything else. Her balcony was equiped with a natural gas line. I do not know about regulations but I do know that I see a lot of barbeques on balconies all over town. The OP should probably enquire with the builing managment to see if barbeques are permitted in his/her building.

              2. r
                rasputina Jun 25, 2011 06:24 AM

                Any of the weber kettle charcoal grills are good for first timers

                1. Bada Bing Jun 25, 2011 04:57 AM

                  Are you thinking a gas grill? Because a Weber charcoal kettle (the "Gold" model here in the USA), costs less than $300, and it has a very useful ash-catching pan underneath that makes it pretty easy to keep that unit cleaned out. I have Weber gas and charcoal grills, and I use the charcoal more often, but I value both.

                  If you are determined to use gas, and if you won't need to be cooking large amounts of food, you might consider two lines of portable gas grills which offer Weber durability and design.

                  One is the Weber Q, comes in three or so models, all of which are in your price range:

                  http://www.weber.com/explore/grills/gas-portable

                  There are also the Q 300 models, with stands:

                  http://www.weber.com/explore/grills/q...

                  Finally, I see that Cooks Illustrated tested small gas grills, and they like the the CharBroil Grill2-Go for low price, decent function, and the inclusion of a griddle, but I'm not certain if the model they tested is still on the market.

                  By the way, how much more than $300 is a two-burner full-size Weber gas grill where you are? The Spirit E-210 is $400 on Amazon in the USA, and worth saving a bit for.

                  1. hal2010 Jun 24, 2011 08:43 PM

                    I had a Weber Kettle for about 15 years but got tired of buying charcoal and cleaning it out, so I got a Broil King for around $300 on sale at Sears. Check their weekly sales, they seem to rotate products on about 2 month cycles and BBQ's are often available at $100 or more off.

                    I love just turning it on, getting it hotter than my oven could ever imagine and then cooking a whole dinner in about 20 minutes with no pots and pans to wash up.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: hal2010
                      s
                      Snarf Jun 24, 2011 09:32 PM

                      I go to my crazy place on this topic, so apologies in advance.

                      If you want to replicate the gas feeling, get an extension cord, and move the microwave outside. Charcoal is for cooking, gas is for compromising on your commitment to evolution.

                      1. re: Snarf
                        justsayn Jun 24, 2011 09:41 PM

                        I hear ya Snarf, but it is just way too extreme to lower gas grill cooking to the same level as microwave cooking.

                        One can get amazing results with gas cooking.

                        1. re: justsayn
                          d
                          dmartins123 Jun 24, 2011 10:43 PM

                          Have to chime in here...get a gas BBQ for grilling and smoker for real BBQ. both are needed...you dont want to play around with charcoal for 45 minutes just to get some weeknight dinner cooked.

                          I personally have a weber gas grill and even though it comes in a bit more than $300, it is a total machine when it comes to grilling.

                          1. re: dmartins123
                            l
                            LStaff Jun 28, 2011 01:47 PM

                            +2

                            No need to get all dirty and wait 30-40 minutes for charcoal to light on a weekday when time is short. Not to mention smoking out your neighbors when the charcoal first lights up.

                            I have used gas, charcoal, and wood to cook with, and although I would prefer the flavor of real wood, for everyday use, gas is so much more convenient. And as long as your cooking techniques are solid, you can get good flavor with gas. I find statements above laughable. Its really not about the equipment, its about the skill of the cook.

                            Reminds me of the King of the Hill - taste the meat, not the heat. ;-)

                            I love my weber gas grill - will never go the cheapie route again for a gas grill. But I finally got my $30 smoker figured out and can put out some great slow smoked ribs on it - again, its all about using the equipment you got to get the results you want.

                    2. s
                      Snarf Jun 24, 2011 07:56 PM

                      Okay, this inolves a soapbox and some product evangelism. And some prejudices that might lead to awkward comments.

                      If you are going to cook food with fire, outside of a domicile, you need to become one with the process. Charcoal is the only way. You can use electric starters that give it the same timeframe and convenience as gas, if that's a concern. But gas is soulless and empty, much the blow up doll of the cooking appliance fuels.

                      If you want to learn to cook with fire, you need a true source of it. You can play with direct, indirect, smoke, and charring, and you will get the primal connection that will either connect you with your southern roots, or put evolution in context.

                      Show Hidden Posts