I'm looking to replace my rusted out grill and narrowed it down to two choices:
Choice 1: Purchase a propane grill, maybe stainless this time, since my last one rusted out at 5 years
Choice 2: Purchase a Kamado Grill - have never used this type of grill but heard some good things about them. Only problem is they are not nearly as convenient at a propane grill, and I'm not looking to purchase two.
I just bought an Oklahoma Joe smoker/gas grill combo. Just grilled for first time yesterday and it worked great (Used the charcoal grill, not the gas side).
Definitly had to season it first, but from what I am reading as long as you maintain it well, rust should be minimal.
I see so many grills that are out for trash and are barely rusted. I think most of them are there because the person doesn't have the mechanical ability/knowledge to do a simple burner change out when they get rusted, or they are not maintained.
I have had my Sunbeam grill for 27 years now, kept it covered, changed out the burner maybe 8 or 9 times now, the propane flexible alum tubes under the grill a couple of times and the grate that the lava rocks sit on one time- all parts I could buy at Home Depot.
Find a free one on the side of the road, fix it up, you will have something that will work just fine!
"Keep it covered" is very good advice... it won't rust if it doesn't get wet. Also bear in mind that the sun's UV rays beat up grill covers pretty quickly and they should probably be replaced every three or four years if left outside year round.The first thing to go is the stitching and water starts to get in long before you see actual holes/tears developing in the main fabric sections.
I have a Kamado grill that I love for smoking and charcoal grilling when I have all day. I also have a propane grill that I love for when I need a steak or burgers and dogs right now. You really need both to be truly happy in a BBQ sense, IMO.
What is your budget?
I have a weber that turned 10 this year and just replaced the electronic igniter for the first time and still the original burner. Not to bad for 500 bucks
tell you what - I have a charbroil infrared from sears
thing is the bomb
I just replaced a Char Broil clone last year. It lasted 16 years at a cost of $199 plus one change of the regulator and nothing else. Only five years is not good but might be as cost effective as a Weber even if they're the very best. With really good care most should last longer, and covering constantly as well as taking it in over winter goes a long way.
I'm not sure I'd like one of the egg like ones, it's very different so it's just something you either like or don't. The choice between the two is really just personal taste.
Jdem, also have a weber that needs a new igniter. Hard to replace if not too handy?
Takes 2 minutes to replace. The igniter just pops in by the burner no screws or bolts. 2 wirers to the button that is held in by 1 plastic nut
On the Weber grill igniters, make sure you don't need just a new battery. I replaced my igniter battery (AAA size) and it's working fine again.
I agree that keeping it covered adds years of life. Even then, warm grill, humid air, they're gonna be some rust even if you bring inside the shed.... Unfortunately, it usually hits early on the burner.
In the past, sure, cleaning the grill area was harder than replacing the burner. However, and it's been a decade, while I could replace the grill, it was not the same grill since the burner, while compatible, was not the same configuration exactly as the original factory part.....Like the first time I replaced my car's motor, the spec's all said perfect, but it was never the same car, exactly. Still, at the price, I would try a burner before I bought a new grill.
Last time, I just googled the heck out of it; found a grill that was both reviewed and still being sold (first sign of my chances for longevity), and was pleased with the outcome. Otherwise, drop the cash and get a top brand like the weber.
Smokers, gas, lava, etc. Eh, as a young man, I only used charcoal. I am a gas convert now after I realized the action here is grease hitting heat, turning into smoke, and flavoring the meat. The rest, to me, are just options....and options that, for me, don't add that much value. So, lava creates a different smoke than metal plates ---- but not that different to me... Chips create yet another different smoke, but mostly I am not into eating cedar that much so not a biggie for me. Smokers --- slowing cooking, the rest the same --- IMO. IOW--- I can create fantastic smoked pulled pork with a slow cooker and some smoke sauce. And I usually skip the smoke sauce.
Another example, and this is a winner. So, I am at the fair and the broiling smell is just killing me. I just gotta have it.. What is it? Turned out, it was the pork sausage, onions, and peppers. Chicken didn't do it; beef no go too. So try this: shish kebab. But make one beef, one chicken, one pork sausage and be sure to have onions and peppers on those skewers. Don't need spices, but you could. What you find is a beautiful smell and it's totally due to the pork sausage. Even if you hate pork sausage, cook the other stuff with it, throw it out and notice how much better the other stuff tastes.
So, smoke matters, but apparently except for kebab's, not that much to me.
get a smoker .... I will wont use a grill anymore ... low and slow is the only way to go !!!
