Grilling your food on the BBQ is a great way to imbue a beautiful smoked flavor, but many outdoor cooking enthusiasts are in debate over whether it’s best to have one that’s fuelled by charcoal or propane, with the latter gaining the lead in popularity over recent years.
Whether you’ve chosen to join the camp of people who prefer propane or you’re still comparing both options, this article is here to give you a rundown of what you should look out for when buying a propane BBQ.
How Do I Choose a Good Grill?
Before you can even begin to think about which grill will be a good fit for you and your needs, first, you’ll need to work out exactly what those needs are.
This includes thinking about how often you’ll be using your BBQ, how many people you’ll be cooking for, what sort of food you’ll be cooking, and what kind of features will be most beneficial for you and your grilling needs.
Once you’ve established these things, you should pay particular attention to the following factors in order to choose a good grill.
The quality of the materials used in the grill’s manufacturing process will play a large role in determining its overall quality.
There’s no point paying all that money for a BBQ for it to become damaged easily through exposure to high temperatures and the outdoor elements, which is what can happen if you opt for a BBQ made with cheaper materials.
You’ll find many BBQs that are made from materials like aluminum and sheet metal. These are usually less expensive, but they’re also less durable, so you’ll only get what you pay for.
Stainless steel is a better choice as it’s more resistant to rust, but it’s also one that comes with a higher price tag. A dual-layered steel hood will also help to insulate the heat so that the cooking area maintains its temperature for quicker and more consistent results.
Grates and Burners
A lot of the time when you see grates or burners on a BBQ, they’re made from porcelain-coated cast iron or porcelain-coated wire.
A higher-quality BBQ will feature grates that retain heat well, as this is what creates those beautifully charred, black grill lines on your food, especially when you’re searing meat.
You should also look out for grates that are made using stainless steel, as these are one of the easiest types of grills to maintain due to being easy to clean and rust-resistant.
In terms of burners, the more the better, as this will allow you to have better control over the temperatures while you’re cooking. BBQs that have only one burner tend to form more cold spots which can lead to uneven cooking rates or even food that hasn’t fully cooked through.
Would you appreciate the ability to keep food warm on a separate rack until the rest is done? Do you need multiple level surfaces to cook separate food on?
How about a smoker box, a side burner, a rotisserie burner, a light, or any one of the other numerous features that grills can have to offer?
A basic BBQ will perform all of the main functions you’re looking for, but some of the higher quality models come with a few useful additional features that can help transform your backyard cooking experience.
However, it’s worth remembering that unless you think you’re actually going to use these features, it can be a waste of money to have them added on or to buy a more expensive BBQ based on these features only to rely on the basic functions.
How Much Should I Spend On a BBQ?
The cost of a new propane bbq grill can vary greatly depending on the size, model, and manufacturers.
You also need to ask yourself the question - and answer honestly - how often will you actually use your BBQ?
If you’re king or queen of the grill and you’ll pounce on the chance to roll your BBQ out at the first sight of the sun, then it’s worthwhile to invest in a BBQ that is higher quality so that it’s more likely to serve you well for longer, even with frequent use.
On the other hand, if you’re only likely to whip your BBQ out once or twice over the summer months or if it’s something you’ll save for special occasions, you might want to look for something that’s more affordable as otherwise, you won’t be getting your money’s worth.
Ultimately, the amount of money you should spend on a BBQ will come to how big your budget is, and how much you want to spend. Besides, there are plenty of more affordable options that are still of great quality and will do the job of grilling your food perfectly well.
What Size Grill Should I Buy?
When trying to decide what size grill you should buy, the first thing to think about is obviously how many people you’ll be cooking for on a regular basis.
If you have a large extended family, for example, who love to come around on the weekend for BBQs in the summer, you’ll need a grill that’s big enough to fit everybody’s burger on, or else you risk the wrath of the ‘hangry’ few who are left waiting while their food still cooks.
You should also think about whether or not you have any vegetarians in the mix who prefer their food to be cooked in a separate area from the meat, as in this case, you’ll benefit from having a second grill rack or at least one that’s big enough to cook things at opposite ends.
As you’ll probably notice when you’re shopping for the perfect size grill, the larger you go the higher the price tends to be, so whilst you’ll definitely want enough space to cook on, overestimating the size you need for your grill can end up costing you a lot of money.