All too often people purchase that inexpensive grill from a big box store for $299 based on pricing alone. Well these grills may last you a couple of years. After the first year of being out in the elements it looks like it has been through WW3. Over a 10 year period say you replace this grill 3 to 4 times. That is well over $1000 that you have invested in grills. This is assuming you can buy the same grill at the same price every couple of years.
Well to answer the question, what should I look for in a quality grill?
First and foremost I would say durability. You want to purchase a grill that is built for the long haul. A stainless steel grill built from 300 series material. Or a ceramic Kamado grill made from proven materials that carries a lifetime warranty. These are solid investments that will give you years of enjoyment and use.
Kamado style grills. Not all kamado grills are the same. There are a lot of knock off grills out there made from cheap ceramics that will break if you stare at them to hard. You want to purchase a grill from a reputable brand that has been in existence more than a couple of years. A warranty is only as good as the manufacturer who presents it!
With Gas grills……..Looks may be deceiving. Have you ever seen a stainless steel grill that rusts after one year in the elements?
There are so many different brands of stainless steel grills out there, please beware of what you are buying. There are a few things that you as a consumer need to know to help you pick out a stainless steel grill. Will a magnet stick to it? How smooth is the surface? How thick is the metal and how is it put together?
What grade is the stainless? There are many different types of stainless steel. The most common would be the 304. This 300 series steel is the most rust resistant and durable. Another common steel is the 430 which is magnetic and not as durable or resistant to corrosion. Some manufactures will use a mixture of different metals. Easiest way to test this is to put a magnet on it. If the magnet sticks, don’t buy it.
How heavy is it? Thicker steel will not discolor as fast as the thinner steel. When comparing grill specs remember, the lower the number is the thicker the metal is. Firemagic grills are made of 16 gauge steel. They are quite possibly the heaviest grill on the market. If you want to purchase a grill that will last you a long time, stay away from grills above 20 gauge.
How is it assembled? Look for a grill that is completely welded solid. If it has fasteners make sure they are solid stainless steel, if not they will rust quickly. Stay away from rivets, stainless steel fasteners that are magnetic or spot welds. These items are tell-tale signs that the grill was constructed poorly and is not made to last.