I grill 12 months a year. Regardless of the temperature outside. As someone mentioned above, I used to do charcoal only. Now, as I got older, I became lazy and started using propane grills.
Cheap propane grill (Brinkmann, or Char Broil) that costs around $250 for 5-6 burners grill lasts no more than 3 years. I just got rid of my Brinkmann 3 years old grill, and it was't repairable. It burnt entirely inside and looks like new from outside. Replacing the burners wasn't an option as even all burners support brackets have collapsed. And I kept this one covered (unlike the previous one which lasted for 3 years as well).
This is to the point of having your grill covered: it get rusted inside because of high temperature, not because of humidity. And outside it's a stainless steel anyway, so no worries.
I have a 10 years old custom made shishkebab grill. It's all stainless steel, always outside, not covered, used heavily and it looks like new. So I got an idea:
I purchased $2K all stainless inside Weber (6 burners) a month ago. I hope to see it in my backyard 10 years from now. Will keep you posted.
Application is the key, what are you going to cook and how?
Keep in mind that a duel fuel grill will only give you half the area to cook on and heat will fluctuate more in a smaller area
I think at duel fuel, dual smoker/bbq, rotisserie optioned, 12-mth, blow the doors off your Char Broil mega cook station we have probably jumped the shark for the original question......
My Char boil, kept inside, is on year 10 and still cooking fine......Probably will
And hint from Heloise --- don't toss those old ones if they have wheels. See if you can strip em to cut weight, pop the lid off, pull the burners, put ply down over the burners and you might have a great rolling workstation. My older one had two side shelves (no burners) and I use the center burner bay for my potting station. All the dirt conveniently stays in the center plywood section with 3-inch steel walls all around to contain the dirt. Existing shelves, hooks, and wire baskets all hold my tools and pots, plywood area cleans easy with whisk and dust pan. I just roll it in and out of the garage so I can pot rain or not, outside or in. Off potting season, it takes my portable miter box which is a joy to roll, hell to carry..... Real space saver.
strangerdanger - That's some admirable re-purposing there. Most people would have put them out by the curb just hoping they magically disappear. ;-)
Well, it was the fact it had no side burners, a shelf and no doors and these great wire baskets that a ? jumped up and I started to take it apart figuring easier to trash anyway. Then I realized, wow, a piece of ply in the middle n you wouldn’t even know it was a bbq.
I do a lot of seedlings, the initial potting is a mess, you need to roll them in n out, and it was that time of year. Its also the time of year where rolling from shade to sun makes the job. Worked so well that now if I ever see one junked, I will snag it for another mobile work space.
Now I have a number of rolling work tables; training wheels from kid’s bikes work well too. I take a table, cut a pair of legs an inch or so shorter, attach the training wheels to make level again and makes it real easy to lift n roll or drop and it stays put. Rolling = better than lifting.
Ultimately they will all fit under the garage stairs allowing me to roll out the tool fleet when needed or roll it out of sight when not
Our 13 year old Weber has seen better days and we are going to replace it. Not sure if we are going to go with another Weber or something different. Any recent recommendations?
Our 17 year old weber went last year and I replaced it with a newer model weber. Hometown Hardware has a good selection, takes away old one and is competitive priced. Yes you have to wear a mask or they will allow you to order it and pick it up curbside
It’s Weber or nothing for me. Keeping my grill in the shed during winter months has greatly extended its life. It’s currently 10 years old and looks new. I don’t grill in the winter.
4 days ago
WEBER is the only way to go. I'm on my second bought 3 years ago, my first lasted about 22 years.
Got a weber for the first time. Living with Natural gas, I opted to do away with the LP pain of " fill it up, have enough? ... runnin low!!!!.... darn it, forgot to get fuel?"
So I got a Weber II 3 burner Natural Gas .....$479.00 bucks at the dome hepo.....Delivered to my porch.
WOW!.... could not believe how great it works. Heats up fast.
Gave up a 25 year old Vermont castings / I converted to Nat Gas. It was unrepairable.
Cant weld rust. ( Nothing lasts forever ). Oh! Well!
My char broil is well over ten years, under roof, used all year. Was reviewed well. Last one the same, moved outdoors and one year later, trashed. I agree, weber, weber, weber, but I inherited, inherited..... Does not cook evenly but I compensate. Hard to pony up for a weber for a little compensation. But if you char broil, get one that’s reviewed; can be big quality differences tween wallymerts and other outlets versions.
