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Budget gas grill?

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Budget gas grill?

chefMolnar | Jul 3, 2011 10:04 AM

I'm looking for a gas grill for about $200 or under. First of all, I'd like to get two things out of the way:

1. I know charcoal is better, tastier, greener (although just a little greener according to a recent NY Times article), etc. I need the extra convenience or I won't use it much.

2. I know if I go above $300 I could get pretty much everything I want in a grill. I won't do it unless I'm convinced I'll have to replace a grill completely every few years otherwise.

I will probably be an occasional user, maybe once a week mainly for my family of four. We don't eat a lot of red meat, so it would be mostly for chicken, spiedies (if you have been to Upstate New York you know what they are), turkey brats, fish, etc. Not a lot of huge cookouts. I kind of like the idea of putting lava rocks in for flavor. That's what my father used to do.

So I have narrowed it down to about 3 choices.
- The Char Griller Grillin' Pro 3001 (they also make also something like it called the Kingriller 3008). Pros: solid outside, heats up well (according to reviews). Cons: cheap three-piece grate, not that stable, no room for lava.
- Grill Master 4-Burner Stainless Steel Gas Grill. A Lowe's store brand made in China. The guy at Lowe's tried to steer me to this one away from the Grillin' Pro, even though it was less expensive. Pros: The internal works seem to be better, especially the grate. Room for lava rocks. Cons: The outside seems to be the thin metal typical of these budget grills. I am wondering how long it will last with moderate use in a Midwestern climate. I don't need a grill this big, although as long as the extra size doesn't waste gas or take longer to heat up I don't mind.
- Weber Q200. Pros: It's a Weber. Portable (not a big plus). Cons: Is it too small for a couple of chickens or a small party? Are the little cylinders going to be a waste and a hassle to replace all the time?
I'm also thinking about a Huntington 3-burner, which goes a bit over the $200 mark.

So there's the deal. Any advice?

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