Weber from Hometown Hardware on Main Street. They delivered me a fully assembled grill and took the old one away. The grills they sell are of a higher quality than the ones of the same brand at the bog box stores.
FoundDogs - I know what you mean. I avoid buying things like grills or lawn equipment from places like Home Depot or Lowes. My husband worked for Home Depot many years ago. Even their name brand faucets are different than what you would get at a plumbing supply.
Did you already chuck the old one?
Like anything- the new stuff isn't built as well as the old ones.
Grills are simple, and the old Webers case was a tank. Parts are readily available.
A Sat afternoon, a power washer to clean her out, and possibly a little high temp bbq paint...then install new internals and good for another decade +
Or.....I took one with side tables, one for a pot, gutted it, removed the top, put in ply for the grill and pot burner and have a great garden table for seedlings, etc. Hooks for tools, baskets for gloves n such, nice ply with side to catch the overflow. Side tables for pots, dirt n such, shelf below for same. Rolls out of garage so I can work outside in the sun. Tables with wheels always good.
Try taking apart the burners and cleaning them. Spiders may be your problem they tend to cause poor burner function. Your manual should explain how to do this. I just cleaned mine and it gets as hot now as when it was new.
The most common problem other than just plain rusting out is the regulator. That's an easy fix but it would mean all the burners would be out at the same time. If it's two burners it's either the cross over tube or individual burners. If it's the burners then definitely clean first or just replace them if need be. I would think the whole thing would be under $75 even with a Weber.
Knowing Horatio, I'm surprised he wouldn't have tried a fix. Unless if there is a lot of rust in which case no need to even try.
Thumbs up on hometown hardware. I got mine from there. Delivered for free. It was $50 more then HD or Lowe’s but did contain several stainless steel upgrades which the lower models at the big box didn’t have. Worth it IMO.
3 days ago
About 5 years ago I bought a Kamado Joe Big Joe. At the time, I thought it was going to be a fun addition to my Weber kettle and my CharBroil offset stick burner. After using the Kamado 3 times, I gave away all my other grills. There’s simply no comparison in terms of all-around versatility. I use it for everything: high temp grilling, low temp smoking, baking, braising, pizza oven, you name it. For years, the hefty price tag kept me from pulling the trigger, but now that I did it, I’ll NEVER go back.
Sorry, I just clicked on this again, and I realize now my response (above) is 2 years too late. I was responding to the first post, which was from 2018. My apologies, folks.
No need to apologize! Calico revived the thread just a couple of days ago, which was why it was near the top, rather than buried. Your input is both relevant and valuable, especially since more than one of us may also be looking to buy a grill. Nice to know you're enjoying your Kamado. Now I'll have to consider buying one.
Love my kamado grill... one thing to bear in mind is that they are VERY heavy, anywhere from 250 to 400 pounds. They also are typically set on a stand with four relatively small caster wheels.
If you're going to put it on a paver patio, you might consider putting small (maybe 6" square) pieces of plywood or such under each wheel to distribute the load somewhat, because it can definitely cause differential settlement of the paving stones.
What's the warm up time for the Kamado? I have been thinking about getting a Big Green Egg for some time, is the Kamado better?
iJay, a Big Green Egg IS a kamado, and probably the gold standard, for sure. However, the price premium is hard to justify, especially for a relatively simple concept. There may be a trademarked Kamado branded kamado, although I'm not personally familiar with it.
Prep time is pretty much the same as for any other charcoal-fueled cooker. Figure half an hour to 45 minutes to get the coals ready. From there, it depends on whether you plan to grill or smoke. Temperature is controlled via dampers on the top and bottom, similar to a Weber Kettle... the difference is in the heat retention. The kamado will keep its heat for 12-15 hours or more with the dampers closed whereas the heat transfer from the metal kettle to the ambient environment makes its cooking cycle much shorter.
I bought a Vision XL kamado from HD about 7 or 8 years ago. Cost me around $700. The same sized BGE was $1,500, IIRC. Having used mine hundreds of times, I can't imagine any appreciable benefit that would justify that differential. its mostly social status, if I had to guess. I'd be willing to bet that more BGE owners have Macs as well, lol.
Giving up the convenience of propane is tough but the performance of a kamado style BBQ is tough to beat. I have a big green egg but as ianimal said the price point is a little steep. BGE, kamado Joe, vision and primo are the big players in kamados but there are others. I saw one that had an insert kit to convert it to propane for quick grilling. Low and slow in the 200s up to 700+ for searing and pizzas. And no need to work about it rusting out in a few years. If you are the burgers and dogs kind of household they are overkill but if you thought of expanding to traditional slow cook BBQ and other high temp cooking they are fantastic. Plus BBQ in the winter without crazy fuel consumption is a plus with the ceramic insulation.
Thanks, it's on my list now. I did read that the kamado Joe is easier to keep clean and regulate temperature than the BGE, and the advertisement mentions it is easier to lift the lid (remember these are masonry). I did look at the wheels of the kamado Joe and like mentioned they looked small most suited to be on a concrete slab. Question, do the wheels stay rust free?
Since I am not a charcoal-smoker sort of guy, am very happy Iman mentioned the weight since every grill I have ever had went mobile at some point. Ijay notes the winter weather issues, not to mention different cook rates in winter because of that so I gather weight has a lot to do with the "insulation" factor not to mention more even cook surface. Are these really masonry? Like cement?
I could see using it for other things in summer when I usually use less oven, i.e. give up on pizzas, roasts, and such, because hate to run AC just to cook.....
My bottom line is I am sticking to gas but would love to get something that has the higher insulation and ability to cook these other things you all mentioned. Any ideas?
Nothing beats the Tandoor oven, radiant cooking from 360 degrees. But these Kamado BBQ looks like they can cook something similar. Regular gas or propane has the heat from just below and can be irregular. I had a couple natural gas Charmglows and they were super convenient, I hate the idea of having propane tanks. I generally don't have those 50+ person parties anymore but running a natural gas grill for 6+ hours straight without worrying about running out of gas was great.
I don't believe they make a hybrid option like you mention other than commercial tandoor ovens that run on natural gas. If you have a lot of kids, you may still need the Weber to bang out hamburgers and hot dogs; which Ian mentioned. But for a smaller group and quality it looks hard to beat. My lawyer friend who generally buys the best things bought some natural gas model that I never heard of, it did a good job making ribs and burgers, and this was last Summer.
Had to Google it but vision BBQ grill produces the hybrid kamado, https://visiongrills.com/, swaps in and out a gas insert.
Agreed that's why it is both. Lump charcoal for some serious cooks and gas insert for quick burgers and dogs after work.
iJay, I can only speak for the Vision, but my casters are a combination of stainless steel and plastic. I would assume that its pretty much an industry standard. its been outside (covered, when not in use) the entire 7-8 years I've owned it without any oxidation issues.
Awesome. I do see they have a cage/wheel replacement at under $200 for the long long run.
As I said, I’ve had my Kamado Joe Big Joe for 5 years. (Bought it on Memorial Day Weekend, in fact.) Up until we moved to Hackettstown, it lived in my garage and I would roll it in & out whenever I cooked on it, which would be 4 or 5 times each week. Casters were perfectly adequate to the job. They’re not big, but they’re very high-quality. My driveway was blacktop, though, not pavers. Certainly it would be extremely hard to roll it around on any surface that isn’t smooth. Maybe impossible, given the weight.
I went with the KJ rather than the BGE because of cost. Purchase price is comparable for the two brands, but the KJ comes with all the accessories you need, right out of the box. The BGE sells everything separately, and the accessories are NOT cheap. That said, you can’t really go wrong with any of the major brands ianimal mentioned above. (Both KJ and BGE offer lifetime warranty to the original owners, by the way, which is, of course, another factor in the price. I’m not sure if this is true for some of the other brands.)
As others have said, it takes about 25-35 minutes to fire up the Big Joe for hot & fast grilling, like burgers or steaks. Counterintuitively, it takes quite a bit longer to heat it up for a low-n-slow, because in that case you really want to get the ceramics heat-soaked for steady, even heat. It takes more like an hour or so, because you want to build a small fire and bring it up to temp very slowly. If you overshoot your temp on a ceramic cooker, it’s a VERY slow process to bing it back down.
I recommend the website kamadoguru.com for anyone who has a kamado or is considering buying one. It’s a crazy good site run by John Setzler, who is perhaps the foremost non-professional kamado authority in the country. He also does most of the videos on the Kamado Joe Cooking channel on YouTube. But anyway, tons of great information at kamadoguru.com, and a great community of people.
Oh, and one more thing:
Kamado Joe does occasional “Roadshow” displays at Costcos all around the country. The savings are well worth the wait. When I bought my Big Joe, list price was $1599. I got it at the roadshow for $1200, and they threw in a cover and 2 bags of lump.
Here’s a link to the roadshow schedule. Bookmark it and check it every week or two to see when they’re in the area:
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